The Goals for My Term as 2018-2019 Chairman of COSE

John Young of Speed Exterminating was named as the 2018-2019 COSE Chairman during the 2018 Annual Meeting. Read on below for the priorities he has set during his term.

I am so excited to be here, in this place, taking on this role as the 2018-2019 chairman of COSE at this time. I am a Cleveland kid. Born here, spent my whole life here and absolutely love it. One of my hobbies is bicycling—which has given me a unique perspective of Cleveland’s urban and suburban landscapes, its great parks and its neighborhoods.  When you are on a bike you are very connected and aware of the terrain and things that are going on around you—much in the same way as I have been connected to small business and COSE throughout my life.

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    I have the honor of leading a fourth-generation business.  Speed Exterminating was started by my great grandfather, John W. Speed, back in 1908. So, I’ve been in and around our small business all of my life. In fact, it’s the only full-time job I have ever had.

    I’ve also been around COSE for a long time. The first COSE Annual Meeting I attended was in 1985 when I was 18 years old. This was not because I was an active COSE member, but my dad sure was. He was Chairman of COSE’s board of directors in 1984-85. It was an important part of our business then and it is even more important now.

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    As I started the year and began to prepare for my first Board meeting at the end of this week, I met with our Board members in groups to talk about their COSE experience, their passion for the organization and the work we need to do ahead. And I confirmed something that I already knew: The members of the COSE board are dedicated and passionate about the organization and the small business community.

    While we know COSE is a critical resource to a lot of our members to access savings on their health benefits, workers’ compensation or energy costs, there is much more to COSE.

    Don’t get me wrong—generating membership interest and dues is critical to the support of the economic development and advocacy work we do with the Greater Cleveland Partnership. 

    But, more broadly, COSE is a community for small business owners. A place they can connect with like-minded small business people to share ideas and help each other.

    It’s also a platform to ensure our voice is heard. Individually, we are just one voice. But together, we are far larger than any other employer in the region and an economic impact that is also more significant.

    I think that the work we have done over the last couple of years to get more connected to the GCP and its broader work in the region has been really important. I’ve learned a lot and I think there is a lot of value there. At the same time, our specific role is to ensure we are out there in front for the small business community.

    2018-2019 priorities set

    So, my goals as chairman are pretty simple.

    I want to make sure more of you are getting involved with and are connected to our work. You are going to see more opportunities to connect with each other and I’m going to push you to take the time to get involved. Not for us, but for you. I know from experience the more you get involved, the more you get out of COSE.

    I also want to make sure that the GCP’s work is felt by and connected to small businesses. We need to ensure we take business investment and support down to the region’s smallest businesses in our city neighborhoods and our suburbs. I want to make sure that the voice of small businesses is actively connected to all of the work of GCP.

    I want to continue to ensure that we increase the awareness of business owners about all that COSE can do for them beyond the one thing they may have joined the organization for. I want there to be more things for you to get benefit from and want to make sure you access more than just one.

    There are a lot of opportunities for all of you to get involved. Just come out to an event we are doing. Or, if you want to get more active in the organization, call me or Steve and we’ll talk about what we can get you involved with.

    This is your organization. My job is to help translate what you need to COSE staff and to the GCP. Help me help you get the most out of COSE for yourself and for your business.

    I look forward to talking with many of you during tonight’s networking reception. And I appreciate the trust of my fellow board members and the opportunity to work on your behalf.

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    Next up: The Young Entrepreneur Institute Asks: What Inspired You to be an Entrepreneur?
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  • The Young Entrepreneur Institute Asks: What Inspired You to be an Entrepreneur?

    The Young Entrepreneur Institute took time recently to ask a selection of COSE members about what sparked their entrepreneurial spirit.

    As part of a special partnership, the Young Entrepreneur Institute recently conducted a series of video interviews with COSE members on the topic of entrepreneurship. You can support the work the Young Entrepreneur Institute is doing by clicking here.

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    Entrepreneurs and small business owners are a unique breed. They have a special drive inside of them that inspires these women and men to greatness.

    But where does this drive come from? The Young Entrepreneur Institute recently asked a selection of COSE members about what sparked their entrepreneurial drive. Their answers ranged from their parents, to wanting more flexibility in their schedule, to applying skills gained from a corporate career to starting a new business; and more.

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    View the video below for the full responses to the question posed by the Young Entrepreneur Institute. And for another Young Entrepreneur Institute video, click here to learn about what the first businesses were that some of our COSE members had when they were children.

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    Next up: Time to Make the Donuts
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  • Time to Make the Donuts

    Recently, I had a conversation with a business owner who was describing her level of frustration in leading her business. She was feeling “stuck.”  My response was, “I completely understand, it sounds like you are tired of making the donuts.”  After pausing briefly, she laughed and replied, "YES, that's exactly how I feel!"

    Recently, I had a conversation with a business owner who was describing her level of frustration in leading her business. She was feeling “stuck.”  My response was, “I completely understand, it sounds like you are tired of making the donuts.”  After pausing briefly, she laughed and replied, "YES, that's exactly how I feel!"

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    The phrase “time to make the donuts” came about when Dunkin Donuts ran a very successful campaign featuring actor Fred the Baker. The commercials showed Fred rising at dawn to make the donuts every single day to convey the freshness of the product. Also, for a long time, people have used the phrase, "time to make the donuts," as another way to say, “Let's get the job done and do whatever it takes.”  

    It was then that the visual hit me of a business owner doing the same thing, again and again, every single day, being completely committed to their company and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. However, the problem is that business owners are making the donuts for so long that they don’t know how to stop and assess if what they’re doing day to day is of benefit to the business. We need to make time for pursuing new goals, ideas, strategies and relationships. 

    Pre-Check

    So, what do you do if you are stuck making the donuts?

    1. Identify and assess

    Take a step back. Identify areas you would like to improve and take steps to empower yourself and find resources that will enable your success.  The business owner I referenced earlier described being frustrated with the daily routine of what came with the job; however, after digging a bit deeper, she revealed that she was really tired of her team not taking accountability for their work.  

    2. Get out of the forest

    Getting out of the forest requires you to take a step back – or many steps back – so you are in the clear.  If you are right in the middle of the forest, or the in the midst of all your work, taking one step back still won't allow you to gain the clarity you need to get unstuck.  

    For those who insist that they cannot get out of the forest because they are the only person responsible for everything, this is a danger sign. You need to get out of your comfort zone and engage with different people when you can to gain new perspectives. 

    3. Set up your circle

    Who is in your circle? Your circle should be made up of both those who influence you and those you influence. If you are in search of some new influencers, identify your heroes. Your heroes can provide a great visual of the possibilities that exist and serve as sources of hope or inspiration. 

    Also, give back to those who need your advice, inspiration and influence. Investing in someone else can actually help you, too.  

    I leave you with these suggestions that have been helpful to others and me. The question I now have for you is, if you are stuck, how long are you willing stay there?

    About Stacy


    Stacy Ward-Braxton, chief engagement and learning officer of The Significance Group, is an organizational development leader, passionate about helping individuals, teams and organizations through times of transition increase positive organizational dynamics, morale, effectiveness and productivity. Stacy has more than 15 years of experience helping individuals, nonprofit and for-profit organizations thrive.  She offers a wide range of programs, services and speaking topics that promote leadership development, team development, self-awareness, personal brand identity, resilience in the workplace and more.  She is a graduate of the Weatherhead School of Management’s Positive Organizational Development Program.  


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    Next up: GCP Board Member Chairs Small Business Congress Event in Washington
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  • GCP Board Member Chairs Small Business Congress Event in Washington

    The National Small Business Association (NSBA) held its 2017 Small Business Congress in Washington, D.C. recently where small business leaders from across the country discussed topics ranging from tax reform and alternative financing to improving the Affordable Care Act and regulatory reform.

    The National Small Business Association (NSBA) held its 2017 Small Business Congress in Washington, D.C. recently where small business leaders from across the country discussed topics ranging from tax reform and alternative financing to improving the Affordable Care Act and regulatory reform.

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    GCP board member Kevin Johnson of Glenwood Management Company served as chair and oversaw a successful event with a record number of attendees.

    “The Small Business Congress is NSBA’s biennial event held at the start of each new session of Congress, and is designed to give NSBA members a voice in determining the organization’s top policy priority issues,” said Johnson.  “I was honored and humbled to lead this year’s event.”

    The two-day conference was packed full with policy discussions and culminated in attendees voting on NSBA’s policy priorities for the coming two years.  To view NSBA’s top priorities click here.


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    Next up: Total Cost of Ownership at Work
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  • Total Cost of Ownership at Work

    In previous communications, we have discussed the philosophy commonly referred to as Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). TCO is a way of calculating the cost associated with securing and maintaining a product or service by taking into consideration both time and money.

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    • RELATED: How to integrate the total cost of ownership model into your everyday business practices.

    But how do you put TCO to work? Well, the COSE Office Supply Program is a great place to start.  Let’s look at how.

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    TCO at work

    For many organizations, the most common challenge when purchasing office supplies is the inability to pinpoint the total cost for their organization’s office supplies. This challenge typically stems from conducting price comparisons, which often leads to purchasing from multiple vendors.

    With the COSE Office Supply Program, you can consolidate your purchases down to a single vendor. This vendor consolidation allows you to confidently calculate the out of pocket cost of your organization’s office supplies, and helps ensure that your organization is getting a more efficient solution. 

    How? By consolidating vendors, you also cut the number of invoices in need of processing, and the amount of shipping and delivery charges. While it may not seem like much, this really can equate to more than substantial cost savings for your organization.

    So then we are left with the question, which vendor do you choose?

    COSE has made the decision easy for you by working with Office Depot to negotiate the deepest discounts over the broadest range of products. These discounted products offer an average discount of 30% off retail price, and can be accessed through your Office Depot online account by shopping under the “best value” filter. You’ll also get the same great savings by visiting any of your local OfficeMax or Office Depot stores with your Office Depot Store Purchasing Card in hand.  

    Want to further reduce your TCO? You get free shipping on online orders over $50 in addition to free in-store pickup. Not to mention that when you choose to do a free in-store pickup, items available in store will be ready within one hour!

    All things considered, the COSE Office Supply Program has fully integrated the TCO model in order to provide you with all of these great features and benefits. It is an exceptional reference to how your organization can take TCO, and apply it throughout your purchasing process for acquiring and maintaining products and services to achieve great savings. 

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    Next up: Transitional Work Programs Can Return Injured Workers to Full Duty Faster and Saves You Money
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  • Transitional Work Programs Can Return Injured Workers to Full Duty Faster and Saves You Money

    Getting an injured worker back on the job as quickly and safely as possible is the best result for all parties involved. Developing a formalized transitional work plan for your company can make this happen and save you money. The BWC’s Transitional Work Grant Program is designed to help employers develop a transitional work program that’s right for your business and your employees.

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    1-888-OhioComp has helped our employers navigate the Transitional Work Grant process and to implement their programs, which helps to return injured workers back to their job with light-duty modifications until they are cleared for full-duty workload.  

    Having a BWC-approved transitional work plan allows injured employees to return to light-duty work safely while they earn a paycheck. By putting the approved plan into operation, it can also qualify an employer for up to a 10% BWC premium reduction and saves them money by not incurring the additional costs associated with long absences, such as hiring temporary workers or overtime.

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    A transitional work plan:

    • Reduces the average number of days absent due to an injury by 46%
    • Reduces medical costs by 11%
    • Cuts indemnity costs by 22%
    • Reduces the claim filing process by 37%
    Click here to download a PDF version of this article.
    Grasshopper
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