Indianapolis Business Journal – July 27 – August 2, 2018


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In This Issue

Front Page

CICF to tackle stench of racism

The foundation is undergoing a transformation aimed at narrowing the growing gulf between the community’s affluent and poor.

After manufacturing for others, Foamcraft rolls out own mattress line

The prosperous family-run company is hoping for ieven greater success with its newer, direct-to-consumer line, including its latest product: custom-made mattresses.

50 Finish Line locations slated for conversion into JD Sports stores

The outcome of the test will help determine whether all Finish Line outposts will take on the JD Sports moniker and product mix.

Top Stories

Watchdog turns heads by standing up to utilities

Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor Bill Fine is tasked with making sure Hoosier households and business aren’t overcharged for electricity, natural gas, water or wastewater.

New owner, chef give Le Peep needed update

The local chain—under new owner Pars Restaurant Group LLC—is rolling out major changes. The old logo remains but new food and a new look are in the offing.

What to do when a harassment complaint comes to you

Recent data reports that 44 percent of Americans say they have been sexually harassed. And of the men and women who report harassment, a majority say it happened in the workplace.

Hamilton County economic development agency changes mission

The not-for-profit’s board recently approved a new mission—aimed at potential employees, rather than employers—and voted to eliminate the position of CEO and president.

Q&A: Indy Shorts festival offers something for all tastes

Lilly plans IPO for Elanco animal-health unit

The Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company said the division’s headquarters would remain in Greenfield after the spinoff and that no job cuts are planned.


Groups launch planning for redevelopment of White River in Marion, Hamilton counties

Visit Indy, the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development and Visit Hamilton County are leading the effort in partnership with other communities.

In boardrooms or bars, apps translate for travelers

When you’re trying to communicate with a taxi driver in Tokyo or pick the right cold medicine in France, there’s only so much that rudimentary language skills, or a helpful concierge, can do to help.

Indiana ranks 11th in production of bottled wine

A new report found that, from 2011 to 2016, the number of bonded wineries in the state grew nearly 60 percent, to 116. In contrast, the state had just 31 wineries in 2001.

Gamers close to buying out tickets for Gen Con in August

Attendees at this year’s edition of the massive tabletop-gaming confab could top 60,000, with an economic impact as high as $75 million.


Lilly plan to take Elanco public is a win for central Indiana

Editorial: IBJ events season kicks off with Fast 25

Several opportunities are available the rest of this year to sponsor and attend an IBJ event. They’re reasonably priced, and IBJ subscribers get a discount.

Kristin Eilenberg & Stan Crosley: A privacy apocalypse is on the horizon

While the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 targets the protection of personal information of California residents only, the law will have far greater impact in two material ways.

Gerard Scimeca: Regulators, utilities must step up to preserve coal sector

For all the promise of natural gas and other alternative fuel sources, nothing can match coal’s resiliency.

Kristen Cooper: Mental health impacts startups, founders and employees

The overwhelming majority of first-time entrepreneurs regularly deal with stress, anxiety, depression, self-doubt, power dynamics and pervasive negative thoughts.

BOHANON & CUROTT: Raising the minimum wage is not black-and-white issue

Raising the minimum wage increases the cost of low-skilled labor. Inevitably, this reduces the amount of low-skilled labor employed.

HAHN: Finding the sweet spot for claiming Social Security

Even though Congress eliminated some Social Security planning strategies, maximizing lifetime Social Security benefits still can be tricky.

Letter: Transportation museum has plans to keep growing

We are now partnering with other organizations to serve residents and visitors around Indiana and in neighboring states.

In Brief

UPDATE: Indianapolis Public Schools again scales back referendum to win chamber support

The new proposal—which comes after a week of intense negotiations between the district and the chamber—passed 5-0 at a meeting Tuesday night.

Rose-Hulman lands $15M gift for new $29M academic building

The 60,000-square-foot, three-story building is expected to open for the 2021-22 school year and include workspaces, design studios, flexible classrooms and chemistry laboratories.

Fort Wayne attorney appointed special prosecutor in Curtis Hill probe

Attorney Daniel Sigler, who successfully prosecuted former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White, will work with the inspector general and determine if criminal charges are warranted against Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill.

Frito-Lay plans $159M snack-food expansion in Indiana

The nation’s largest snack food company is adding two production lines and about 50 employees to its already-sizable operations about 45 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

Carmel board gives Lucases another month to settle party problems

Forrest and Charlotte Lucas have continued to host big parties, fundraisers and soirees at their West 116th Street estate, despite losing an effort to gain zoning approval for the events.

Area home sales decline amid escalating prices, lower inventory

It was a rare off-month for the market, which has experienced year-over-year sales increases in 27 of the past 32 months.


Una Osili: Lessons for Indiana from the World Cup

The World Cup’s rosters reinforce the benefits of diverse teams in the workplace and society.

Bill Oesterle: When plastic bags win out over people

Local control allows governments to be the laboratory where ideas are conceived and experiments are tested.

Karen Celestino Horseman: Choice. It’s every woman’s right.

My fear is that a woman’s right to choose will die the death of a thousand cuts by the Indiana Legislature.

Ed DeLaney: Valuing incumbency over leadership

Instead of keeping taxes low for everyone, the dynamic has been changed to keeping taxes low for those who have assets.

Jennifer Hallowell: City can’t keep ignoring panhandling downtown

I’m not hard-hearted about helping people who are experiencing homelessness.

Gerry Lanosga: This is no time to keep your mouth shut

Incivility isn’t a crime, and approaching and criticizing an official in a public place is not harassment.

Baron Hill: This trade war is stupid

So has trade been good for Indiana? No doubt it has.

Dana Black: What good is a surplus the state won’t spend?

Yes, we do need a rainy day fund. But … how much more rain do you need?

Anne Hathaway: Lessons learned at the Indiana State Fair

Many of the skills I learned through 4-H are those I still use today, and the 4-H pledge still provides a guideline on how to approach life.

Deborah Hearn Smith: Thoughts on walls and bridges

Let’s change the conversation to building bridges of friendship and hope that all can cross freely.

Leah McGrath: Outdated liquor permits need more than Band-Aid fix

From brunch establishments to steakhouses, most dine-in restaurants need liquor permits to even open their doors.

Adrianne Slash: It’s time to make teens feel appreciated, too

If I didn’t feel welcomed, wanted or encouraged to live, work and play here, I wouldn’t be proud of it, either.

John McDonald: Automation won’t take our jobs unless we let it

There are still plenty of human roles in technologically equipped workplaces.

Special Sections

FAST 25: Execs managing explosive growth talk leadership

Leaders of Fast 25 firms have varied ideas on what leadership traits are most important.

FAST 25: The Garrett Cos.

CEO Eric Garrett said his team of analysts sifts through hundreds of sites a month around the country and identifies desirable locations for apartment projects. 

FAST 25: Administrative Strategies LLC

Administrative Strategies is hired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and insurance companies to provide adjusters to handle homeowners and flood-insurance claims.

FAST 25: SupplyKick LLC

SupplyKick CEO Josh Owens said 2017 was “a spectacular year” for his company, which helps businesses increase their presence and their sales on Amazon, eBay and

FAST 25: Probo Medical

CEO David Trogden said Probo acts “urgently in everything that we do, and the one thing I guarantee anybody coming on board for the first time is: It’s going to be a wild ride.”

FAST 25: The Basement

Co-founder Jacob Leffler said the secret to the company’s success has been its ability to mine data on behalf of its clients and use that information to generate strategic, targeted and effective marketing and advertising campaigns.

FAST 25: Joseph David Advertising LLC

CEO Brad Benbow credits JDA Worldwide’s growth—from $10 million in revenue in 2015 to $34 million in 2017—to becoming the agency of record for the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.

FAST 25: The Annex Group LLC

The company, which started out building student housing at universities that typically were considered commuter schools, is now splitting its projects between student housing and affordable housing in university towns.

FAST 25: iAire LLC

Joe Finkam said if he and his employees “do things right and are able to maintain quality … I think we can” capture 10 percent of the dedicated outdoor air system market.

FAST 25: Phoenix Financial Services LLC

CEO David Hoeft said he likes that Phoenix Financial Services, which collects unpaid debt for other firms, is easily held accountable for its work.

FAST 25: Innovatemap

Innovatemap is a digital-products agency that helps tech companies put the best possible product into the marketplace.

FAST 25: The Etica Group

The Etica Group’s 2017 purchase of Avon-based Parsons Cunningham & Shartle Engineers Inc. more than doubled Etica’s staff and also helped more than double its revenue.

FAST 25: Pondurance

The company's Threat Hunting & Response system is starting to compete with national and global contenders like Cisco and IBM. 

FAST 25: William Roam

Owner Alison Murphy launched William Roam after finding most hotel toiletries unimpressive.

FAST 25: Professional Management Enterprises Inc.

The company provides IT staffing and support, call-center management and other services for a range of clients, including the health insurer Anthem.

FAST 25: SmarterHQ

President and CEO Michael Osborne said adding new customers and getting existing clients to sign up for additional services have triggered the company’s growth.

FAST 25: Formstack LLC

The company has found a huge market for its online forms that automate workflow.

FAST 25: Jay’s Moving Co.

Jay's has grown rapidly since new ownership took over and updated the company's marketing strategy.

FAST 25: Activate Healthcare

Co-founder Debra Geihsler said Activate is in 10 states now and expects to add as many as seven in the next year.

FAST 25: Gemco Constructors LLC

Gemco principal Bill Bates said he strives to make mechanical services turnkey for contractors.

FAST 25: Round Room LLC

CEO Scott Moorehead’s company operates 1,208 cell phone stores, but that's not all it does.

FAST 25: Print Resources

The company’s business model has evolved during its 18 years in business.

FAST 25: Rehab Medical

CEO Patrick McGinley and President Kevin Gearheart said service, speed and compassion are company hallmarks and keys to Rehab Medical’s growth.

FAST 25: DeveloperTown

CEO Michael Kelly said DeveloperTown is now figuring out how it should continue to grow—and whether that means sticking to the Midwest or branching out.

FAST 25: enVista

EnVista has stayed focused on unified commerce, which enables shoppers to buy, receive and return items anywhere and retailers to be able to fulfill orders efficiently.

FAST 25: TMG Construction Management Inc.

Among TMG Construction’s biggest projects last year: It built 12 Taco Bells within four months.


‘Put your eye up to the universe’ at the Goethe Link Observatory

The former research facility in Morgan County reopened in 2012, after being shuttered 24 years, with a new focus on public engagement and education.

Mike Lopresti: Colts coaches were walk-ons, high-jumpers and scholars

The Colts training camp is rolling, but just who are these guys? The coaches, not the players.