Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Morning memo

News and tips to start your business day

Today's number: 400

Employees fired by Scholastic Corp., the U.S. publisher of the best-selling Harry Potter books, which amount to about 4 percent of its staff, because of slowing book sales.

Bloomberg News

Today's mover

Bob Luebbe has been named vice president and team leader of middle market commercial banking at Fifth Third Bank. Luebbe is responsible for managing commercial banking relationships and establishing new banking relationships with privately owned businesses within greater Cincinnati. He earned a bachelor's degree in marketing and finance from the University of Cincinnati.

Shirley Dees

Today's career tip

A vital career and workplace lesson came to Elvis Presley in January 1954, when he recorded, rehearsed and developed a musical style with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black (while Elvis was still employed as a truck driver), according to Elvis for Beginners by Jill Perlman. Producer Sam Phillips pretty much ignored the trio for months as they went about their rehearsals. But he did offer one bit of advice: "Keep it simple!" In November 1954, Phillips released, finally, Good Rockin' Tonight. A legend was soon born.

Remember Phillips' words: keep it simple.

John Eckberg

Today's money tip

The auditor's report attached to a company's annual report is that auditor's opinion of the financial statements. The auditor will have checked the accuracy, fairness and general acceptability of accounting records and statements. The auditor usually gives unqualified, or "clean," opinions.

Amy Higgins

Today's Company: Verbarg's Furniture

A Future In Furniture: Harold Verbarg began making wood furniture by hand when he was just 15, working for W.B. Meier, a neighbor who owned a furniture store. Eventually Verbarg became president of Meier's company, then purchased that company's Ohio Pike store in Amelia.

Verbarg's store in Amelia dates from 1978. A second store began in Sharonville but moved to its current location in Kenwood eight years ago. Within the past six months Verbarg's has opened an outlet center behind its Amelia store.

Mix Of Styles: The company specializes in traditional, transitional and country furniture, with a smaller line of contemporary furnishings. Accessories include lamps, prints, rugs and accent pieces.

Hands-On: Harold Verbarg still makes house calls to repair furniture; his wife Shirley still creates fresh flower arrangements for the company's two stores.

Family Affair: All five Verbarg daughters are involved in the business, and almost one-third of the company's employees are family members.

Jenny Callsion

Consumer confidence stays level
Forecasts surpassed at Kroger
PEALE: What's the Buzz?
Area bookstores reap the magic
Abercrombie settles lawsuit over dress code
N.Ky. small businesses honored
Consumers prefer to bank at branches
Tristate summary
Business digest
Morning memo