BizVoiceExtra: Small Indiana Town Helps Villagers Thousands of Miles Away

Toward the end of my telephone interview with Bob Gabrielse for an article in the July-August issue of BizVoice magazine, he politely asked if he could quickly take another call, apologizing for the interruption.

A trucking company was on the other end of the line, hoping to deliver 200 parts about an hour later. The vehicle wasn’t heading to Gabrielse’s law office in DeMotte, but to a production shop where he devotes several hours each week overseeing the work and building hand-pedaled mobility carts through Mobility Ministries (https://mobilityworldwide.org/affiliates/indiana-demotte/our-shop/).

The sturdy three-wheeled carts travel from Indiana to rural areas in Africa where adults and children who can’t walk gain the freedom that comes with independent mobility – the ability to leave a hut or village without relying on another person to carry them. Unlike canes or walkers, these units also have an area for goods or packages.

Since opening the first facility in 2011, DeMotte Mobility Ministries has become a bit of a leader among the affiliate Mobility Worldwide locations, says Gabrielse, who is currently working to develop a prototype that’s lighter than the current model, making it easier to pedal. He and Arla, his wife of 45 years, manage the shop.

Both have played a major role in the DeMotte facility from the start after Bob read about this type of work in a magazine from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, where his kids had gone to school.

He tells me how he got involved, which also reveals a connection to previous overseas charity work.

“I saw an article in there from somebody I had met in Central America who was now retired and living in Florida near Jacksonville, and they had a shop that was building these mobility carts. They had a picture of him in there with one of them, and I thought, ‘You know, this town is small here. We’re not very big in DeMotte, but they (residents) have a good heart. They’re generous people with a good work ethic. We can do that here.’ ”

And they do.

With a schedule of seven or eight units a week, volunteers at the Indiana location now produce 350 to 400 a year in the current 7,200-square-foot production space.

“We have 55 to 60 retirees that volunteer at the shop. They work about four hours a week, and these are people from all over here, not just DeMotte,” he stresses. “They come from 20, 30 miles away to work, and they are very devoted to this. They love the camaraderie that the shop gives to a retiree.”

He adds that the working conditions are nice – cool in the summer and warm in the winter. In addition, “They just really enjoy the ministry.”

It is a ministry, especially for Gabrielse.

“As a Christian, I feel it’s very important that we serve others,” he shares. “We shouldn’t be taking. We should be giving.”

The Indianapolis-based Malawi Project (http://malawiproject.org) is currently the distribution partner for Mobility Worldwide, of which the Indiana Mobility Ministries is one production location. (The nonprofit also worked with the Luke Commission for distribution.)

Reading about and listening to Gabrielse talk about this project spotlighted two points for me:

  1. The latest and greatest technology is not only sometimes unnecessary, it may even be unhelpful.

Not only does it take better infrastructure to support technological solutions, but simpler, cheaper options may be more practical. For example, these basic carts may be more rugged and easier to repair than a motorized chair would be, even if it could withstand the roots and uneven surfaces. It’s a good reminder that when looking for a solution or result, be sure it’s sustainable and suitable.

  1. Don’t underestimate what you – with the support of your community – can do.

In this case, one person read one magazine article that offered a solution to a problem. Through hard work and commitment, that led to a team of retirees joining together to improve the lives of hundreds of others 8,000 miles away. That’s pretty amazing.

For Gabrielse, helping others is a calling, and he also brings that dedication to his legal practice in a small town of 4,000.

He isn’t alone.

The other attorneys I talked to about practicing law in small communities also stressed the ability to help others – especially where they lived – as a gratifying part of their work.

Find out what it’s like to practice law in a small community in the July-August BizVoice article, “Doing What It Takes: Attorneys Serve Community Needs.”

BizVoiceExtra: All Sides of the Law

Bill Barrett heads the litigation group at the Williams Barrett & Wilkowski law firm in Greenwood. He says his background after graduating from Indiana University Law School (Bloomington) is invaluable in his current role.

Barrett was a clerk for both the Indiana Court of Appeals and the Indiana Tax Court. He followed that by becoming a prosecutor in Johnson County and then serving as magistrate for the Johnson circuit and superior courts.

“I’ve worn so many hats over the years that the system of advocacy that our legal system is based on is almost second nature to me,” he says. “I’m able to see things from another perspective, which is always handy. Young lawyers tend to be too committed to their positions. … When somebody says there are two sides toe very story, I say there are at least two sides.”

Barrett does appellate, campaign and election work, among other areas of focus. He also represents a variety of law enforcement agencies.

“I find that those (past) experiences have given me a breadth of perspective that have let me work in different areas, which is part of what makes us nimble and able to get along at a level of 10 lawyers – and not down to two or three, or have to jump up to 40 or 50.”

Barrett was joined by Chuck Baldwin of Ogletree Deakins and Heather Wilson of Frost Brown Todd for a roundtable discussion on the legal profession in our current BizVoice® magazine. You can read the full story at www.bizvoicemagazine.com.

BizVoice Ad BOGO for Small Businesses

Everyone loves a good bargain; and we’ve got one for you, but it’s a limited-time offer and expires after next Friday, May 25.

As part of our Small Business Showcase, organizations with 50 or fewer employees can take advantage of the buy one, get one free quarter-page advertising special for the two BizVoice® summer issues. The quarter-page investment (just $1,020) includes the print and digital versions of both issues.

“While the number of businesses advertising in BizVoice continues to grow each year, we want to make sure companies of all sizes have the ability to reach our influential audiences,” states Tim Brewer, BizVoice Advertising Director. “Helping businesses grow has been at the core of the Indiana Chamber’s mission throughout its history.”

To take advantage of this offer, contact Brewer – tbrewer@indianachamber.com, (317) 496-0704 – by Friday, May 25. The July/August issue ad will be invoiced in July for $1,020, and the September/October issue is free.

Connect your small business with the Indiana Chamber audience!

#BizVoiceExtra: Hanapin Hits No. 1

Hanapin is a happening place!

I discovered that firsthand with an entertaining visit to Hanapin Marketing, a digital marketing agency that specializes in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. The Bloomington-based company earned the top spot on the 2018 Best Places to Work in Indiana list (small employer category).

“We love to show off our space!” declared a grinning Jamie Newton, senior communications manager. The work environment is open, with very few closed offices. Walls and décor are colorful, much like employees’ personalities.

Images of a dark-haired superhero adorn desks, bookshelves and walls. His identity is quickly revealed: he’s the mascot for Hero Conf – the world’s largest all-PPC conference. Hosted annually by Hanapin, it consists of events in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

In addition, Hanapin publishes the monthly “PPC Hero” blog, geared toward PPC practitioners.

“I always say we never take ourselves seriously, but we take the work very seriously,” reflects president Jeff Allen. “It’s a very humble culture. You would never guess some of the talented people we have around and the some of the really big, important things they’re doing because they’re having fun, enjoying it and hopefully not stressing out too much about it!”

Hanapin was founded in 2004. When Allen joined the team in 2011, there were 13 employees. Today, there are approximately 70.

Among them is millennial Kass Botts, a paid social account manager.

“There’s a community aspect to Hanapin,” she comments. “I love doing the digital marketing work for sure, but what makes Hanapin special to me especially compared to other companies I’ve worked for is that there are a lot of things to get involved in internally and interdepartmentally.”

Fun activities such as cave exploring and a “Yoga With Goats” session help build rapport.

“Were there literally goats?” I ask Allen.

“Yes!” He replies with a laugh. “And a mini-horse.”

Read more about Hanapin’s winning culture in the May-June BizVoice®.

Indiana Chamber Unveils Rankings for the 125 Best Places to Work in Indiana

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce honored a record 125 companies tonight at the 2018 Best Places to Work in Indiana celebration dinner, with rankings announced in four categories.

Taking the top spot:

  • Hanapin Marketing, a Bloomington-based digital marketing company – small category (between 15 and 74 U.S. employees)
  • E-gineering, a technology consulting firm on the northeast side of Indianapolis – medium category (between 75 and 249 U.S. employees)
  • Blue 449, an open source media company from Indianapolis – large category (between 250 and 999 U.S. employees)
  • Edward Jones, an investment firm with branch offices throughout the state – major category (1,000 or more U.S. employees)

It’s Hanapin Marketing’s first-place debut, while Blue 449 is a repeat honoree from last year. E-gineering and Edward Jones are no strangers to No. 1; they last took top honors in 2015 and this marks the third and fifth time, respectively, in leading their category.

“These four companies are the gold standard for creating a successful culture in which employees can thrive. Company leaders particularly understand the importance today of work-life balance, treating workers with respect and offering benefits or perks that really resonate,” states Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar.

“Attracting and keeping a talented workforce is top of mind for all Hoosier employers. Every company on the list made people the priority in its workplace, backing that up with policies and practices geared toward employee success and satisfaction.”

The companies received the Best Places to Work award of excellence at a dinner held at the Indiana Convention Center and sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College.

Winning companies ranged in employee count (at the time of application) from 16 to more than 1,700. Out-of-state parent companies were eligible to participate if at least 15 full-time employees are in Indiana.

Organizations that have displayed sustained excellence during the program’s 13-year history are also awarded Best Places to Work in Indiana Hall of Fame and Pinnacle designations.

Hall of Fame companies are those that have been named a Best Place to Work in Indiana at least 60% of the time in the program’s history; a total of 20 organizations on the 2018 list meet that criteria. Two companies – Edward Jones and Katz, Sapper & Miller – have made the Best Places to Work list all 13 years of the program.

The Pinnacle designation is reserved for those that have finished first in their category three or more times in a five-year period. The four Pinnacle companies in the program’s history are: Edward Jones, Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C., Microsoft and Sikich.

More information about the Best Places to Work companies is available via a special section of the May/June issue of the Indiana Chamber’s BizVoice® magazine, a statewide publication released tonight and accessible online at www.bizvoicemagazine.com.

Other program partners are Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, the Best Companies Group, HR Indiana SHRM and the Wellness Council of Indiana.

In addition to Ivy Tech Community College being the event sponsor, Purdue Global is the spirit sponsor and FirstPerson is the opening reception sponsor. Platinum sponsors are CareSource and Moser Consulting. Silver sponsors are Comcast, Eaton Corporation, Formstack, Human Capital Concepts, OurHealth, Pacers Sports & Entertainment and Smithville. Visibility sponsors are Bedel Financial Consulting, Inc., Delta Dental of Indiana and ESCO Communications, Inc.

These top companies in the state were determined through employer reports and comprehensive employee surveys. The Best Companies Group, which handled the selection process, oversees similar programs in 25 other states.

All companies participating in the 2018 Best Places to Work program receive an in-depth evaluation identifying strengths and weaknesses according to their employees, who are surveyed anonymously.

The report is often used in developing or enhancing employee retention and recruitment programs.

For more information on the Indiana Chamber’s Best Places to Work program, go to www.bestplacestoworkIN.com.

The full list of the 2018 Best Places to Work in Indiana companies by ranking:

*Hall of Fame companies
**Pinnacle companies

Small Companies (15-74 U.S. employees) (57)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

  1. Hanapin Marketing / Bloomington
  2. Sharpen Technologies Inc. / Indianapolis
  3. eimagine / Indianapolis
  4. That’s Good HR / Indianapolis
  5. Big City Cars / Fort Wayne
  6. University High School of Indiana / Carmel
  7. Lakeside Wealth Management / Chesterton
  8. * Cripe / Indianapolis
  9. * Indesign, LLC / Indianapolis
  10. Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) / Indianapolis
  11. * Apex Benefits / Indianapolis
  12. Leaf Software Solutions / Carmel
  13. Visit Indy / Indianapolis
  14. Magnum Logistics / Plainfield
  15. mAccounting, LLC / Indianapolis
  16. Wessler Engineering / Indianapolis
  17. Goelzer Investment Management, Inc. / Indianapolis
  18. T&W Corporation / Indianapolis
  19. The Garrett Companies / Greenwood
  20. * FirstPerson / Indianapolis
  21. JA Benefits, LLC / Bedford
  22. Insurance Management Group / Marion
  23. Probo Medical / Fishers
  24. Jackson Systems / Indianapolis
  25. RQAW / Indianapolis
  26. LHD Benefit Advisors / Indianapolis
  27. OfficeWorks / Fishers
  28. Peepers by PeeperSpecs / Michigan City
  29. The Skillman Corporation / Indianapolis
  30. Community First Bank of Indiana / Kokomo
  31. BlueSky Technology Partners / Noblesville
  32. CleanSlate Technology Group / Carmel
  33. Hamilton County Tourism / Carmel
  34. Clinical Architecture / Carmel
  35. Brite Systems / Indianapolis
  36. Greenlight Guru / Indianapolis
  37. DK Pierce and Associates / Zionsville
  38. Guidon Design / Indianapolis
  39. Nix Companies / Poseyville
  40. BLASTmedia / Fishers
  41. Accutech Systems / Muncie
  42. Pondurance / Indianapolis
  43. Sigstr / Indianapolis
  44. Grote Automotive / Fort Wayne
  45. VOSS Automotive / Fort Wayne
  46. Merritt Contracting / Lebanon
  47. netlogx LLC / Indianapolis
  48. General Insurance Services / Michigan City
  49. Bloomerang / Indianapolis
  50. Inovateus Solar LLC / South Bend
  51. Bedel Financial Consulting, Inc. / Indianapolis
  52. Springbuk / Indianapolis
  53. ClearObject, Inc. / Fishers
  54. OrthoPediatrics / Warsaw
  55. CENTURY 21 Scheetz / Multiple locations
  56. Public Safety Medical / Indianapolis
  57. RESOURCE Commercial Real Estate / Indianapolis

Medium Companies (75-249 U.S. employees) (30)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

  1. * E-gineering / Indianapolis
  2. Formstack / Indianapolis
  3. Oak Street Funding LLC / Indianapolis
  4. Moser Consulting / Indianapolis
  5. Blue Horseshoe / Carmel
  6. Gregory & Appel Insurance / Indianapolis
  7. American College of Education / Indianapolis
  8. First Internet Bank / Fishers
  9. Lessonly / Indianapolis
  10. Emarsys North America / Indianapolis
  11. * Software Engineering Professionals (SEP) / Carmel
  12. Weddle Bros. Construction Co., Inc. / Bloomington
  13. J.C. Hart Company, Inc. / Carmel
  14. HWC Engineering, Inc. / Indianapolis
  15. CREA, LLC / Indianapolis
  16. Visiting Nurse and Hospice of the Wabash Valley / Terre Haute
  17. * Schmidt Associates, Inc. / Indianapolis
  18. Parkview Wabash Hospital / Wabash
  19. IDSolutions / Noblesville
  20. * Elements Financial Federal Credit Union / Indianapolis
  21. Midwest Mole / Greenfield
  22. Peoples Bank SB / Munster
  23. Butler, Fairman & Seufert, Inc. / Indianapolis
  24. Morales Group, Inc. / Indianapolis
  25. * United Consulting Engineers / Indianapolis
  26. United Way of Central Indiana / Indianapolis
  27. ESCO Communications / Indianapolis
  28. Merchants Bank of Indiana and PR Mortgage & Investments / Carmel
  29. Fort Wayne Rescue Mission Ministries, Inc (DBA The Rescue Mission) / Fort Wayne
  30. Envelop Group / Indianapolis

Large Companies (250-999 U.S. employees) (25)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

  1. Blue 449 / Indianapolis
  2. Kemper CPA Group LLP / Multiple locations
  3. Onebridge / Indianapolis
  4. ** Sikich / Indianapolis
  5. Hylant / Multiple locations
  6. * FORUM Credit Union / Fishers
  7. The Kendall Group / Fort Wayne
  8. * Katz, Sapper & Miller / Indianapolis
  9. IPMG / West Lafayette
  10. Appirio, A Wipro Company / Indianapolis
  11. * Centier Bank / Merrillville
  12. * WestPoint Financial Group / Indianapolis
  13. Carbonite / Indianapolis
  14. Parkview Whitley Hospital / Columbia City
  15. * Blue & Co., LLC / Carmel
  16. Parkview Noble Hospital / Kendallville
  17. * Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company / Fort Wayne
  18. American Structurepoint, Inc. / Indianapolis
  19. Bastian Solutions / Indianapolis
  20. Parkview Huntington Hospital / Huntington
  21. MutualBank / Muncie
  22. Ontario Systems / Muncie
  23. Aluminum Trailer Company / Nappanee
  24. Pacers Sports & Entertainment / Indianapolis
  25. * Monarch Beverage / Indianapolis

Major Companies (1,000+ U.S. employees) (13)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

  1. * ** Edward Jones / Statewide
  2. * Horseshoe Casino Hammond / Hammond
  3. * Salesforce / Indianapolis
  4. Aerotek / Multiple locations
  5. CareSource / Indianapolis
  6. Ameristar Casino + Hotel East Chicago / East Chicago
  7. Total Quality Logistics / Indianapolis
  8. Perficient / Carmel
  9. Colliers International – Indianapolis / Indianapolis
  10. Kronos Incorporated / Indianapolis
  11. Comcast Corporation / Multiple locations
  12. First Merchants Bank / Muncie
  13. * Capital Group / Carmel

BizVoice Earns Four Awards in State Competition

We don’t do our jobs just to be given a pat on the back, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a little recognition for hard work. The Indiana Chamber’s communications team recently earned accolades, in the form of four awards for work completed in 2017, from the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists.

The staff of the Indiana Chamber’s bimonthly business magazine, BizVoice®, brought home three second-place awards and a third-place award in the annual statewide competition, highlighting the best and brightest of Indiana journalism.

Stories and writers earning awards include:

Congratulations to Tom, Rebecca, Symone, Charlee and Matt, along with BizVoice Creative Director Tony Spataro and all of our other contributors to the Indiana Chamber’s award-winning magazine, which is in its 20th year of publication.

We’re also launching a new look to the BizVoice web site this Thursday evening with the debut of our May-June 2018 edition, following the conclusion of the Best Places to Work in Indiana celebration event. Make sure you check out the great content and our new web site later this week!

#BizVoiceExtra: A Good Challenge to Have

Call it a pleasant problem – and one I had not considered previously despite this being the 13th year of the Best Places to Work in Indiana program. You’re a winning company and you have a lot of team members who want to take part in the annual awards celebration. So what do you do?

A few organizations in the past have indicated a lottery-style system to determine attendees. During the roundtable discussion in our current issue, representatives of two of the winning companies this time around broached the topic.

Joshua Plank of WestPoint Financial noted he was sad to be missing out in 2018 due to an out-of-town commitment, but that the company table often includes “a couple of recruiters, maybe one or two partners and then typically younger people so they can see it and be a part of it. They think it’s the greatest thing ever.”

Pamela Carrington Rotto of J.C. Hart says her team takes a similar approach.

“The event, of course, is huge and we try to get a variety of folks from across the organization there. That’s always really fun and exciting for people, and it’s a great way for associates who are emerging leaders to kind of get in and see what that looks like and to be a part of it.”

The third roundtable participant is Matthew Griffin of The Garrett Companies, a Best Places winner in its first year of eligibility (recent growth helped it soar past the 15-employee minimum). While the expansion has been impressive, it is also taking place at a controlled pace.

“It has been rapid, but we still feel like we’re growing strategically. We are in a very favorable market for multi-family (real estate) development across the country,” he shares. “Our investors and our bank lending partners would like to do more deals with us and we’ve strategically said, ‘No, we’re going to do this much capacity because we (won’t be) able to perform the way we’re performing now.’ ”

The Garrett Companies, welcome to the “who’s going to attend the celebration” dilemma. It’s one that many others would like to face. And to see if that could be your organization in 2019, learn more (and apply this summer) at www.bestplacestoworkIN.com.

Griffin, Plank and Carrington Rotto provide insights on what their organizations do to establish strong workplace cultures, how they cope with industry-based turnover challenges and much more in the May-June BizVoice®.

Share Your ‘Best Places’ Story

If you’ve ever been stuck in a terrible working environment, you know a good one when you find it. The difference could not be more obvious – not only how the employer treats employees, but how happy co-workers are to be working together to accomplish a singular mission.

Since the Indiana Chamber of Commerce hosts the Best Places to Work in Indiana program, we are obviously not putting ourselves in the race to be named one of the top workplaces in the state. We love shining the light on the companies that are true difference-makers in their industries; those that are innovating and making Indiana a better place for not only the products or services they provide, but for their employees to live, work and play.

Each year we highlight many of the companies on the Best Places list in BizVoice magazine. Through interviews and interactions with employers and employees, one of the themes that is evident is the personal connections happening at these companies. Employees are more than just a number. More than just a workforce.

To shine the spotlight even brighter, we’re going to be sharing some of our personal stories with you over the next three weeks as we gear up for the Best Places to Work in Indiana celebration on the evening of May 3. (You can go ahead and reserve tables or tickets here.)

And we want you to share your stories with us and with our followers on social media. If you’re interested in sharing why your workplace is special to you, please take a short video of yourself, tag us @IndianaChamber and use the hashtag #BPTWIN in your posts. We’ll retweet and share those so others can see what makes your company a great place to work.

As an example, here’s my story about why I’ve been proud to work at the Indiana Chamber for the last seven years.

Keep an eye out for more and we can’t wait to hear from you!

Don’t forget to register for the Best Places to Work in Indiana event on May 3. Find more information at www.indianachamber.com/specialevents