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Columbus District Office
401 N. Front Street Suite 200
Columbus, OH 43215
United States
Phone: 614-469-6860
Hours of Operation:
Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
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Creating More Jobs for Ohio Residence One Step at A Time

Rite Track, Inc. is an Ohio S-Corporation with more than 130 worldwide employees (60 at the headquarters location). The company is a leading supplier of automated wafer processing equipment for the semiconductor, thin film head, and MEMS industries. The company provides custom designed new and remanufactured Rite Track 8X and 9X Series track equipment used in photolithography and cleaning processes. The company specializes in processing fragile (e.g. GaAs) substrates.

In July 2003, Rite Track acquired ASML, a Silicon Valley track manufacturer. The company successfully transferred the technology from California to Ohio. Rite Track improved not only the service and quality, but also shortened the lead time of the finished products. They controlled labor costs and raw material costs to give them a competitive advantage. The result was a significant expansion of their market (now the number one in the U.S. and number three worldwide). Early in 2004, Rite Track was approached by their leading worldwide competitor to manufacture that companies older product lines for worldwide distribution. This required a significant expansion of facilities, equipment, and at least 60 more employees at the Ohio facility. It also required expansion of its worldwide sales force to meet the distribution requirements of the expanded product line.

The Manufacturing SBDC at TechSolve provides ongoing counseling and acts as the liaison for the coordination of SBA financing for the facility and equipment. They also provide direct assistance through the Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center in the area of worldwide business development, and the State of Ohio jobs training and business incentive programs.

Plans are in place, ahead of milestone dates, to support the rapid growth required to significantly expand existing facilities and equipment. This has allowed Rite Track to work with all the agencies to take advantage of this unique opportunity and capture significant worldwide market share. According to its president, Tim Hayden, it has allowed Rite Track to create Ohio jobs that would have otherwise been lost.

"This article and the accompanying photograph do not constitute or imply an endorsement by SBA of any opinions, products or services of any private individual or entity."

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Excel Management

Nearly twenty years ago, Curtis Jewell was struggling to make a living and develop a career when he came to a life-changing realization: "I realized that I was selling 'stuff' that I didn't believe in and if I had to live by this 'stuff,' I'd never make it." He decided that if he was going to take care of his wife and give his children the best education, he would have to become an entrepreneur. Then, in 1989, after spending 4 years learning the computer business with Morgan Management Systems, Inc., he ventured out on his own and single-handedly started EXCEL Management Systems, Inc., which is now a thriving computer consulting firm employing over 100 people.

EXCEL provides focused professional IT services to commercial and federal, state, and local government agencies. They provide enterprise wide field-based IT services to geographically dispersed agencies and companies including desktop, servers, and connectivity management; voice and network integration & deployment; project management, system integration, life-cycle systems development, and telecommunication solution and services.

SBA provided the assistance to establish 8(a) certification for the business. This allowed the business to enter the federal market and obtain contracts. Further assistance was provided to receive Small Disadvantaged Business status offering additional opportunities for the growth. Loan assistance was provided later to allow for the purchase of a building to expand the business.

In an interview, Mr. Jewell was asked a few questions. Here are the questions and his responses:

Q: What is the best advice you can give to someone thinking about going into business?

A: "There's something in us, I believe, that calls us. We have a purpose in life and if we don't listen to it, or if we do listen to it but someone else drives it out of us... we lose it. Trust YOU. Trust what is in you- what is calling you... You've got to trust yourself and take the risk that you know who you are... Life is for risk... You can find a way if you dream and if your passion is strong enough. If you don't risk it, you can't have it. The more you are willing to trust yourself, the bigger your reward.."

Q: How has your business affected your life

A: "My life journey has in many ways paralleled my business journey. Overall, I've experienced prosperity in both. My family and employees have benefited from the growth in my business; and I as a person have grown in many ways as my business has grown."

Q: What has made you successful?

A: "I credit much of my business success to discipline. Early on, I discovered what for me has become "the law" of business: do not use cash flow for personal or community needs; rather, it is imperative to reinvest earnings into the business so that the company can exceed the customers' expectations and begin to grow." "This article and the accompanying photograph do not constitute or imply an endorsement by SBA of any opinions, products or services of any private individual or entity."

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Information Works, Inc.

Joe Vesco, President of Information Works, Inc. of Columbus is the Ohio Small business Person of the Year for 2004. Joe was selected above all other candidates based on the following criteria: staying power, growth in number of employees, increases in sales, current and past financial reports, innovative products or services offered, response to adversity and contributions made to the community.

Joe has managed to do what few other entrepreneurs have been able to accomplish. He has successfully managed to differentiate his company from all the others in an industry where the competitors all offer essentially the same service. Joe is in the business of supplying laser printing services to business. By taking an innovative approach to this basic service, coupled with some proprietary service software, Information Works has been able to offer their customers a quality product, on time at a reduced cost.

Joe's career has revolved around the design, development and service of computers and related systems over the past 25 years. He began his career as a flight simulation engineer for US Air (now US Airways) in 1976. Upon leaving the airline industry in 1978, Joe became a technical consultant for the U.S. Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

Since his career required him to be deeply embedded in technology, he witnessed the evolution of personal computers and recognized the endless impact technology would have on the economy. Joe started his first company in 1980 on his 25th birthday. Since then, after several mergers, an SBA 7(a) loan and technology shifts, his business has evolved into today's Information Works.

Information Works saves businesses money by taking care of the service, supply and management of their office output equipment. Information Works controls and minimizes the total cost of ownership of laser printing equipment by providing all services and supplies required, on a cost-per-page basis, with a focus on responsiveness and maximizing productivity. This unique offering makes Information Works the only company that can accurately measure and control the cost of network and desktop printing. For businesses that rely heavily on paper, unmanaged output technology (printers, copiers, and fax machines) can cost a business up to five percent of its total revenue! The Limited Brands, Bob Evens, Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase, and State Auto Insurance are just a few of the company's clients.

Since 1997, the company has experienced over a 90% annual growth rate. Last June they began operations in Minneapolis, Minnesota and are currently in the process of evaluating several new markets for expansion in 2004. Information Works has little or no employee turnover and currently employees 22 in Columbus and 6 in Minneapolis. Joe counts on each employee to be fully engaged in the business and in return is totally committed to them. Information Works has always been ahead of the pack in its compensation and benefits plans. The employee benefit package includes paid medical insurance, including dental and vision, short and long-term disability insurance, flexible spending accounts for childcare and medical expenses, 401K retirement with a 50% employer match, and profit sharing of 50% of after-tax profits. The longer you are with the company, the greater the share of profits you earn. This "vesting" program compensates loyalty and truly rewards those who help build the company. Joe believes that Information Works' success comes from its employees' hard work and he's happy to share the fruits of their labor.

Joe Vesco has met a number of business and personal challenges over his business career. In a technology based business, he has managed to survive the recession of the late 1970s and the technology explosion and subsequent economic downturn in the late 1990s. Joe and his company have reinvented themselves and stayed ahead of the competition with sustained profitable growth by identifying and capitalizing on opportunities.

Another challenge Joe has overcome in owning a business is a deeply personal one. He has been an insulin dependent diabetic for almost 40 years. On two occasions, the diabetes caused him to go blind, forcing him to learn how to manage and operate his business without eyesight.

Due to his personal ties, Joe Vesco gives generously of his time and funds to the Central Ohio Diabetes Association. He has served as a camp counselor and camp director at Camp Hamwi, a camp for children who also suffer from the same condition. He has been involved in many of the Rotary Club of Columbus community endeavors like the Wheelchair Marathon, Employment for Seniors and Adopt-a-School.

Joe states, "Blindness has had a major consequence on my life, and in turn, the life of the organization I lead. I believe in balance, life-long learning and the pursuit of excellence. We do not work overtime, except in rare instances, and we do not waste time doing unnecessary tasks. As an organization, we have fun, learn and get better every day. I'm sure that, even with poor eyesight, I can see many things that others cannot. They say "the little things in life aren't little, they're life." I see the little things very clearly and couldn't agree more!"

Joe was recently awarded the Ernst & Young, Entrepreneur of the Year in the print service category and recognized as a finalist in the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce Small Business Person of the Year competition.

Information Works, Inc., 2323 Setterlin Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43228, Voice: (614) 527-4481, Fax: (614) 527-1473, www.iw-services.com.

"This article and the accompanying photograph do not constitute or imply an endorsement by SBA of any opinions, products or services of any private individual or entity."

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