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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

February / March 2014

Evansville Business

Service Above Self

The 1.2 million-member organization of Rotary International had somewhat of a simple start. As most people and businesses do, Paul P. Harris, a Chicago attorney, started rotating to different places to eat lunch with his friends, exchanging ideas, and networking. On Feb. 23, 1905, the Rotary Club of Chicago was born. Less than nine years later, the Rotary Club of Evansville formed on Dec. 9, 1913. The club received its charter on March 1, 1914, which marks this year as its 100th anniversary. To celebrate, the Rotary Club of Evansville is hosting a Gala Centennial Celebration at 5:30 p.m.

Back Talk

Ted C. Ziemer Jr.

Job: Partner in Ziemer, Stayman, Weitzel & Shoulders, LLP and City Attorney for the City of Evansville Hometown: Evansville, Ind.

Business Front

The Rising Tide

Those of you who know me, either personally or through the pages of Evansville Business, know that my oars don’t go too terribly deep into the water so from time to time I afford myself the opportunity to impart random information to clear my mind and help me remember where I left my car keys. So away we go.

The Future of WNIN

Former WNIN president, David Dial, offered words to his successor in the April/May 2013 issue’s “Back Talk” in Evansville Business: “stand tall and be proud of what you’re doing and the people of Evansville will welcome you.” Current president and CEO of WNIN Tri-State Public Media Brad Kimmel took those words seriously when mapping out the changes he had in mind for the station.

Guarding the Campus

When your son or daughter leaves for college, you hope success follows them. But what happens when his car won’t start after a class, a bad asthma attack strikes, or her neighbor decides to act out a scene from Animal House on a Tuesday night? That’s where Sgt. Josh Thomas, 30, and Officer Steve Gibson, 63, come in. Both Evansville natives, they are two of four second-shift public safety officers the University of Southern Indiana employs, trains, and holds accountable for the wellness and safety of their students from the hours of 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. each day.

Giving Back

During a time when funding for local music and arts is dwindling, the Mesker Music Trust ensures they always will be remembered. The trust was created between 1940-1941 with a $250,000 bequest from the estate of George L. Mesker, the founder of George L. Mesker and Co., which is commonly known as Mesker Steel. Its original purpose was to fund “music in Mesker Park or in other parks in the city,” according to the structure of the trust.

Working Well

It all started with a fire. In 1974, Mike Small’s father’s home furniture business burned down the day before Small was set to begin working. Partly because of this fire, Mike found himself in charge of the office furniture department, though it went largely unnoticed in the grand scheme of the business. When Small’s father Ed Small Jr. retired shortly after the fire, he asked his son if he wanted to continue the family business.

Recovery Process

Recovering from the financial crisis of 2007-08 can be like recuperating from a car accident. You might look fine six years later, but your back still aches or your neck still hurts. That’s comparable to buying a house these days. Real estate agents are selling and lenders are lending, but the cascade of home foreclosures that dragged down the national economy several years ago can make it downright painful to go through the mortgage process. Locally, lenders and agents are trying to plow through tighter rules in order to keep the momentum going.

Selling Seafood

Tucked down on the southern end of Green River Road across from what locals still call the Lawndale Shopping Center, Kenneth and Linda Parkman busy themselves each week selling pieces of the Gulf Coast to Evansville. “I want everybody in the area to eat well and eat fresh,” says Kenneth Parkman, who owns Par-K Seafood, speaking with two customers from Henderson, Ky., as they sat down for their meal at his small restaurant. Later, he receives a compliment from the pair: “Those oysters were as good as any I’ve ever gotten down in Florida.”

Lasting Service

When “Elvis left the building,” he sometimes had John F. Maier to thank. Maier, an Evansville native, drove a limousine for the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, during his trips to Evansville in 1972 and 1976. But the icon is far from the only superstar that Maier, owner and founder of Comaier Services, has escorted over the last five decades of the family owned business.

Remote Possibilities

Anyone clearing spam from their email inbox or reading through Craigslist has seen ads peppered with phrases like telecommuting, work from home, freelancing, flexible job, and remote working. These terms refer to work performed outside of the regular workplace, and collectively, they reflect a diverse set of employment scenarios. Telecommuters may be sole proprietors such as contractors, office employees who perform their job duties from home once or twice a week, or remote employees working for a company in another state.

Family Dining

It’s safe to say that Western Rib-Eye & Ribs takes care of its customers like it does its employees. It should — most of them are related. The builders and former owners, Harold and Carolyn Nix, are husband and wife. The current owners are their sons, David and Dan Nix. Two of the servers, Linda Miller and Shannon Whitledge, are sisters. Linda Miller’s husband, Gerald, is the bartender, and most of these employees have had children, nephews, and nieces work at the restaurant.

A Timely Transition

“Being a Butterfield growing up, I always had the expectation I would join the family business.” The family business Jim Butterfield, 57, speaks of is Smith and Butterfield, a local Evansville office furniture and supplies store. After graduating from Evansville Day School, Butterfield, who had grown up in the same East Side Evansville home his entire life, moved to DeLand, Fla., to attend Stetson University in 1975.

Current on Currency

You can’t see them, fold them, drop them in a piggy bank, or even plunk them down on the store counter. Yet Bitcoins (at Bitcoin.com) are the real thing. They were created in 2009 as a way to eliminate credit card fees and bank fees, lower the risk of identity theft, make quicker transactions, and reduce the hassles of converting foreign currency when making international purchases. Users remain anonymous but still make person-to-person transactions over the Internet without the cost of a middleman.

Online Exclusives

Link Up

We’ve missed this little online extra we prepared for several years, so we’re bringing it back. To show how stories in our February/March issue of Evansville Business fit into the broader context of world events, this edition of Link Up brings the Internet to you. No Google search required.