©2012 BlueScope Buildings North America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Butler Manufacturing

is a division of BlueScope Buildings North America, Inc.
You might be surprised to discover the virtually unlimited design
possibilities of a Butler
building system. As your local Butler Builder
we can build a flexible and attractive Butler building that incorporates
wood, brick, stone, or glass. You can also choose from a wide variety
of metal roof and wall systems—all in a building that meets both your
needs and your budget.
More design
f lexibility for
your building.
Contact us at 419-238-9567
or visit us on the web
©2012 BlueScope Buildings North America, Inc. All rights reserved. Butler Manufacturing

is a division of BlueScope Buildings North America, Inc.
You might be surprised to discover the virtually unlimited design
possibilities of a Butler
building system. As your local Butler Builder
we can build a flexible and attractive Butler building that incorporates
wood, brick, stone, or glass. You can also choose from a wide variety
of metal roof and wall systems—all in a building that meets both your
needs and your budget.
More design
f lexibility for
your building.
Contact us at 419-238-9567
or visit us on the web
©2012 BlueScope Buildings North America, Inc. All rights reserved. Butler Manufacturing

is a division of BlueScope Buildings North America, Inc.
You might be surprised to discover the virtually unlimited design
possibilities of a Butler
building system. As your local Butler Builder
we can build a flexible and attractive Butler building that incorporates
wood, brick, stone, or glass. You can also choose from a wide variety
of metal roof and wall systems—all in a building that meets both your
needs and your budget.
More design
f lexibility for
your building.
Contact us at 419-238-9567
or visit us on the web
More design flexibility for your building.
Alexander & Bebout, Inc.
Engineering • Design • Construction
10098 Lincoln Highway, Van Wert, Ohio
©2012 BlueScope Buildings North America, Inc. All rights reserved. Butler Manufacturing

is a division of BlueScope Buildings North America, Inc.
You might be surprised to discover the virtually unlimited design
possibilities of a Butler
building system. As your local Butler Builder
we can build a flexible and attractive Butler building that incorporates
wood, brick, stone, or glass. You can also choose from a wide variety
of metal roof and wall systems—all in a building that meets both your
needs and your budget.
More design
f lexibility for
your building.
Contact us at 419-238-9567
or visit us on the web
©2012 BlueScope Buildings North America, Inc. All rights reserved. Butler Manufacturing™ is a division of BlueScope Buildings North America, Inc.
You might be surprised to discover the virtually unlimited design
possibilities of a Butler
building system. As your local Butler Builder
we can build a flexible and attractive Butler building that incorporates
wood, brick, stone, or glass. You can also choose froma wide variety
of metal roof and wall systems—all in a building that meets both your
needs and your budget.
More design
f lexibility for
your building.
Contact us at 419-238-9567
or visit us on the web












www. busi nessj rnl . com
May 2014
The Region’s Business Publication
• Employers hiring ............... P2
• Obama launches
Veterans Employment
Center ........................................ P3
• Global sales ............................ P7
• Much More!
Business Journal staff
VAN WERT — In the world of build-
ing designing and even community de-
signing, the new acronym at the forefront
is LEED, or Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design. LEED is a green
building certifcation program recognizing
best-in-class building strategies and prac-
tices, according to the U.S. Green Building
Council. There are four levels of certifca-
tion ranging from certifed to silver to gold
to platinum at the top. A school renovation
project in northwest Ohio recently decided
to shoot for the top in LEED certifcation.
Vantage Career Center in Van Wert was
beginning a $35 million renovation and ex-
pansion project which would add around
67,000 sq. ft. to the facility and the board
and superintendent decided to make plati-
num certifcation their goal.
Vantage Superintendent Staci Kaufman
LEED certifcation a demonstration of being green
stated, “I knew that it’s very rare for a ca-
reer center to be rated platinum, and that
was our goal.” The school district was re-
quired to earn at least a silver LEED Rating
for accepting state funds for school con-
struction. Those funds came through the
Ohio School Facilities Commission.
Kaufman clarifed the LEED rating was
not sought for anything tangible for the
“For us as a career center and teaching
some of the trades that we do, such as con-
struction and electricity, we knew we could
utilitze our school building as a teaching
tool. And we do that, teaching concepts
in science class, electricity, construction,
building and grounds, and industrial me-
chanics. It’s been a good decision for us.”
While building a green facility was not
the main reason for seeking a higher LEED
rating, it does give some satisfaction and
for other businesses, Kaufman noted there
may be a real advantage.
“Does the LEED rating impact our cli-
entele and draw business? Probably not.
But there are frms for which that may be a
big boon for them.” Kaufman pointed out.
Some of the separate projects involved
See LEED, page 2
include: rainwater harvesting, greywater
storage, using recycled content, and the use
of solar power. The results have been posi-
tive for the school.
“By chanelling off the rain water, we
have a serpentine system for that which
is largely under the solar array, that helps
contribute to the quality of wildlife and
grasses out there, that we don’t food ev-
erything, we are channeling the water away
to preserve some of that,” Kaufman con-
tinued. “We love the effcient heating and
cooling system we have. The fact that we
are collecing rainwater is a feel-good thing,
but we know that we are helping the en-
2 TheBusinessJournal May 2014
vironment. We defnitely saved money by
generating our own solar power. It still
generates even under snow.”
How much savings will the school see
from the installation of a solar panel array?
Vantage Treasurer Lori Davis pegged the
amount at $20,000 in the frst eight months
of use. The solar array was not really a part
of the project. It was being planned before
the levy passed allowing Vantage to take
on the renovation/expansion project.
Kaufman explained that a group from
the school, including some students, met
with the general contractor so Vantage’s
wishes could be incorporated into the
“We had a cross section of staff, stu-
dents, contractors, and we talked about
what we wanted to do and what our stron-
ger interest was in,” she said. The price tag
of some of the green projects could have
kept the school from taking on the quest
for a platinum rating.
According to Kaufman, “Several items
came in under bid which gave us the abil-
ity to weave some of these things in. Had
they not we would have just gone for the
required silver rating. We said going into
it that we’re not going to throw tons of
money at this.”
The outcome has been good. The use
of 156 skylights in 32 rooms brings in
more natural light which some studies
have shown to help students learn. But the
main tie-in at Vantage is the relationship
between the green construction methods
and the classes and programs offered at
the school, including Vantage’s advanced
energy academy and the construction and
electricity programs.
“The tie-in was a natural one for us,”
Kaufman stated.
As for the pursuit of the platinum rat-
ing, Kaufman is not sure if Vantage has
achieved that status yet.
“We are a solid gold rating right now,
which is pretty good, but we have items
still to be graded, which is mainly our solar
array, which we had been working on prior
to the project. That would put us into plati-
num if we get most of the points that could
be counted.”
But she admitted she is very happy
with the way the project turned out and the
overall savings, mostly from the solar ar-
ray on-site.
(Continued from Page 1)
Business Journal staff
LIMA — Obtaining a post-graduate de-
gree can give an individual a great sense of
accomplishment and it’s also one way to
gain access to the highest-paying jobs avail-
Lima Spherion Branch Manager Stacie
Buerger said clients are looking for direct-
hire candidates with Bachelor’s Degree who
have two to four years experience.
“Clients are now looking for process
engineers — manufacturing, mechanical
and chemical — and CNC programmers,”
Buerger explained. “Earnings for these po-
sitions start out around $50K up to $100K.”
She said more and more of these jobs are
coming in and the job market in these areas
are loosening up.
According to Simplyhired.com, the av-
erage salary for a job post-graduate degree
is $57,000 which is almost 25 percent great-
er than individuals holding a bachelor’s
degree. The top five highest paying jobs
requiring a post-graduate degree, have start-
ing salaries close to or over $100,000.
The MBA is the most lucrative of gradu-
ate degrees and specialties include business,
finance and accounting and can be applied
to any type of management operation giv-
ing it the highest cost-reward ratio. The av-
erage salary for a management position is
$105,000 and CEOs pull in an average of
“We are also seeing a rise in marketing,
sales and accounting positions,” Buerger
The medical field has been an in-demand
sector for employment for many years. Ob-
taining a medical doctorate is a huge un-
dertaking that requires three to four years
of post-graduate study before moving on
to a residency program lasting up to seven
years. Doctors earn a median annual salary
of $180,000 and well over $1,000,000 for
the medical professional who opens a pri-
vate practice.
Earning a juris doctorate degree is the
highest degree possible for individuals seek-
ing a career in law. After three years of law
school and passing the bar exam, legal pro-
fessionals typically earn close to $130,000.
Engineering degrees are popular at ev-
ery level, but obtaining a Ph.D. earns top
honors. Engineering professionals work in
computer, chemical, aerospace fields and
the highest paying sub-specialty is petro-
leum. The oil industry is the number one
manufacturer of power and shows no signs
of slowing down and engineers in this field
earn an annual income around $128,000.
“A lot of jobs are more hands-on,”
Buerger explained. “Many kids are more
into computer-based careers and don’t want
a job where they might get dirty.”
According to Forbe’s.com, PayScale’s
massive compensation database and job
growth projections through 2020 from the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate
the college majors are the most valuable in
terms of salary and career prospects. Five
are ranked by median starting pay, median
mid-career pay (at least 10 years experi-
ence), percentage growth in pay and pro-
jected growth of job opportunities.
1. Biomedical Engineering with a start-
ing median pay of $53,800, mid-career
median pay of $97,800, growth in pay 82
percent and a projected job growth of 61.7
2. Biochemistry with a starting median
pay of $41,700, mid-career median pay of
$84,700, growth in pay of 103 percent and a
projected job growth of 30.8 percent.
3. Computer Science with a starting me-
dian pay of $56,600, mid-career median pay
of $97,900, growth in pay at 73 percent and
a projected job growth 24.6 percent.
4. Software Engineering with a starting
median pay of $54,900, mid-career median
pay at $87,800, growth in pay reaching 60
percent and a projected job growth of 24.6
5. Environmental Engineering with a
starting median pay at $51,700, mid-career
median pay of $88,600, growth in pay at 71
percent and a projected job growth at 21.9
“The opportunities are out there and job
seekers should not be afraid to connect with
someone to help promote their portfolios,”
Buerger added. “There are many jobs re-
quiring a two-year degree and after joining
the workforce, there’s plenty of opportunity
for an individual to continue with their edu-
Employers hiring candidates with two-year degrees, experience
Business Journal of WC Ohio

Fostoria Office
Findlay Office
Tiffin Office
Toll Free
• Group Medical Plans
• Health Management
• Prescription Drug Programs
• Group Vision & Dental Plans
• Short & Long Term Disability
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customized group health insurance
program consulting
May 2014 TheBusinessJournal 3
First Financial
merger agreement
Serving the Corporate
and Personal Community
for Over 30 Years.
Living the Rotary motto:
“Service above self”
Life • Home • Auto • Business • Income
Hukill Hazlett
Harrington Agency, Inc.
Insurance Since 1838
513-793-1190 • FAX: 513-793-5730 • Cell: 513-479-1193
Direct Line: 513-619-4621
Email: jbirckhead@hhhinsurance
Jane Birckhead, CPCU
Executive Vice President
Trustee - Stepping Stones Center
Life • Home • Auto • Business • Income
Hukill Hazlett
Harrington Agency, Inc.
Insurance Since 1838
FAX: 513-795-5730 • Cell: 513-479-1193
Direct Line: 513-619-4621
Email: jbirckhead@hhhinsurance.com
Serving the Corporate
and Personal Community
For Over 30 Years
Living the Rotary motto:
“Service above self”
WIRE) - First Defiance Financial Corp.
FDEF), the
h o l d i n g
company for
First Federal
Bank of the
Mi d w e s t ,
and First
Communi t y
Bank, headquartered in Columbus,
Ohio, jointly announced the termination
of the merger agreement signed in
February 2014.
The two companies issued a joint
“It has become evident that the
time to complete the merger would
be significantly longer than originally
expected, and the two companies
mutually decided that terminating the
agreement was in the best interest of all
April 23 anniversary celebration
of Joining Forces, First Lady Mi-
chelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden
announced the launch of a new in-
tegrated employment tool to con-
nect veterans and service mem-
bers with employers, and to help
translate military skills into the
civilian workforce. The Veterans
Employment Center, an integrat-
ed, online tool connecting veter-
ans, transitioning service members
and their spouses with both pub-
lic and private-sector employers,
is the result of an interagency effort to im-
prove, simplify and consolidate the current
array of employment resources for veterans.
Additionally, this will provide one compre-
hensive database of resumes for employers
who are seeking to leverage the skills and
talents of veterans, service members, and
their spouses.
“Our service members haven’t always
had the time or information needed to pre-
pare their resumes, to plot their career goals,
to meet with employers and get the jobs they
deserve. And that’s simply not acceptable,”
said First Lady Michelle Obama. “As my
husband has said, when you’ve fought for
this country around the world, you shouldn’t
have to fght for a job when you return home.
Starting today, every single service member,
every veteran, and every military family will
have access to a new online tool that will
revolutionize how you fnd jobs in both pub-
lic and private sectors. All you have to do is
log on to ebenefts.va.gov.”
“Veterans deserve an authoritative source
for connecting with employers,” said Secre-
tary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.
“The online Veterans Employment Center is
the single, federal source for veterans look-
ing for new career opportunities, service
members transitioning to the civilian work-
force, and spouses and benefciaries looking
to connect with job opportunities.”
The new online resource, called the Vet-
erans Employment Center, is the frst inter-
agency tool to bring a wealth of public and
private job opportunities, a resume-builder,
military skills translator and detailed career
and training resources together in one place.
In connection with the First Lady and Dr.
Biden’s Joining Forces initiative, the De-
partment of Veterans Affairs worked with
employers, the Departments of Defense, La-
bor, Education, and the Offce of
Personnel Management to design
and develop the site and incor-
porate features of existing online
employment tools within govern-
The result is an integrated so-
lution providing veterans, tran-
sitioning service members, and
military spouses with the tools
they need to connect to employ-
ers. With this tool, employers
will be able to search and view
Veteran, Service Member, and
spouse resumes in one compre-
hensive location. The result is an integrated
solution providing veterans, transitioning
service members, and military spouses with
the tools they need to connect to employ-
ers. With this tool, employers will be able to
search and view Veteran, Service Member,
and spouse resumes in one comprehensive
location. “Our service members transition-
ing to civilian life, as well as their spouses,
deserve the resources they need to be suc-
cessful,” said Secretary of Defense Chuck
Hagel. “Through this effort, they are getting
that help. Our troops and their spouses are
proven leaders, highly-skilled and hard-
working. Employers hiring them are getting
the best this nation has to offer.”
“Improving veterans’ employment is an
all-hands-on-deck enterprise,” said U.S. Sec-
retary of Labor Thomas Perez. “With more
than 1 million service members projected to
leave the military in the coming years, the
Veterans Employment Center, along with the
wealth of services the Department of Labor
offers through its 2,500 American Job Cen-
ters, will connect our veterans and service
members with both public and private sector
employers eager to hire those with military
“OPM’s USAJobs pro-
gram is excited to be partner-
ing with the VA on making this
a robust tool for our nation’s
veterans and transitioning ser-
vice members seeking Federal
employment,” said OPM Di-
rector, Katherine Archuleta.
“It has been more than four
years since President Obama
established the Veterans Em-
ployment Initiative and, in that
time, the Executive Branch of
Government hired the high-
est percentage of military veterans in more
than 20 years – of the 195,000 new employ-
ees hired in FY 2012, approximately 56,000
were veterans, equaling 28.9 percent of total
hires. We can continue to honor and show our
appreciation for the dedicated and heroic ser-
vice of America’s veterans by ensuring that
they have every opportunity to continue their
service to this great nation as Federal civilian
employees. The Veterans Employment Cen-
ter helps us honor these men and women by
making employment opportunities available
when our servicemen and women lay down
their uniforms.”
The Veterans Employment Center will
provide employers with access to a targeted
pool of resumes from veterans and transi-
tioning service members, allowing them to
search resumes to identify veterans with
skill sets applicable to civilian employment
at their organization, and to track prog-
ress towards reaching their veteran hiring
goals. Resumes are visible to all employers
with an active LinkedIn or Google profle.
To prevent spam, an applicant’s name and
email address are redacted and only visible
to employers verifed by the VA as regis-
tered companies with the IRS.
Joining Forces is a national initiative
launched by First Lady Michelle Obama
and Dr. Biden to engage all sectors of so-
ciety to give our service members and their
families the opportunities and support they
have earned. The site is built using open
data and an open application programming
interface to attract private-sector innova-
tion. The Veterans Employment Center can
be found at: https://www.ebenefts.va.gov/
ebenefts/jobs. For a tutorial video on how
to use the Veterans Employment Center,
please visit: https://www.youtube.com/
Obama administration launches
online Veterans Employment Center
One-stop-shop connects veterans, transitioning
service members, and their spouses to employers
visit us at www.tjpaintingandrepair.com
Full Service
Painting Contractor
Eric K. Shenseki,
Secretary of
Veterans Affairs
4 TheBusinessJournal May 2014
Apollo inks deal with Enterprise Building
for Academy of Medical Careers
LIMA — Apollo’s Adult Education
has inked a deal with Lima’s downtown
Enterprise Building to house the Acad-
emy of Medical Careers
for the next two years.
With pre-construc-
tion set to begin on
Apollo’s main cam-
pus at 3325 Shawnee
Road, it became neces-
sary to move the school’s adult Licensed
Practical Nursing, Nurse Aide, Medical
Assisting and Medical Insurance Spe-
cialist programs off-campus and into a
temporary home.
“The Enterprise Building is the ide-
al location for us,” says Tara Shepherd,
Allied Health Manager, Apollo Adult
Education. “It is
centrally located,
access to the city’s
parking garage and
allows us to keep
all of our medical
programs under one
Apollo will occupy two foors and
11,000 square feet of the well-known
downtown facility which will eliminate
disruption to students and staff during
the construction phase of Apollo’s renova-
tion project. The building, at the cor-
ner of Market and Elizabeth Streets,
is also conveniently situated between St.
Rita’s Medical Center and Lima Memori-
al Health System where medical students
fulfll their hands-on clinical require-
Apollo will relocate the medical pro-
grams to the new site in mid-June. Class-
es will begin at the Enterprise Building
in August. Apollo recently relocated its
free ABLE/GED/ESOL classes to Forest
Park United Methodist Church in Lima
and will soon relocate its daytime public
safety classes to nearby fre departments
and area hospitals.
Residential broadband adoption
in Ohio surpasses national average
COLUMBUS – Connect Ohio recently
released new data showing broadband
adoption in Ohio surpasses the national av-
erage, with 72 percent of households sub-
scribing to broadband service in 2013, up
from 66 percent in 2011. Broadband adop-
tion in rural Appalachian Ohio increased
to 63 percent in 2013, a ten percentage
point increase from 2012.
According to the Pew Research
Center, the national broadband adop-
tion wrate in 2013 was 70 percent, which
marks a four percentage point increase
since 2012.
“Connect Ohio is pleased to see that
Ohio remains above the national average
in broadband adoption; however, it’s con-
cerning that the most vulnerable parts of
our populations remain on the wrong side
of the digital divide,” said Stu Johnson,
executive director of Connect Ohio. “The
primary barrier to broadband adoption —
perceived lack of relevance — decreased
11 percentage points among non-adopters
over the past two years, meaning that more
people are seeing the need for technol-
ogy to improve daily lives. Another posi-
tive note was the marked improvement
of broadband adoption in Appalachian
Ohio; network expansion and the efforts of
the Connect Appalachia Broadband Initia-
tive have helped to drive adoption in this
The data are available via an interactive
widget on the Connect Ohio website where
viewers can compare adoption rates since
2010, track the growth in mobile adoption
during that time, and examine barriers to
Among other key fndings of the 2013
residential survey are:
- More than 481,000 school-age chil-
dren in Ohio still do not have broadband
access at home.
- More than 2.7 million working-age
adults in Ohio would need assistance
with tasks that are often required by
employers, such as creating a spwread-
sheet, going online from a mobile device,
using a word processor, or sending an e-
- More than three out of four non-adopt-
ers in Ohio say it would be easier for
them to shop, seek out healthcare infor-
mation, or interact with government of-
fces if they had Internet access at home.
This survey is conducted in support
of Connect Ohio’s efforts to close Ohio’s
digital gap and explores the barriers
to adoption, rates of broadband adop-
tion among various demographics, and the
types of activities broadband subscrib-
ers conduct online, among other issues.
Connect Ohio’s 2013 Residential
Technology Assessment was conducted in
late 2013 and includes responses from
3,615 residents.
Connect Ohio conducted this residen-
tial survey as part of the State Broadband
Initiative (SBI) grant program, funded by
the National Telecommunications and In-
formation Administration (NTIA). The
SBI grant program was created by the
Broadband Data Improvement Act (BDIA),
unanimously passed by Congress in 2008
and funded by the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2009.
Adoption statewide up by six percentage points since 2011; Adoption in
Appalachian Ohio up ten percentage points since 2012

AIP offers a full range of
Warehousing • Distribution •
Transportation • Pick and Pack
• Freight Management •

300 Industrial Dr
Wapakoneta, OH 45895
We're more than
Buildings and
May 2014 TheBusinessJournal 5
The Business Journal of West Central Ohio
Distributed in 13 counties...
Van Wert Federal earns 5 Star rating
VAN WERT — Van Wert Federal Sav-
ings Bank was recently recognized as one
of the strongest banks fnancially by Bau-
er Financial of Coral Gables, Florida. This
marks the 102
consecutive quarter that
Van Wert Federal has been awarded the
Bauer 5 Star Rating. This makes Van Wert
Federal not only one of the strongest and
most consistent banks in the state, but one
of the strongest banks in the nation.
Bauer Financial rates all of the nation’s
banks which encompass approximately
6,855 institutions. Recognized as a “Sus-
tained Superiority Bank,” Van Wert Fed-
eral is one of only 59 banks to have re-
ceived the Bauer 5 Start Rating since the
inception of the award. This puts Van Wert
Federal in elite company as only .861% of
all the nation’s banks hold this claim.
Bauer Financial conducts their analy-
sis every quarter and rates banks based
on specifc factors that demonstrate their
strength. Some of the key factors Van
Wert Federal has achieved and was evalu-
ated on are signifcantly exceeding all fed-
eral capital requirements, maintaining a
very low level of delinquent loans, strong
profts, as well as, exceeding several of the
other benchmarks as established by Bauer
Van Wert Federal Savings Bank is cel-
ebrating their 125
anniversary this year
and is very proud to have earned this des-
ignation as they have been committed to
providing the highest quality of service,
without compromising its standards, since
(BPT) - At a certain age, kids stop lis-
tening to their parents on all topics except
for one. Money.
Yet recent research conducted by Bank
of America found that although this is the
one area where teens and tweens actually
seek advice from their parents, it is one
many adults avoid due to their own lack
of confidence in managing their finances.
Whether you are taking steps to pro-
actively educate your children on money
management or they are confronting you
with specific questions, be ready and
equipped to help them learn about what is
Following the five simple steps below
will not only help you brush up on the ba-
sics and build your own financial knowl-
edge but better prepare you to teach your
kids about managing money responsibly.
* Expand your own financial knowl-
edge. A recent Bank of America study on
financial literacy reveals that 32 percent of
U.S. adults recognize their lack of finan-
cial knowledge has led them to make poor
financial decisions. Before you can edu-
cate your kids, make it a priority to edu-
cate yourself. Consider online resources as
an easy way to expand your own financial
knowledge. One option is BetterMoney-
Habits.com, a free online learning plat-
form offered through Bank of America‚ in
partnership with Khan Academy, offering
dozens of easy-to-understand personal fi-
nance videos on everything from using
credit to saving and budgeting.
* Educate by example. Teens and
tweens often model their behaviors after
their parents, both good and bad, particu-
larly when it comes to money. By setting
a good example and responsibly managing
your own personal finances, you can be-
gin teaching your children without much
heavy lifting. While you are at it, check
out steps to better money habits on Bet-
terMoneyHabits.com to continue to build
healthy behaviors your children can pick
up on.
* Talk to your kids. We have all made
Money talk: Educating
the next generation
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OH LIC #21016 www.sidneyelectric.com
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See MONEY, page 6
6 TheBusinessJournal May 2014
Mind Your B.I.S. - Tips to jumpstart
your financial well-being
(BPT) - In the next few months, high
school seniors across the country will be
anxiously checking mailboxes for college
acceptance letters. With two-thirds of re-
cent high school grads enrolling in col-
lege as of 2012, according to the Bureau
of Labor Statistics, it is the first step on
a journey towards personal and finan-
cial independence for many Americans.
Whether an incoming freshman, soon to
be senior or recent grad, it is never too
early to get financially fit. The key to
success is to make the process fun and
Easy and enjoyable financial planning
is the premise behind TheMintGrad.org, a
new website from Northwestern Mutual,
intended to encourage 18-24 year olds to
embrace the notion of F.L.C. (financial
loving care) – or the importance of strong
financial habits as an essential compo-
nent of overall well-being. In addition
to a wide spectrum of content on topics
ranging from investing to interview tips,
the site features columns by well-known
financial bloggers and user-friendly inter-
active tools.
According to experts at TheMint-
Grad.org, the quickest way to jump-
start a financial fitness program is to mind
your B.I.S.:
Budgeting – According to a recent
Gallup poll, less than one third of Ameri-
cans (32 percent) put together a monthly
budget. Learning to track income and
expenses is essential to staying out of
debt, especially for someone with limited
means. Successful budgeting is similar to
dieting. It is important to be realistic with
goals and work towards incremental im-
provements. And like dieting, “cheating”
once or twice will not undermine progress
unless it becomes an excuse for abandon-
ing the effort.
Investing – Though investing may
not be an immediate priority for recent
grads focused on meeting daily living ex-
penses, starting early on a small scale can
have significant advantages. Consider
the rule of 72 - the number of years need-
ed to double your money at a given inter-
est rate, which is calculated by dividing
72 by the interest rate. For example,
money invested at 10 percent will double
in 7.2 years. Contributing to an employ-
er’s retirement plan, like a 401(k), as soon
as it becomes available is another good
opportunity to jumpstart investing. Not
only does a contribution decrease taxable
income, but some employers also of-
fer to match a portion, which is an added
Saving – With the average student debt
load topping $29,000 for the class of 2012
(CNNMoney), the idea of saving may be
easier said than done. However, having a
safety net has numerous benefits. More
than half (53 percent) of the respondents
in Northwestern Mutual’s 2013 Planning
and Progress Survey between the ages of
25 and 54 feel that starting to save early is
the best financial decision they can make.
The sunny side of having a nest egg is
added flexibility in professional and life-
style choices. It can provide the luxury to
pursue hobbies and passions. The trick is
to set an achievable goal, even if it’s just
a few dollars every month be disciplined
and consistent in sticking to it. For exam-
ple, $40 each month (or a few lattes less
per week) can become $480 in savings by
year end.
While the topic of financial planning
is intimidating at any age, it truly is a
case of an ounce of prevention is worth a
pound of cure. Minding your B.I.S. is the
foundation for a sound financial strategy
that can adapt as income grows and goals
For more information, interactive
tools, and other resources to get started,
visit TheMintGrad.org.
mistakes with money at one time or another but the important thing is that you and your
children can learn from them. Begin talking to your children about the financial decisions
you have made in the past to help spur open, ongoing dialogue about money. Knowledge
of your personal financial challenges may prevent your children from facing similar is-
sues and discussing your good decisions provides them with concrete examples to follow.
* Get specific. Parents tend to give pie-in-the-sky goals to their kids, like the need to
save for college but which don’t resonate. Focus your kids in on immediate goals, like
saving for a bicycle or a treat after school. Prior to making a purchase, challenge your
children to research and compare. This approach helps teach many important aspects of
money management including smart shopping, budgeting, finding and negotiating good
deals, and avoiding impulse purchases.
* Offer allowance. Once your children reach an age where you feel they are comfort-
able with handling money, you can begin to offer an allowance. Whether it is rewarding
them for completing chores, good behavior or making straight A’s on their report card,
make it clear to them what kind of expenditures the money is for and that they are expect-
ed to save some of it. This will likely be your child’s first chance at budgeting and man-
aging money, so it’s important to give them the tools they need in order to be successful.
Of course, there are no one size fits all answers to your child’s financial questions,
but when the questions do come, it’s important to be ready by empowering yourself. It’s
critical that parents are confident in their own money management skills in order to teach
the next generation.
(Continued from Page 5)
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I’m traveling to Warsaw, Poland, soon to deliver two
public seminars. After a couple Skype interviews, I dis-
covered that although the United States and Poland are
five thousand miles and many, many cultures apart, our
sales needs are the same.
To prove my point, here’s a portion of
the question and answer interview I did:
Jeffrey, everyone needs to increase
sales, especially during this economic cri-
sis. Everyone is looking for some magical
formula or shortcut. You write there is no
formula, but there are rules to follow that
will lead you to the promised land of more
sales. What’s the best way to keep up sales
during the current recession?
Recession means “less” not “none.”
Salespeople have to fight harder during
tough economic times. I recommend hav-
ing a morning breakfast (or coffee) with
a client or a prospective client. This gets
your day started early and on a positive
note. But this is only ONE way to keep
your sales up. It takes a concerted effort that includes so-
cial media, solid relationships, referrals, and attraction.
It’s not impossible – and it’s NOT easy. The good news
is most salespeople are not willing to do the preliminary
hard work it takes to make sales easy.
How about sales channels? You talk a lot about differ-
ent media (email, video, social networks, etc.) as ways
of selling. How is the role of the salesperson changing,
and what’s changing in terms of which sales channels are
being used right now?
The Internet and all forms of social media are the
new channels and the NOW channels. But it’s not
ONE channel – it’s ALL of them – each with their own
formula for attraction, engagement, and connection. Is
there one key element that’s a constant across all chan-
nels? Yes, the element is perceived VALUE to the recipi-
In your newest book Social Boom you say that
social media is the new cold call. How does that work
Here’s the short version of using social media to con-
nect for the first time: I can find anyone on LinkedIn,
and then by using simple Google search and research,
I find out everything I need to make a personal connec-
tion. Once I connect, I ask for an informal meeting (usu-
ally coffee) to see if we have anything in common, or if
there’s a need for my product or service. The secret is the
first call is NOT a sales call, and the first meeting is NOT
a sales pitch.
You state, “People don’t like to be
sold, but they love to buy.” One of the
things people can take away from that
is to be themselves and be authentic as a
leader or as a salesperson. How is authen-
ticity important in sales?
For maximum clarity, let’s separate
this question into two answers...
1. BUYING. The key to selling is un-
covering WHY the prospect wants to buy.
Also called a “buying motive,” it reveals
the real reason for purchase. This strategy
is much more powerful that trying to con-
vince the buyer that your product is great
by trying to “sell” it.
2. AUTHENTICITY. Authenticity
is a characteristic that the prospective customer PER-
CEIVES as the presentation and the relationship move
forward. Authenticity is not a specific characteristic – it
is derived from the ethical, honest, and consistent actions
of your total words and deeds.
Leaders must prove their own authenticity and the
authenticity of their company. Tasteless, forgettable mis-
sion statements don’t have the force of attracting strong
customers. What defines glorious organization in the
21st Century?
Most companies, especially large ones, fail to un-
derstand the difference between a mission statement, a
value statement, a vision statement, and a hot air market-
ing message that no one understands or believes in. A
company needs TWO mission statements: One for the
company and one for its salespeople. If you give sales-
people a real mission, they will accomplish it. It is also
important to understand that “core values” must precede
“mission” – it has nothing to do with being “number
one,” it has everything to do with being “best.” Apple
has proven that, and the world needs to learn that les-
Is it true that many leaders are not keeping up with
changes in the market, changes in technology, and
changes in human capital needs? Should they be blamed
for sales losses and errors?
Leaders are only partly to blame. When they are
not on top of market changes and technology updates,
they are giving their people permission to do the same.
But the real issue is the talent pool that the leader cre-
ates. Human capital, if chosen correctly, can create their
own examples by taking responsibility (the opposite of
blame) for the generation of new ideas and products to
stay ahead of their market.
What are the key indicators in the candidates
you’re shortlisting when you’re recruiting for a sales po-
Here’s the SHORT list for hiring the best people:
Smart, self-starting, positive people with a past history
of success. The rest (including selling skills) can be
What mistakes have salespeople frequently made,
and what’s the best way to correct them?
The biggest mistake salespeople make is thinking it’s
all about “product” and “price.” They fail to understand
that believing in every aspect of self, product, company,
and customer will lead them to the success they (you)
are hoping for.
ASK YOURSELF THIS: Is my world different from
their world?
I guarantee you have the same issues, questions, and
concerns in your company – and in your sales – as they
have in Warsaw.
The world is small. Your world is smaller. Answers
are becoming universal.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible,
Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is
Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red
Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Con-
nections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The
Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Plati-
num Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust,
The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM!
Follow him @gitomer on Twitter. His website, www.
gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about
training, seminars, and webinars - or email him person-
ally at salesman@gitomer.com.
Jeffrey Gitomer
8 TheBusinessJournal May 2014
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In fact, HMS was providing occupational health and
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We look forward to helping you manage your needs.
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