I ran across an interesting IndustryWeek list recently. Titled "Around for the Long Haul," it included prominent manufacturing firms founded 100 years ago or more. Bet you didn't know these companies have been around this long.
You will find a few Indiana connections, past and present. The partial list:
Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union, now known as Elfcu, has served Lilly's employees and their families for over 80 years. In 2008, the credit union began to add membership from Select Employer Groups as it became more independent from Lilly itself. Now, employees from selected companies are eligible for Elfcu membership as a no cost voluntary benefit.
Aside from its array of services, Elfcu has separated itself as a leader in financial wellness.
"We are a financial wellness provider that happens to be a credit union," explains communications and education manager Michelle Payne. "We strive to understand not just what our customers want but to understand what their goals are so we can help them make the right financial choices. We're not just about our products and transactions here, but about our members' overall financial success."
As an example, Elfcu recently launched a partnership with financial guru "Pete The Planner" (Peter Dunn) with its "Fastest Way to $5K" 12-week educational program. Dunn recommends ways consumers can acquire the most savings, and Elfcu offers the tools and programs to help them achieve those goals.
When asked how economic conditions have impacted Elfcu's operations, business development manager Todd Shickel contends credit unions were dealt a softer blow than some.
"The credit unions have always been a safe haven for a member's banking services, so we didn't feel the impact of the financial tsunami like many financial institutions did," he relays. "Some financial institutions were impacted, but we have very responsible lending programs designed to be a better fit for the consumer — not what will generate the most revenue for the credit union."
He adds that the biggest change he's seen recently is in the realm of health savings — a change that emphasizes why financial wellness is so important.
"Employers have started to go to the high deductible, consumer-driven health plans," Shickel says. "They have a tool that goes with them called a health savings account — and we have a very robust health savings account platform that helps differentiate us in the marketplace. It gives the members a portal and tools to become better health care consumers… In the newer high deductible plans, it's up to the consumer to find the best services, and they have a stake in those services."
Elfcu, which boasts a global membership base, also works to parlay technology to give its clients the best possible service.
"Our access options really do exceed a lot of our larger banking competitors," Payne notes. "We launched mobile banking (elfcuMOBILE) last summer, which features a smartphone app and text banking for those without a smartphone. One fantastic feature is the remote deposit capture, so you can snap a photo of your check and upload it for a deposit. We also have a dynamic eBranch Internet banking system that we're continually updating."
She adds that beyond those electronic options, Elfcu offers more than 5,000 shared branches nationwide and a surcharge-free network of over 60,000 ATMs.
See Elfcu's entire video series on its YouTube page, and be sure to explore its newly designed web site at elfcu.org, including its new Life Lessons financial wellness blog.
For the second time in the 23-year history of the statewide community award, Indianapolis has earned top honors from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.
Indianapolis was announced as the 2012 Community of the Year today at a downtown press conference on Georgia Street, a location which highlights the city’s ongoing infrastructure improvements, economic growth and beautification efforts.
"I’m honored to accept this award on behalf of the City of Indianapolis and our residents, our community groups and businesses — large and small — and our employees, who all come together to make Indianapolis the wonderful place it is," says Mayor Greg Ballard.
"Indianapolis is a destination for people and for businesses. Because of our impeccable financials, AAA-debt rating, stable tax environment and balanced budgets, businesses know what to expect in Indy — which makes them more likely to act, create jobs and invest in Indianapolis because they can plan."
Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar on the selection: "Super Bowl XLVI put Indianapolis center stage internationally and marked the pinnacle in a long history of events and developments that have made it a continuing success story.
"The capital city has a varied and growing list of cultural amenities, business diversity and vibrant neighborhoods, as well as strong leadership and a powerful spirit among its residents. This honor is deserved on so many levels," he emphasizes.
Among the specifics cited by the Indiana Chamber:
CityWay, a business and residential combination near the Eli Lilly campus that will serve as a connecting point to the rest of downtown
16 Tech, a partnership that will build on existing strengths in medicine, life sciences and high-tech organizations
Unprecedented road and sidewalk construction as part of Rebuild Indy, which was largely funded by partnering with Citizens Energy to run the city’s water and wastewater operations
Bike lanes and trails that have helped enhance residents’ quality of life
Indianapolis was previously named Community of the Year by the Indiana Chamber in 1995.
Adds Indiana Chamber Chairman Mike Wells of REI Real Estate Services: "The Indianapolis business climate has proven welcoming to a broad audience. The new entities are exciting additions to a business lineup that features outstanding companies that have called Indianapolis home for many, many years."
The 2012 Community of the Year award will be presented to Mayor Ballard during the Indiana Chamber’s 23rd Annual Awards Dinner on November 1 at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.The 2012 Business Leader of the Year and Government Leader of the Year recipients will be announced at that time.
More than 1,200 business, political and community leaders are expected to attend. Legendary journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward will take the stage as the feature presentation, discussing the Nixon presidency, politics and journalism with "Inside the White House: From Nixon to Obama." Tables of 10 and individual tickets are available for the reception (5 p.m. EST) and dinner (6:30 p.m. EST). Reservations can be made at (800) 824-6885 or at www.indianachamber.com/specialevents.
Media interested in covering the event should contact Rebecca Patrick at (317) 264-6897.
Past Community of the Year recipients:
2010: Terre Haute
2001: Greater Lafayette
1999: Fort Wayne
1993: St. Joseph County
For the fourth year in a row, Eli Lilly and its employees are showing a true commitment to making their city a better place. The Indy Star reports on this year’s massive undertaking:
An army of 8,000 red-shirted volunteers will fan out across the city today, planting thousands of trees, painting at least seven large murals to brighten public spaces and generally dressing up the community.
This is the fourth annual Lilly Global Day of Service, when 24,000 employees of Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. volunteer for community service projects in 39 countries around the world.
Here in the company’s hometown, volunteers from at least 30 other companies, which are providing people and donated services, will reinforce the Lilly volunteers.
Event organizers estimate the value of the 35,000 hours of volunteer labor plus the materials and supplies at nearly $2 million for the day in Indianapolis.
Last year’s Day of Service included the creation of a six mile-long linear park along the sides of I-70 on the west side of Downtown.
While that caused some traffic problems for several hours while I-70 was closed, today’s projects will have minimal impact on most motorists. The ramps of the Emerson Avenue interchange of I-70 will be closed for various periods while the cloverleaf receives new trees and other landscaping.
“We are putting more emphasis on the Eastside this year, to help the neighborhoods, where so much is going on,” said David Forsell, president of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.
The agency is a partner with Lilly in the Day of Service, and he was referring to developments on the Eastside of the city by the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee to revitalize a neighborhood as a lasting legacy of the NFL game here in February.
Some of the work has been planned as a memorial, including development of a peace garden in a westside park, which will be created in memory of the victims of violence.
“This is a monumental day for civic service,” Forsell said. “In any community, it doesn’t come any bigger.”
The 8,000 volunteers will be focused at 46 worksites, which will be grouped in four primary zones of the city today.
Ragan.com recently reported on Eli Lilly’s foray into the world of social media. As the article mentions, it’s a little tricky for large pharmaceutical companies, as regulations dictate some of what they can say in that space.
Eli Lilly and Co. can’t talk about drugs or diseases, nor share patient stories on its blog or Twitter account.
Talk about a communication challenge.
Despite the restrictions of the heavily regulated pharma industry, it’s managed to find its voice. During a webinar with Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media and Ragan Communications, Greg Kueterman shared what he’s learned about blogging and tweeting as part of the company’s corporate communications team.
Until last September, the company was invisible on social media. Strict regulations and the company’s ties to the federal government made it wary about getting involved on social media. Kueterman’s team wrestled with this question, “As a pharmaceutical company, where could we make a meaningful difference?”
Instead of worrying about what Lilly couldn’t say on social media, it concentrated on what it could…
How @LillyPad uses Twitter to spread its message
Are people really interested in following a Big Pharma company on Twitter?
“Not a lot of people are,” Kueterman concedes.
But @LillyPad hits its key audiences: legislative and staff, the media, philanthropists, and key stakeholders in Indiana, where the company is based.
So far, it has gathered more than 4,000 Twitter followers. Kueterman and his team tweet two to three times each day.
@LillyPad isn’t tweeting about drugs. Instead, the company is tweeting information about policy, sharing blog posts and news articles with stakeholders.
I received a visit in early 2008 from Terry McWilliams, founder of a Louisville area-based investor relations firm. After conducting a successful equity/investment conference in his home state, he was looking to bring the idea to Indiana. The initial event did take place that fall at the then recently opened Lucas Oil Stadium.
Terry and a team of supporters are back in 2010 with a strong list of Hoosier companies that are going to talk about their performance and their future plans. The primary audience: analysts, fund managers and institutional investors. And, as Terry explained in a recent e-mail, the people who can benefit the most are "those with companies that plan to go public, as they can witness the investor commuications process from a front row seat."
You can check out the details of the September 9 event (at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this time around). It’s certainly a bit of a niche audience/event, but anytime you can get the likes of the following in one place to talk about their organizations, that’s a good thing — and an insight into our immediate and longer-term economic future from some executives who are at center stage of the battle.
Big names: Eli Lilly, Cummins, Steel Dynamics, NiSource, Zimmer, Hillenbrand, Interactive Intelligence, a variety of banks and more. Michael Oxley, co-author of the Sarbanes Oxley Act, will deliver a keynote presentation.
On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the most sweeping health care reform legislation since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid 1960s. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act (collectively, "Act"), will eventually impact nearly every employer, business, individual and health care provider in America.
The Act is over 900 pages long, and it includes some provisions that have received considerable attention, such as individual and employer mandates to obtain insurance coverage. Many other provisions have not received such attention, yet they will have a significant impact on individuals and employers. There is also a perception among some that the Act does not become effective for several years. While this is true for certain provisions, such as the excise tax on high cost health insurance plans, several other important provisions will require many employers to review and revise their employee benefit plans as early as September 2010.
It is important that Chamber members and other Indiana employers understand the many changes under the new health care reform Act and the impact these changes will have on their business. To assist in this regard, the Chamber and Ice Miller are hosting the third in a series of seminars on health care reform on April 29, 2010, at the Hilton in downtown Indianapolis.
This seminar will include presentations on the following topics:
Background on the Health Care Reform Debate
Overview of Key Parts of the Act and a Timeline for Implementation
Impact on Employers and Benefit Plans
Impact on Taxpayers and Taxes
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller will discuss the litigation filed by Indiana and several other states to challenge certain aspects of the Act. Additionally, the conference will include two panel discussions with distinguished speakers. One panel will feature representatives from Anthem, Eli Lilly (invited), the Cook Group, the Indiana Hospital Association and the Indiana State Medical Association discussing the Act’s impact on the health care industry. The second panel discussion will focus on the Act’s impact on large and small employers and union employees and will include speakers from Fairfield Manufacturing, Womack Restaurants, and the Indiana Chamber. There will also be focus group sessions during the conference lunch on topics of interest to certain groups. Ice Miller lawyers with applicable experience will facilitate discussions and answer questions on the following topics:
Benefit plans, wellness programs, and other cost reduction efforts
Business and funding opportunities created by the new law
Impact on health care providers
This seminar provides a unique opportunity to learn about the sweeping changes and to hear how other individuals and businesses plan to deal with these changes. We urge you to attend.
Industry Week recently released its list of the world’s 1000 largest manufacturers. While the usual suspects retain top spots (No. 1 Exxon Mobil Corp., No. 2 Royal Dutch Shell PLC and No. 3 BP PLC), an Indiana company received notoriety for scaling the list.
Fort Wayne-based Steel Dynamics Inc. jumped 246 spots to No. 465 (the company was No. 711 in 2008). No other U.S. company achieved such a large gain and only two other company gained more spots on the list – India’s Tata Steel Ltd. moved up the ranks by 384 and China’s Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. gained 377 spots.
IW notes that Steel Dynamics achieved significant growth “after a strong first nine months in 2008. The company posted a loss in the fourth quarter when steel shipments fell 34% from the third quarter.” Steel Dynamics posted an 84.3% growth in revenue last year, according to the report.
The Industry Week 1000 ranks the largest publicly held manufacturing companies based on revenue. With 290 companies on the list, the United States dominates. Other Indiana-based companies held steady in the ranks, gaining a spot or losing a few: Eli Lilly & Co. ranked No. 201; Cummins Inc. No. 284; and Zimmer Holdings Inc. No. 781. Numerous other companies with operations in the Hoosier state are included in the ranks.
These days there are plenty of reminders of the economic downturn. This past weekend, while driving through Pendleton, I saw this sign in a small shop advertising its going-out-of-business sale: “We fought the economy, and the economy won.”
Thankfully, that’s not the whole story in Indiana. Plenty of Hoosier businesses continue to grow and prosper. I offer the story of FINCH Constructors, an Indianapolis-based company that without any magic anti-recession potion (no, I don’t know where you can buy such a concoction) is experiencing positive growth.
“We stayed the course by taking care of our core customer base and understanding what our job is and what our goal is,” explains president and CEO Robert Finch. Top projects for FINCH Constructors right now include work at Eli Lilly (a FINCH customer since 1993) and at the downtown JW Marriott, which will open in 2011.
Finch says the family-owned and operated company continuously adds talent and technology so it can keep up with the clients it serves. Still, Finch goes back to the backbone of the company: strong relationships with core customers.
“They believe in us and they’ve given us the opportunity to serve them. Since we understand their facilities and the systems, we owe it to them to be around at the end of today and tomorrow and the next day,” Finch shares.
So here’s to one of many Indiana companies that took on the economy and won.
The Economic Club of Indiana has a who’s who of community volunteers who take their role and the fortunes of the Club most seriously. We can be thankful that’s the case.
While the history of the Club is intriguing, this season’s lineup of speakers is a blockbuster. There were early signs that Eli Lilly chief John Lechleiter was going to use his opening address to tackle a large topic — the company’s future. He did. WFYI has the archived speech.
Coming up: political commentator William Kristol (agree or not with his philosophies, he is an equal-opportunity criticizer) on October 27 (that’s eight days before the election) and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President and CEO Charles Evans on November 21. Do you think he’ll have anything to talk about?
Sounds like a good way to spend 90 minutes at lunch time.