From an early age in my life, I have always enjoyed watching people. My mother called it “people watching,” and she enjoyed it, too. It is hard to tell whether I picked up this activity from my mother, or if I simply enjoy the same thing she does. While this nature versus nurture question will prove to be an interesting debate for ages to come, there have been times in my life that pointed heavily to the nurture side of the argument.
While browsing through a bookstore, I overheard a conversation between a 10-year-old child and his parents. He was holding a book in his hand and carried an expression that led me to believe he had just asked if he could buy it. The insidiously sharp rebuke that followed drew my attention instantly.
“We don’t have enough money for that,” the mother said abruptly. While her reply was directed at her child, I couldn’t help but sense it was also directed at herself and at her husband. Her matter-of-fact response seemed to be chastising her situation, rather than simply the child’s question.
The child’s innocent hope dissolved into disappointment as he longingly looked at the cover of the book in his hand. After a few moments, his eyes returned to meet his mother’s. The book fell slowly to his side, his fingers barely gripping it.
The mother continued, “We don’t have money to just go around buying every little thing we want.” The father nodded in agreement. Again, my attention was drawn to the boy, who stood there, absorbing each and every word thrown at him. He looked completely defeated.
If you think this experience is perfectly normal, well, you’re right. However, normal does not mean necessary. We have grown comfortable with negativity. We have grown comfortable finding reasons why we cannot, or should not, do or have a particular thing. These negative affirmations are so constant and comfortable to us that we have started to confuse them with our own thoughts.
In business, especially, negativity flows unfiltered. It streams through our daily tasks, customer interactions, and consumes our meetings. In fact, most meetings center on how we have fallen short. We spend hours talking about our low sales numbers, unfair competitors and limited means. We point fingers and give fault rather than finding ways to make a positive change now.
With this negativity, we allow our greatest ideas, aspirations and solutions to be silenced. We sit through negative meetings and choose to accept every negative word. We leave frustrated and unhappy with our colleagues, our jobs and ourselves. We settle for how things are, instead of working toward what they can be.
Our inner voice of reason should never be synonymous with negativity. When we stop believing positive things could be ours, we stop trying to achieve them. Negativity stifles the possibility of great things and the creativity to make them happen. We can, and should, see and hear the possibilities instead of the limitations. When we allow optimism to grow, we open our minds to finding ways to make great things happen.
When you choose to see the positive in every situation, you will begin to grow and prosper in your business, and become a positive change agent in your company. You will have a renewed appreciation for your job and the colleagues around you. You will suddenly find yourself making more friends, more sales and more money.
It’s unfortunate that a 10-year-old’s head was filled with negativity about such a promising question. However, as an adult, you have no excuses. You choose how you react to different situations. You choose what you think and allow into your head. Take control of your mind. Clean up the mental pollution of negative thoughts. Make room for positive thoughts that will lead you to a positive and profitable career.
Tom Richard is a Toledo-based sales trainer, gives seminars, runs sales meetings and provides coaching for salespeople. For more information, visit www.TomRichard.com, call (419) 441-1005 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Archive for May, 2007
SSOE Inc., one of the nation’s largest architecture and engineering firms, is growing dramatically here in Toledo, across the country and around the globe as far away as China.
“SSOE grew by 30 percent in 2006, compared to 17 percent growth in a growing industry. The firm increased business in every market segment driven by growth in the biofuel, chemical, food and industrial markets,” Tony Damon, SSOE president, said. “We have good market and geographic diversity that has driven our growth.”
Due to that business increase, SSOE recently launched a nationwide recruitment effort to hire 200 employees in 2007. Fifty of those new hires are expected to be based at the company’s headquarters in Downtown Toledo.
Damon said much of the architectural and engineering work done for projects in the Great Lakes region and across the country is imported into the Toledo office.
The openings include positions for architects, engineers in all fields and support staff. The average annual salary for professional architectural and engineering jobs is $60,000.
“There is a significant shortage of process engineers, especially in the bio, chemical and energy fields,” said Vincent DiPofi, senior vice president, who heads up the agri-fuels business unit at SSOE.
“We have already hired a large number of engineers, many from the University of Toledo — bright, energetic young engineers who want to stay in Toledo with SSOE and travel across the country and around the world working on projects,” DiPofi said.
He said SSOE has a good partnership with UT to hire top engineering graduates and student interns. The firm employed 55 student interns last summer and plans to hire more this summer.
Damon said SSOE is contributing to the “brain gain” for the Toledo area. The firm employs more than 500 professionals at its Toledo headquarters and an additional 300 in 15 satellite offices.
The company recently hired a top recruitment specialist, Matthew Roose, to support efforts to hire the additional staff in 2007. Roose has 10 years of technical recruiting experience for Fortune 500 companies.
SSOE is adapting the skills of existing employees from the Rust Belt area into new technologies such as biofuels and alternative energy, DiPofi said. The company is working with Dow Chemical on development of high-purity silica for solar cells and control panel design and fabrication for First Solar of Perrysburg.
Biofuels and other alternative energy fields are one of the firm’s biggest areas of growth. SSOE is working on eight bio-fuel plants that are currently in the design or construction stages.
The firm has set nearly a $5million revenue goal from biofuel business in 2007. About 50 employees are actively engaged in biofuel work at this time, DiPofi said.
SSOE is working on projects for two local clients, designing facilities for American Biodiesel of Oregon and Rossford’s Buckeye Biopower. It also contributed the engineering design for Go Ethanol’s plant in Lima that is under construction.
The company helped design the first plant to produce biodiesel fuel in Iowa. It has designed additional facilities for ethanol and biodiesel production in Iowa, Hawaii, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota.
SSOE has a partnership with a construction firm, NewMech, to provide the biofuels market with design/build solutions. Another partnership with a processing company, CoreVentures, combines efforts to offer turnkey project delivery for ethanol and biodiesel facilities.
“We provide economies of scale by selling a whole plant to customers that don’t have experience in engineering and project management. We think there are a lot of advantages to that,” DiPofi said.
SSOE also has a patent pending for a biodiesel process that will save space and energy in the production of biodiesel fuel, Damon said. Since the process will not water wash the biodiesel, it saves the energy needed to dry the biodiesel along with the space and cost of the dryer.
Engineers at SSOE are now using computer design technology to create drawings for projects such as the biodiesel plant in Lima. Once their clients, contractors and partners have the same capabilities, they can reduce costs by reusing design technology for that industry, DiPofi said.
The company is expected to invest more than $1 million in new equipment and technology at its Toledo headquarters in the next few years. It modified its existing facility at a cost of $450,000 to create space for additional production capacity.
In order to create the additional space, the firm moved its executive and administrative management personnel to 13,750 square feet of offices space in the Hylant Building. SSOE was located in the former LOF Building before its headquarters at 1001 Madison Ave. opened in 1976.
SSOE was awarded a 60 percent tax credit from the Ohio Department of Development for a six-year term to expand its facilities and purchase additional equipment. The value of the tax credit is estimated at $1 million over the term provided the company maintains operations at the Toledo location for 12 years.
The perception of the blue-collar worker is being shattered. Often defined as someone who performs manual labor for an hourly wage, the blue-collar worker of yesteryear has evolved.
In many cases, today’s blue-collar worker — previously synonymous with manufacturing jobs — has become networked, laptop savvy, highly trained and wireless. Thus, blue collar is being redefined in today’s technology-driven world.
Traditionally the mainstay of our region, blue-collar workers have become adept in such areas as computer programming and Web-based systems, and maintain a skill set that is higher than in days past, said Todd Michaelsen, manager of the Electrical Contractors Association Ohio/Michigan Chapter, an organization with 3 million man hours of work per year.
“Production is far superior to what it used to be. The myth that the blue-collar worker isn’t using his or her mind has been dispelled,” Michaelsen said. “Blue-collar workers of today must possess intelligence, problem solving skills and technical skills because technology has been integrated into their jobs.”
Conversely, the Regional Growth Partnership reports our region continues on the path of entrepreneurial high tech start-up companies that, at their core, are dependent upon blue-collar workers.
Not only are companies that were once unilaterally manufacturing finding themselves information-technology dependent, but also tech start-ups are finding themselves needing the partnership of the newly skilled blue-collar work force.
Case in point: Tom Sheperak started Energystics Technologies in Swanton in 1998. The company has developed a unique technology called “energy beam technology,” which couples electricity with material to sterilize, dry, vaporize or coat in such industries as the manufacturing of solar panels.
“This new energy beam tool can be plugged into the industrial process and offers significant cost savings in this process. This allows us to expand into manufacturing operations and to re-employ those who have lost core manufacturing jobs in our region,” Sheperak said.
Although Energystics Technologies is a high-tech firm, the company sees its partners as manufacturers.
“Through the development of this technology, there will be more companies making solar panels and using this energy beam technology, which means more manufacturing in this area. Things still have to be made, and if we can provide the technology to make the manufacturing process more affordable, we’ve made an impact,” Sheperak said.
According to the State of Ohio’s Bureau of Labor Market Information, the authoritative source for labor data in Ohio, between 2000 and 2005, the Toledo metropolitan area [Lucas, Fulton, Ottawa and Wood counties] lost 10,583 jobs in manufacturing industries, which includes not only production workers, but also engineers and other occupations. Between 2000 and 2005, the Toledo metropolitan area lost 131 manufacturing establishments.
“This leaves our region with unemployed workers who would be ideal for manufacturing related to high-tech start-up firms like Energystics Technologies,” Sheperak said.
Michaelsen said workers today have a higher level of education in their trades and must spend years training in order to operate “smart systems” within an organization, including technologically savvy security, firewall, computer and multimedia systems.
“We’re living in a very different time where traditional skills apply, but today our workers’ roles have been stepped up, with computers, systems and fiber optics all changing the way we work,” Michaelsen said. “We tell our workers that they will have ongoing training for the rest of their lives to keep up with the changing face of technology.”
Has blue collar gone high tech or has high tech gone blue collar? You be the judge.
Kristine Hoffman is host and executive producer of “Business 360,” which airs every Monday and Friday evening on WGTE-TV, during PBS’ “Nightly Business Report.”
By Caitlin Wright
Special to Toledo Free Press
Kim Kaplan of K-Limited burned rubber through the male-dominated trucking industry recently when she was honored as the first woman to receive the Trucking Professional of the Year Award.
Kaplan is the chief operating officer, president and 60 percent owner of K-Limited, a trucking and distributing company founded in 1997 in Perrysburg. Although there is a growing number of women in the trucking industry in management and sales, female involvement in ownership is relatively rare, Kaplan said.
“I was truly, truly honored to receive the award. It’s very prestigious and really makes a statement. I respect the others who have won in the past and it shows a great amount of respect shown to me, especially because I am the first woman,” Kaplan said.
Kaplan was nominated by her peers and chosen by the Toledo Transportation Club. Many of Kaplan’s co-workers were not surprised to hear of Kaplan’s award, citing her vibrancy and the sense of unity she brings to the workplace.
“There is not a better woman out there that could have won this award. She’s taken this company, made it her own and made it successful,” Safety Manager and co-worker Nedal Awada-Krnas said. “Not only does she have 30 years experience, but she’s been able to continue to succeed and uphold an accessible attitude in a volatile and male-dominated industry.”
Kaplan handles the largest responsibilities, including all operations, customer services, contracts, client negotiations, financial and insurance issues and dispatch, but co-workers say she remains humble about her contributions.
Kaplan credits much of K-Limited’s success to its family and teamwork-oriented nature. She started working for her now-husband Dean’s parents’ trucking company, then worked for Fleeceway for 16 years. At Fleeceway, she started in dispatch and worked her way up to management positions.
When Fleeceway went out of business in January 1997, Dean and she decided to start their own trucking company. With the sponsorship of Sunoco, they began with five trucks and the customer base Kaplan had built in her former jobs.
K-Limited grew much faster than the Kaplans had anticipated and expanded to run operations from Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia as well as maintain headquarters in Toledo. With this year as its tenth anniversary, K-Limited is operating 70 trucks and 125 trailers, but plans to keep its customer base relatively small.
“A lot of our success can also be contributed to our control growth; we don’t want to be everything to everybody, we want to provide the safest and best possible service for our employers,” Kaplan said.
Even when she lived far from the city, Toledo had always been in Tamara Bumpus’ yearly itinerary during her odyssey to the coasts.
“Whenever I needed to get my hair done, I’d fly back to Toledo to my hairdresser,” Bumpus said.
A 42-year-old registered nurse with a Master of Science in Nursing, Bumpus works at the UT Health Center in the post-anesthesia care unit.
Bumpus said she loves Toledo, but said the city also has its downsides. Local politics are a negative point of living in Toledo, Bumpus said.
“I get tired of all the infighting in local politics,” Bumpus said. “It appears if they worked together instead of airing their dirty laundry, they could get something accomplished.”
Bumpus is a Toledo native. She first left the city in the 1980s to pursue a modeling career in Chicago. She returned to Toledo and worked at General Mills and later Chrysler until 2000. During that time, she lived in Monterey, Calif., for 11 months during the First Gulf War to learn Russian for the U.S. Air Force as a cryptologic linguist specialist.
“[Monterey] reminded me of Toledo, just without the snow,” Bumpus said. “They have a lot of summer festivals and they’ve got a lot of art, a lot of music and a lot of different groups of cultures.”
A self-described “yo-yo” traveler, she lived in Portland, Maine, in 2002. She said the city had an open drug abuse condition.
“We have drug problems here, but I don’t see people laying on the stoop in the main street,” Bumpus said.
She said Portland had a higher cost of living and less to do than Toledo.
“They have a way better marketing manager, because I think Toledo has way more to offer,” Bumpus said.
Toledo has a wide range of opportunities, she said.
“There’s a lot of amenities here, we’ve got restaurants from A to Z, cultures from A to Z and festivals from A to Z,” Bumpus said.
The city has a good cost of living and location as well, she said.
“It’s inexpensive,” Bumpus said. “You get a lot of house for your money, and if you really have to travel somewhere, I’ve got Toledo Express Airport and I’ve got Detroit Metro Airport.”
Bumpus said even outside career offers cannot lure her from her hometown.
“At this point in my life, I could go anywhere in the U.S., I get offers all the time,” Bumpus said. “It’s a good place for me and my daughter.”
She said she does not believe a brain drain exists. A desire to try someplace new tempts young Toledoans out of the city, Bumpus said.
“I went away, but I came back,” Bumpus said. “I guess you just want to try something different — how do you appreciate what you have unless you try something else?”
In the Northern Lakes League, the name Shaun Joplin immediately sparks up talk of high school boys basketball.
The 6-foot-2-inch sophomore son of UT basketball coach Stan Joplin has starred on the young, but talented Sylvania Southview Cougars varsity team for the last two years and is sure to be a prominent local fixture in the sport for the next two.
But Joplin is making a more profound impact for the 2007 NLL-champion Cougars’ track and field team despite having only participated in the sport for six weeks.
Joplin entered the spring sports season as a member of the Southview baseball team before he accepted the offer of decorated Cougar track and football coach Lee Boyer.
“We tried to encourage him to take part in track last year and that never panned out,” Boyer said. “This winter I approached him again and told him we could really use him in the jumping events, and he told me he’d consider it.”
Joplin didn’t take the bait right away.
“I didn’t do track last year because I was spending most of my time in basketball,” Joplin said. “This year I felt like I wanted to try baseball.”
Joplin cited an ultimatum from his father as one of the reasons he made a brief stint on the diamond.
“My dad told me if I didn’t give up baseball that he’d take me out of AAU [basketball],” Joplin said.
Joplin gave in and made the leap to the track. His father and Boyer turned out to be right.
In mid-April, Joplin immediately picked up the techniques of the high jump and the long jump. He has since made the swift rise to league champion in both events.
Joplin’s surprise arrival on the oval and subsequent success may have single-handedly pushed the Cougars over the top in the recent NLL track meet. His victory in the two events provided 20 points to his team’s total score.
Joplin then went on to win his first district title at St. Francis de Sales High School in the long jump last week with a top distance of 21-1 1/4. He took runner-up in the high jump, but still qualified in both events for regional competition.
Joplin already set the Southview school record in the high jump with a season-best height of 6-7 at the recent Oregon Clay Eagle Invitational and glided well over 20 feet in his first meet competition after only four practices.
Boyer said Joplin’s grasp of the jump events comes as no surprise.
“Shaun has a natural ability to pick things up and a desire to learn. He’s not afraid to ask questions,” Boyer said. “He can jump out of the gym. It wasn’t rocket science to see that Shaun could be a great high jumper and long jumper.”
Joplin is not only expected to continue being a star in basketball and track, but football as well. Boyer said he believes Joplin will become an area household name during the fall when he may emerge on the gridiron as a top-flight wideout with the Southview varsity football team.
Joplin expressed excitement about his third sport.
“Football’s going to be fun because I’m taller than most defensive backs and I’ll be able to get up higher in the air,” he said.
But for now the emerging three-sport star is concentrating on taking his newfound spring sport ability to the next level.
There’s this episode of “The Simpsons” where Bart becomes a model student and Lisa spirals downward into juvenile delinquency. Homer sighs, “We always have one good kid and one lousy kid. Why can’t both our kids be good?” When reminded that they had three kids, he replied, “Marge, the dog doesn’t count as a kid.”
And here’s where the metaphor kicks in. The sports cities of Cleveland and Detroit are like our little Simpson children. In every major sport, at least one team’s rather good, while one team’s quite bad. (Recent exception: The NFL, with the Lions and Browns. As if you had to ask, they’re like Bart and his evil twin.) As for our forgotten third child, we’ll go ahead and slap that label on Cincinnati, because they’re tucked way down there in Ohio. So adorable.
But this year, Bart and Lisa appear to be on their best behavior. The Pistons and Cavaliers are duking it out in the NBA’s Eastern Conference final. Even though the Pistons should (and will) win the series, The Association’s Eastern dominance lies firmly within a 2-hour radius of Toledo.
The same could go with baseball. The Indians and Tigers are sitting in first and second place atop the American League Central Division. Currently one of those teams would win the AL Central, with the other snagging the Wild Card. This is a swift departure from having either one good Tigers team (in the ’80s, in 2006) or one good Indians team (in the ’90s, early ’00s). Oh, and guess which two teams are playing each other this weekend, including a Sunday night game on ESPN. That particular game will feature two pitchers I used to make fun of and, because of the type of dude I am, still do to some extent.
On the Indians side is Fausto Carmona, who hit the major league scene on the wrong side of heroics last year. In his first week as closer, he gave up three walk-off home runs — including one to the Tigers. While his teammates chewed tobacco or gum, he probably deserved a batting helmet full of Paxil. But this year, he’s a starter with a 5-1 record, including two head-to-head wins against two-time Cy Young winner Johan Santana. On the Tigers side is Mike Maroth, who lost 20 games in the infamous 2003 season, and was injured most of last year. The left-hander is back this year with a snazzy 3-1 record.
The Indians and Tigers could both wind up with winning records.
They grow up so fast. As opposed to our Lions and Browns, which grow up like the Simpson kids: not at all.
One of the biggest games in UT football history may be more than 500 days away, but it’s safe to assume the Rockets faithful have Oct. 11, 2008, marked in their calendars.
Representatives from UT and the University of Michigan announced May 22 the schools would meet on the gridiron next season after an agreement was reached between UT athletic director Mike O’Brien and Bill Martin, U-M director of athletics. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools, which are separated by just 50 miles.
For UT, the game represents a chance to perform on college football’s biggest stage, Michigan Stadium, which boasts a capacity (107,501) more than four times the size of the Glass Bowl. The decision had to have been a no-brainer for O’Brien. The Rockets reportedly will receive a cool $500,000 to make the short jaunt north to Ann Arbor.
What will the Wolverines get out of the deal? Likely another mark in the win column. U-M has a 22-0 all-time record against eight different Mid-American Conference schools. Yes, MAC schools have gone into The Big House and put up respectable showings.
Last year the Wolverines needed to hold on for dear life against a pesky Ball State squad that came within two touchdowns of pulling a monumental upset.
But make no mistake: Martin didn’t schedule Toledo the week before Michigan travels to Penn State because he thought the Rockets would provide a good test between Big Ten games.
When national powers such as Michigan or Ohio State schedule games against schools from mid-major conferences such as the MAC it’s because they know there’s no realistic chance of losing. In an age when the difference between one and two regular-season losses could mean millions of dollars in revenue that comes with playing in a Bowl Championship Series game, U-M can’t afford to play a tough non-conference schedule.
Though they likely won’t leave Ann Arbor with a win, the Rockets can’t lose by playing Michigan. The game stands out from several marquee match-ups in coming seasons that will pit UT against such big-name schools as Arizona, Purdue, Ohio State and Syracuse.
Toledo students, alumni and fans will gladly make the less-than-one-hour trek up U.S. 23 even if it means watching a lopsided contest.
O’Brien should be commended for making the game happen. The announcement shifts attention away from the recent point-shaving scandal that involves former UT running back Harvey “Scooter” McDougle Jr. Coach Tom Amstutz now has a valuable recruiting tool. What high school player wouldn’t want the chance to take the field at Michigan Stadium?
When your team competes in the low-profile MAC, it’s important to find ways to draw positive attention to your program. O’Brien did that by landing Michigan.
Who knows? Maybe the Wolverines will enjoy their experience with UT so much they’ll accept an invitation to play at the Glass Bowl. Like the double-digit point spread that will likely come with the 2008 game, I wouldn’t bet on it.
Justin R. Kalmes is metro editor for Toledo Free Press. Contact him at email@example.com.
It was to be an all-Andretti finish, father against son, a chance to erase some of the family’s annual anguish at their temple of gloom, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
With two laps remaining in last year’s Indy 500, Marco, a rookie 19-year-old third-generation Andretti, was leading his father, Michael, who holds the ignominious record of having led the most laps at Indy without a victory after 15 attempts.
An assortment of Andrettis with a total of 53 Indy 500s under their respective seat belts had only one victory among them, that belonging to the family patriarch, Mario, in 1969. But that was about to be appeased.
“You start to notice all the cameras and stuff,” Marco vividly recalls. “I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, this can really happen.’ Obviously we got the questions, ‘What if it came down to you two?’ before the race. I said, ‘It would be a fairytale, but, no, I’m not going to let him win the thing.’ And that’s what happened.
“Unfortunately, there was a third party involved.”
That third party was Defiance native Sam Hornish, and he was traveling first class. His red Marlboro Team Penske mount was tracking down the Andrettis in rapid order, first passing Michael then stalking Marco as time and distance played into the rookie’s hands.
Hornish got a good run off turn four on the last lap, dove down to the inside of the track and passed Marco about 500 feet from the finish line to win in the second closest finish in Indy 500 history. The official margin of victory was 0.0635 seconds. In layman’s terms that’s about 15 feet.
It has already reserved its place in Indy 500 history as one of the most electrifying finishes ever. Historians say it was the first time a pass had been made on the last lap to win the Indy 500.
And while Hornish had two Andrettis to deal with last year in winning for the first time in seven tries at the Brickyard, he’ll be facing a third Andretti May 27 in the 91st running of the Indy 500. After a 12-year absence, cousin John Andretti returns for his eighth “500.”
But back to the anatomy of the perfect pass at the precise moment that will forever accentuate Hornish’s first Indy 500 win and the Brickyard’s most unrivaled moments.
“I rolled into Turn 1 thinking: ‘I’m gaining on him. I don’t know if I’m going to have enough,’” Hornish said. “In Turn 2, ‘Well, it’s looking better.’ And when I went into 3, you know, ‘I’ve got this pretty close to where I need it to be.’ And coming off of 4, I had to actually get off just a little bit to keep the car from pushing out and to keep from getting too close to Marco. And it was really just waiting until the last second to be able to pull out so that he didn’t have an opportunity to make a move. He really didn’t know which way I was going to go until there at the very end.”
“I felt that if there was one perfect lap that I could run there, that was probably the one.”
Slowly squirming out of his car at the conclusion of the Indy 500 last year, Marco said, “I finished second. It doesn’t mean anything to me. First place is different.”
Marco has since tried to minimize the situation, but no explanations seem to work. Not even the fact that he became the fourth different Andretti to be named the Indy 500 Rookie of The Year.
“It’s going to bother me till the end of my career, even if I win this thing four times,” he said. “I lost the biggest race in the world by just a little bit. My feelings haven’t changed since I got out of the car last year.
“Would I have changed anything in the last 10 laps? No, I really wouldn’t.”
Michael Andretti, 44, like his son, can’t allow time to provide any solace in regard to last year’s outcome.
“I still think about it and it still ticks me off,” Michael said. “I know it does the same thing with Marco. As exciting and everything as it was, there’s still that pit in your stomach when you think about it. I’m not sure that will ever go away unless one of us wins.”
After finishing no better than 14th in six previous attempts, Hornish vanquished the cavity in his belly.
Photo: Associated Press
Forty-four year old Michael McGrail grew up, went to school and chose to stay in Toledo. He’s worked his way up the ladder and now enjoys an office in Sky Bank’s Downtown office building.
“I think I like the idea of the size,” McGrail said. “You don’t feel like you’re being overwhelmed like a Chicago or New York type city.”
For McGrail, there are many reasons people should come to Toledo to start their families, but he said it’s healthy to go out and experience other places. The growth of Downtown-area restaurants and businesses, along with the relaxed traffic, are only two reasons he likes the city, he said.
McGrail said he is proud of the progress the city has made, but concedes that improvements can be made, including waterfront development and more interaction between different age groups, he said.
“I think there could be more networking and marketing to that age group, those people between 20 and 40,” McGrail said. “I think it’d be nice to see the waterfront more, get back to the Portside days.”
He graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a degree in accounting, before continuing to the University of Toledo College of Law. Interested in learning what it would be like living elsewhere, he decided to experience another place.
“I did leave for a summer in between law school,” he said. “I went to the Carolinas just to see what it was like.”
While there, he met his wife and convinced her to move back to Toledo. They both enjoy their life here, but to this day, she is still acclimating to the cold Toledo winters, he said.
When he returned he started working for Sky Bank, which was then MidAm Bank. From the ranks of their wealth management department, he began to climb the career ladder. Today, he is the senior vice president of that department.
“The main thing that I was attracted to was that it was a local community bank,” he said. “That’s why I’ve stayed here through the years; I’ve sort of grown with the bank.”
McGrail enjoys playing golf with a group of about 20 people who form the Greater Toledo Golf Club. He said he believes he is at the peak of where he wants to be in the community and is excited to watch the community grow.