Monday, May 21, 2001

Morning Memo

Hot tips and news to start your business day

        Today's number: 4.6

        Percentage that U.S. existing-home prices rose in the first quarter, to a national median of $139,700, a National Association of Realtors report said.

        Today's money tip: An increasing number of accidents involving elderly drivers is pushing up automobile insurance premiums for those who stay behind the wheel after age 75, according to Kiplinger's Magazine.

        “At-fault crashes start to rise for people in their late 60s, but are an overwhelming problem for those over 75,” said David Willis, president of the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety.

        He said those accidents often involve errors in making left turns, crossing intersections and driving into fast-moving traffic. Elderly drivers file 25 percent more claims than do members of the best driving group: people in their 40s. Moreover, fatal crashes among the elderly are up 33 percent since 1988, while the rate for all drivers has dropped 7 percent.

        Today's career tip: Interested in changing jobs? Here's a tip from the career counseling network Five O'Clock Club. Solicit a few offers from inferior or mediocre companies, “those who would consider themselves lucky to have someone like you.” Then tell your primary target that you are talking to a lot of other companies, and in fact, have a few offers.

        Today's company: Bramkamp Printing Co.

        • PRESSING ONWARD: An established firm that has experienced a recent growth spurt, it is named for William Bramkamp, who founded the venture in 1921. Three partners purchased the company from the Bramkamp family in 1960. In 1998 it was acquired by current managing partners Kevin Murray and Larry Kuhlman.

        • OLD FIRM, NEW TRICKS: Exploring new directions has been a hallmark of the company. In the 1960s it installed one of the first Heidelberg presses in Cincinnati. Soon after, Bramkamp added foil stamping, embossing and die-cutting equipment. Services now include electronic prepress, scanning, print-on-demand and short-run digital color printing.

        • LOTS OF BLACK INK: In 1999, the company's sales increased from $1.9 million to more than $3 million. Bigger volume required more space, so Bramkamp uprooted from its original location at 800 Sycamore St. downtown and moved to a 20,000-square-foot plant in Winton Place.

        • GETTING GOOD PRESS: Bramkamp Printing was a Pinnacle Award winner in 1999 in recognition of its growth. In the June 2001 issue of American Printer magazine, Bramkamp is named one of the 50 fastest-growing printers in North America, based on its sales figures for the past three years. It expects 2001 sales to top $4 million.

        Send tips and questions to Bill Ferguson at


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- Morning Memo