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Real estate regaining importance in recuperating economy

Real estate is an important tool to get our economy back on track, since it drives growth. It, too, will recover as the U.S. economy gets emerges from crisis, according to a new white paper by the National Center for the Middle Market at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and Plante Moran.

The accountants and consultants on Plante Moran’s real estate and construction team considered several factors affecting the industry in their recent “Real Estate Outlook.” They say that while real estate is all about location, it is also about “placemaking.” They observe that “The state of Michigan has MIplace, a place-based initiative, as part of its economic development strategy. Placemaking Chicago is so serious about the strategy that it has developed 11 principles of placemaking. Number one is: ‘The community is the expert.’”

In addition, the report says:“…A park is good. A park with a fountain, playground, and food vendor is better. If there’s a library across the street, that’s better still, even more so if the library offers storytelling hours for kids and local history exhibits. If there is a sidewalk café nearby, a bus stop, a bike path, and an ice cream stand, then you have what most people would consider a great place. The goal for a city is to develop 10 great places and link them so residents and tourists alike can become immersed in the life of the city for days at a time."

Mid-market companies must build supply-chain resiliency

Middle-market firms cannot let glitches in their supply chains make them weak links in their customer’s supply chains. They must learn to adapt, survive and even grow in a changing or turbulent business environment and become more resilient, according to researchers at the National Center for the Middle Market.

Their report says that “resilient companies are prepared not just to weather disasters but also to adapt to dramatically altered environments. In a truly calamitous event, a tsunami, for example, or a terrorist attack, the resilient company can benefit by chugging along while competitors stall or stop. They are also prepared for slower-moving threats.”

Click here to read more.

Diversity conference speaker line-up includes KPMG exec

Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, national managing partner, diversity & corporate responsibility at KPMG, has been added to the line-up of corporate diversity experts who will speak at the Commission on Economic Inclusion’s 2013 Diversity Professionals conference on Tuesday, August 20 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Corporate College East, 4400 Richmond Road. She will discuss current best practices in maintaining a successful talent pipeline.

Hannan’s tenure in the accounting profession reflects close to 30 years of industry expertise and a series of leadership roles within KPMG. Admitted to the partnership in 1994, she served as the Midwest partner-in-charge of international services, partner-in-charge of Chicago Metro-Tax Practice, vice chair of human resources, and Midwest area managing partner of tax services prior to her appointment in 2009 to her current role.

Her commitment to diversity and inclusion has been broadly visible within the firm. She founded KPMG’s Women’s Advisory Board in 2003 and serves as the current co-chair for the Diversity Advisory Board. Her national influence provides strategic direction to leverage diversity and corporate responsibility as engines of enterprise sustainability. She has been a change agent for strategies that retain, develop, and promote high performing diverse talent as well as establishing key performance indicators to measure the firm’s progress.

Hannan is part of an impressive group of corporate diversity executives presenting at the conference, who represent companies on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list. They include keynote speaker Dr. Rohini Anand, senior vice president and global chief diversity officer at Sodexho, and Jim Norman, vice president, diversity, for Kraft Foods. Sodexho is No. 1, Kraft is No. 18 and KMPG is No. 23. In addition, Shirley Engelmeier, CEO and Founder of InclusionINC, will discuss incorporating impactful diversity and inclusion metrics into business strategies.

Click here to learn more about the conference.

Your Port, your benefits

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority benefits residents of Cuyahoga County through its investments in economic development, its work that helps keep our waterways cleaner and safer and by turning residents’ small public investment into enormous amount of economic activity.

For example, when you and your family visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, or PlayhouseSquare, you are visiting an institution that benefited from private investment that Port Authority brought into our community.

When you’re boating, you’re enjoying waterways that are cleaner and safer, thanks to the Port removing tons of floating debris from the water. This year, since May, the debris harvester vessels Flotsam and Jetsam collected 134 tons of debris—tree parts, branches, and street trash—which was placed in bagsters, and another 50 tons of large logs that were towed to shore and harvested for mulch.

And our community benefits from the tremendous economic boost the Port generates by turning their small public investment into essential support for an enormous amount of economic activity. The Port takes the $3.50 that property owners pay per year for every $100,000 in property value and turns it into $1,967 in economic impact. Through the Port, taxpayers buy nearly $2,000 in economic impact for just $3.50!

Learn about the levy

The Port’s countywide renewal levy, which will be on the ballot in November, will allow it to continue to “build up Greater Cleveland. Proceeds will be used to sustain and advance strategic initiatives that are essential to protecting and growing the nearly 18,000 jobs and $1.8 billion in annual economic activity that depend on Cleveland Harbor. Renewing the Port Authority levy will not increase taxes; the tax rate would remain at 0.13 mills, which is the same rate set in 1968 when the Port Authority was created and is the smallest countywide tax levy in Cuyahoga County. 

GCP honored for support of Cleveland public schools

The Greater Cleveland Partnership has been honored by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) with a “Five Star General” award for “outstanding commitment to the pursuit of excellence and academic achievement for the students of the CMSD.” The award was presented at the district’s sixth annual Army of Believers Scholarship Luncheon on August 2.

In 2012, GCP played a leadership role in helping secure passage of the state legislation needed to support Mayor Frank Jackson’s “Cleveland Plan” to dramatically improve public education in the City of Cleveland. GCP also mobilized the business community’s involvement on behalf of the Cleveland schools levy, which voters approved last November. 

Learn how successful manufacturers create new value

Mid-sized manufacturers are invited to complete the 2013 Next Generation Manufacturing (NGM) Study, which will provide an opportunity to compare themselves to similar manufacturers in key strategic areas. The study will outline how successful manufacturers create new value by identifying top performances and best practices necessary for world-class status. It’s free, quick and confidential, and respondents are not required to share financial information.

After completing the survey, manufacturers will receive a Performance Report or “scorecard” that describes how they rank against world-class performance benchmarks and targets improvements where needed. The study also provides stakeholders information on the status and metrics of manufacturing in America.

The online survey must be completed by Thursday, August 29. You also can download a PDF of the NGM questionnaire and mail it to NGMS, P.O. Box 4330, Dublin, OH 43016, or fax to 614.389.3816.

Get to work by going green

The Green Initiative Committee of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) will hold its fifth annual David Webster Greener Way to Work Day on Monday, September 23, which encourages Greater Clevelanders to find greener ways to travel to work, whether by taking RTA, biking or carpooling.

The day also features a noon luncheon at the CMBA offices to recognize law offices that have taken steps to become CMBA Green or Green+ Certified and presentation of the CMBA Green Innovation Award, which recognizes a firm/office that has taken action toward sustainability that goes beyond the requirements for CMBA Green Certification.