Sunday, March 16, 2003

Business notes

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer contributor

Pool, spa firm lands in Sharonville

Just in time for the spring thaw, an East Coast distributor of pool and spa products has located a branch in Sharonville.

Imperial Pools Manufacturing & Distribution opened its regional distribution center Feb. 25. The building is at 12090 Best Place, in the Crescent Point Commerce Center. The company makes and sells galvanized steel in-ground pool kits, one-piece thermoplastic steps and vinyl liners for in-ground and above-ground pools.

Imperial, based in Latham, N.Y., now has distribution centers in Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. The company was founded in 1959.

"Our expansion gives us the strength and resources needed to more effectively compete in today's marketplace," said Imperial's national sales manager, Regis Miles.

Information: 771-1506.

Sessions increase your know-how

Several informational and training sessions are available for small-business owners who want to increase their know-how:

• Local inventors who want help pursuing their patent dreams can attend a one-day seminar sponsored by the nonprofit Inventors' Council of Cincinnati. The session features Lisa Lloyd, successful inventor and founder of Invention University, which helps people take their ideas to market.

The seminar is 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Re/Max Results in Mason. Cost is $199 for members of the Inventors' Council, $229 for nonmembers.

Information: 831-0664, (888) 320-6444 or Web site

• Businesses can learn more about putting technology to work for them at a six-week course offered by TechSolve, whose mission is to help companies work more productively.

The "eVantage" course takes participants beyond Web sites to other e-business strategies. It's offered from 8 am. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays from beginning this week to April 24. Cost is $500, which includes class time plus 30 hours of individualized training. TechSolve is at 1111 Edison Drive in Bond Hill.

Information: 948-2092.

• A free seminar provides information about doing business with Hamilton County.

"How Hamilton County Conducts Business" will detail the county's purchasing system for goods and services. The presentation especially targets female and minority business owners.

The seminar is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 28 at the Hamilton County Business Center, 1776 Mentor Ave. in Norwood. Continental breakfast and lunch are included. Registration is required.

Information: 946-4323 or Web site.

• Improving networking skills is the focus of Certified Networker, a course offered by Business Network International. BNI co-executive director Geof Scanlon is the presenter. It begins March 25 and runs for six Tuesdays from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Cost is $495 for BNI members; $795 for others. A free information meeting takes place 1-2 p.m. Tuesday. Call for location.

Information: (859) 655-9434 or Web site or Web site.

Truck bed liner tough to defeat

Frank Marino saw a product he liked and opened a new business to make it available.

The retired AT&T manager read about Line-X, a spray-on truck bed liner that protects surfaces against rust, corrosion and chemicals.

The compound is also being tested by the U.S. government as a means to protect buildings from bomb blasts and possibly the effects of earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes.

In November the Department of Defense began spraying this elastic material on the walls of the Pentagon.

"While spray-in truck bed liners is our primary market, Line-X protective coatings can be applied to trailers, commercial vehicles, farm and industrial equipment, building foundations, marine and many other surfaces that require a high level of protection from the elements," said Marino.

Line-X of Southern Ohio is at 4414 Aicholtz Road near Eastgate Mall. Its hours are 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Information: 752-7500 or Web site

Practice promotes foreign commerce

Paul Berge International LLC is a new consulting practice that helps companies become more successful in international markets. Its founder is multilingual and multicultural business executive Paul Berge, who says that Tristate companies have much to offer customers in Europe, Asia, the Pacific Rim and Latin America.

"A weak local economy should provide a stimulus to hunt for opportunities in export markets," Berge said. "Now is the right time to establish the right contacts and distribution channels in preparation for the market recovery."

The Mount Lookout company's services include planning for market penetration, selection of target markets and evaluation of distribution channels.

Berge has several decades of business experience in Europe and Asia, including work for the United Nations in China. Information: 871-6657.

Kaleidoscope firm moves downtown

A design-consulting firm has moved its Cincinnati office to new offices downtown.

Kaleidoscope Inc. has expanded its professional staff and relocated to 205 W. Fourth St.

"In the last two quarters Kaleidoscope has experienced an explosive growth in our design consultancy business and we have reacted by bringing on additional staff and the associated facilities to satisfy the ... needs of our clients," said CEO Matt Kornau.

Headquartered in Cleveland, Kaleidoscope has offices also on Long Island, N.Y. Clients include Fisher Price, Moen, Motorola, Parker Hannifin, STEP2 and Symbol Technologies. Information: 791-3009.

E-mail or fax 564-6991 with openings, expansions and other news about neighborhood businesses.

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