Razor Sharp: Roanoke Barber Rex Ottinger Reflects on a Lifetime of Memories

Roanoke barber Rex Otttinger has seen it all – a steady stream of loyal customers, an unruly flood and leaner times during the long-hair trend of the 1970s.

And feel free to sleep in his chair, but interruptions like phones and TV are no-nos at this barber shop. In fact, Ottinger has never had a phone in the store – and never will.

Read about this Huntington County success story in the new BizVoice.

Driving Force: Rep. Dan Leonard Named 2016 Government Leader of the Year

Old habits die hard. And that’s a good thing – for Hoosier businesses and their employees – when linked to Dan Leonard’s propensity to serve others.

He fondly recalls time spent as a child at his parent’s country grocery store. Leonard started ringing up customers as soon as he was tall enough (aided by a trusty bar stool) to reach the cash register.

“I remember the first day we had a $100 day in the grocery store. It was a big deal!” he says with a laugh.

Those early memories sparked a penchant for building relationships and a passion for making a difference – whatever the scale.

Leonard owns South Side Furniture of Huntington, a business he purchased from his father in 1978. Elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 2002, he serves Huntington County, and portions of Wells and Allen counties. He’s a member of the House Ways and Means Committee (and local government finance subcommittee chair), Judiciary Committee and is the speaker of the House’s appointee to the Native American Indian Affairs Commission…

Read the full story in BizVoice.

dan-leonard

Site Selecton Mag Recognizes Indiana for Economic Development Projects

Marion, Huntington, Angola, Seymour and Peru were recognized by Site Selection Magazine recently on its ranking of states by economic development projects.

For the sixth time since Site Selection Magazine began its Governor’s Cup rankings in 2003, Marion Indiana has made the list, this year as the ninth top Micropolitan in the United States. The magazine ranking of Top Micropolitans ranks cities of 10,000 to 50,000 within at least one county. Marion, Indiana was ranked among the nation’s 576 other Micropolitan areas.

This is Marion, Indiana’s second top ten ranking since 2003. It is the first Indiana Micropolitan community to make a top ten ranking twice. The Site Selection’s 2010 Governor’s Cup was published in the March 2011 issue of Site Selection Magazine and on their award-winning website http://www.siteselection.com.

The Grant County Economic Growth Council is a non-profit organization with the mission to facilitate investment and reinvestment for job creation and retention in Grant County.

You can view the Micropolitan rankings by clicking here.

You can view the Site Selection cover story here.

Shuttleworth: Small Indiana Company Earns Big Publicity for Innovation

Here at the Indiana Chamber, we feel very fortunate to have the confidence of our 4,800 members to work on their behalf. Their partnership often makes life easier on us, too. For example, when BusinessWeek Online contacted our communications VP Tom Schuman to inquire about a small company whose made great strides in switching to "green collar" industries, Tom had an easy answer — Shuttleworth (of Huntington).

The leading paragraphs of the article actually feature Shuttleworth, focusing on the company’s ingenuity in a greening world:

As a maker of conveyor systems for manufacturers, Shuttleworth always changed with the times. The 100-employee Huntington (Ind.) company’s strong business in electronics dropped off about five years ago as more production moved overseas. After that, the company focused on conveyors for food, health care, automotive, and paper products—until this year, when it entered what could be its most profitable niche yet: solar panels.

"It’s got some of the biggest potential of the markets we’ve been in," says Jim Bonahoom, Shuttleworth’s vice-president for finance. Even though Shuttleworth only just entered the market, the company expects solar to account for one-fifth of its roughly $20 million in revenue this year, Bonahoom says.

A heartfelt kudos to our friends at Shuttleworth.

IBRG Goes 16 for 16 in ’08 Primaries

There is success — and then there is a "100% grand slam, we did everything we intended to do" outcome.

The latter sums up Tuesday for Indiana Business for Responsive Government (IBRG) , the political action arm of the Indiana Chamber. IBRG is in the business of electing state legislators focused on a pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda. It endorsed 16 candidates (nine in the House and seven in the Senate). All 16 were winners.

Among the highlights:
* IBRG was part of a coalition supporting challenger Wes Culver (R-Goshen) against incumbent John Ulmer, also of Goshen, in House District 49. Culver earned a most impressive 70.7% of the vote

* IBRG was active in the re-election effort of Dan Leonard (R-Huntington), who collected more than 58% of the vote in handily defeating two challengers in House District 50

* An open-seat Senate race saw IBRG help Republican Jean Leising (a former state senator from Oldenburg) collect more than 48% of the vote in a four-way battle in District 42

IBRG bases its endorsements on legislator voting records (as documented in the Legislative Vote Analysis) and candidate interviews. There won’t be too much time for pats on the back, however, as the general election awaits — as does the effort to elect legislators ready to work for an economic climate that rewards Indiana companies and their employees.

UPDATE: Indiana political blog Hoosier Access has also taken note of IBRG’s success, heralding the PAC as the big winner on election night.