Sunday, August 31, 2003

Business notes

By Jennie Callison
Enquirer contributor

SalesMax bought, to become Conexio

An investment group has acquired SalesMax, a Kenwood-based company that provides FrontRange and Microsoft software packages for businesses. The group is led by Joseph Rippe Jr., an IBM veteran and graduate of Xavier University with an MBA from the University of Dayton.

The company will focus increasingly on expanding its expertise in customer relations management and help desk functions. SalesMax is also in the process of changing its name to Conexio. The new name reflects the company's mission of helping its customers stay in touch with their customers and prospects.

An alliance with Rippe & Kingston Systems Inc. will support Conexio's service and technical expertise.

Conexio is at 8050 Hosbrook Road. Information: (877) 863-1321, or Web site.

Hyde Park getting Bella Donna shop

Greater Cincinnati will boast two "beautiful ladies" come September.

Donna Wesselman, owner of Bella Donna women's clothing boutique in Glendale, will open a second location Sept. 2 on Hyde Park Square. But just as no two women want to be dressed alike, each of the stores will have a slightly different focus.

"Our current location in Glendale will specialize in 'social occasion dressing,' which will feature fashions for 'mothers of,' gala, prom, cocktail attire, evening separates, wedding guests, etc. Our new Hyde Park location will house all our sportswear, casual wear, jeans, tees, sweaters and the like," Wesselman said.

The owner says her boutique caters to women who "want to dress hip but may not necessarily have hip figures." Sizes run from 2 to 18 in the social occasion store and 2 to 14 (with size 16 available) in Hyde Park at 2732 Erie Ave.

The Glendale store is at 1112 Congress Ave. Both stores are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays.

Information: 772-3377.

Winery tasting opens in Evanston

A local vintner has opened a tasting room in Evanston.

Woodstone Creek Winery has moved its operations from Lebanon, Ohio, to a facility at 3641 Newton Ave., at the intersection of Newton and Dana avenues, two blocks east of Xavier University.

The winery offers 15 varieties of wine, including kosher wines, honey wines and meads, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. There's a retail shop. The tasting room is open to the public from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

Information: 569-0300 or Web site.

Consultant focuses on inefficiencies

The objective of a new consulting firm in West Chester is to help businesses improve their top-line revenue and eliminate unproductive costs from business development efforts.

Chris McGraw is the owner of Sales Structure LLC, a process improvement consulting firm. McGraw's background includes marketing, sales and client service in large firms such as United Parcel Service, and in money management firms.

"The firm will remain concentrated on its core competencies of process development, improvements driven by established metrics, coaching/personnel development, and client relationship management implementation," McGraw said. "A structured process to business development allows a firm to see what is working and what needs to be improved upon."

Sales Structure's target market is firms or professional practices needing to formalize business development processes, or individuals wishing to improve such processes or better use technology in their efforts.

Information: 607-5201 or Web site.

Outfit takes aim at bad-check costs

Back Office Solutions, based in Kenwood, has an idea to help retailers reduce their returned-check processing costs.

The new company uses the Automated Clearing House network, which allows it to recover returned checks electronically from the check writer and pass the entire face value of the checks to its retail customers.

"We charge the check writer the state-authorized returns fee, thus passing the expense of our services on to the person who created the return in the first place," Back Office Solutions owner April Dimig said.

The company said it offers three free services: electronic check recovery, consolidated returns and electronic check verification.

Back Office Solutions LLC is at 9403 Kenwood Road, Suite C203. Information: (866) 834-1957, or

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

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