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Friday, August 19, 2022

February / March 2013

Evansville Business

Far Sighted

This is surely not the smartest time to be running an institution of higher learning. An economy still reeling from the 2008 recession means alumni must dig deeper to donate. Parents are contributing less than planned toward their children’s college expenses. Students are facing loan debts that have reached $1 trillion, surpassing our nation’s credit card bill. Parents and students alike are demanding that colleges produce more than a diploma on graduation day. They want jobs, and they want them now.

Building Evansville

Time for an Overhaul

When Doug Duell and his family purchased the Evansville Hyundai auto dealership in February 2011, they knew the facility lacked individual offices in which to conduct business. There were other problems, too. The tiny, dated showroom could only hold two vehicles, and salespeople had only one room for all their personal items.

Back Talk

Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann

JOB: Lieutenant Governor of Indiana HOMETOWN: Ferdinand, Ind. HER RESUME: A Purdue-trained industrial engineer, Sue Ellspermann spent her early career working for AC Spark Plug, Michelin, and Frito-Lay, before returning to Evansville to start a consulting business, specializing in creative problem-solving. In 2006, after earning her Ph.D, she launched the University of Southern Indiana’s Center for Applied Research.

Business Front

Malaki One

Like most of you reading this, I am not blessed with much in the way of “spare time.” So when I have a few moments when I am not booked either personally or professionally, I try hard to keep it that way. That doesn’t seem to be working out too well. “Busy” people are busy because they have many hobbies and professional and family life obligations. And for me, on top of everything else, there is coaching youth sports.

Signed and Sealed

In 1957, Arthur and Benita Valiant moved to Evansville, Ind., with bright eyes and a deep aspiration for entrepreneurship. At the time, no local business offered same-day service on rubber stamp orders. In fact, it generally took two weeks to fulfill a single order. Yet Arthur Valiant was confident he could speed up that process, and in a small office on Main Street, he and his wife began the rubber stamp manufacturing company Valiant Marking Products.

A Working History

If you want to know about Evansville’s past, just take a walk along the History Wall. The roughly 60-foot piece located inside the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana is a pictorial progression of industry and community in Evansville. Completed last August, the wall begins its story in 1803, when Meriwether Lewis first launched along the Ohio River to pick up William Clark for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It ends at the 2011 construction of the Ford Center.


Whose Site Is It? These days, people want direct access to see replays of the diving catch made in the outfield or the thunderous dunk from the night before. That’s why the University of Southern Indiana has redesigned its Screaming Eagles website. Sports fans who visit gousieagles.com have direct access to the university’s seven men’s and eight women’s athletic teams.

Budgeting for Success

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence told the Downtown Evansville Kiwanis Club on Jan. 31 that Indiana is poised for an era of growth and opportunity. “We are the fiscal envy of the country,” he said to a supportive audience at Casino Aztar. “(We are) one of only nine states in America that has a AAA bond rating. And we have the largest budget surplus in our state’s history.” While in the Tri-State, Pence also visited Vuteq, a Toyota supplier in Gibson County that is planning a $4.3 million plant expansion and the addition of up to 93 jobs.

Charting the Course

Tom Austerman knows the challenge of bumpy roads. More importantly, he doesn’t let them stop him. As the president and CEO of Evansville Commerce Bank, Austerman could have walked away from his community bank during the height of the recession. At the time, Capital Bancorp Ltd. owned 51 percent of the bank he’d started from scratch. There was a real chance that Evansville Commerce Bank would be restructured and sold. Yet Austerman held on, sticking to the Apollo 13 commandment of “Failure is not an option.”

Ideas on Tap

Andy Perry stands in front of 30 other entrepreneurs and investors in a side room of Smitty’s Italian Steakhouse on Evansville’s West Side. He’s there to explain the process that led him and fellow Evansville native Steve Suhrheinrich to co-found a company called Curvo Labs. The company, itself a startup, builds a new platform for hospitals, surgery centers, and medical device companies to connect and find winning business opportunities.

Risky Business

The good ol’ mutual fund, that basic investment product that most of us rely on to grow our 401(k) or IRA, is under increasing attack. Its competition comes from exchange traded funds, which turn 20 years old in 2013 but still draw blank stares from many otherwise savvy investors. Mutual funds and ETFs share the core concept of reducing risk by putting many different investments in one fund. Instead of betting the bulk of your savings on the stock of three or four companies (risky), a single mutual fund or ETF might own hundreds of different stocks (less risky).

Bridging the Gap

Janet Meisler and her husband, Don, know what it feels like to stand on the Evansville Regional Airport tarmac in the pouring rain. So does Denise Johnson, who’s weathered the tarmac’s snow and ice as she’s waited to board a plane. But thanks to four new jet bridges – two per concourse – these travelers are now able to walk directly from the gate to the airplane within the comforts of a sheltered hallway.

60 Second Business Strategy

Hack Attack

Hackers are constantly on the lookout to steal valuable data. They search for and often sell personal information, financial records, or intellectual property. President of Evansville-based On-Site Computer Solutions John LaFief gives a few helpful tips for protecting your business against digital thieves.