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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

April / May 2010

Evansville Business

Satisfaction Guaranteed

The economic downturn hasn’t put smiles on many workers’ faces, but as Lynn Franco, the director of the Consumer Research Center of The Conference Board, points out, job satisfaction has been trending downward for two decades. In a national survey released earlier this year, Conference Board researchers found 45 percent of Americans were satisfied with their work — the lowest number since Ronald Reagan’s presidency. From baby boomers to Gen Yers, growing job dissatisfaction — and loss of interest in their work — has no generational boundaries.

Satisfying Subordinates

If your employees seem dissatisfied with work, you don’t have to cross your fingers and hope they change their attitudes. We asked three human resources leaders at companies recently named to the Best Places to Work in Indiana list how to boost employee productivity, increase innovative risks, and gain a competitive edge.

Building Evansville

Technology Transfer

The mainframe computer in Bob Bottomley’s workspace whirred and hummed, and its metal surface radiated such intense heat that the Evansville computer operator occasionally warmed sandwiches on it. By today’s technological standards, the room-encompassing IBM 360 mainframe computer was laughable. But it fascinated a young David Bottomley, who often visited his father at work with his mother, Janis. “I was impressed by the technology,” Bottomley recalls, “and the size of it.”

Back Talk

Stacey McNeill

Four years ago, news surrounding Casino Aztar was front-page worthy: massive layoffs, revoked state casino licenses, and one big bankruptcy. A displeased Evansville mayor issued complaints about the new owner of the riverboat casino, Bill Yung, who also had casinos in New Jersey and Nevada.

Business Front

Turning the Tables

After our recent 10th anniversary celebration for Evansville Living came to a conclusion, it was again time to roll up our sleeves on the next two deadlines: Home Away From Home, the Ronald McDonald House special magazine and tour guidebook you recently received in your mailbox (then subscribe!), and this issue of Evansville Business.

Iconic Investment

When Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel presented his annual State of the City address in March, he spoke in broad terms about the area’s economy. He also zeroed in on a company with a history of investing in Evansville: Berry Plastics. Weinzapfel applauded the company’s ongoing $150 million expansion “that will lead to the creation of 360 new jobs in the coming years,” he said. “That’s on top of the 250 jobs Berry added when it consolidated its corporate headquarters here. Those jobs could have gone anywhere in the world.”

Wheely Cool

When the private jet flying Magic Johnson touched down in Evansville, Shawn Wittmer stood near his limousine waiting for the basketball legend. The NBA Hall of Famer amicably greeted Wittmer, the driver charged with safely transporting the multimillionaire from the airport to The Centre Downtown to give a speech at the ongoing Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series. Wittmer, the owner of the luxury transportation company Auto Haus, has operated a fleet of limousines since 1992, and Johnson wasn’t the first celebrity Wittmer’s chauffeured.

Signs of Support

On a cold day in February, two volunteers strapped a banner across the pedestrian overpass on the Lloyd Expressway near Harrison High School. Printed in a bold font, the sign’s words told drivers about a Feb. 20 event — the Literacy Center’s biggest fundraiser, the Letters for Literacy Scrabble Tournament.

Dental Records

Next time you step into a dentist’s waiting room and feel those pre-appointment jitters, just think: It could be worse. You could be lying in this partially reclining chair, fenced in by a primitive X-ray machine and a chest of century-old hand tools. That’s the scene in one corner of TriState Family Dental Center’s lobby (960 S. Hebron Ave.), a nod to the history of the profession. For a dental practice that proclaims, “We cater to cowards,” it also reminds fearful patients just how far technology has evolved.

For the Record

“In the heat of a summer night In the land of the dollar bill When the town of Chicago died And they talk about it still” These lyrics from “The Night Chicago Died” still spin ‘round and ‘round in Joe Smith’s head just like the 45 he bought in 1974 for $1. He saw Paper Lace perform on American Bandstand and went wild with excitement. The next day his mom took him to a little shop in Mount Carmel, Ill. He bought the 45 with his allowance money and spun it unmercifully.

Maiden Voyage

When Matthew Nix selected a 15-person team with six full-time members more than a year ago, they undertook a project to create a seaworthy vessel: a yacht with solid cherry walls, a kitchen with granite countertops, a bathroom with a tiled shower and a Jack-and-Jill sink, and a living room with a skylight Nix describes as “giant.” With so many details, Nix says, he dreamed big throughout the project with his nights occupied with thoughts of “building a boat in my sleep and waking up 50 times with measurements and calculations racing through my head.”

Online Exclusives

Back Again

When Casino Aztar recently emerged from bankruptcy, we interviewed Stacey McNeill, the riverboat’s director of marketing for the April/May issue of Evansville Business magazine. Here’s a question we asked McNeill that we didn’t include in the article. For more on this Q&A, check out Back Talk in the current issue (p. 56).