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spruce selects borrow rentals for free pr services promotion

Tom Sarago, owner of Spruce, chose Borrow Rentals as the winning company to receive free marketing and PR services. Sarago, who started his full-service marketing communications firm earlier this summer, offered the services to one company as a way to promote Spruce and help a worthy company.

Spruce received about 20 applications for his services. Sarago chose a few finalists before naming Ann King, owner of Borrow Rentals as the winner. Borrow is an eclectic and vintage rental house for furniture and accessories to furnish any event. “I just found Ann intriguing,” says Sarago. “She’s clearly doing so much of a good thing, I can just step in and enhance.”
 
King, who read about the contest in Fresh Water, applied because she needed the services Spruce provides. “We are such a small boutique company – we don’t have a marketing department and we don’t know how to get in the press,” she says.
 
Professional photography firm Kalman and Pabst shot promotional photos of King as part of the package. Spruce will provide PR services. “"She needs some assistance in a couple of key areas and we're working to develop a plan on how to build new relationships," Sarago says of what he’ll provide. “She wants to find new audiences and engage her existing ones. We’re helping her with social media, starting a newsletter and we will issue regular press releases.”
 
Both Sarago and King see this as the start to an ongoing relationship. “He’s awesome,” says King. “He’s so great and I’m so excited to work together and try to promote our brands. Hopefully we can help each other out – mostly to promote Borrow.”
 
In addition to working with King, Sarago says he enjoyed meeting the other applicants. “It was wonderful to hear about all these companies doing some amazing things,” he says. “Companies I wouldn’t otherwise have met.”
 

recently profiled holmes applesauce exceeds fundraising goals, looks ahead

It’s been a busy month for Ethan Holmes, founder of Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce. The 20-year-old took home $500 from Entrovation earlier this summer before moving into the Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen (CCLK). He then launched an Indiegogo campaign in hopes of raising $1,500, but raised $2,274. He also received 100 pre-orders and produced 400 jars, or 5,000 ounces, of his original and cinnamon applesauce in two days during his first session at CCLK.

“Producing in the kitchen was challenging,” Holmes says. “I had never made such large quantities in such a short period of time.” But with the help of friends and family, Holmes filled his orders, then hand-delivered jars of applesauce in gift bags to all of the local contributors to the campaign.
 
Holmes plans to sell heavily at local farmers markets this fall and is in talks with area restaurants about some menu collaborations. He also is waiting to hear from some retailers about carrying the applesauce.
 
Holmes headed back to college last weekend feeling optimistic about the future of Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce.
“It felt amazing to surpass my goal,” he says. “It was unbelievable to have so much support from family, friends and those interested in my product. I tried crowdfunding a year ago on Kickstarter and failed my goal, so having the strength to try again and actually being successful this time is such a great feeling to have.”

content marketing world 2014 to draw the top communications pros, kevin spacey

More than 2,500 people from 50 countries are expected to descend on Cleveland September 8-11 for the Content Marketing World 2014 conference. Professionals in marketing, communications, social media and public relations are coming to learn what’s new in the industry, socialize and network.  
 
“Those people attending are marketers in enterprises that create and distribute content to attract and retain customers,” explains event organizer Joe Pulizzi, founder the Content Marketing Institute. “Over half of the attendees come from the brand side, with the rest of the delegates coming from agencies, media companies and technology providers.”
 
Representatives from 36 of the Fortune 100 will attend, 10 in the Fortune 15. “The event targets the largest marketers from the leading brands around the world, so we not only attract Fortune 100 companies, but the majority of delegates come from at least the Fortune 5000 size,” says Pulizzi. “CMW is now the largest event in the content marketing industry.”
 
It makes sense the conference takes place in Cleveland, says Pulizzi. “The talent in the Northeast Ohio region for content creators is amazing,” he says, “Most people don't realize this, but for many decades, this area has been home to some of the best business publishing on the planet, In addition to that, ‘content marketing,’ as a term, might first have been used in Cleveland.”
 
While the main events, with speakers and workshops, take place at the Cleveland Convention Center, the opening reception on Monday, September 8 is an Ohio City pub crawl. CMW has rented out Market Garden BreweryBar Cento and Great Lakes Brewery. Tuesday night wraps up with ContentFest, a music festival with 10 local food trucks and bands at Jacobs Pavilion.
 
Pulizzi is excited to host the leaders in content marketing. “The over 175 speakers at the event come from around the world and are truly the leading experts in the field,” he says. “In addition, it's nice to show off Cleveland. In 2013, 75 percent of the attendees had never been to Cleveland.”
 
The keynote closing speaker is actor Kevin Spacey, currently starting in the Netflix hit, House of Cards. “Mr. Spacey is going to talk about how House of Cards has transformed the content business,” says Pulizzi. “He will share his thoughts on what enterprise marketers need to be doing to make sure their stories are told well, and how they can be found by engaged consumers.”
 
The economic impact for Cleveland is estimated to be $2.5 million, with a block of 4,000 room nights in downtown hotels already sold. Registration for the conference is still open.

rust belt pepper co. offers an authentic taste from home: pepper relish


Christina Puterbaugh grew up developing a taste for something straight out of her Macedonian heritage: pepper relish. “It is my mom’s and dad's recipe that they brought from the old country when they came to the U.S. in 1960,” says Puterbaugh. “My sisters and I ate it growing up when my parents would roast the peppers in the driveway each fall and spend a week making the relish.”

After the last of her three children was off to college, Puterbaugh, a stay-at-home mom, embarked on a career search. And then she thought of that pepper relish that she grew up with.
 
“I was ready to get involved in something I felt very passionate about and be responsible for something of my very own,” she recalls. “I love cooking and this recipe will always remind me of my parents, and I knew people would enjoy this so it all seemed to fit perfectly.”
 
With that, Rust Belt Pepper Company was born in Puterbaugh’s home-based kitchen. Customers loved the fire-roasted sweet red peppers in tomato sauce with garlic. Puterbaugh grew up eating the relish on homemade bread with feta cheese, but it has a wide variety of uses. “It’s a great appetizer on a French baguette with sprinkled feta cheese, a topping for grilled meat or fish, as a pizza sauce, in a bean dip, in pot of stew or on a Panini sandwich,” she suggests. “My husband's favorite is with scrambled eggs.”
 
As customers discovered Rust Belt Pepper, Puterbaugh, along with her mother Milica Lozanovich and daughter Michaela, struggled to keep up with demand. So this summer, after two years working from home, Rust Belt Pepper moved to the Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen.
 
“The CCLK has been very helpful,” says Puterbaugh. “They provide me with their equipment and also help with labeling and getting my name and product out to the different businesses. Anyone starting a food business, the CCLK is the place to help you grow your business.”
 
Puterbaugh and Michaela now make the relish by the gallon, bottle it and label it each week at CCLK and still struggle to keep up with demand. Although it continues to be a family run business, Puterbaugh predicts that soon they will have to hire additional staff.
 
Rust Belt Pepper Company donates a portion of its proceeds to the American Brain Tumor Association in honor of Puterbaugh’s mother, a brain tumor survivor.
 
The relish is available throughout Northeast Ohio in stores like Zagara’s Marketplace and Miles Farmers Market, as well as farmers markets in the region.
 

split-liver transplants performed at clinic benefit two recipients instead of one


More than 16,000 people in the United States are on the waiting list for a liver transplant, yet 10,000 die before they get one. Cleveland Clinic transplant surgeon Koji Hashimoto has spent the last nine years researching the practice of splitting a donor liver between two recipients, thus reducing demand.

“There’s a big gap between supply and demand,” explains Hashimoto. “In many smaller recipients, the liver is too large. You can’t transplant a large liver into a small patient. So we can split the liver.”
 
Hashimoto performed split liver transplants in 25 patients in his study, which was published in the July American Journal of Transplantation. Some of Hashimoto’s patients received the left lobe of the liver, some received the right lobe. Two patients benefitted from one liver donated.
 
“The survival was the same as whole liver transplants,” says Hashimoto. “We’ve had an 80 percent survival rate after five years.”
 
Only a handful of hospitals are actively performing split liver transplants, with the Cleveland Clinic being one. “Many centers don’t do it because you have to have lots of people on the team and it’s very challenging,” Hashimoto explains. “With a split liver transplant you have two patients receiving livers at the same time. You have to divide the blood vessels too -- sometimes using microscopes in the transplant -- and one surgeon goes out to split the liver in the donor body.”
 
While the split liver allows surgeons to place an organ in smaller patients, such as children, larger patients benefit as well. “The liver is the only organ that can regenerate in the body,” says Hashimoto. “Eventually the liver will grow to the size to fit the patient.”

lakewood's lusso cosmetics are humane, fragrance-free and good looking


As a professional makeup artist, Lou McClung is well aware what goes into good (and bad) makeup. So he started making his own, ultimately opening up his own shop, Lusso Cosmetics, in Lakewood. “As a makeup artist, what I wanted to do was have my own products,” he says.
 
As one of the few independent cosmetics manufacturers in the country, McClung makes and sells his own lipstick, eye liner, lip gloss and powder. His products aren’t tested on animals and are fragrance-free. As much as possible, Lusso products are plant-based and made with beeswax.
 
McClung blends all of his own shades and he custom blends foundations and powders to match skin tones. He teaches his customers how to use his products with free consultations. “It’s really simple once I explain it,” he says. “No one ever took the time to show them. Most of my clients want to look natural and they’re surprised how little makeup they need – it’s about knowing where to put it. Having a quality product and finding what to do with the stuff is key.”
 
The satisfaction McClung gets comes in pleasing his clients. “I know when I’ve nailed it and have the right product or shade,” he says. “I love to see my clients enjoying it, and I know it enhances their lives.”
 
When McClung isn’t helping clients with their makeup needs, he’s restoring religious art. Four years ago he bought the entire closed St. Hedwig church parish and turned it into The Museum of Divine Statues -- a museum of religious artifacts. He’s purchased the artifacts from closed churches around Cleveland. He says the restoration process is pretty much the same as doing makeup, except he uses pigments and oil paints.

THe museum is open Sundays from noon to 4pm and private tours can be arranged for groups of 30 or more. McClung is hosting a fundraiser on Sept. 27 to keep the museum going.
 
McClung employs an assistant and lives in the priest’s house on the parish property.
 
 

techpint's industry digital summit aims to become a regional tech conference


TechPint founder Paul McAvinchey always envisioned that his organization’s regular mini tech conferences could become something larger. When the last event drew more than 400 attendees to talk tech over a beer, McAvinchey knew it was time to go big.

On Friday, September 5, the first Industry Digital Summit will kick off at Hotcards. “The Industry Digital Summit is a national conference -- not just Cleveland-centric -- but a national conference with a focus on the Rust Belt,” McAvinchey says. “We want to show that there is a community in the region.”
 
The event brings some of the biggest names in technology to Cleveland: Ian Sigalow, co-founder and partner at GreycroftVC; Bob Moesta, president and CEO of the Re-Wired Group; and Stephanie Spear, founder and CEO of EcoWatch, to cite a few of the 15 speakers scheduled.
 
There will be a startup demo pitch, with 20 companies signed up, and workshops throughout the day. It’s all capped off with a pig roast and happy hour before the Hotcards space evolves into a “massive party that will go on until late,” says McAvinchey.
 
McAvinchey envisions the Industry Digital Summit as an event that could turn into something like South by Southwest or Big Omaha. “There’s nothing like that around here,” he says. “I think it’s important for the region and to have it in Cleveland is just super. We want to make Cleveland the center of digital innovation in the region.”
 
The conference costs $199, but Fresh Water readers can receive a $50 discount by using the code FRESHWATER upon registration before August 22.

thermedx device reduces risk of hypothermia during surgery

When doctors perform surgical procedures, they typically use cold surgical irrigation fluid to expand the patient’s body cavity. The cold fluid can increase their risk of hypothermia, which in turn leads to three times the risk of surgical site infections and other complications. 

Now hospitals like the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals have turned to a local company for a solution. Thermedx has developed the first smart surgical irrigation device to provide fluid warming in arthroscopic and hysteroscopic procedures.
 
“We developed a smart version of an irrigation pump,” explains Thermedx co-founder and executive vice president Mike Haritakis. “It’s a touchscreen, multi-functional irrigation pump that can actually allow a procedure to be done with one device”
 
The Thermedx’s Fluid Smart System, which is used primarily in endoscopic and laparoscopic gynecological, urological and orthopedic procedures, pressurizes the body cavity safely during surgery to improve visibility, warms the irrigation fluid and monitors the fluids and prevents hypothermia.
 
“It really consolidates the devices and streamlines the staff in the OR,” explains Angela Dubik, clinical services manager. “The end result is it makes surgeons’ and nurses’ jobs much easier, it saves the hospital money and it improves patient care.”
 
Thermedx developed the Fluid Smart System in part through funding from Third Frontier and BioEnterprise. The company employs 18 people and is growing. “We’re just looking to continue to develop new products,” says Haritakis. “We want to continue to add jobs to support Northeast Ohio growth in the medical device community. We’re all about growth, essentially.”

who went where? a roundup of recently filled positions

Amy Martin was named principal of marketing for JumpStart Inc., where she will be responsible for managing all marketing and communication efforts for the nonprofit venture development organization. Previously, Martin was vice president of marketing for the Centers for Families and Children.
 
Hilary Sparks-Roberts has been appointed executive director of Social Venture Partners (SVP), the philanthropic venture fund that supports and strengthens local nonprofits. Hilary moves into the position after three years at SVP Cleveland, first as director of partner engagement, and then as deputy director.
 
Sparks-Roberts is a graduate of Kenyon College and CWRU Law School. She served as briefer to Governor Richard Celeste, and later as a mediator in the Cleveland Prosecutor’s Office, a Judicial Law Clerk to former Juvenile Court Judge Peter Sikora, and freelance writer and editor for arts and educational organizations. Prior to joining SVP Cleveland in 2011, Sparks-Roberts taught AP and honors English for 10 years at Lake Ridge Academy where she helped found and advise an extensive Mock Trial program.
 
SVP program assistant Caroline Linden was promoted to manager of programs and operations. Former executive director Linda Springer will remain a partner with SVP.

MidTown Cleveland announced that Jeff Epstein has been named the Health-Tech Corridor’s first director. As director, Epstein will be responsible for the development, coordination and implementation of the business and marketing strategy for the organization. He will work with public, nonprofit and private sector partners to spur new development, attract businesses, create new jobs and tax base, and develop economic stability for the area and the surrounding residential neighborhoods.  Previously, Epstein was vice president of development for the Coral Company.

Have a new hire to share? Email Karin with the details and we’ll spread the word!
 

who's hiring in cle: city year, cleveland transformation alliance, cmsd...

Welcome to the latest edition of Who’s Hiring in Cleveland?
 
There are plenty of good jobs to be had here in Cleveland. This is the latest installment in regular series of posts in which we feature companies that are hiring, what those employers are looking for, and how to apply.
 
City Year Cleveland, an education-focused nonprofit organization that partners with public schools and teachers to help keep students in school and on track to succeed, is hiring a donor relations manager. This position grows resources by developing strategies to increase annual revenue from individual investors. To apply, include cover letter, resume and references.
 
The Cleveland Transformation Alliance, a nonprofit organization with the mission of ensuring every child in Cleveland attends an excellent school and that every neighborhood has quality options, has two open positions: school choice advocate and school choice project manager. For details on these positions, click here. Send applications to Matt Orehek, project manager.
 
The Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) is transforming urban education. CMSD has teaching, administration, and other opportunities available. See the full list of openings and apply here
 
Have hiring news you’d like to share? Email Karin at Fresh Water Cleveland and send us this information or career links!

local guide co. offers gay games visitors 'tours for every taste'

Since launching Discover My Cleveland in November 2012, owner Lynde Vespoli has seen tourism in the city grow substantially. “There are exciting changes in Cleveland and the tourism business,” says Vespoli. “We’re getting more multi-day events -- groups coming for four-, five-, six-day events. Our company has seen significant growth in the past year as the number of tourists to the Cleveland area has increased.”

Business has increased so much that Vespoli recently hired two additional tour guides and predicts that she’ll again increase staff in the coming year.
 
Last summer, the destination management company hosted tours for the Senior Games. Next week, Discover My Cleveland will host unique tours for the Gay Games 9 as the exclusive tour and activates provider for the marquee event.
 
Tours are designed for every taste. The Beer and Bourbon tour includes a pub dinner and libations at places such as Cleveland WhiskeyMarket Garden Brewery and Indigo Imp Brewery. The Out on the Town tour, billed as “an open bar on the open seas,” features a dinner cruise on the Nautica Queen and an after party at Bounce Nightclub, Cleveland’s largest LGBT club. Vespoli also has more traditional city tours planned.

All of the events are open to the public. “The tours are open to everybody and I really hope the people of Cleveland come and join us,” she says. “These people are coming from all over the world. When they are here they want to experience everything, not just participate in the athletics, but experience all the wonderful things we have here. In addition to coming here as athletes, they’re coming here for the activities, events, tours and fun.”
 
 

magnet and nasa invite startups to present 'tech-based products' at prototech

The Incubator at MAGNET and NASA Glenn Research Center are looking for product-focused startup companies to join its pitch competition on September 18 at Ariel International Center. Unlike other pitch competitions in the region, ProtoTech focuses on those companies with an actual product to market.
 
“There are a number of pitch competitions, but most of them are IT focused,” says Dave Crain, MAGNET’s director of entrepreneurial services. “What we’re trying to do is highlight product-focused startups in the region.”
 
What is a technology based product exactly? “At the end of the day, when a customer buys your product and you put it in a box and you ship it to them, that’s a product,” says Crain.
 
Six companies will be selected as finalists and receive promotion and fundraising tools. The teams will then pitch their products to a panel of judges and a live audience. The teams will be rated on their products’ feasibility, investability and the quality of their pitches. The audience also gets a vote.
 
Each team gets to keep any money raised for their products through the event, and the top three teams will receive matching funds.
 
Crain says they are hoping to receive 20 to 30 submissions for ProtoTech. The competition is open to anyone who meets the entry guidelines listed on the submission form. The deadline for submission is mid-August.
 
In addition to the pitch competition there will be an Investors Hall Exhibition, where 15 to 20 more established startups will have tables among an invited group of investors.
“These are later-stage startups who have entered the market,” explains Crain. “We’ve already chosen two companies to exhibit. We’ll continue to choose companies until the tables are filled. To be considered for the Investors Hall, submit an exhibitor request form.  

who went where? a roundup of recently filled positions

Jennifer Schwartz Wright has been named department chair of the art therapy undergraduate program at Ursuline College, her alma mater. A board certified art therapist and educator, Schwartz Wright previously worked in various positions at the Art Therapy Studio, most recently as executive director.

For the past 10 years Schwartz Wright has taught as an adjunct in Ursuline’s graduate art therapy and counseling program, where she was asked to develop core courses for an undergraduate art therapy major.
“It’s been so fulfilling to be able to teach these classes that I imagined,” says Schwartz Wright. “It’s most gratifying to help prepare future practitioners for their work helping people face the greatest of life challenges through art making. The sad truth is that our world indeed needs many more art therapists.”

Anna Beyerle has joined Beaumont School as the public relations and marketing manager. Previously, Beyerle was senior communications specialist with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance.

John Kandare has joined Zounds Hearing of Greater Cleveland as an audiologist. Kandare will be responsible for providing free hearing evaluations, custom fitting hearing aids, and providing client education, follow-up and service at various Zounds locations. “I'm really excited to add John to our already top-notch team,” says Zounds owner Glenn Harbold.

Denise Griggs has been named vice president of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. Griggs joined the foundation in 2007 as chief financial officer and was elected secretary and assistant treasurer in 2010. Griggs is a certified public accountant and has assisted a wide variety of nonprofit organizations with financial-statement audits, tax compliance work, consulting engagements including internal-control implementation, board governance, and benefit plans.

Have a new hire to share? Email Karin with the details and we’ll spread the word!

art meets science at osteosymbionics, maker of custom craniofacial implant products

For those who have suffered a traumatic injury to the skull and face -- be it from an accident, cancer or deformity -- OsteoSymbionics leads the way in facial reconstruction. The Cleveland-based manufacturer of custom craniofacial implants serves surgeons at hospitals across the United States. OsteoSymbionics’ products provide both skull rebuilding and is cosmetically attractive.
 
Founded in 2006by Cynthia Brogan, OsteoSymbionics is known for using a special plastic in its craniofacial implants that doesn’t break and exactly fits the patient's face or skull. “We’re a well-respected player in the marketplace,” says CEO Dorothy Baunach. “The type of plastic we use is a market niche and it’s done really well in its ability to be shaped to the skull opening without crumbling or breaking.”
 
Today, OsteoSymbionics has a line of products that range from a clear implant that allows surgeons to see brain function during placement, to hard and soft tissue implants. Housed in the Incubator at MAGNET, the company employs six full-time and two part-time employees who have backgrounds that range from medical artists and sculptors to biomedical engineers and materials scientists.
 
Many of the artists on staff are graduates of Cleveland Institute of Art’s biomedical program. “They’re really our secret weapon,” says Baunach. “The fit and forming is more of an art than a science. Because of the talent of the students at CIA, they can do things that are pretty complex.”
 
Baunach plans to double sales by the end of the year and add sales reps across the country. “It’s really about growing sales and the company,” she says. “Sales are built on surgeons’ preferences.”
 

'food buggy' is an affordable alternative to pricey food trucks

There’s no shortage of food trucks on Cleveland streets these days, but Ron Nelson offers a way for aspiring mobile food entrepreneurs to hit the road for less thanks to his food buggies.
 
When Cleveland launched its pilot street-food program back in 2009, Nelson was working for a non-profit that helped down-on-their-luck folks re-enter society. He saw food trucks as one way to do this, yet the costs were too high for the average person just starting out. And back then, there were no commercial kitchens around in which to do prep work.
 
So Nelson developed his buggies, which have lower startup costs, lower licensing fees and lower operational costs. He launched his company Food Buggy in 2013.
 
Food Buggy units cost between $4,000 and $12,000 compared to the $40,000 to $200,000 for fully equipped food trucks. The buggies have a lower operating cost, are lightweight and fit into a single parking space. “The food buggies have two advantages,” says Nelson. “The cost is much lower, and it also allows you to transport it using your own vehicle. And it’s easy enough for two people to set up quickly.”
 
Nelson is quick to point out that his buggies don’t replace food trucks – they are an alternative. “It allows the entrepreneur to start up with limited resources,” he explains. “Yet it gives all the flexibility to get exposed and build a business.”
 
Nelson touts other advantages his buggies have over the competition: “It’s far better than a hotdog cart because with a hotdog cart you can’t cook anything,” he explains. “It’s better than a food truck because it doesn’t take up space. You can build up your business to the point you need a food truck.” And commercial kitchens like the Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen allow cooks access to prep space.
 
Food Buggies already has received orders from a couple of Cleveland food entrepreneurs. Nelson expects more custom orders as word gets out of his products’ advantages and custom designs.
 
 
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