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Tri-County Business Journal 11630 Chillicothe Road, Suite 110 Chesterland, OH 44026

DO NOT DELAY Deliver by June 3, 2011





Sandusky, OH Permit No. 10


‘I started with nothing’ See how far Mike Miller has come since then from buying rental stores, page 14

[ Just recently · Facebook,Google andMicrosoft Outlook like this.



June 2011

Is social media the email savior?

Email’s been the whipping boy for all things bad about business communication. That may change soon with help from an unlikely friend. by Tom Gibson

Down for good design

Grandma’s love drives fashion forward for people with Down syndrome by Peter Strozniak


aren Bowersox is a 62-year-old entrepreneur on a mission: to make affordable, comfortable and fash- ionable clothes for people with Down syndrome. It’s a business mission sparked by her love for her grand-

daughter, a labor of love that created what may be the first clothing design company, Downs Designs, in the country and perhaps the world that exclusively serves this special- needs niche. The idea of Downs Designs be-

gan two years ago when Bower- sox was visiting her daughter and granddaughter, Maggie, who has Down syndrome. It’s a genetic condition that occurs when an individual has three, rather than two, copies of the 21st chromosome. This ad- ditional genetic material alters development and causes characteristics as- sociated with Down syn- drome.


Mom & pop shops at home

A strip mall in Mentor makes shoppers feel at home A in and how to beat it, page 2

small strip shopping center in Mentor’s historical zone of- fers an eclectic shopping experience and an opportunity to support a group of local mom-and-pop stores whose own- ers are committed to quality customer service, enhancing their community, helping each other suc-

ceed and passing on an entrepreneurial legacy. Village Plaza is on the south side of Mentor Avenue

between Center Street and Little Mountain Road, where customers can purchase beef jerky, medical supplies, an Italian meal, specialty toys, edible fruit flower arrangements and an or- ganized garage. Mama Roberto’s Italian restaurant, the plaza’s longest- reigning tenant, helps promote newest tenant Tommy’s Jerky Outlet by adding a free bag of beef jerky to its customer’s carry-out bags. During the holidays when foot traffic is high, Edible Arrangements’ customers are encouraged to try out Tommy’s or stop for lunch at Mama Roberto’s. In addition to supporting each other, they also try to support local vendors. Read on to see why you should pay them a visit.

Story by Kay Bryson

Photos by Terri Nighswonger

Headed out to Mentor? Hit up this strip for everything from great pizza to medical supplies:

nBrunner Healthcare



n Edible Arrangements

ediblearrangements. com 440-255-6824

nGarage Outfitters

garageoutfitters 440-974-8201

nMama Roberto's 440-205-8890

n Playmatters Toys 440-266-1909

n Tommy's Jerky Outlet 440-285-4001


s email sexy again? Last year Google introduced Gmail Priority

Inbox, a new feature that learns to identify your important email for you. Imagine, just the email you need right now, right in front of you. In November, Facebook announced a major

messaging rethink. Facebook Messages will be a “mod- ern messaging system” that unifies email, Facebook messages, chat and SMS in a single application. Like Google, Facebook also recognizes that some

emails are more important than others. What's impor- tant for Facebook? Email from friends, of course. Non- friend emails will side-step the inbox and land in the “other” folder. Two new, but very different takes, on an old email effectiveness challenge: how to bring your important email forward.

See EMAIL, page 9 ALSO IN OUR NEWSFEED: B2B vs. B2C: Social media showdown, page 9 • How to use social media for job hiring, page 10

See MENTOR, page 8

LAZY,UNHAPPY HOUR A look at when the lazy haze is setting


2-3. HR Focus 3. Be There, Do That 4-5. Opinion 6.Movers & Shakers 7. Awards & Honors 10. Technology Focus 11. Eastern Cuyahoga Focus 13. Business Briefs

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