USS Indiana Submarine to be Commissioned in September

Shakespeare famously wrote, “What’s in a name?”, implying names are mere signifiers that don’t alter substance.

But when it comes to ships and other nautical vessels, names are important and carry significance and historical gravitas. Take, for instance, the Navy’s newest submarine: the USS Indiana (SSN 789). Named by the Secretary of the Navy in 2012, the fast-attack submarine will be commissioned on Sept. 29 in Port Canaveral, Florida.

The USS Indiana will be the 16th Virginia-class sub to join the fleet (Virginia-class subs have the capability to attack targets on shore with cruise missiles, can conduct long-term surveillance, and assist with special forces delivery and support).

This is not the first U.S. Navy ship to be named after Indiana, but it is the first submarine to bear the name. For more on the history of ships named after our state, read this 2016 BizVoice® article.

Here’s more on the USS Indiana, from the U.S. Navy:

Diane Donald, wife of retired Adm. Kirkland H. Donald, is the ship’s sponsor.

Designed to operate in both coastal and deep-ocean environments, Indiana will present leadership with a broad and unique range of capabilities, including anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces (SOF) support; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions.

Indiana is a part of the Virginia-class’ third, or Block III, contract, in which the Navy redesigned approximately 20 percent of the ship to reduce acquisition costs. Indiana features a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual Vertical Launch System tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles, among other design changes that reduced the submarines’ acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.

Indiana has special features to support SOF, including a reconfigurable torpedo room which can accommodate a large number of SOF and all their equipment for prolonged deployments and future off-board payloads. Also, in Virginia-class SSNs, traditional periscopes have been replaced by two photonics masts that host visible and infrared digital cameras atop telescoping arms. Through the extensive use of modular construction, open architecture and commercial off-the-shelf components, the Virginia class is designed to remain at the cutting edge for its entire operational life through the rapid introduction of new systems and payloads.

An artist rendering of the Virginia-class submarine USS Indiana (SSN 789). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Stan Bailey/Released)

Fast Food Freaky Friday

What is going on in the world of fast casual dining? Earlier this week, IHOP (the chain breakfast eatery), announced a new marketing campaign, teasing the week before by announcing it was temporarily changing its name to IHOB.

The big reveal was that the “B” stands for … burgers.

Well, that’s not where I thought it was going (bacon, breakfast, blueberries; there are lots of other “b” words that go along with breakfast foods). Of course, that’s not the point. The company is trying to branch out into its other non-breakfast fare, hence the burgers.

Who knows? Maybe they’ll be really good at burgers (or maybe they already are? I just usually get the pancakes, so I don’t know about the other menu items).

What this has led to, at the very least, is an amazing combination of fast food marketing and hilarious social media teams.

Take, for instance, Burger King. Or should we say, Pancake King.

The burger and fries joint – I’m not forgetting about the chicken sandwiches – responded by taking advantage of the hullabaloo and changed its name on Twitter to Pancake King to remind the world that it offers pancakes for breakfast.

Pancakes for burgers, burgers for pancakes. It’s a fast food Freaky Friday!

Burger Pancake King was not the only brand to respond with some savagery on Twitter (As a public service announcement, check out Wendy’s social media work. It’s impressive).

Whatever happens, the temporary name change for IHOP definitely put its name out there and got people talking. Whether or not the burgers are any good, it seems like the restaurant probably met its visibility goals.

Meanwhile, I’ll just stick to the chocolate pancakes. You let me know if you try the burgers.

Focus on Health This Summer

What’s the state of Indiana’s health?

Unfortunately, it’s not good. In fact, Indiana ranks at the bottom in several health metrics.

One of those is opioid abuse, which has received a lot of attention recently around the state. However, Hoosiers also continue to struggle with tobacco use and obesity (and diseases related to both), as well as high infant mortality rates.

Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar recently penned an article on how health is the missing piece of Indiana’s economic puzzle. For additional background and data on the issue, read it here.

The Alliance for a Healthier Indiana – made up of health care professionals, educators, business and community leaders – is aiming to educate the public and policymakers about these issues, grow local support and generally raise awareness of the dangers of our poor health, while also sharing ways Hoosiers can work together to improve these metrics.

With its State of Our Health Road Show, the Alliance is on the road this summer and fall, hosting free town hall meetings in all corners of the state.

The road show is in Fort Wayne today and will travel to Muncie tomorrow, June 13. Other June dates include Richmond on June 19 and Connersville on June 20. The complete schedule is available here; events go through October.

To see clips and video from earlier road shows, visit the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana’s Facebook page.

Founding members of the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana include the Indiana Hospital Association, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Indiana State Medical Association, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana and the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health.

Brinegar and Community Health Network President and CEO Bryan Mills recently spoke about the Alliance and the state of Indiana’s health during a segment on Inside INdiana Business. The segment gives an overview of the issues:

To learn more about the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana visit the web site at www.healthierindiana.org.

Achieve Your Degree (and Save Money) With Indiana Chamber Discount

Many of the adults in Indiana with some or no postsecondary education are already working at companies or organizations that are desperate for a pipeline of talent to grow their businesses.

Those companies need to look no further than their own employee base with assistance from Ivy Tech Community College and its Achieve Your Degree program (plus a tuition discount courtesy of your Indiana Chamber of Commerce membership).

Employers interested in upskilling their existing workforce, attracting new employees with a tuition reimbursement benefit and are members of the Indiana Chamber can enroll in Achieve Your Degree and offer full-time employees a 5% discount on tuition costs, or take advantage of that savings if the company already pays employee tuition.

With Achieve Your Degree, employers can offer tuition reimbursement with minimal up-front costs as tuition can be deferred to the end of the semester. An Ivy Tech representative will also offer on-site academic advising and work with students on the financial aid application process.

Flexibility and customization are hallmarks of Achieve Your Degree. For example, to ensure students maintain their working schedules, they may take a combination of in-class and distance education. As the largest public postsecondary institution in Indiana, Ivy Tech has more than 40 locations throughout the state.

The Indiana Chamber expects the partnership with Ivy Tech to pay off for its member companies in several ways: skill upgrades, cost savings and building employee loyalty by offering the benefit.

Ivy Tech started the Achieve Your Degree program in 2016.

Member companies interested in learning more or signing up can find more information at www.indianachamber.com/achieve. Verify your Indiana Chamber membership is current and that your company is eligible for the 5% discount by calling Nick at (317) 264-6898.

Social Media to Keep You In the Loop

Did you see our live-stream Facebook video during the recent Best Places to Work in Indiana celebration in early May?

It was the first time we’ve broadcast live from that event – meaning you could be part of the action, even if you were watching from home!

If you follow us on Twitter, you’re the first to see our posts and news regarding legislative priorities and policy matters important to the Indiana business community.

Earlier this year, for example, you might have been following along as Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar tweeted from one of Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma’s “Tweet Seats” during the Governor’s annual State of the State address.

On Instagram, you’ll get a glimpse of life behind the scenes here at the Indiana Chamber, from learning more about our new employees to how we celebrate the holidays, give back to the community and relax together as a company.

LinkedIn is a great way to learn about our many conferences and seminars, awards and updates and so much more.

You can also find us on YouTube with a variety of videos. Overall, social media is a great way to keep in touch with the Indiana Chamber and to receive breaking updates about the state’s business landscape.

Member news: If you’re looking for broader visibility for your company news and updates, submit your press releases through our Member Press Release submission form. Not only are those archived on our web site, but we regularly highlight this news and information to our 18,400+ Twitter followers and over 2,400 Facebook fans.Our presence on social media is also one of the benefits of membership with the Indiana Chamber. Here are some of the various member-related features you can find across our feeds:

  • Member Spotlight: We also shine the light on Indiana Chamber member companies through their own narrative with the Member Spotlight feature.
  • And we’re regularly interacting with Indiana Chamber member company accounts on social media, with this blog and the EchoChamber podcast, sharing conversations, posts and updates about what’s new in a number of companies and industries around the state.

But the best way for you to find out what we have to offer via social media is for you to follow, like or subscribe (if you don’t already) to our accounts.

You can also contact Communications and PR Manager Charlee Beasor at (317) 264-7543 if you have any questions or need more information about our social media presence and how your company can follow along or join in the conversation.

Indiana Humanities Offers ‘Shelfie’ Challenge

I was a little too excited when I saw the Shelfie Challenge from the Indiana Humanities Quantum Leap program. A reading contest where you win a $10 Amazon gift card at the end? Sign me up!

Alas, I skimmed right over the information that the program is only for Hoosier middle schoolers in grades 5-8. So, I can’t participate, but maybe you know a middle schooler who might be looking for some new reading material this summer.

The 10 books in this challenge are all about women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). A mix of fiction, non-fiction and graphic novel, but all about women and girls in science.

Here’s why it caught my eye initially: I have a 6-year-old little girl at home who is enthralled in the sciences and math! She’s always been a curious thinker and is a natural questioner of her surroundings, wanting to understand how things work and why.

Recently, we were flipping through the parks and recreation catalog for our hometown and while I encouraged her to look at the sporting options (I’m also always looking for ways to tire her out in the summer), she opted instead for the “All About Birds” STEM program. Of course!

And the other night there was a nature documentary on PBS about hummingbirds, so we had to stop and watch it, naturally.

This is a topic that really hits home for our family and even though I’m too old and she’s too young to participate in this particular challenge, I’m so happy to see a list of books on this topic – and you can bet we’re going to be adding these to our reading list anyway.

To enter the challenge, read at least five books from the list by the end of 2018. Take some notes about what you’re reading or how you feel about it and fill out an online survey and voila – that $10 Amazon gift card is yours!

#BizVoice Extra: ‘Indy Kronite Proud’

When I prepare for an interview for BizVoice®, I try not to formulate my interview questions with specific expectations in mind.

That doesn’t always work, of course. I’m human and sometimes my research leads me to expect people to react a certain way to a story topic or interview question.

When I started researching Kronos, Inc. for a story about the company’s Indianapolis Technology Center being a newcomer to the Best Places to Work in Indiana list, I saw the company has garnered a lot of accolades over the years (including making it on the Forbes Best 100 Companies to Work For a few years running).

My expectations were that my story might be sort of low-hanging fruit for the worldwide company with 5,000 employees and headquartered in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Well, I’m woman enough to admit that I was very wrong in my assumptions. In fact, I don’t remember another interview I’ve conducted for the Best Places to Work in Indiana program where the people have been more excited than they were at Kronos.

The four people I interviewed included two practice directors that manage the Indianapolis office, the senior manager of human resources and another manager. And ohmygosh, they could not have been happier about the recognition, a first for the Indianapolis location.

Christopher Hicks, practice manager of enterprise professional services, and Margaret Mitchell, senior vice president of human resources, relate the feeling of the Indianapolis office’s first award to being validated on social media.

“The validation; it’s receiving the little blue check (mark). We are verified here in Indianapolis as a company that provides opportunity for growth, we work on professional development, we have a great leadership team. We’re just excited,” Hicks told me at the time.

It’s the first year the company applied for Indiana’s Best Places to Work program and was championed by Mitchell, who found out about the recognition when she was on vacation. She recalls jumping up and down in excitement next to a swimming pool with her son nearby as she received the news on the phone.

“We’re really excited. It validates for us, the things we work on. It’s again nice to celebrate the success and remember that we do have something special here,” she said.

The Kronites, as they refer to themselves throughout the company, also invited me to attend a celebratory dessert bar. Company CEO Aron Ain was flying in for the occasion and addressed the crowd.

As I listened to Ain congratulate his Indianapolis employees and urge them to continue working on behalf of the clients to provide the best service possible, it was something else Ain said that stuck with me: take care of your family first.

For a CEO of a 5,000-person company to fly in and recognize employees for their efforts is impressive enough, but for his underlying message to be “you are important, and your family and your health are the most important things to me” – wow.

No wonder this company is garnering external awards and internal recognition left and right.

One other tidbit from my interviews with the Kronites (aside from the fact that we operate in the same building in downtown Indianapolis and I bump into them every so often, usually receiving a smile or a hug) is the one part I couldn’t fit into my story: how do they handle the Colts versus the Patriots rivalry, since the company is headquartered near Boston?

Matt Baker, one of the Indianapolis Technology Center practice directors, acknowledges the rivalry.

“The culture in Lowell is very passionate about the Patriots,” he admits. “The last couple of years have been challenging. We had a good run.”

The Indianapolis Technology Center’s focus is more on college sports, offers practice director Doug Ding. (He and Baker attended Purdue University together.) Conference rooms in the center are named after college team mascots, for example.

Hicks, originally from Chicago, doesn’t have much stake in the long-standing NFL rivalry between the Colts and Patriots.

“I’m a Bears guy,” he says. “But I see it all the time. Most of our executives are based out of the Lowell office and they’re huge Patriots fans and there’s a little bit of ribbing back and forth.”

Mitchell doesn’t hesitate: “Always Colts. Always.”

Revamped Indiana HR Resources Web Site Available

Raise your hand if you like saving money and raise your other hand if you like helping your company save money.

(We know you have both your hands in the air right now – go ahead and put them down if you’re getting stares from your co-workers.)

We’ve got great news for those of you who are in the process of putting your hands back down: You can be the star of the company budget by accessing valuable human resources materials at a large discount through the Indiana Chamber’s newly-updated Indiana HR Resources web site.

What are some of those resources? For starters, you can access 15 Indiana HR online guides. That includes the Employment Law Handbook, Model Employee Policies Handbook, Indiana Employment Forms and more, which is a $1,000 value over purchasing the 15 ePublications individually.

In addition, you’ll receive the latest HR news, employment law legislative alerts, the HR Monthly Messenger and have access to employment law/labor attorneys and advisors and HR/employment forms and checklists.

You can also take advantage of a 10% discount on Indiana Chamber publications and regulatory compliance training seminars and conferences throughout the year.

We’ve redesigned the web site and added much more for your money. Those interested in a subscription to the site can access Indiana HR Resources for 12 months for $599. Indiana Chamber member companies can subscribe for $449 for 12 months.

To top it all off, there’s a 10-day free trial to test the waters.

Subscribe online at www.hrindiana.com or call (800) 824-6885 to sign up or for more information.

Working Toward Simplification, Starting With Notifications

Let me tell you a tale of woe.

One day, I left both of my cell phones (one for work, one personal) at home. FOR AN ENTIRE DAY.

It was terrible fine. Truly, what I thought was going to make my life harder ended up making my work day way more efficient. However, I didn’t realize how much more efficient it had been until the next day, when I had my phones next to me all day.

Ding, buzz, alert! Ding, buzz, alert! Ding, buzz, alert!

On and on and on, my phones vibrated or buzzed or alerted me to some breaking email or news or social media update. None of it important, nothing that required taking my attention from my task and getting me off track every five minutes. No wonder some days I feel like I’m spinning in a hamster wheel! And most of the time I don’t even swipe my phone open to further investigate or read those emails. But that simple act of breaking my attention span is enough to derail me.

Coincidentally, I’ve been reading a book about living a simplified life (think decluttering everything from your home to your obligations and putting the emphasis on the real necessities in life to capture more joy). And the night after my epiphany about my phones being a huge distraction, lo and behold, there was a chapter about digital distractions and some tips on how to handle it all.

Step one was turn off the notifications.

Turn off notifications? Can I live like that? A life without knowing when I received an email or someone liked my Facebook post? (Also, why have I never thought of that before?)

I turned off all the notifications on my phone (with the exception of text messages and phone calls – I have two kiddos in different schools, so I’m not going to take the chance of missing important school notifications.) But otherwise, I haven’t heard a ding or a buzz or a beep all morning and it has been glorious.

Another tip is one that takes a bit more work: decluttering your email. Maybe you have the same issue – do you get near daily emails about products or services you use? Yep, me too. It can be tedious to go through and unsubscribe to each email, but there are some ways around that. Unroll.me, for example, allows you to see all of your email subscriptions and easily unsubscribe.

Whether or not you recognize how much of a distraction our devices can cause, I hope this helps you take a pause and think about how your life is ruled by that tiny computer in your pocket or next to you on your desk. While I’m not suggesting leaving your phones at home all day, you might try a digital detox and see what you discover about it in your own life. (And if you do, let me know in the comments so I can try it too!)

 

VIDEO: May-June BizVoice is Live

Capping off the excitement of smashing several records in one night at the Best Places to Work in Indiana celebration last week, the new edition of BizVoice magazine is live with in-depth coverage of many of the honored companies.

Oh, and those records I mentioned? Here they are:

  • A record 125 companies made the list in 2018
  • It was the largest crowd in the 13 years of the program, with nearly 1,400 attendees at the Indiana Convention Center
  • According to Peter Burke, president of the Best Companies Group (which runs the Best Places to Work program in Indiana and 29 other states), Indiana’s Best Places to Work event is the largest in the country

Tom Schuman, senior vice president of communications and operations, takes a two-minute peek into the May-June 2018 edition, which includes another in our yearlong Road Trip Treasures series, this time focusing on Fort Wayne.

Also included is a look at some legislative disappointments from the Indiana General Assembly session, particularly on three policies important to the state’s business and economic future. And find an update on the Attractive Business Climate driver of our long-range economic development plan, Indiana Vision 2025, including a progress report on the commercial court pilot project.

Check it out:

In addition to the new BizVoice web site that debuted last week, we’ve got a special offer for small organizations with fewer than 50 employees as part of our Small Business Showcase. BizVoice is offering a buy one, get one free quarter-page advertising special for its two 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, please 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!