The 2012 Winners
Best Place To Work
Emerson Industrial Automation
Gold Medal Products Co.
Richards Industries
Biggest Breakthrough
Emery Oleochemicals LLC
MillerCoors Brewery
Ransohoff-Cleaning Technologies Group LLC
New Job Creation
Altimet-Global Scrap Management
Brighton Tru-Edge Heads, Inc.
Metalworking Group
New Product Development/Innovation
Amylin Pharmaceuticals
Meridian Bioscience, Inc.
Top Growth
BIC Precision Machine Co., Inc.
General Data Company
Star Manufacturing

Emerson Industrial Automation

Having the need for more workers with specific skills is an ever-increasing trend in the work force. To meet their needs, Emerson Industrial Automation "” Power Transmission Solutions decided to invest in its employees.

The company partnered with Gateway Community and Technical College to deliver customized training for employees in areas such as blueprint reading and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing. Through this training, Emerson has had huge cost savings and has received approval of Kentucky Wins funding, which covers 75 percent of the training cost for employees sent through this program.

Emerson also initiated a mini-apprenticeship program for current employees to learn machine tool trades.

Additionally, the company offers tuition reimbursement to all Emerson employees after six months of employment, so that they can further their education and benefit both themselves and the company.

When asked why Emerson was nominated as one of the best places to work, Director of Distribution and Manufacturing Joe DeVillez had a straightforward answer:

"The biggest thing is the investment we've made in our employees," he says. "We've developed extensive programs to give them the skill sets they need.
Location: Florence, Ky.
Private or Public: Public
Founded: 1998
No. of Local Employees: 451
CEO/President: Anthony E. Pajk
Web Address:
Manufactures: Power transmission products
Gold Medal Products Co.

It's not quite working in the candy store. But it's close.

"We do work in an industry that is fun. It provides memories and makes people happy. That translates to our work environment," says Bethe Ferguson, marketing communications coordinator for Gold Medal Products,

The family-owned company is the largest U.S. provider of concession equipment and a supplier of popcorn, cotton candy, funnel cakes, snow cones and other classics of the midway.

It helps that the company, run by second and third generation family members of the company founder, is loyal to its workers. Remarkably, in its 81-year history, Gold Medal has never laid off an employee.

Gold Medal has a health care and benefits package that matches its name, including profit sharing, a Back-to-School Bonus program and tuition reimbursement for employees and their families.

"It's a simple philosophy: take care of employees and they will take good care of us," says Ferguson. "And, yes, we have popcorn every day here."

Location:. Evendale
Private or Public: Private
Founded: 1931
No. of Local Employees: 350
CEO/President: Dan Kroeger
Web Address:
Manufactures: Concession equipment and supplies

Richards Industries

The anniversary board at Richards Industries salutes plenty of employees with 20, 30 and even 40 years with the company. As Human Relations Vice President Cheryl Koopman puts it: "We have a lot of tribal knowledge."

Richards Industries, a provider of industrial valves, never had to resort to layoffs or cuts in benefits during the downturn. Loyalty to employees is enhanced with an all-in-the-family attitude that includes monthly outings, an annual recognition dinner, and chances for employees to feel empowered, or, at least vent. Employees regularly hold "Coffees with Bruce" (President Bruce Broxterman) and have frequent sharing sessions called "Moments of Truth" when an employee talks about making a difference with a client or coworker.

Koopman says the company motto of "Consider It Done" reflects the goal to treat coworkers and clients with the respect and care that one would find in a stable family environment.

"Before we hire anyone we ask, "¢Would I bring this person home to dinner to meet my family?'" says Koopman. "That's kind of our litmus test for bringing someone in."

Location: Hyde Park
Private or Public: Private
Founded: 1961
No. of local employees: 140
CEO/President: Bruce Broxterman
Web address:
Manufactures: Regulators and control valves
Emery Oleochemicals
Last October marked the completion of Emery Oleochemicals' four-year journey to convert steam power systems from coal to natural gas, requiring significant capital investment.

Emery's conversion to natural gas helps greatly to reduce Cincinnati's carbon footprint. The annual result: 160 less tons of regulated chemicals, 1,500 less tons of criteria pollutants and 100,000 less tons of carbon dioxide.

Emery Oleochemicals LLC is a subsidiary of Emery Oleochemicals, one of the world's largest oleochemicals producer. The chemicals "” including fatty acids, glycerine, fatty alcohols, triacetin, methylesters and ozone acids "” are derived from plant and animal fats and used in biodiesel production, drilling, plastics, laundry detergent and personal care items.

Many manufacturers switched from petrochemicals to oleochemicals in the 1970s to counter the rising price of oil.The Emery trade name began in the 1840s when Thomas Emery started selling lard oil in Cincinnati.

Location: St. Bernard
Private or Public: Private
Founded: 2005
No. of local employees: 30
General Manager: Jay Taylor
Web address:
Manufactures: Chemicals derived from plant and animal fats

Ransohoff"”Cleaning Technologies Group LLC

For many companies, a 60 percent drop in business levels in less than a year would cause a feeling of defeat. At Ransohoff, leadership saw it as an opportunity to get aggressive and invest in new product development, which it did, introducing two new cleaning systems. "(Investing in new products) keeps us at the head of the marketplace, which allows us to at least know that we have the ability for those 2-3 years to stay ahead of the competition," says VP of Administration Chuck Meutsch, who has been with the company since 1979. "We've continuously been leaders in our industry." Ransohoff "” which makes industrial cleaning equipment for the automotive, aerospace, medical and industrial markets "” recovered strongly, increasing revenue 10 percent in 2011. Orders were up 74 percent in 2011, compared to 2010.

The company added 33 jobs in 2011 (an increase of 54 percent in employees since December 2010), and it is seeking to fill a dozen more open positions in engineering and manufacturing. "We've gone through a lot of hard work,"Meutsch says.

Location: West Chester
Private or Public: Private
Founded: 1916
No. of local employees: 95
CEO/President: Barney Bosse
Web address:
Manufactures: Aqueous cleaning technology
In 2008, MillerCoors' Trenton brewery took a five-year challenge to become first big brewery in the world to be landfill free. It achieved it in 23 months.

Thanks to the leadership of Sustainable Development Coordinator Kelly Harris, the brewery now recycles more than 99 percent of its waste, resulting in 5,224 less metric tons of greenhouse gasses.

"It was about doing the right thing for the community," Harris says.

Individual trash cans were removed from offices and production areas. Recycling stations were placed in centralized areas of the 32-acre brewery with color-coded cans. Pretty soon, all 550 employees embraced the philosophy of "reduce, reuse and recycle." Other examples of changes include glass mulch, and benches and picnic tables made of 100 recycled plastic.

Says Brewery VP and Plant Manager Jon Hussey: "The key was simplicity. Kelly put in a system that was very simple, very intuitive. It didn't require the whole organization to be trained. "¢ Everyone could "¢get it' right away, so it was easy to follow, and use, and get behind."

Says Hussey: "MillerCoors is very aware of our responsibility as corporate citizens. "¢ we're living our values, not just putting them on a sign. We're actually backing it up with our actions. It takes 550 people doing this to make it happen."
Location: Trenton
Private or Public: Public
Founded: 1991
No. of local employees: 550
Brewery VP: Jon Hussey
Web address:
Manufactures: Beer

Altimet"”Global Scrap Management

According to Chris Hamm, president of Altimet/Global Scrap Management, the formula for the company's growth from 16 to 42 employees in the past year was simple.

"We've just stayed with what we do best, which is good customer service," Hamm says. "Then, as you grow, your customers are going to want to grow with you."

Altimet is a division of Global Scrap Management, which Hamm founded in Milford in 2003 with three employees.

The business of recycling aluminum has been so good that in 2011, Hamm started Altimet, moving into 100,000 feet of space at the former Ford transmission plant in Batavia. He installed a $3 million furnace in a commitment to invest in technology that reduces energy consumption and increases metal yield from scrap.

Governor John Kasich visited for the ribbon-cutting opening at Altimet, signing an executive order establishing the new Office of Workforce Transformation, which is designed to help workforce policies, programs and resources across state government to improve efficiency, effectiveness and accountability, combining 77 programs that were spread across 13 agencies.

Altimet/GSM, the only secondary aluminum smelter in Southwest Ohio, plans to add 20 more jobs in 2012. Rapid growth has created a good problem "” getting new employees trained quickly "”so the company has been working with Great Oaks to assist in training.
Location: Milford
Private or Public: Private
Founded: 2003
No. of local employees: 42
CEO/President: Chris Hamm
Web address:
Manufactures: Aluminum recycling
Brighton Tru-Edge  Heads Inc.

In 2011, Brighton Tru-Edge Heads added 31 new jobs in direct floor manufacturing, sales and administration, and today the company has 83 employees.

Mark Lang, executive vice president at Brighton, the largest manufacturer of cold-formed vessel heads in the Americas, cited growth in three industries as the reason why the company has grown: tank-cars for rail, offshore drilling and natural gas, all of which need large tank heads to contain products.

"It was just tremendous growth "¢ Those three big industries have taken off," Lang says.

Adds Steve Hammoor, VP of sales and marketing: "At the same time, we purchased some good additional equipment that helped us gear up the shop so when this flux of new work came in, we were already there." Brighton's sales increased more than 20 percent in 2011, and another 20 percent increase is projected for this year. All of that has led to the need for more sales people, skill enhancement for employees and capital purchases.

Growth has impacted other area businesses in supplying materials, production consumables, subcontracted activities, maintenance services and transportation.

Heads can range in size from 6 inches to as large as the client needs, and in thickness from 3/16 inch to 3 inches. They are used in the refinery, food, beverage, cryogenic, nuclear, transportation and energy markets.

Location: Sharonville
Private or Public: Private
Founded: 1913
No. of local employees: 83
CEO/Vice President: Mark Lang
Web address:
Manufactures: Cold-formed vessel heads

Metalworking Group

Financially strong, profitable and still growing, Metalworking Group is a consistent and steady local company, and the past year has been no different.

"We probably added about 50 jobs and have added a lot of capital"¢ close to $1.5 million," says Metalworking Group President Mike Schmitt.

It was this employee growth that also helped Metalworking Group's sales increase by 15 percent from 2010-2011. As a result, the company also saw growth in its customer base when they added more than 46 new customers in 2011, as well as adding jobs to their secondary facility in Hamilton, which specializes in cellular manufacturing.

Location: Colerain Township
Private or Public: Private
Founded: 2000
No. of Local Employees: 174
CEO/President: Mike Schmitt
Web Address:
Manufactures: Custom metal products

Amylin Pharmaceuticals

After an investment of more than $800 million since 2006 in its West Chester facility, manufacturing began in earnest this year of Bydureon, Amylin's innovative drug that is the first and only once-weekly injectable treatment for type 2 diabetes.

The drug, approved by the FDA early this year and in Europe last year, helps diabetics manage several critical factors associated with the disease.

"It keeps blood glucose under control and helps some people lose weight through control of appetite," says Bob MacKay, general manager at the facility for the San Diego-based Amylin. "Having a medication to help control your blood sugar that still lets you lose weight with one dose a week is a real innovation. A weekly, rather than daily injection, gives a person much more control."

As a result of the drug's success, Amylin gained almost 49 percent in the first week in February alone, after the FDA approved Bydureon. They have also invested $600 million in their West Chester facility, bringing national recognition with it and developing innovative manufacturing techniques needed to put the drug's active ingredient into microsphere polymers that degrade over time.

"It has been challenging, but we have developed a very exacting, precise process," MacKay says.

Location: West Chester
Private or Public: Public
Founded: 1987
No. of local employees: 300
General Mnager: Bob MacKay
Web address:
Manufactures: Metabolic disease biopharmaceuticals
Meridian Bioscience Inc.

It's rare when a company can boast it has developed a new technology that will double its revenues in the next three years.

That's the forecast from Meridian Bioscience Inc, the integrated life science company founded here, now with 525 employees in eight countries.

Meridian received FDA clearance in the last 18 months for two of its molecular amplification assay diagnostic platforms called "illumigene." Infectious diseases can be diagnosed in less than an hour, instead of 2-3 days.

"We were able to take a molecular technology and transform it into a very user-friendly process," says Kenneth J. Kozak, chief technical officer. "Anyone in the lab would be able to pick up one of our kits and diagnose patients with very minimal training."

So far the company's kits detect an intestinal bacteria and a streptococcus infection that may be found in women during pregnancy. Tests for strep throat, walking pneumonia and whooping couch are in late stage development.

The significant anticipated growth has led Meridian to invest $4 million in a new facility that opened last year near its main Newtown campus.

"With our new immunology-based products we have opened whole new areas to us that could not be done with traditional immunology," says Kozak.

Location: Newtown
Private or Public: Public
Founded: 1977
No. of local employees: 250
CEO/President: Jack Kraeutler
Web address:
Manufactures: Diagnostic products

It's not easy to cut and mill titanium, one of the toughest composite products ever developed. Enter Makino's Cincinnati Titanium R&D Center, which has developed a process that increases productivity and tool life of conventional titanium machining technologies. "Our tools and processes can mill titanium four times faster and do it with four times the tool life and cutting material," says Thomas Clark, Makino vice president.

Known as its ADVANTiGE technologies, the Makino innovation includes development of both a cutting machine and a process that monitors the milling. The technology was refined at the Mason facility of the Japanese owned company, a global manufacturer of high speed machining centers.

Clark says the demand for titanium machining has gone up exponentially driven by the aerospace industry using composite materials to form the skins of 21st century jetliners, like the Boeing 787.

"Prior to ADVANTiGE, titanium machining was a slow and cost-prohibitive process," Clark says. "We've allowed aerospace manufacturers to profitably machine titanium while expediting the overall process."

Location: Mason
Private or Public: Private
Founded: 1922
No. of local employees: 400
CEO/President: Don Lane
Web address:
Manufactures: High speed horizontal and vertical machining centers, Ram and Wire EDM machines

B.I.C. Precision Machine Co., Inc.

B.I.C. Precision Machine Co. started small, when three men established a family owned precision machine company that would serve local businesses in need of precision machine products.
Now, in just the past year, B.I.C. Precision Machine Co., Inc has seen a 30 percent growth.
It has more than doubled its employment in the past five years, adding highly skilled machinists and engineers. The growth has also allowed for B.I.C. to invest in new equipment and facilities.

More so than the numbers though, B.I.C. has grown its customer base because of how active its employees have become in community organizations, such as United Way. B.I.C. has also sponsored numerous fundraising events for local charities.

"We weathered the storm," says owner Victor Burkhart. "The growth is due to our commitment to our customers. We're very responsive to their needs. We do what we say and we say what we do. That's kind of our mantra"¢ we look at customers as partners, rather than just customers."
Location: Blanchester
Private or Public: Private
Founded: 1997
No. of Local Employees: 27
CEO/President: Victor Burkhart
Web Address:
Manufactures: Machined products

General Data Company

The recession didn't stop CEO/President of General Data Company Pete Wenzel from taking steps to grow his company. Rather, General Data has experienced steady growth in spite of the recent economic downturn. In 2011, company revenue was $52.1 million and the company has grown 27 percent over the past five years.

"I decided two years ago that even through the depth of the recession, 2012 would be a tremendous year for business," says Wenzel.

And he was right. In 2011, an Ohio Department of Development project provided General Data with $3.4 million of an overall $5 million needed for an expansion to open an additional 24,000 square-foot facility. General Data also added $2.5 million of new equipment to the facility and upgraded software across the entire company.

Location: Eastgate
Private or Public: Private
Founded: 1981
No. of Local Employees: 161
CEO/President: Pete Wenzel
Web Address:
Manufactures: Line, matrix and related printing equipment

Star Manufacturing

Star Manufacturing President and Owner Mario Listo may have started his company in the middle of a recession in 2009, but judging by the company's growth in 2012, you'd never know.
Star Manufacturing is now one of the premier control panel engineering and fabrication companies in the Midwest.

Since 2011, the number of employees at Star Manufacturing has risen from 28 to 44, including part-time employees. Because of the growth, the company has been able to bring in top-notch talent. Additionally, there has been very little employee turnover.

"We've had a lot of growth because we've been proactive in bringing people on that can bring us to the next level," says Dan Houchin, sales manager. "We have some of the top engineers, and we're not intimidated by the size of a project."

Listo agrees. "A lot of our growth has been because of the different industries we've picked [to work with]. To keep up with the growth, you have to expand."

And expand, they have. Their facility size has tripled in the past nine months and this July, they are looking to add on another 7,500 square-feet.

Location: West Chester
Private or Public: Private
Founded: 2009
No. of Local Employees: 44
CEO/President: Mario Listo
Web Address:
Manufactures: Control panels and cables

Honoring the previous winners of the MANNY Awards since 2007


Top Local Executive





Winning Year(s)

AK Steel

James Wainscott

West Chester


(859) 442-3382 x145


Amano Cincinnati

Kash Gokli



(513) 697-9000

2009 & 2011

American Fan

Greg Card



(513) 874-2400


American Micro Products

Pierre A. Paroz



(800) 479-2193


BAE Systems

Tony Russell



(513) 881-9800


Batesville Casket Co.

Ken A. Camp



(812) 934-7500


Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc.

Matthew J. Shattock



(513) 948-4704


Champion Window

Donald Jones/Dennis Manes



(513) 346-4600


CKS Solution Inc.

James Braun



(513) 947-1277


Clippard Instrument Laboratory Inc.

William L. Clippard III

Colerain Towns 

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