Indiana Climbs in Small Business Policy Index

Indiana ranks seventh in the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council’s 2017 Small Business Policy Index (up from 10th in last year’s ranking).

This is the SBE Council’s 21st annual look at how public policies in the 50 states affect entrepreneurship, small businesses and the economy. The report ranks the 50 states according to 55 different policy measures, including a tax, regulatory and government spending measurements.

According to the report, the most entrepreneur-friendly states under the “Small Business Policy Index 2017” are Nevada, Texas, South Dakota, Wyoming, Florida, Washington, Indiana, Arizona, Alabama, and Ohio. In contrast, the policy environments that rank at the bottom include Rhode Island, Oregon, Iowa, Connecticut, Maine, Hawaii, Vermont, Minnesota, New York, New Jersey, and California.

Top 100 Best Places to Work in Indiana Named for 2017

They come from throughout the state and across 25 industries. They are the 100 honorees on the 2017 Best Places to Work in Indiana list.

In today’s announcement, the Indiana Chamber said that nearly half (49) of the winners are from the small employer category and almost a third (32) are first-time honorees or returning after at least a year’s absence.

Offers Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar: “Best Places to Work in Indiana not only recognizes our state’s outstanding employers, but also sets a high standard for other Hoosier companies by encouraging them to realize the importance of evaluating their own workplaces.

“It is clear that a positive work environment makes employees more engaged in their job and in their company, which is a win for everyone.”

The 2017 honorees represent more than 20 cities throughout the state, with multiple winners hailing from Bloomington, Carmel, Evansville, Fishers, Fort Wayne, Michigan City, New Albany, Noblesville and West Lafayette, in addition to Indianapolis. A total of 200 companies applied to the program this year.

The actual rankings for the companies will be unveiled at a May 2 awards dinner, presented in partnership with Hylant, at the Indiana Convention Center (Sagamore Ballroom) in downtown Indianapolis.

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 29 other states.

Winners were selected from four categories: small companies of between 15 and 74 U.S. employees; medium companies of between 75 and 249 U.S. employees; large companies of between 250 and 999 U.S. employees; and major companies with 1,000 or more U.S. employees. Out-of-state parent companies were eligible to participate if at least 15 full-time employees are in Indiana.

The 2017 Best Place to Work in Indiana companies range in Hoosier employee count from 15 (SMARI, a consulting firm in Indianapolis) to more than 1,700 (Horseshoe Casino in Hammond).

Organizations on this year’s list that have displayed sustained excellence during the program’s 12-year history receive additional recognition.

Hall of Fame companies are those that have been named a Best Place to Work in Indiana at least two-thirds of the time in the program’s history; a total of 15 organizations on the 2017 list meet that criteria. Two companies – Edward Jones and Katz, Sapper & Miller – have made the Best Places to Work list all 12 years of the program.

In addition to the May 2 awards dinner, winners will be recognized via a special section of the Indiana Chamber’s bimonthly BizVoice® magazine and through Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick – both of which reach statewide audiences. Additional program partners are the Best Companies Group, Indiana State Council of SHRM and the Wellness Council of Indiana. The 2017 Best Places to Work in Indiana awards dinner is open to the public. Individual tickets and tables of 10 are available at www.indianachamber.com/specialevents.

All companies that participated in the 2017 Best Places to Work program receive an in-depth evaluation identifying strengths and weaknesses according to their employees. In turn, this report can be used in developing or enhancing employee retention and recruitment programs.

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

Additional Best Places to Work in Indiana sponsors are: Moser Consulting; Eaton Corporation; Hancock Regional Hospital; Human Capital Concepts; OurHealth; and Smithville.

Sponsorships are still available; email jwagner@indianachamber.com for more details.

The 2017 Best Places to Work in Indiana companies listed in alphabetical order, no ranking:

*Hall of Fame companies

Small Companies (15-74 U.S. employees) (49)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

Ambassador Enterprises / Fort Wayne
American Income Life Indiana / Indianapolis
Apex Benefits / Indianapolis
BLASTmedia / Fishers
Bloomerang / Indianapolis
CENTURY 21 Scheetz / Multiple Cities
CleanSlate Technology Group / Carmel
Community First Bank of Indiana / Kokomo
Conner Insurance / Indianapolis
Cripe / Indianapolis
Delivra, Inc. / Indianapolis
Design Collaborative / Fort Wayne
DK Pierce / Zionsville
E-gineering / Indianapolis
Eimagine / Indianapolis
Emarsys North America / Indianapolis
FirstPerson / Indianapolis
General Insurance Services / Michigan City
Goelzer Investment Management, Inc. / Indianapolis
Grote Automotive Inc. / Fort Wayne
Hanapin Marketing / Bloomington
* Indesign, LLC / Indianapolis
Indiana CPA Society / Indianapolis
Inovateus Solar LLC / South Bend
JA Benefits, LLC / Bedford
Jackson Systems / Indianapolis
Lakeside Wealth Management / Chesterton
Leaf Software Solutions / Carmel
Lessonly / Indianapolis
LHD Benefit Advisors / Indianapolis
Luther Consulting, LLC / Carmel
mAccounting, LLC / Indianapolis
Magnum Logistics, Inc. / Plainfield
netlogx LLC / Indianapolis
Network Solutions, Inc. / Granger
Oak Street Funding LLC / Indianapolis
OfficeWorks / Fishers
Peepers by PeeperSpecs / Michigan City
Pondurance / Indianapolis
* Schmidt Associates / Indianapolis
Sharpen / Indianapolis
SMARI / Indianapolis
T&W Corporation / Indianapolis
The Skillman Corporation / Indianapolis
University High School of Indiana / Carmel
Visit Indy / Indianapolis
VOSS Automotive / Fort Wayne
Weddle Bros. Construction Co., Inc. / Bloomington
Williams Creek / Indianapolis

Medium Companies (75-249 U.S. employees) (21)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

Allegient, LLC / Indianapolis
American College of Education / Indianapolis
Blue Horseshoe / Carmel
Elements Financial Federal Credit Union / Indianapolis
First Internet Bank / Fishers
Gregory & Appel Insurance / Indianapolis
HWC Engineering, Inc. / Indianapolis
IDSolutions / Noblesville
Indiana Oxygen Company / Indianapolis
J.C. Hart Company, Inc. / Carmel
Merchants Bank of Indiana and PR Mortgage & Investments / Carmel
Moser Consulting, Incorporated / Indianapolis
National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) / Indianapolis
PAN Performance Assessment Network / Carmel
Peoples Bank SB / Munster
Purdue Federal Credit Union / West Lafayette
Sheridan Community Schools / Sheridan
SkillStorm / Indianapolis
* Software Engineering Professionals (SEP) / Carmel
Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of the Wabash Valley / Terre Haute
* WestPoint Financial Group / Indianapolis

Large Companies (250-999 U.S. employees) (19)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

American Structurepoint, Inc. / Indianapolis
AssuredPartners NL / New Albany
* Blue & Co., LLC / Carmel
Blue 449 / Indianapolis
* Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company / Fort Wayne
* Centier Bank / Merrillville
* Duke Realty Corporation / Indianapolis
FORUM Credit Union / Fishers
Hosparus, Inc. / New Albany
Hylant / Multiple locations
Impact Networking / Indianapolis
IPMG / West Lafayette
* Katz, Sapper & Miller, LLP / Indianapolis
Kemper CPA Group LLP / Evansville
Monarch Beverage / Indianapolis
Ontario Systems / Muncie
Sikich LLP / Indianapolis
SmartIT / Indianapolis
Traylor Bros., Inc. / Evansville

Major Companies (1,000+ U.S. employees) (11)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

Aerotek / Multiple locations
Blackboard, Inc. / Indianapolis
* Capital Group / Carmel
Colliers International / Indianapolis
* Cushman & Wakefield / Indianapolis
* Edward Jones / Statewide
Horseshoe Casino / Hammond
* Microsoft Corporation / Indianapolis
* RCI / Carmel
* Salesforce / Indianapolis
Turner Construction Company / Indianapolis

Hobart High School, St. Mary Medical Center Earn School Counseling-Business Partnership of Year Honors

Janice Ryba, CEO of St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart; Tamika Catchings, former WNBA all-star and luncheon keynote speaker; Rachael Gayton, Hobart High School senior and scholarship recipient; Dr. Peggy Buffington, Hobart School Superintendent; Shelley Huffman, director of college and career readiness, Indiana Chamber of Commerce; and Christy Huston, executive director of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

The inaugural School Counseling-Business Partnership of the Year award was presented to Hobart High School and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart at a luncheon ceremony yesterday in downtown Indianapolis. The recognition, developed by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Foundation to highlight innovative approaches to college and career readiness, comes during National School Counseling Week.

Many factors led to the Hobart-St. Mary alliance being selected. Among them: the hospital’s sponsorship of Hobart’s Promise Indiana 529 college savings program; the establishment of a health care clinic in the schools to meet the needs of both students and their families, plus St. Mary’s providing a wide range of work-based learning experiences and credential opportunities for high school students.

Indiana Chamber Foundation Executive Director Christy Huston pinpoints specific instances. “The medical center provides over 50 students each year with the screening tests required to take part in the Emergency Medical Services program. It also hosts approximately 30 students a year in a variety of internship and other learning opportunities.

“We also found that through the dedication and leadership of CEO Janice Ryba they go the extra mile. To accommodate one student’s interest in health care administration, a St. Mary’s Medical Center team member changed his hours of work to ensure that student was able to participate in meetings and experiences.”

Additionally, the award provides a $1,000 scholarship to a Hobart senior. Rachael Gayton, who will be attending Ball State University in the fall of 2017, was selected by the school to receive the scholarship. Gayton is in her fourth year of the school’s biomedical sciences program and interning at St. Mary’s in the pediatric unit. She says that her interaction with nurses and their willingness to share their experiences have solidified her plans to become a nurse practitioner.

“This alliance is a shining example of a career mentorship program. We congratulate St. Mary’s, Hobart and Rachel for their excellent work,” Huston states.

Nominations from throughout Indiana were submitted for the award. Danielle Adams, Hobart High School director of guidance, nominated the winning partnership.

The Indiana Chamber Foundation has conducted extensive research into effective school counseling practices, and has been designated by Lilly Endowment as one of the technical assistance providers to all eligible Indiana schools. Currently, the Indiana Chamber Foundation is a resource for 15 districts (78 schools) that all received planning grants as part of an up to $30 million Lilly Endowment Comprehensive School Counseling initiative.

The School Counseling-Business Partnership of the Year honor was presented at the Indiana INTERNnet’s IMPACT Awards luncheon, which celebrates excellence in internships. Appropriately supporting the luncheon’s theme of “Shooting for Success,” former Indiana Fever WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings delivered the keynote address, “Scoring Big with Your Career.” Catchings is also the founder of the Catch the Stars Foundation, which assists Indianapolis youth with goal-setting to promote fitness, literacy and youth development.

Poster Fines Increased in 2017

Fines for outdated workplace posters have increased recently in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. (The law requires federal agencies to adjust penalties for inflation each January.)

Here are the current maximum civil penalties for not posting:

  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act poster – $20,111 (up from $19,787)
  • Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law (OSHA) poster – $12,675 (up from $12,471)
  • EEOC poster – $534 (up from $525)
  • Family and Medical Leave Act poster – $166 (up from $163)

UPDATES
Required updates were made to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) workplace posters in 2016:

FLSA: Effective August 1, 2016, a new FLSA poster is required. The update includes new information about the overtime rule, independent contractors and nursing mothers. Outdated fine information was also removed.

EPPA: Also effective August 1, the EPPA poster was updated. Outdated fine information was also removed from this poster and contact information was updated.

FMLA: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) posting was updated in April 2016 to be more reader-friendly. This update is included in our latest sets.

You can purchase posters online now!

Or, are you tired of trying to keep up with poster changes? We’re happy to take the pressure off at no added cost. Just subscribe to our convenient, free subscription service online or by calling (800) 824-6885. You’ll get new posters whenever there’s a required update without even having to order! You’ll join hundreds of other Indiana businesses already benefiting from this service.

What You Should Know About Data Center Uptime

The following is a guest blog by Alex Carroll, co-owner and managing member of Lifeline Data Centers in Indianapolis. 

Anyone in the data center industry—or in business, for that matter—understands the importance of uptime. Recent statistics show that it costs, on average, $8,851 each minute businesses experience a data center outage — an essential reason to minimize the incidents that cause downtime.

While there’s already pressure for IT professionals and data center managers to maintain a high rate of uptime, the demand will be even more intense in the 2020s. The expectation will be for 100% uptime, as internet connectivity—especially with the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT)—will become essential for everyday living, experts projected.

“For data centers, the idea that you need to be perfect will not be far from the truth,” futurist Michael Rogers said during a Dell World presentation. “Every decision you make needs to head to that point on the horizon.”

In the future, losing an internet connection will be as disruptive as losing electrical power, he added. “We will be asking data centers to provide the type of reliability power plants provide, only moreso,” he said.

Unfortunately, data center operations of all sizes are not there yet. According to an AFCOM survey, 81% of respondents reported a data center failure in the previous five years. About 20 percent had experienced five or more failures.

Did your data center report a failure in the last five years?

Assessing data center uptime
Among the initiatives data centers are exploring to increase uptime include infrastructures that receive higher ratings from the Uptime Institute for reliability; predictive support which anticipates failures; and the minimizing of human errors, which have been attributed to as much as 75% of data center outages.

The Uptime Institute, for example, certifies data centers based on four tiers — Tier I through Tier IV. Under the classification system, the uptime rating is determined by infrastructure, uninterruptible power supply (UPS), power and cooling equipment, engine generators, and other components that impact uptime. Even a slight difference in the uptime rating — from 99% to 99.9% could translate into nine hours a year, which could result in significant losses.

Also, training employees to avoid the type of errors that can contribute downtime should be a top priority for your data center. Understanding why and how downtime happens will be critical in combatting it.

What you should know
Downtime in any business is no joke and can create serious problems. From loss of productivity to loss of revenue, if you’re experiencing downtime on even a semi-consistent basis, it’s time for you to outsource your data center needs or find a new data center.

At Lifeline Data Centers, we developed custom processes (and trademarked them) because they worked so well:

  • Redundant Array of Generators™
  • Redundant Array of UPS’s™
  • Redundant Array of Chiller Plants™
  • Most Direct Power Path™

These custom processes have contributed to our 99.999% uptime, and our largest data center where we have been able to employ our full sets of technology has not experienced an outage since inception—going on eight years.

As you explore ways to boost uptime while expanding capacity, give us a call. We can give you insights on how to reach your goals. Schedule a tour with us today.


Alex Carroll, Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex headed the team that developed Lifeline’s proprietary, award-winning equipment maintenance methodology. He is also hands-on every day in the data center.

State Accepting Nominations for Governor’s Century, Half Century Business Awards

The following is a release from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation

The state of Indiana is currently accepting nominations for the Governor’s Century and Half Century Business Awards, which honor Hoosier businesses that have remained in operation for at least 100 or 50 years, respectively, and have a demonstrated a commitment to serving the community.

Award winners will receive a commemorative certificate and be recognized in the spring. Applications are due by February 10.

Qualifying criteria is as follows:

  • The business must have had continuous operations in Indiana for more than 50 or 100 years by Dec. 31, 2016
  • The business must have participated in the same line of work for the duration of its operations. If different, an explanation of the evolution into the current business must be provided on the nomination form
  • The business must have had its base in the state of Indiana since it was founded
  • Not-for-profit corporations and hospitals are not eligible
  • The business must recognize, acknowledge and agree that it is in full compliance with the Indiana Secretary of State, Department of Revenue and the Department of Workforce Development by signing the application
  • The business must not have previously received a Century or Half Century award from the state of Indiana. Previous Half Century Award recipients may qualify for a Century Award

Eligible companies are encouraged to complete the online application. Please visit the IEDC website for additional programmatic details.

Bane-Welker Equipment Celebrates 50 Years

The following is a release from Bane-Welker Equipment:

Bane-Welker Equipment, LLC is turning a half a century old this August. To mark the impressive occasion, the company is planning many events, sales and offers, as well as introducing a special 50th anniversary commemorative logo which customers will see beginning later this month.

“It is hard to believe we are turning 50 years old,” stated Phil Bane, CEO of Bane-Welker Equipment. “I can’t believe it was 50 years ago that my dad, Kenneth Bane, signed a contract that started this journey.”

Kenneth Bane started Bane Equipment in 1967 when he answered the local newspaper ad from a representative for the JI Case Co., which was looking for a dealer in Montgomery County. By August of 1967, Kenneth and wife Patricia Bane, had signed the Case contract and the family business was born along with a commitment to superior products and service.

“At that time, no one could have imagined that 50 years later, three generations of our family would still be going strong and growing the business like never before,” stated Bane. “Dad left us a legacy none of us could’ve imagined.”

Kenneth Bane passed away in 1999, but today, his widow Patricia, sons Phil and Jeff, and grandson Jason Bane continue the family business.

Bane Equipment became Bane-Welker Equipment in 2013 when Norm Welker brought his expertise to the table. He owned North Central Agri-power and merged with Bane to form Bane-Welker Equipment, LLC.

“I knew we would be able to offer our customers the very best if our two companies became one,” stated Welker. “It was a no-brainer and our customers have benefitted since.”

Through the years, the company has seen many changes, including great advances in technology. BWE has committed to being on the cutting edge of that new information to ensure the success of their customers. Bane-Welker Equipment also remains committed to superior products and service.

“We have been through the ups and downs of the economy with our customers; we have felt both happiness and pain with them, and have stayed true to a commitment to be here when they need us,” Bane said. “Our customers are like family to us. And if they don’t succeed, neither do we. We take great pride in the fact that we have been here so long and we look forward to another 50 years!”

Follow Bane-Welker on Facebook or Twitter to stay up to date with everything related to the 50th anniversary.

Bane-Welker Equipment is an agriculture equipment company representing Case IH and other complimentary brands. Bane-Welker offers new and used equipment, parts, sales, service, precision farming, online parts sales and customer support. The 50-year-old company operates 10 stores in Indiana including Crawfordsville, La Crosse, Lebanon, Remington, Terre Haute, Pendleton, Plymouth, Winamac, and Wingate, and three stores in Ohio, including Eaton, Wilmington and Georgetown.

Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust Opens Aerospace, STEM Exhibit in Indy

Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust Allison Branch volunteer and retiree Betsy Spencer shows visitors an AE 3007 jet engine on display at the new, reopened museum in downtown Indianapolis.

The following is a release from Rolls-Royce: 

The Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust – Allison Branch is reopening the James A. Allison Exhibition Center at a new, modern downtown Indianapolis location. The nearly 6,000 square foot facility, located at the Rolls-Royce Meridian Center office, 450 S. Meridian Street, will display an amazing collection of exhibits, and demonstrate a great deal of pride in Indiana’s past, in powering thousands of civil and military aircraft and ships. Using technology and hands-on displays, the Exhibition is designed to engage and inspire youth to pursue aerospace careers.

Visitors to the Exhibition Center will see a collection of jet engines and other equipment made in Indianapolis that power today’s and yesterday’s aircraft – including engines that power C-130J Super Hercules; V-22 Osprey; Global Hawk; Citation X+s; Embraer ERJ jets; various commercial helicopters; and historical engines such as the Allison V-1710 that powered the legendary North American P-51 Mustang, P-40s, and other aircraft. A Rolls-Royce LiftFan®, which provides unique vertical lift capability for the F-35B Lightning II, is also on display.

In addition to static displays, each exhibit zone is accompanied by an interactive video module with historic, technical and graphical information of the engines. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) content is incorporated to help guide educators and students through advances in aerospace engineering.

“Since opening our first science and technology exhibition in 1954 – then called Powerama – to citizens, customers and employees, we have believed it is important to show the legacy of more than 100 years of amazing power and progress here in Indianapolis. We also aim to provide visitors a glimpse at our future for the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and innovators,” said David Newill, President of the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust – Allison Branch.

“The Heritage Trust’s mission is to protect and preserve our legacy while demonstrating the innovation that has progressed throughout the decades at Rolls-Royce and our preceding company, Allison Gas Turbines in Indianapolis. This new downtown location gives us an opportunity to share our history in new and exciting ways with Rolls-Royce employees, retirees, customers and the public,” said Phil Burkholder, President of Defense Aerospace, Rolls-Royce North America. “The Heritage Trust will continue to be free and open to the general public. This is made possible by its donors and the hard work of volunteers, which mostly consist of dedicated, retired employees from Rolls-Royce and Allison.”

Larger groups of more than 6 people wanting to visit the Exhibit must register on-line at www.rolls-royce.com/HeritageIndy. The Exhibit is free and open to the public Tuesday-Friday from 10 am to 3 pm. Donations are accepted and help the organization build new exhibits.

Tips for Successful Negotiations

We’ve heard a lot about the importance of “deals” lately, especially with the political rise of President-elect Trump.

A release from The Negotiation Institute promoting the upcoming Women’s Insight on the Art of Negotiation (WIN) Summit offers five critical tips for success:

1. Always remember: the cost of asking is lower than the cost of not asking.
We understand that it can be nerve racking to enter into a negotiation with a superior, but it usually pays off. As Wayne Gretzky famously said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” So how does this apply to negotiations? Essentially, if you don’t ask for it nobody will. Whether it is for a higher salary, more vacation days, or a better assignment, negotiate for your yourself. You want something, then ask for it!
2. Know what the other side has to offer and make your requests accordingly.
In other words: be reasonable. While it is smart to ask for a little more than you expect to get, don’t start your negotiation asking for way more than you could possibly expect to receive. If you know your company’s budget, ask for a salary increase within that amount. If you want a few more vacation days, don’t ask for two months paid leave so you can backpack around Europe. Have high expectations, but not so high that your request is out of the realm of possibilities.
3. Know what the job requires. Asking for more also means more work, make sure you prepare for your new responsibilities.
Just like you should know what your company can reasonably provide, you should also know what are your capabilities. We all want that raise or promotion, but we are not all necessarily qualified for it. If you negotiate for a job or assignment that you cannot successfully complete, it will damage your credibility in your next negotiation.
4. Always aim to do what is best for yourself and for the group, it leads to a more successful outcome negotiation.
We all enter into negotiations trying to get exactly what we want. However, it is important to remember that the other person or group has the same mindset. Therefore, your goal should be to achieve the best possible outcome for everyone involved. Ask for what you want, but be ready to make some concessions. If the other side is angered by how the negotiation is going, they not agree to anything at all.
5. Negotiation doesn’t just happen at the roundtable, all aspects of life and work can be a negotiated. 
You might think that you only negotiate at work, and that you only learned to do it as an adult. However, it is likely that you’ve actually been negotiating your entire life. As a kid you bargained with your parents to let you eat an extra piece of cake or stay up an hour later. In college you negotiated with your roommates about living space rules. When you got married you negotiated with your spouse about all aspects of your wedding. As a parent you negotiated with your child to get them to go to school or go to bed. So, take skills that you’ve learned from these negotiations and apply them to work. You just might be an expert negotiator and just not know it yet!