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Local business owner gets face time with Facebook

Published: Monday, April 16, 2018 @ 9:24 AM


            FILE
FILE

Jonah Sandler, co-founder of the Scene 75 indoor entertainment centers in Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland — and soon, Pittsburgh, Pa. — recently traveled to Facebook Inc.’s Menlo Park, Calif. headquarters to rub elbows with company executives and fellow entrepreneurs.

His mission: Help Facebook help people like him.

Sandler is a member of a Facebook Small Business Advisory Council, giving Facebook feedback on how Scene 75 uses the social media tool. He views Facebook as a key marketing partner that helped put his centers on the map.

Facebook flew the approximately 45 member-business owners out to the seminar, Sandler said.

About four and a-half years ago, Sandler was invited to be part of Facebook’s council for small- and medium-sized businesses. In the first year it was created, the council was led by the head of Facebook’s small business division, and Sandler was part of that council’s inaugural formation.

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The council and the seminar show how important such businesses are to the social network — and the importance of Facebook itself to those businesses, Sandler said.

“It has been a very, very powerful tool,” he said.

Every year, Facebook has added a dozen member-businesses to the council. Today, there are some 60 businesses from across the country on the council.

“This was a reunion of sorts,” Sandler said.

He credits Facebook advertising with helping to attract attention to his first Scene 75 entertainment center, off Interstate 75 and Poe Avenue, in 2012 before it even opened.

In Sandler’s first year as a member, Scene 75 had about 23,000 Facebook fans. Today, his Dayton center’s page has more than 82,000 “likes,” and the pages for his other centers easily have more than 50,000 fans.

In Menlo Park, Sandler said, business owners were able to share with the social media giant what they were doing to drive results through the platform.

While there was socializing going on, there was also a good bit of work, he said.

“They did a number of presentations for our group,” Sandler said. “We then had break-out sessions to learn about about different pieces of Facebook, Instagram, etc.”

On the second day, members got a chance to meet Facebook founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg himself.

Zuckerberg spoke with the group, took “one or two questions” from the audience, and moved on, Sandler said.

Zuckerberg did not address any of the recent controversies in which the web giant finds itself embroiled. The company has been hounded by criticism and scrutiny in recent months after reports that Russian-backed groups used the network to create chaos before and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Just last week, the 33-year-old CEO testified before Congress.

“They didn’t dive into any of that,” Sandler said. “It was more about sharing the vision of a connected world.”

Still, Sandler added, “It just goes to show you the importance of the group to Facebook that he would spend some time with us.”

Sandler will open a Pittsburgh, Pa.-area Scene center this summer. He envisions a time when he will find a partner to help him truly go national, but he has no definite timeline yet for that.

The four Scene centers will have a total of about 500 employees. Sandler would not disclose sales or revenue, but he said attendance has been strong at all of his centers.

“In each market that we’re in, we’re a top five-most visited attraction,” he said. The centers have anywhere from 250,000 to 300,000 visitors a year, per location, he added.

A message seeking comment was sent to Facebook.

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Concern grows over locally made engine

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 8:52 AM

A CFM56 engine built by CFM International in West Chester Twp. is readied for installation on the A320 final assembly line at an Airbus factory in this 2014 photo. CONTRIBUTED.
A CFM56 engine built by CFM International in West Chester Twp. is readied for installation on the A320 final assembly line at an Airbus factory in this 2014 photo. CONTRIBUTED.

The Boeing aircraft engine made by a company based in the Greater Cincinnati area, CFM International, is getting increasing scrutiny.

CFM late last week issued a new service bulletin to operators of CFM56-7B engines, which power the Boeing Next-Generation 737. It calls for inspections of fan blades on engines that have been in service for a long time.

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The European Aviation Safety Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration have each issued emergency airworthiness directives calling for inspections of fan blades on CFM56-7B engines.

This has wide ramifications.

Southwest Airlines is cancelling about one percent of its flights due to the need for inspections. About 40 flights have been impacted, a media report said.

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Last week, an affected Southwest Boeing 737 took off Tuesday from New York, headed for Dallas. About 20 minutes into the flight, at an altitude of about 32,500 feet, a fan blade broke off the engine and shrapnel shattered a window.

A passenger on that flight, Jennifer Riordan, 43, was sucked part of the way out of the broken window and pulled back inside by fellow passengers.

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The engine in question is assembled in the GE-Evendale plant and by Snecma in Villaroche, France.

CFM, which has offices in West Chester Twp., is a joint venture of French firm Snecma and GE.

A message seeking comment was sent to spokespeople for GE and CFM.

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Sears to close another store in Ohio

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 8:47 AM


            FILE
FILE

Sears will close another store in Ohio.

The stores will close in July and liquidation sales will begin on Friday at most stores, Business Insider reported. Sears at 7401 Market St. in Youngstown, Ohio will close. The latest closures add to the list of the 166 stores that Sears had previously said it would shut down this year.

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Sears Holdings, which owns Kmart and Sears stores, informed associates that another 45 Kmart stores and 18 Sears stores will close in late January. Five Kmart locations in Ohio were identified as impacted stores. The impacted Ohio stores are located in St. Mary’s, Cleveland, Oregon, Austintown and Hillsboro.

Sears has several locations in the Miami Valley, including anchor stores at the Dayton Mall and the Mall at Fairfield Commons and the Miami Valley Centre Mall in Piqua. All local Kmart stores have already closed.

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Companies from across the world travel to new area plant: See why

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

Manufacturing technician Adam Fox, left, and international sales representative Ralf Schuerl prepare centerless grinding machine parts for display at United Grinding. The company celebrated the opening of its new North American Headquarters in Miamisburg on April 17, 2018. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Ty Greenlees
Manufacturing technician Adam Fox, left, and international sales representative Ralf Schuerl prepare centerless grinding machine parts for display at United Grinding. The company celebrated the opening of its new North American Headquarters in Miamisburg on April 17, 2018. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Ty Greenlees)

At home in its new $13 million headquarters for six months, United Grinding showcased its new building in Miami Twp. to the rest of the world last week.

The company opened the doors to its 2100 United Grinding Blvd. (found off Old Byers Road) home to about 300 people from America, Europe and elsewhere over two days last week. 

The occasion — the company’s “The Artistry of the Grinding Universe” event, showcasing the latest in precision metal-shaping machines and techniques.

Owned by German company Korber Solutions, United Grinding drew representatives from fellow Korber-owned brands as well as customers for the technology showcase.

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United Grinding celebrated the opening of its new North American Headquarters in Miamisburg on April 17, 2018. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Staff Writer)

The 110,00-square-foot building appears to be made for showcasing, with a good chunk of it set aside as a permanent showroom. Here, visitors can see Walter, Studer, EWAG and Blohm machines and learn the latest ways to strengthen quality and speed production.

United Grinding has about 140 Miamisburg employees. (About 30 employees are based elsewhere.) The company moved from Earl Boulevard — and consolidated a sister location in Virginia — to the current site just west of southbound Interstate 75.

The move involved incentives exceeding $18 million in investments and incentives, including a Montgomery County ED/GE (Economic Development/Government Equity) grant.

The company serves customers in aerospace, automotive, medical, tool and die and other industries.

Andreas Steiner, automation engineer, prepares a universal grinder at United Grinding. United Grinding celebrated the opening of its new North American Headquarters in Miamisburg on April 17, 2018. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Staff Writer)

“We wanted to have all of our employees as much as possible under one roof,” Steve Jacobson, United Grinding president and chief executive, said.

“This area of the Midwest is our hub zone, if you will,” he added. “The majority of our business — about 60 to 70 percent of our business — is located within about six hours’ drive of our location.”

And why is metal shaping considered an “artistry?”

Because parts need to be perfect, and they need to be made perfectly more than once. Customers bring parts to United Grinding for a proof of concept or demonstration, and those typically are the most challenging parts they produce, the CEO said.

At United Grinding, customers see whether they can make the parts faster, less expensively or with greater quality.

Walk around the building, and you’ll see several appearances of the German acronym “Puls” — which stands for “passion and precision,” said Jacob Baldwin, a United Grinding spokesman.

Steve Jacobson, president and CEO of United Grinding which celebrated the opening of its new North American Headquarters in Miamisburg on April 17, 2018. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Staff Writer)

“It’s a combination of not only engineering, but art that goes into the design and development of a part,” Jacobson said. “Of course, if that happens with a part, you need a process that mimics the same way (for additional production).”

As a European company, United Grinding has a strong corporate identity, Jacobson said. “There’s an art theme there, when you look around and see how we designed the building. Not only for functionality, but it looks like a nice building,” he said.

United Grinding celebrated the opening of its new North American Headquarters in Miamisburg on April 17, 2018. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Staff Writer)
Anyone familiar with a Korber building in another part of the world — say, in Bern, Switzerland — will recognize common features in the Miamisburg building, Baldwin said.

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Dream internship: Harley-Davidson seeks college students to ride across America

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 2:36 PM

MILWAUKEE, WI- SEPTEMBER 1:  The headquarters of Harley-Davidson sits nearly empty September 1, 2003 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.   (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images
MILWAUKEE, WI- SEPTEMBER 1: The headquarters of Harley-Davidson sits nearly empty September 1, 2003 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Harley-Davidson is seeking a select group of college students who are eager for an internship on two wheels.

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The motorcycle company's #FindYourFreedom internship is going viral, and for good reason. The 12-week paid internship involves riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle across the country this summer. The best perk of all? Interns who complete the program get to keep the motorcycle.

Full requirements for the internship can be found on Harley-Davidson's website. In addition to riding across the country, interns will be expected to attend company events along the way, post scenes from the journey on social media and serve as  brand ambassadors, recruiting others into the sport of motorcycling.

Applicants who don't know how to ride a motorcycle will be required to take a course offered by Harley-Davidson Riding Academy.

The internship is open to college juniors and seniors who are at least 18 years old and are interested in marketing and public relations. Creative applications are encouraged.

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