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PROFILE: Silverback Consulting Group: Consultant helps clients navigate tech jungle Silverback looks to diversify health care, bank business

December 3, 2007
Silverback Consulting Group Consultant helps clients navigate tech jungle Silverback looks to diversify health care, bank business In the jungle that is today's business world, businesses can't survive without information systems. And if they need help finding their way through all the technological underbrush, a local consulting firm wants to be the 500-pound gorilla that clears a path for them. Silverback Consulting Group was founded in 1997 to help businesses upgrade their internal computer and phone systems. Its consultants plan...

Swancy's Auto Laundry: Car wash does work the hard way Don't look for automation at 88-year-old Swancy's

October 22, 2007
"It's sort of the last of the old-time car washes," said longtime customer Turner Woodard, an Indianapolis businessman and antique car collector. "You can just sit there, read the paper and watch your car get washed ... and dried by hand." No question, Swancy's is one-of-a-kind. It has been operating at 934 N. Senate Ave. since 1942. For 23 years before that, it was located on a long-vanished alley nearby. It has been owned by the same family for 88...

PROFILE: Electro-Spec: Aerospace niche helped business' revenue skyrocket Decades later, Franklin electroplating firm working to diversify its customer base

September 3, 2007
Electro-Spec Aerospace niche helped business' revenue skyrocket Decades later, Franklin electroplating firm working to diversify its customer base It all started with spoons. These days, Franklin-based Electro-Spec is a $5 million a year electroplating company that produces components for the automotive, telecommunications and medicaldevice industries. That's quite a change from its origins in 1959, when the company focused on spiffing up antique silverware. "It did silver and gold plating of family heirlooms," said President Jeff Smith, who bought the company...

Displaced older workers abandon hopes of landing similar work

September 3, 2007
A growing percentage of men and women nationwide are reaching a career crossroads at a time when most would hope to have it made. Almost a quarter of the 3.8 million Americans displaced from their jobs from 2003-2005 were 55 or older, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, up from 21 percent in the prior three years.

Methodist, Decatur hospitals team up at Honda site: Providers supplying on-site, off-site health care to construction workers on $500 million auto plant project

July 16, 2007
A major construction project is like a football game-no matter how careful everyone is, sooner or later someone is going to get hurt, at least a little. Indianapolis-based Methodist Occupational Health Centers Inc., which is part of Clarian Health Partners, is partnering with Decatur County Memorial Hospital to provide an answer to this problem at the Honda automobile plant construction site in Greensburg. The two institutions are providing on-site medical services and offsite treatment facilities for workers at the $550...

Home Helpers: Aging population fuels home care business Service offers household help for elderly, infirm

June 18, 2007
Service offers household help for elderly, infirm Julie Sullivan's "a-ha" moment came when she was trying to coordinate home care for her elderly grandfather in Huntington while she was in Indianapolis. Even though, as a supervisor at Visteon, she had significant control over her schedule, Sullivan said she couldn't visit as often as she needed. "I thought, 'My word, what does the rest of the world do?'" she said. So Sullivan set out to help, starting a local franchise of...

LGC Associates: Temps become permanent solution Local firm finds its niche in hospitality, looks to grow

April 2, 2007
Temporary staffing agencies used to be like big-box discount stores: Customers could find anything and everything under one roof. As temp workers have become an increasingly important part of corporate business models, however, a more boutique approach is taking hold. Take Carmel-based LGC Associates, which specializes in providing temporary staffing for the food service and hospitality industries-and has started providing workers to fill the accounting, financial and administrative needs of its clients. LGC was launched in May 2003 by Carmel...

PROFILE: Roby's Plumbing and Heating Co. Inc.: Plumber survived by staying flexible Firm entered new market, shifted business priorities

December 4, 2006
Roby's Plumbing and Heating Co. Inc. Plumber survived by staying flexible Firm entered new market, shifted business priorities Those "big box" home-supply stores make the world a scary place for independent companies such as Roby's Plumbing and Heating Co. Inc. No way can businesses like Roby compete with the big boxes' prices on pipes and other plumbing materials, owner Brad Roby said, but they can offer something the others don't-service. "Home centers provide cheap products but poor service," Roby said....

Suburban Steel of Indiana: Building a business

September 4, 2006
Agrowing demand for new homes with basements featuring wide-open recreational spaces has created niche businesses even beyond home-theater specialists-like Suburban Steel of Indiana. Suburban Steel customizes structural steel for building projects, mostly residential, at its 20,000-square-foot workshop on Indianapolis' far-southwest side. In a way, it might be considered the metalworking equivalent of a fast-food joint, where customers always "have it their way." "A builder can call at 1 p.m. and we'll have it for him the next day," said Mark...

Williams Creek Consulting Inc.: Consultants engineer 'green' solutions After years of taking any work it could find, company specializes in stormwater issues

July 3, 2006
In development circles, the color green is often associated with money. But it has a different connotation for Indianapolis-based Williams Creek Consulting-an environmental one. Launched in 2002, the firm aims to help developers minimize disruptions to the natural features of a construction site, co-founder Neil Myers said. It specializes in strategies to manage stormwater runoff. "We improve a project by integrating the building into the natural environment," Myers said. That means doing more than digging a series of retention ponds...

My Favorite Cigar Bar: Bar offers stogies with its scotch Liquor license helped cigar store attract customers who may linger

May 22, 2006
"Cheers" in Brownsburg? Regulars at My Favorite Cigar Bar say it's just like that fictional Boston watering hole "where everybody knows your name"-or like it would have been if Cheers had sold cigars as well as drinks. Hendricks County's version of the popular pub occupies an old-fashioned brick storefront at 36 E. Main St. The brainchild of Brownsburg couple Bruce and Lisa Freestone, it is-as the name suggests-both a bar and cigar shop. "We're the only such cigar store in...

Financial Strategies Mortgage Inc.: Training firm meeting national demand More states require continuing education for mortgage lenders

April 10, 2006
Launched in 1998 by consultant Aaron Wilson, the training firm is cashing in on the national demand for continuing education programs. Revenue topped $5 million last year, a significant jump from the $200,000 the company collected the first year it offered classes. Financial Strategies found its focus in 2000, when the state began requiring loan officers in Indiana to take continuing education classes-even though there weren't any classes here for them to take. Wilson jumped on the opportunity. "In one...

Single women opt for owning homes: Marriage and home ownership aren't always synonymous

April 10, 2006
Apparently, Dorothy's still right. There is no place like home, particularly if you are a single woman with good credit. Single women now are significant players in the real estate market. In fact, one out of every five homebuyers nationwide in 2004 was a single woman-and locally the percentage is even higher. According to a 2004 study by the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors, almost 25 percent of homebuyers in the area were single women. The national figure, compiled by...

Duke's Earth Services Inc.: Environmental services firm cleaning up on spills Haz-mat niche paying off; business expected to double

February 20, 2006
When a truck carrying a load of frozen chicken crashed on Interstate 74 near Batesville last month-mixing the meat with less-than-appetizing ingredients like diesel fuel and coolant-Duke's Earth Services was high on the invite list for the impromptu barbecue. The Mooresville-based environmental services company specializes in such unpleasant jobs: cleaning hazardous materials spills, removing underground storage tanks, and checking construction sites for contaminated soil. And business is good. Duke's posted revenue of $3.5 million in 2005, and leaders expect to...

Brand Appliance Servicecenter Inc.: Repair business may not be fixable Despite decades of tinkering, shop owner suspects his time is running out

December 19, 2005
Despite decades of tinkering, shop owner suspects his time is running out Don Daniels knows his days are numbered, even if he isn't calling it quits yet. That's a tough spot to be in when you're used to fixing things. His Brand Appliance Servicecenter has been fixing stuff, in one form or another, since 1963. For decades, he's tinkered with everything from electric shavers to microwave ovens. But as gadgets have evolved, Daniels has discovered one thing he just can't...

Merry Realty Inc.: Big plans for small firm Real estate agency tries to win business by teaching buyers rules of the game

November 21, 2005
Real estate agency tries to win business by teaching buyers rules of the game Large agencies may dominate the residential real estate game, but Indianapolis-based Merry Realty is trying to prove a small player still can make a big name for itself. For years, Merry Realty has focused its efforts on properties in Indianapolis, but it is rapidly expanding into a more diverse market, targeting booming areas like Hamilton County while staying loyal to its inner-city roots. Real estate broker...

Givers should be smart as well as generous, experts say: Do your homework before donating to any cause

September 26, 2005
Charitable giving often is a spur-of-themoment thing, particularly if it's a response to a disaster. Still, charitable groups, relief agencies and financial advisers say a little thought before making a donation is a good idea. Giant disasters such as Hurricane Katrina jolt many people into trying to help, often with no particular idea beyond simply doing something. However, some types of help are more helpful than others. Properly following the rules of charitable giving can provide a tax benefit. It...

City planners seek ways to replace PRI convention: Annual event was big money maker each December

August 1, 2005
Indianapolis hospitality leaders have launched a campaign to make up for the loss of a huge racing industry convention that is taking a hiatus from the city for the next half-decade. The Performance Racing Industry, or PRI, trade show has been a major event for the Indianapolis' convention business for seven years, annually bringing up to 40,000 visitors to the city who spend more than $26.7 million. This event was especially valued because it typically took place in early December,...

Planner sinks his teeth into dentists' finances: Four Quadrant builds business around one industry

July 25, 2005
Dentists know a lot about operating a dental drill, but sometimes not so much about operating a business. That's where Four Quadrant Wealth Advisors likes to comes in. Indianapolis-based Four Quadrant provides its dental clients with financial advice on everything from running the money side of their practices to building their retirement funds. As one of a fairly small number of financial advice firms that focus on a single type of client, Four Quadrants limits its clients to dentists or...

Universities reach out to improve diversity: Purdue, IU use local offices to lure minority suppliers

July 4, 2005
Purdue University's most recent step includes opening an office in Indianapolis that will serve as a contact point for minority-owned companies that are interested in doing business with the school. Purdue also is becoming one of the major sponsors of the annual Indiana Black Expo. These two projects are being headed by Jesse Moore, who became Purdue's manager for supplier diversity development in February. Moore previously led the Indianapolis Black Chamber of Commerce for nine years. Officials say it's important...

Network Engineering Inc.: Computer firm remains flexible Owner says diversifying keeps company nimble

June 6, 2005
He started the original version of his business back in 1984, fresh out of college. One Internet, one dot-com boom, one Y2K and one dot-com crash later, he's still in business. Spilker is president of Network Engineering Inc., which is essentially a spin-off of his original company, Information Engineering Inc. A lifelong Indianapolis resident, he graduated from Purdue University with a degree in computer technology. As soon as he graduated, he started Information Engineering because he wanted to run things...

Company helps keep students on course: College Network offers college-study assistance

June 6, 2005
There may be no shortcuts to a college education, but Indianapolis-based The College Network says it can offer some passing lanes for working people who want to add to their professional credentials. The College Network, 3815 River Crossing Parkway, Suite 260, is a nationwide business that publishes educational materials for adult students who want to earn an undergraduate degree, graduate degree or professional certification in their current field. TCN is not a school and does not provide degrees itself, but...

Applied Engineering Services Inc.: Engineering firm builds clientele slowly

May 9, 2005
Starting a new company is a tricky business, even if you've done everything right. Applied Engineering Services had the funding, the contacts and the skills it needed when it started in 1998. Still, the first year or so was hardly easy. "We didn't hit the ground running," recalled Terry DeBoo, one of the principals in the company. "The first year was pretty tough." Applied Engineering is a consulting engineering firm that focuses much of its business on the central utility...

Ergo Office Furniture LLC: Workers sit, ergo offices need furniture Retailer deals primarily in used desks and chairs

April 11, 2005
Businesses sometimes need office furniture immediately. That's one of the reasons Ergo Office Furniture has thrived. Ergo, at 2525 N. Shadeland Ave., sells, rents or leases office furniture to its customers. Though the company does carry some new furniture, and can order whatever it doesn't have, co-owner Mark S. Kemper said 70 percent of Ergo's revenue is in used furniture. The advantage of selling used furniture is that it's normally right there in the inventory. Brand-new furniture, in many cases,...
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  1. What became of this project? Anyone know?

  2. Scott, could you post an enlarged photo of the exterior of the building? This will be a great addition to Walnut Street. This area will only continue to develop with additions like this. Also, please give us more updates on the "Cultural Trail light" expansion. Also a great move for the city, as long as there is maintenance money set aside.

  3. Great story IBJ! Citizens don't have a real sense of the financial magnitude of supporting Indy's sports and tourism sector. The CIB was a brilliant idea for creating a highly integrated public-private partnership to support this sector from the economic activity it generates. Unfortunately, most folks think the benefits of that economic activity accrue directly to the City budget, and it doesn't. So though the CIB is facing lean times (covering its costs while maintaining minimally acceptable reserves), the City is operating with deficit - less tax revenue than expenses each year - with a very fragile reserve balance. That's why it's so challenging for the City to fund basic needs or new intitatives (e.g. pre-k education; new jail), and some credit rating agencies have downgraded Indy from it's past stellar AAA status. More reporting on City finances would be welcomed.

  4. Sure, I'll admit that it bugs me to see that the IBJ.COM censors it's blog posts almost as much as the D of I does when someone points out the falsehoods and fabrications. _____But I think it bothers me almost as much that Captain/Defender/Disciple get his yanked too. You see, those of us with a sense of integrity, humanity, compassion, and a need for fact based opinion WANT to see all of his screeds posted. It makes our point so much better than we can do it ourselves.

  5. We're conflating two very different topics. Voter fraud is a myth and excessive gun violence is all too real. I just hope rational gunowners decide to stop being shouted down by the, well, let's call them "less rational" ones.