BizVoice Earns Three SPJ Awards for 2015

bizvoice coverThe Indiana Chamber’s BizVoice® magazine earned three recent Indiana Society of Professional Journalists awards for work completed during 2015.

The honors include:

BizVoice has received 78 national and state awards over the past 17 years. The bimonthly publications is Indiana’s leading statewide business magazine, reaching 15,000 decision-makers and a broader business consulting/site selection audience. Learn more at www.bizvoicemagazine.com.

Purdue’s Income Share Agreement Option Moves Forward

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In the latest BizVoice, we covered Purdue University’s recent exploration into the world of Income Share Agreements (ISAs). The funding strategy allows students to pay back loans based on their future earnings. It’s a way to mitigate the mountains of debt today’s college students often find themselves in after graduation.

Since the article’s release, Purdue has moved forward to the next phase of the process. Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) is managing and making the funding available for the program. This web site provides more information.

PRF is now focused on providing educational and informational sessions to students and parents. The application process for the Back a Boiler – ISA Fund will begin in May. PRF anticipates this will give students time to review all of their options and determine which best serves their educational funding needs.

Walker Words to Remember

walkerWhen it comes to employee loyalty and its impacts, the Walker consulting firm is king. I had the opportunity recently to talk to the second-generation leader of that company, now chairman emeritus Frank Walker, who was an early pioneer in the areas of corporate social responsibility, business ethics and more.

You can read more from Walker in the March-April BizVoice magazine (on p. 56). But here’s a bonus insight on the employer-employee relationship: and never totally shutting doors with prized team members

“Several people have been credited with this line,” Walker says: ‘You need to train your people so they have the skills to leave you, but treat them so well they don’t want to.’

Walker adds: “We have lots of people who left us and come back. We have some we have to say, ‘They’re growing faster than we are right now and we can’t hold them back.’ But it’s 10 years later and Brenda has the skills, she’d love to come back, we have a spot for her now.

“They become a fantastic resource. Other people are saying, ‘I don’t know about this place.’ They (the returning employee) can say, ‘I’ve been over on the other side; let me tell you something that goes on here that doesn’t happen there.’ “

VIDEO: See What’s in the New Edition of BizVoice

Our Senior VP and editor of BizVoice Tom Schuman explains what’s in the March/April edition. If you’re interested in higher education, corporate social responsibility or Vanderburgh County, we have information you can’t miss.

This issue also focuses on the “Outstanding Talent” driver of the Indiana Chamber’s Indiana Vision 2025 plan.

Read BizVoice online today.

Promise Receives Extra Boost

promise inCreating a college-going culture is the primary theme of the Wabash County Promise Initiative and the growing Promise Indiana network. Now, Wabash County students in grades four through eight are receiving additional financial assistance as the result of a $430,000 grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

The Promise program allows parents to create a 529 college savings account for their children when they register for school. The new grant permits elementary and middle school students to earn additional funding for their accounts through academic accomplishments, family savings and postsecondary planning.

The work that started in Wabash County is earning national and international attention. The Indiana Chamber was pleased to help spread the word through its Indiana Vision 2025 regional forums in 2015 and additional outlets. Learn more:

Keeping the Skies Open for Drones

droneWill drone technology “transform the way we live and work” or prove to be an intrusive, security-filled hurdle to overcome? The Competitive Enterprise Institute is betting on the former, with its new report warning of federal regulations that could get in the way of substantial progress.

Also see Rebecca Patrick’s APEX Award-winning 2014 BizVoice article on drones and their potential business impact.

Stephanie Arne: A Global Perspective on Wellness

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Stephanie Arne is the first-ever female host of the iconic show “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.” She will be the opening presenter at the 2015 Indiana Health and Wellness Summit (October 7-8) discussing the connection between human health and planetary health.

Indiana Chamber: The definition of “wellness” can be pretty broad. What is your fresh perspective on what wellness truly is, and what does that mean for the average person?

Stephanie Arne: “Wellness” means achieving “a state of healthy balance.” When you eat nourishing food, get appropriate levels of exercise, avoid stress triggers and take proper personal time for emotional well-being – each of these actions moves the body into greater states of balance.

The part I think has been missing from the “wellness” concept up to this point has been how much these things are truly connected to each other, and furthermore, how much these things are connected to that which is external to us – specifically, our environment.

We have, so far, missed the bigger picture – to see our global interconnectedness, and how this translates to personal health. For all of us, this means opening up to the tremendous opportunities afforded by taking a global perspective to ones’ health, which I look forward to discussing further at the Health and Wellness Summit in October.

IC: What do you hope attendees take away from your presentation specifically and the summit as a whole?

SA: I hope attendees will walk away feeling uplifted and empowered to effect change, whatever that may mean for them personally. One person may feel empowered to reduce the amount of processed foods they consume, which ultimately benefits their own health, but also has a global impact by reducing the demand for chemically-made, environmentally-polluting products. Another person may feel empowered to start a community garden where they can share fresh, organic produce with their neighbors, creating a space for simultaneous recreation and community connection, as well as a place to obtain healthy food. Either way, both people will be making immediate changes that will result in long-term benefits.

IC: Why should every company/organization take an active role in promoting healthy lifestyles and engaging employees in wellness strategies?

SA: Companies have a lot of power – both within AND outside of the corporation.

Within the corporation, they decide what the corporate culture will be. Outside, they decide what ideals to support through their channel partners and resource suppliers.

At this point, we have seen the statistics proving that a healthy employee is a happy employee, and that healthy/happy employees are more productive. Companies know unequivocally that to invest in the health of their employees by supporting corporate wellness initiatives is the surest way to guarantee the highest levels of productivity, and therefore profitability, of the employee investment.

In my opinion, the other major way to retain a competitive edge is by providing services in an increasingly sustainable manner. Consumers are still consuming, but they are looking for ever-increasing ways to do so with less waste and less pollution. If your company is operating from a perspective of total wellness and health, then it will be doing so with a global perspective. This is where the true change, inspiration, progress and reward come into play.

Get more information or register for the 2015 Indiana Health and Wellness Summit online.

Ag Strength – By the Numbers

agThere’s no doubting the continued strength of Indiana’s agricultural industry (see the state fact sheet). We’ve told the stories often in BizVoice magazine – and will do so in the upcoming July-August issue (with a look at the prominence of ag businesses in Kosciusko County).

But according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, Indiana did not rank in the top three exporters by state of various products. There are some interesting states and dollar figures included (selected examples):

  • Soybeans: Illinois ($3.1 billion), Iowa ($2.7 billion) and Minnesota ($1.8 billion)
  • Corn: The same three states as soybeans, with Iowa leading the way at $1.1 billion
  • Wheat: Kansas ($1.5 billion), North Dakota and Montana
  • Pork: Iowa ($2 billion), North Carolina and Minnesota
  • Beef: Nebraska ($946 million), Texas and Kansas
  • Dairy; California ($1.2 billion), Wisconsin and New York
  • Poultry: Georgia, North Carolina and Arkansas
  • Fresh fruit: California ($2.5 billion), Florida ($3.2 billion) and Washington

BizVoice Adds New Awards to Trophy Case

droneThe BizVoice® magazine team doesn’t spend a great deal of time or resources entering competitions each year. Validation comes via feedback from regular readers and others interested in the publication. But it is good every once in a while to see how some of your best work matches up against other professionals.

For work completed in 2014, two contests were entered and six awards were earned – two in the national APEX program and four from the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists. That brings the total to 75 awards in 16 years.

APEX
• Rebecca Patrick: Feature Writing, Award of Excellence, Poised to Benefit: Drones Expected to Produce Major Indiana Impact, July-August 2014
• Tony Spataro: Design & Illustrations – Best Redesigns, Award of Excellence, BizVoice® (new look debuted in January-February 2014)

Patrick, Charlee Beasor and Tom Schuman earned writing honors from Indiana SPJ for topics ranging from education and sports to business and politics. Full details are on the BizVoice web site

As BizVoice editor, I have the privilege of working with a talented team. I congratulate them on their continued outstanding efforts and encourage readers to check out the past work online and in future issues of the magazine.