Sunday, April 6, 2003

Business Notes

By Jenny Callison

David S. Rawlings opens realty office

Real estate broker David S. Rawlings has opened a new Realty Executives office in Fort Thomas. Rawlings, former president and director of the Northern Kentucky Association of Realtors, has more than 20 years' experience in the real estate field.

The new owner has handled properties in Campbell, Kenton, Boone and Pendleton counties and ranks among the top 3 percent of all real estate agents in Northern Kentucky.

"The concept of Realty Executives attracts the most experienced, confident and hard-working agents who are discovering the increased income potential of affiliation with an internationally-acclaimed company," Rawlings said.

The Phoenix, Ariz.-based company has 600 franchises in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Mexico, Australia, Guatemala, Thailand and Singapore. The new office, at 107 N. Fort Thomas Ave., is the third in Northern Kentucky.

Information: 859 781-8002 or

Store lets kids make own toys

Children can invent their own playthings at Toy Lab, a new business in Anderson Township. The concept grew from Extreme Toys, a class in toy making held as a fund-raiser for Happen, Inc. Because of the positive response, the project's sponsors, Sean Mullaney and Tommy Rueff decided to open a for-profit version.

At Toy Lab, customers choose from an array of toy parts and are assisted by an adult in putting the pieces together. Activities are geared for children 6-12, although people of any age can enjoy inventing their own toys, said Mullaney. A typical visit to Toy Lab takes about an hour and costs about $18 a person. Toy Lab can host birthday parties and other special events.

The store, at 5208 Beechmont Ave., is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Information: 231-TOYS or

Blue Ash woman gets inventor honor

Blue Ash inventor Jackie Diaz was named Inventor of the Week by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Engineering. The program to recognize innovation is the legacy of Jerome Lemelson, one of the world's most prolific inventors. Information on the program is at Diaz is honored April 7-13.

"The Lemelson-MIT Program is geared to raise the 'status bar' for America's inventors while serving as a catalyst for young minds," Diaz said.

Diaz, president of Cooks InOvation, created the Culinique "Surprise Inside" food molds, dubbed by Good Housekeeping as the "no-melt" ice cream cake mold. Culinique products are sold on live television, through specialty catalogs and retailers and direct from the inventor.

Information: 800 947-3572 or

Communication firm started

Marketing, advertising and public relations professional Carl M. Alexoff has launched his own firm. According to the founder, the Alexoff Communications Group will help Tristate firms decide what to say and how and when to say it.

Alexoff has 20 years' experience with The Provident Bank, University of Cincinnati, The Union Institute and HSR Marketing Communications.

He has assembled a roster of freelance artists, photographers and designers to help him produce annual reports, brochures, scripts, news releases and newsletters, as well as direct-mail campaigns and specialty advertising materials.

Information: 520-8318.

SCORE wins for chapter of year

Cincinnati Chapter 34 of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) earned chapter of the year honors for fiscal year 2002 in its district, which covers central and southern Ohio.

The award was given partly in recognition for the chapter's more than 80 percent increase in client contacts, for a total of 2,200, the group's spokesman Robert Kramer said.

"The Cincinnati chapter also realized proportionate improvements in other facets of chapter responsibilities," he said. "To handle our ever-increasing client caseload, we are aggressively recruiting additional counselors."

SCORE is a group of retired businesspeople who elect to share their expertise with small business owners and entrepreneurs in the community.

More than 50 volunteers in the local chapter serve 19 counties in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. In addition to individual counseling, SCORE conducts related workshops and programs. Counseling is provided free of charge to start-up and existing small business owners.

Information: 684-2812 or

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

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