The Accidental Entrepreneur

By Rebecca Hession

Tracy Meats

Tracy Meats

There are many things we do by accident. We can trip, we can lose something, we can even crash our car, but rarely do we become an entrepreneur by accident. That’s exactly the situation Tracy, the founder and owner of Busy Bee Headbands, found herself in more than three years ago.

An avid runner, Tracy spent many weekends running races and acquiring race medals. She also was obsessed with wearing the right kind of headbands while she ran and worked out. One day she looked at those race medals and realized that they were the same width as her headbands. Light bulb moment! Tracy went to work making herself headbands from her race medal ribbons. As someone who loves to work with her hands and create things, Tracy didn’t stop there. Her fashion sense took over and she began buying ribbons for headbands that would match her workout clothes.

Tracy’s headbands quickly became the talk of her running buddies and her clients in the personal training business. She made headbands for gifts and then began getting requests from friends and clients to purchase her headbands.

Eagerly, Tracy began selling her headbands at the training center where she worked. She was a newly single mom looking for ways to keep ahead of her finances. Over time, the headband business became more profitable than the personal training business and she began to focus completely on headbands. This was a challenging time for her as she was working through a divorce and dealing with the loss of her mother. Starting a business wasn’t on her radar at all.

Tracy has embraced the idea of being an entrepreneur even if it was not something she set out to do intentionally, but with her love of crafts and working with her hands and her background in graphic design, it just made sense. And so, in a wonderfully happy accident, Busy Bee Headbands was born. With the nickname B, for always being a “busy bee,” Tracy’s work ethic comes in handy as she designs, sews and travels to local sporting events to sell her headbands.

Now happily remarried, Tracy says her new husband as well as her 13-year-old son are getting in on the game, traveling with her to weekend events. Busy Bee Headbands is now a family business, but that was no accident!

Not only has Tracy created a beautiful design, she’s created an amazingly functional one as well. As a fellow runner, the adjustable headband is the only way to go! And my daughter and I can happily share these headbands, with a perfect fit for each of us.

As you think about the perfect race day outfit for the Carmel Marathon on April 12, don’t forget a coordinating headband! Not only will you make a fashion statement, you’ll find yourself with a comfortable option to control those locks and be picture ready as you cross the finish line. Busy Bee Headbands will be at the expo on April 11 when you pick up your race day packet, or visit any BlueMile or Runners Forum location.

I recently purchased headbands from Tracy’s website,, and found the process easy and fast and the selection amazing. You can also find her wares most weekends at sporting events around the Indianapolis area as well as at 10 retail stores and five fitness studios.

Sometimes our passions come and find us, and what seems like a complete accident is really the master plan.

Rebecca Hession is a writer and speaker living in rural Hamilton County. She shares her rants and musings at as well as tips for attention deficit disorder relationships at

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Millennium Sounds

By Neil Lucas

When Matt Reeve was in the sixth grade, an eighth grader named Bill Lehman moved into the house next door. Little did Matt and Bill know that this seemingly cosmic accident would play such an important role in their lives. They were neighbors and best friends through the school years, and then Bill married Matt’s sister, Jenni, and eventually they became business partners as the owners of Millennium Sounds. From that grade-school friendship that started in Warsaw, Indiana, many years ago, Bill and Matt have built one of Indiana’s largest home technology providers with three locations in the state.

Bill and Matt started Millennium Sounds in Warsaw in 1999. As demand for their services grew in the Indianapolis area, it made sense for them to open a store here five years ago at 3949 East 82nd St., just east of the Fashion Mall. In 2013, they added a third location when they purchased Premier Custom Solutions, a 20-year-old business located in Ft. Wayne. In 2013, they also launched Millennium Security Systems, which, as the name suggests, provides home security services. They also purchased Classic Blinds in 2008, which sells both manual and automated blinds, shades, and window treatments.

Those in the Indianapolis area who have homes on Lake Wawasee, Lake Maxinkuckee, Lake Tippecanoe or any other northern Indiana lake will find Millennium Sounds’ three locations to be tremendously convenient. You can meet locally at Millennium Sounds’ Indianapolis location to plan your project, and they will have the installation and any follow up service performed by their staff at the Warsaw or Ft. Wayne location.

As with many in the home technology business, Millennium Sounds began primarily providing sound and video for home theaters. However, as home technology has developed and expanded, so have the services provided by Millennium Sounds. Presently, Millennium Sounds can provide, in addition to the home theater, a package of total home automation that includes lighting and thermostat control, camera and security systems with door locks, multi-room audio, and automated blinds, all which can be controlled remotely by your laptop, smartphone or tablet. Millennium Sounds is the only local dealer to earn the distinction of being named a “Pinnacle Dealer” by Control 4, the highest recognition given to Control 4 dealers. Control 4 is one of the world’s premier manufacturers of home automation systems.

According to Bill Lehman, one of the newest developments in their business is the transformation of the old home theater room into a multimedia room that incorporates the home theater screen and projector to create a world of virtual sports. The home theater room has become somewhat similar to the formal dining room in that it’s nice to have, but it doesn’t get that much use anymore. With the new technology, you and your friends can go from enjoying the latest Hollywood blockbuster movie to playing a round of golf at Pebble Beach or St. Andrews or more than 70 other famous golf courses around the world in minutes. Not a golfer? Virtual hockey, baseball and soccer also are available to incorporate into the multimedia room. Call Bill or Matt to see how they can expand the usefulness of your existing home theater room by incorporating virtual sports.

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Julie Schneiders: On a Mission for Women’s Health

By Denise Reiter

Julie Schneiders

Julie Schneiders

Even as a young girl, Julie Schneiders always knew she would make an impact in the field of health care. Growing up as the oldest of seven children in the Sullivan household, she quickly learned responsibility and gained a strong work ethic from the family business, Sullivan Hardware & Garden, a long-time staple in the Indianapolis economy.

Schneiders, now in her mid-50s, is locked, loaded and ready to take on the nuts and bolts of building the new St. Vincent Women’s Health Center in Carmel. Everything in her career seems to have led to this point in taking on the charge and responsibility as its first Executive Director.

The new 96,703 square foot outpatient center will dovetail the existing Carmel St. Vincent Hospital campus with a singular focus of serving the specific health care needs of women. Construction for the expansion began in February and, despite the ravages of this past winter, remains on schedule to open its doors by February of 2015.

“It’s exciting!” says Schneiders, who is energized and well suited to be at the helm of this initiative. “The Center is going to be a one-stop health care destination for women in Hamilton County, surrounding counties, and statewide. Our strategy is, ‘What can we do for women of all ages, to help them accomplish their health goals?’”

Schneiders explains, “We all know that women are busy. They are working in the home and they are working outside of the home. Women multi-task and balance a variety of things at the same time. But, too often women take care of themselves last. Because of that we, as health care professionals, should take care of them really well.”

And taking care of women really well is exactly what Schneiders intends to do at the new Women’s Center. In addition to obstetrics, gynecology, breast care, and a full-service pharmacy, the bells and whistles she envisions will be uniquely customized to women.

Yoga classes on Saturdays are on the planning board. Boutique shopping will be available to those who need health-related items like compression stockings for varicose veins, bras and wigs for cancer patients, and other hard to find products. A physical therapist will be available in the Pelvic Health Center. Highly-connected electronic medical records will play a major role in streamlining communication between areas. The Center will also offer personalized navigation services to help patients get through treatments or answer questions.

There’s an adage that says sometimes you have to live it and breathe it before you can understand it. In that sense, Schneiders most certainly understands the plight of women and their health care needs intimately. She is a prime example of the woman who multi-tasks while balancing work, home and family. While developing an impressive career, she was a single mother for ten years while raising five children. Now, her children are adults, she has remarried and currently has four grandchildren.

“From a personal perspective, I know how hard it is to try and work and juggle it all. I’ve always been interested in women’s health issues. I want to help be a game-changer, if I can. I want to make it easy for women to take care of themselves,” she says.

Schneiders has been a nurse and in health care for over 30 years. She also has 20 years as a board-certified women’s health nurse practitioner and had her own practice. Her educational background includes a masters of science in nursing from Indiana University and an undergraduate degree from Purdue.

No stranger to hard work, Schneiders first arrived on the scene at St. Vincent Hospital in 2007. There, she was the catalyst behind their high-risk breast program for women who might be high-risk for breast cancer or ovarian cancer.

If you’ve heard the television and radio commercials or seen the billboards advertising St. Vincent’s 338-4HER, that’s her, too. The program is a free, online question service where the public can have their health care concerns addressed. Not only is Schneiders the face behind 338-4HER, she authors the blog and receives all the online questions directly at her desk which she turns around and answers within 24 hours of receipt.

There’s no question that Schneiders is a driven women, and her mission is clear: Let’s make it easy for women to take care of themselves.

Women play a crucial role in health care decisions. Research shows that women typically choose the healthcare for their families. They also seek the referrals for family members and are the ones who encourage good health to their husbands and children.

“We know now more than ever, women need to take care of themselves,” Schneiders states.

“When you think about health care and what will be happening in the future, we are right on trend. The thinking is less about being hospitalized and more about taking care of yourself so you don’t have to go into the hospital in the first place!”

The Women’s Center will have an emphasis on preventative health care, particularly at its Center for Living Well. This subset within the center will offer information on nutrition, vitamins, acupuncture, alternative medicine, life coaches, health-related seminars and yoga classes.

Schneiders believes the state of medical care right now is focused on treating disease. “The new health center will go down the preventative path. The facts are that heart disease is the #1 killer of women and there is much that can come about from prevention in that area.”

Julie Schneiders

Julie Schneiders

Recently finishing up St. Vincent’s fourth year of providing free PAP smears for the community, Schneiders promises similar outreach programs with the new Center. “We don’t care what women look like, where they come from, what their health problems are or whether they smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. We want all women to come to the Center. We want to help them take care of themselves.”

St. Vincent Women’s Health Center will be a destination for women. Not just for health care but there will be a focus on the benefits of living well and healthily.

“We expect women to come in through the door from pre-teenagers all the way to 100. We want women living that long!” she states determinedly.

With Julie Schneiders focused on the task, the odds are definitely in women’s favor.

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Animal Arts Academy: It’s not what you may think

By Neil Lucas | Photos by Melissa Lawson/ Bizzzey Bee Photography

Animal ArtsSome of you may have driven by the Woodland Shops on 116th Street near Rangeline for years and saw a sign for the Animal Arts Academy and wondered what they do there and why it’s called an “Animal Arts Academy.” Can I drop off my dog or cat there for an acting or contemporary art class? Not surprisingly, the answer to this question is no. The Animal Arts Academy is a premier full-service pet grooming salon that also provides instruction to those seeking to become professional pet groomers.

Current Animal Arts Academy owner Kristie Humphrey-Stewart is a testament to the rewards of hard work and the success students who complete the Animal Academy grooming course can enjoy. In 1988, Kristie enrolled as a student groomer at the Animal Arts Academy fresh out of high school. Now with over 25 years of grooming experience, Kristie has mastered the grooming standards of many different breeds and has won several national awards in the competition grooming ring. However, the culmination of her hard work occurred when she purchased the Animal Arts Academy nearly 2 1/2 years ago — coming full circle from pet grooming student to grooming instructor and the owner of the salon where she actually began as a student.

If you have a love of animals, like Kristie, and are looking to turn that passion into a profession or have a child looking for a good paying profession without going to college, give Kristie a call. Today there is a tremendous need for well-trained professional pet groomers throughout the world as the pet grooming industry continues to grow. As Kristie’s success shows, pet grooming can be a profitable and rewarding career for patient, artistic and compassionate animal lovers.

The Animal Arts Academy is one of the few grooming schools accredited by the state and, in fact, was the very first to be accredited. The grooming course is about 12 weeks long and includes, naturally, instruction in grooming but also animal behavior, care of equipment and the business aspects of the grooming industry. Before you receive your diploma, you have to pass a practical test of grooming two dogs, to the instructor’s satisfaction, and also a written test. Normally the academy offers the grooming course beginning in May, August and January.

In addition to providing grooming instruction, the academy is also a premier full-service pet grooming salon with a staff of well-trained professionals, many of whom started as students at the Animal Arts Academy. Kristie’s vision has always been to have a first-class pet grooming salon staffed with wonderful, compassionate groomers who offer competent individual service to each and every pet and client at a reasonable price. For well-socialized pets, they offer a cage-free environment while also providing special care for difficult-to-handle or elderly pets. Beyond developing a terrific staff, Kristie has also made significant improvements to the interior surroundings and in updating equipment.

Kristie warns that keeping pets in a longer coat during these cold winter months does not necessarily keep them warmer. The fact is that it’s the undercoat that keeps pets warm, not the length of the coat. With light grooming regularly — bathing and brushing — you can reduce matting in order to improve the quality of the undercoat and help to protect your pet from the cold. During the month of February, the Animal Arts Academy is offering just what your pet’s undercoat needs: a special on a bath and brushing treatment at 50 percent off.

The Animal Arts Academy is located in the Woodland Shops at 1744 E. 116th St. in Carmel. For more information, call 317-575-1122 or email

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Zounds provides hearing loss solutions that improve daily living

By LeeAnn Teagno Photo by Melissa Lawson, Bizzzeybee Photography

Marty Wood has a passion for clear, crisp hearing. The owner of Zounds of Fishers, a hearing center that opened this past June in Fishers, Wood knows personally of the struggles that hearing loss can cause. Wood, who started his profession in engineering and construction 38 years ago, decided it was time for something different. He wanted to help others hear better and he couldn’t be happier — not only with his career move, but also because he’s a satisfied Zounds customer.

“I worked in construction, rode motorcycles, enjoyed woodworking and any number of other loud activities,” says Wood. “It had taken a toll on my hearing.”

Wood got his hearing tested after he noticed that people often had to repeat things to him and that he had to keep turning up his TV’s volume. Years of being around heavy machinery and loud noises led to his hearing loss.

Of his new Zounds hearing aids, he joked, “It’s great! My wife stopped yelling at me! I can hear her and the TV much better than I used to. The aids have also reduced my tinnitus.”

Wood advised that, while he understands hearing aids are often viewed as something only used by senior citizens, everyone over age 25 should have their hearing tested once every five years at the very least — and more often for those who are seniors.

“With all the technology out there — cellphones, ear buds and all the devices we place close to our ears — hearing loss is reaching epic proportions, even in younger folks,” he explained. “If someone has hearing loss, it’s best to know it and address it early for two reasons. First, the younger you are the more readily you tend to adapt to something new like the use of a hearing aid, and second, so that any hearing loss can be addressed before it has been damaged so severely that they cannot be properly helped.”

Wood said his customers have had nothing but praise for the innovative hearing aids.

“They come in because they’re tired of changing batteries and experiencing problems with their traditional hearing aids. Once they try our aids, they’re sold. They love the convenience of them and the fact that they just work better in general.”

So what makes the hearing aids that Zounds offers different from others? First of all, they’re rechargeable. The aids can run 18 or more hours on a charge, so there’s no inconvenient changing of batteries. They also have a convenient remote control so the user doesn’t need to touch the aids to adjust them. Of course, the price tag — $2,000 to $3,000 — is attractive too, as comparable aids sell for between $5,000 and $8,000.

The hearing aids also address mild to severe hearing loss. They don’t just make things louder but rather focus on where the customer needs them most, whether high-, middle- or low-frequency ranges. They work so efficiently that many of Wood’s customers say they hear sounds they forgot even existed.

“I had a customer tell me he thought his car had a problem when he heard the turn signal for the first time in years,” says Wood. “People forget what things sound like, and when they hear them again, they’re amazed.”
Wood says that to have their hearing tested, customers typically make an appointment. Zounds offers free and comprehensive hearing consultations, which take about an hour to complete. Once complete, customer’s audiogram, which is a graphical readout that explains what they hear and how well they hear it, is thoroughly reviewed. If the audiogram results warrant hearing help, a certified hearing specialist explains the available options in hearing aids, taking as much time as customers need to understand how to use hearing aids and answering any questions they might have.

Wood says it’s that personal touch that really sets Zounds apart on a customer service level.

“We know that when our customers need a hearing aid, it needs to meet or exceed their needs. The only way we can do that is through an in-depth assessment of each customer’s lifestyle. It’s not just about hearing — it’s about hearing right,” says Wood. “Typically, a very active person needs different care than a person who’s not so active, so we work to really get to know our customers because we want them to be completely satisfied.”

Wood added that customers get their hearing aids on the day they come in for their hearing evaluation, if they should need them. The aids are stocked in the office.
Even those who don’t need hearing aids should protect their hearing, says Wood. He recommends hearing protection whenever you’re exposed to loud noise or extreme low or high frequencies.

“Of course, preventing hearing loss is ideal,” he explained. “But when a hearing aid is needed, our clients really enjoy the ease of use and efficiency of the hearing aids at Zounds.”

Zounds is located at 11852 Allisonville Road. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 317-608-1310.

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Business Spotlight: Crust Pizzeria Napoletana

Photos by Melissa Lawson, Bizzzeybee Photography

CrustCrust Pizzeria Napolentana, a new addition to The Shoppes at Providence located at 12505 Old Meridian St. and the corner of Carmel Drive on Carmel’s west side, is the creation of Owner Mohey Osman. Mr. Osman, a former owner of Old Chicago pizzeria in Washington, D.C. and the Egiptian cafe in Broad Ripple and West Lafayette, brings a vision of fresh, authentic and organic ingredients to casual Italian dining.

As you walk into Crust, you will notice the sound of Sinatra or Édith Piaf circulating through the air and the aroma of fresh dough baking. Look around and you will see walls paneled with distressed recycled wood. Osman’s vision of a restaurant emphasizing healthy and sustainable principles was incorporated, not just in the menu items but also in the décor.

As to Crust’s menu, it offers traditional Italian items such as paninis, calzones and a different pasta dish each day. However, its specialty is pizza. The pizza starts with the finest flour imported from Italy known as Caputo 00. From there, they ladle on a pizza sauce specially made in-house. The tomatoes used to create the pizza sauce are imported from Italy and are packaged there within two hours of being on the farm. Crust uses only the finest of Italian and Wisconsin cheeses. The meats used by Crust are all imported from Italy except for its chicken which is locally raised organic. The pizza is then baked in an open stone pizza oven that reaches a temperature of 700.

You can match your pizza or calzone with one of their 28 different wines or six craft beers. A vast majority of the wines offered are from vineyards that are organic or ecologically sustainable. In fact, two of the wines actually have programs where they plant trees for every bottle of wine sold. On Tuesdays, Crust’s special is half off select bottles of wine.

Crust is the perfect place for small groups to meet. They have three “community tables” that seat up to 25. In addition, it also has a small semi-private dining area that can seat 10.

So if you’re looking for something special in authentic Italian casual dining that uses only the freshest authentic ingredients, stop by Crust Pizzeria Napoletana.

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Business Spotlight. Olive Oil Tasting: Choose Your Oil Like You Choose Your Wine

Photos by JJ Kaplan

“I introduce you to the good stuff, and then you never go back,” Ed O’Connell, owner of The Olive Mill, said with a grin. He’s talking about olive oil and vinegar. Seriously! And you know what? He is absolutely right.

Located at 10 S. Rangeline Rd. in Carmel, The Olive Mill offers the finest in olive

Ed O’Connell, owner of The Olive Mill

Ed O’Connell, owner of The Olive Mill

oils, balsamic vinegars and related items such as balsamic glazes, salts, spices and tapenades. The concept for the store came to Ed and his wife, Debbie, during an anniversary trip to Napa Valley some years ago. While in Napa, the O’Connells noticed that some of the vineyards were replacing grape vines with olive trees. In November 2005, they opened their first store in Geneva, Illinois, followed by a second store in Saugatuck, Michigan, and recently in Carmel.

What makes the olive oil offered by The Olive Mill so extraordinary? The OLIVES. The olive oils you typically find in the grocery store are a mixture of different types of olives. As with apples, each variety of olive can have a distinctly different flavor. That’s why some apples are good for pies and some are good for baking. The Olive Mill olive oils are cold-pressed single varietal olives; each freshly poured bottle contains just one type of olive. The Olive Mill’s knowledgeable staff will be happy to help direct you to the right olive oil for any dish you are preparing and also introduce you to uses you may not have imagined.

It’s not just the quality of the olive oils that makes The Olive Mill extraordinary. The Olive Mill offers an unbelievable 40 to 50 different flavored extra virgin olive oils. Among the flavored olive oils offered are cilantro, butter, blood orange and basil. The Olive Mill encourages its customers to come in and sample the different flavors, sort of like a wine tasting but without the headache. So a grab a friend or two and head down to the Olive Mill to try some of the best olive oils you have ever tasted. Ed O’Connell knows that once you taste his olive oils, you will be hooked.

In addition to a great selection of high quality extra virgin olive oils, The Olive Mill also offers special

Intersection of Rangeline Road and Main Street

balsamic vinegars. Grocery store brands of balsamic vinegars are aged four to six years while The Olive Mill’s are aged 10 to 12 years. The extended aging, similar to most wines, results in richer flavors and also vinegars that are sweeter and thicker. In addition to the traditional balsamic flavor, The Olive Mill has flavored balsamic vinegars such as black currant, blackberry ginger, cherry, chocolate and cinnamon spiced apple. Try the black currant balsamic vinegar over ice cream with fresh berries. Amazing! Or add some flavor to your favorite stir-fry recipe by including a shot of the blackberry ginger balsamic vinegar. The ginger with the hint of blackberry will propel your boring stir-fry to a new level.

As we head into the holiday season, the O’Connells encourage you to bring some friends and, per European tradition, taste before you buy. You can also pick up some hostess gifts or custom gift baskets that they will make while you wait. If you can’t make it to the store, you can shop online at The Olive Mill is a great place to find a gift for that hard-to-buy-for person. They will love you for introducing them to The Olive Mill, but they will never be able to go back to plain olive oil or balsamic vinegar again.

The Olive Mill
10 S. Rangeline Rd.
Carmel, IN 46032

Phone 317-574-9200
Fax 317-574-9203
Toll Free (866) 548-3844

Mon – Sat. 10 am-6 pm
Sunday 12-5 pm
Always open online at

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The Garrisons – Lawyers, Brothers, and Friends

Litigator Greg Garrison, radio talk show host with WIBC 93.1 FM and published author, with his brother Chris, an accomplished personal injury attorney.

Greg and Chris Garrison have many things in common. As brothers, they enjoy life with varied interests, but the bond of practicing law is the cement that has made their law firm so successful. The Garrison Law Firm brings together professionals with more than 100 years of experience in several important areas of law.

In their private lives, the brothers really do share a wonderful sense of humor and strong interests in history, horses, sports, reading, and spending time together as a family. It is obvious they enjoy their time together and support each other in their individual areas of legal expertise.

The Brothers

Greg Garrison, the attorney, is indeed an experienced litigator (on both sides of the courtroom) and has prosecuted a number of high-profile criminal cases. Currently, his practice is concentrated on personal injury law, business and commercial trial work, and general litigation. It goes without saying he is also a highly recognized, long-time radio talk show host with WIBC and because of this high public profile, we sometimes forget he is a very busy and engaged successful attorney as well. In his personal time, when he is not riding and caring for his beloved horses, Greg is a well-known published author who has written several books in his spare time.

Chris Garrison with Martha McDermott who specializes in family law and collections.

Chris Garrison concentrates his law practice in the area of personal injury claims from accidents, defective products, dangerous property conditions (slip and falls), animal attacks, poisonings, and employment injuries caused by someone other than the employer or co-worker. His interest in this particular area of law stems from his father who was in medicine and his own personal involvement of seeing what happens to individuals or families who suffered serious injury or death because of an accident or incident they didn’t cause. In his personal life, Chris enjoys being with his family, reading, and when there is time, hiking, walking, and sports.

They say success attracts like-minded successful professionals, and the Garrison Law Firm certainly has attracted experienced lawyers who represent a broad base of clients and legal representation in Indiana.

When life takes a different turn and you find yourself in a situation that demands legal attention, you can’t go wrong in giving Greg and Chris Garrison a call. Their legal practice expertise and deep love of the law that works for you, could make the difference in setting the course for your personal or professional recovery.

For more information call their office at 317-842-8283 or go to their website:

Office: 8720 Castle Creek Parkway, East Drive, Suite #200
Indianapolis, IN 46250
Phone: 317-842-8283

Areas of law practice include:

  • Personal Injury
  • Collections
  • Civil and Criminal Litigation
  • Family
  • Health
  • Juvenile and Traffic Offenses
  • Business and General Litigation

Garrison Law Firm Attorneys Include:

  • Garrison Law Firm Attorneys:
  • Greg Garrison
  • Chris Garrison
  • Martha Mondou McDermott
  • Josh Taylor
  • P. Chadwick Hill
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Spring Housing Market: Another New Chapter

by Greg Cooper

Greg Cooper is a real estate agent with the Dick Richwine Group at Prudential Indiana.

It’s nice, isn’t it? All those great headlines telling us the housing market is back and better than ever. I’ll admit to participating in those headlines as one of those who frequently comments in the media about housing. What I rarely have time or space to explain in full is yes, it’s better but there’s still an asterisk. Too many sellers are already giddy at the prospect of this spring being a ’seller’s market’ here in Carmel and in many other places with the shrinking of available inventory for sale. To that, I’d steal a line from a sports commentator. Not so fast, my friends.

It is true that our overall housing inventory is down – in places, WAY down from where it was two years ago. One would think that within the simple laws of supply and demand that most of us learned in the 10th grade that a lack of supply would push demand to absorb what homes were out there. This is where the asterisk comes in for today’s consumers. Your home may be for sale, but that alone will not get you a sold sign. That will get you a parade of buyers who may say a few good things about you but in the end just can’t pull the trigger. In the meantime, you clean and pick up and yell at a spouse or kids or pets or all of the above for not having your home ready for the next showing appointment.

To get to the closing table and see the maximum return on your home, you have to do more than simply be ‘for sale.’ To get done and move on in Today’s New World of Real Estate, your home must match the demands of the market. That may sound simple, but it’s not. I promise you, I’ve heard a thousand times, “Well, my home has this and the home that just sold down the street didn’t.” That’s fine. Are you putting up a sold sign today or are they? This is not rocket science, friends. Your ‘product’ either has it or it doesn’t.

So how do you know what path to take? Get good counsel. You will need the right person who understands the needs and demands of the market and can help you strike a balance in preparing your home for sale. I don’t care if it’s an outstanding real estate broker, home stager, or sherpa. Someone who knows must help you prepare your resources so that you can get across the finish line. Whomever that may be, get honest, no-nonsense direction before you take the plunge and put a home on the market. What’s at risk? Only months of your time and hours of effort that can determine whether you spend next Christmas in your new home or spend the holidays wondering why you couldn’t get your property sold.

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The Journey of Tania Castroverde Moskalenko

Tania Castroverde Moskalenko in the orchestra seats of the Palladium… a world away from her childhood home in Cuba.

… So it is in that spirit that I declare this afternoon to the people of Cuba that those who seek refuge here in America will find it. The dedication of America to our traditions as an asylum for the oppressed is going to be upheld. I have directed the Departments of State and Justice and Health, Education, and Welfare to immediately make all the necessary arrangements to permit those in Cuba who seek freedom to make an orderly entry into the United States of America.

The lesson of our times is sharp and clear in this movement of people from one land to another. Once again, it stamps the mark of failure on a regime when many of its citizens voluntarily choose to leave the land of their birth for a more hopeful home in America. The future holds little hope for any government where the present holds no hope for the people. And so we Americans will welcome these Cuban people. For the tides of history run strong, and in another day they can return to their homeland to find it cleansed of terror and free from fear …._
October 3, 1965 – Lyndon B. Johnson

Imagine a little girl of six playing in the warm sunshine of Cuba – innocent of the troubles surrounding her homeland. At that moment in time for this little girl, freedom was just a word, and America was an unknown world away.

Imagine her parents taking her aside to tell her that they would be leaving early the next day for a new country with a new beginning, and she needed to select just one toy to take with her on this journey. The pretty little girl with big brown eyes had many toys, so the choice was not an easy one for her to make; but in the end, she chose her favorite little dolly. The rest of that day, she watched her parents quietly pack a small amount of clothing for each of them in the limited amount of suitcases allowed. Everything else that had been part of their life must now be left behind. Because she was a child, the uncertainty of their journey would fade into the child-like excitement of going off on a trip. The sun set and then rose as the family went through the security departure area filled with soldiers, families, and other strangers.

The child watched as these soldiers opened each of their suitcases, rifling through the belongings that had been neatly packed by her parents. They were searching for anything that might have value – money, jewelry, gold, china. Anything of added value besides clothing was confiscated.

When all the suitcases had been searched, one of the soldiers looked down at the little girl. He extended his hand, motioning for the surrender of the doll that she was holding so tightly to her chest. Her parents nodded, and she surrendered the doll. In rapid motion, he tore off the doll’s head, arms, and legs. He inspected the doll’s cloth body, looking for pockets that might hold hidden treasures. Finding nothing of the sort, the soldier moved on to the next in line, and the little girl and her family moved forward on a journey that would take them from one country to another. The child’s destiny would now await her in the land of the free.

The little girl in the story is Tania Castroverde Moskalenko, President/CEO of The Center for the Performing Arts, an incredibly positive and dynamic woman who believes that life brings many opportunities – opportunities that may not be seen at first glance, but if acted upon, can change your life forever.

“Cuban history shows that it was a very difficult time for the country and its people. My parents found the courage to leave everything behind with the firm belief to find a better life for us in America. The journey was not easy and the memory of that day is still with me,” she said thoughtfully.

Sitting in her office, one can’t help but notice the pictures on her desk that show the private side of this highly-recognized executive. They are of family. Our conversation touched on many areas of her professional life but eventually led to the discussion of women and how she manages her personal life as she leads a major arts organization such as The Center for the Performing Arts.

“I am the mother of five children, 3 of which are now grown and out on their own, but I do have twins at home. I am often asked by young women and men how I balance my busy professional life with my private life,” she said. “I do believe life is not linear anymore, and I believe you can do it all; you just can’t do it all at the same time.

“I also believe individuals can reinvent themselves at different times in their lives. Oftentimes, we learn to identify ourselves with certain names such as ‘I am a dancer or I am a lawyer,’ but the reality is we always have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves. If we are not happy going in one direction, we do have the choice to make a 180 turn with our lives,” she related.

Tania went on to share that her love of music and dance found a connection at the age of 10 when she was invited by a little friend to attend her dance performance at a local dance school. Tania was mesmerized by the lighting, the music, the costumes, and the dying swan in the performance. That afternoon was magical for Tania, and she knew then she wanted to be part of that magical world as dance had indeed entered her heart. Bugging her parents, she began taking dance lessons and as the years went by, she would eventually end up performing in a production company in Miami. She decided to stay in Miami and go to college. It’s interesting to note that while she continued to dance, Tania chose to major in International Relations with an emphasis in Soviet Studies.

Changing Courses …

“Life revolves over time. Life changed for me when I got married and we decided to start a family. I was lucky to be able to stay at home – to be a mother. This was a new course in life for me. I, in essence, decided to stop pursuing any kind of career or vocation by choice. I guess you could say this was perhaps the first of my 180 turns in life. Several years later at the age of 29, when my youngest child was 4, I decided to re-engage my passion by going back to college to renew my connection with dance,” Tania said with reflection. “Times had changed – times that had limited the possibilities for women in so many ways. But then, the opportunity to be a mother and a student was present. I have always loved the quote,Leap and the net will appear. And so I leaped!” Indeed Tania did leap, and the net was there sending her feet first toward an opportunity that would forever change her life.

Pushing Forward With Courage…

Castroverde Moskalenko in the balcony of the Palladium.

Picture Tania as the mature student in one of the most creative times in her life. She shows up for a scheduled class only to have the teacher inform her that the class was canceled for that day. Frustration and a range of disappointed emotions began to whirl in the mind of a very focused student who needed the class.

These thoughts were interrupted by the teacher as she added the message that she would be teaching an audition class by invitation only next Saturday. An invitation to attend this class was extended. Without thought, the invitation was accepted and Tania, the student, went home to the task of rearranging her babysitting schedule for that next Saturday – not an easy thing to do as babysitters were difficult to schedule. “I took a leap without thinking of all the things I would have to do to make it to this unschedule date. It was now my job to make it all work out. That’s the way it always is in life,” Tania said.

Tania, the student, wasn’t thinking about the scholarship aspect that had been mentioned by the teacher as she settled into her seat that next Saturday. She was just happy to have been able to register for the class, be accepted, and find a seat in the crowded classroom. She was given papers to fill out as the class went along. At the end of the two-hour course, she felt that all the juggling to attend had been worth the opportunity to sit in on this class. She handed in her papers and went home to her family.

One week later, her husband called her as she was visiting her parents and told her to call the University right away. She did, and the rest is history. The class with a four-year scholarship degree in Theater and Dance at the University of Memphis had her name on it. She accepted it and made the move to Memphis with her family. It was all because of taking an unexpected leap on an unplanned Saturday class. It was the turning point in her life.

Another transition came years later after an amicable divorce. Her job and her three daughters kept her busy and involved. Her path crossed that of Alexei Moskalenko, an incredible Russian dancer who, like her, had also defected from his native country to seek a better life in America. Their common interests as artists drew them together and, in time, they married. Today, they have added twins – a boy and a girl – to their loving family (Sasha, Mishi, Amanda, Tatiana and Nikolas).

“Alexei had a flourishing dance studio in Memphis when I was at the Germantown Performing Arts Center. When I was offered the position at The Center for Performing Arts, multiple factors had to be considered that were important to us as a couple and a family,” Tania stated. In the end, Alexei told Tania that it was her time and that together they would make this transition. Alexei is, indeed, a much-sought-after dance coach and choregrapher. He has a busy travel schedule which is balanced and works in tandem with Tania’s schedule. Busy couples make it work.

“When my family left Cuba, there were two things the authorities could not take away from my parents: their integrity and their character,” Tania recalled with pride.

The risk Tania’s parents took set the stage in giving their daughter a new life in a country built by courageous and inspiring individuals. They, too, took a “leap” to a new country for the chance of a better life based on opportunity.

It is easy to say that Tania Castroverde Moskalenko is a woman who inspires by leaps and limitless bounds.

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Best of Montana Coming to Carmel

Brothers Jon and Mike Shuel, owners of MacKenzie River Pizza Company, inside of their new Carmel location at the corner of 116th and Rangeline Road.

The pride of Montana is coming to Carmel at the corner of 116th Street and Rangeline Road. MacKenzie River Pizza, locally owned by brothers Jon and Mike Shuel, opened their first rustic restaurant east of the Mississippi River in 2011 on the southwest corner of 82nd Street and Allisonville Road in Castleton.

Born in Indiana but raised in Bozeman, Montana, Jon and Mike decided early on that they wanted to work together in their restaurants. Instead of splitting up their managerial duties across two northside restaurants, they hired management for the Castleton location so they can both be onsite at the Carmel location.

“People have been very positive about our food and atmosphere,” said Jon Shuel. “We love the 116th Street corridor which accesses all of Carmel, but also out west to Zionsville and Fishers to the east.”

Kurt McManis, owner of Montana Lodgepole Company from Bozeman, Montana, has been family friends with the Shuel family and constructs many of the wood furnishings inside of the MacKenzie River Pizza Companies nationwide, including Carmel.

Welcoming patrons inside the front door of every MacKenzie River Pizza is a wooden bear, hand carved by a Montana artisan with a chainsaw from one block of wood. Table tops, chairs, columns, and even the bar are constructed by long-time Shuel family friend and Bozeman business owner Kurt McManis. Mike Shuel grew up with McManis’s son, Cody, and created the “lodgey” interior for the first MacKenzie River Pizza in Bozeman 20 years ago. “Kurt is one of our good friends and just an original Montana guy,” said Mike Shuel.

McManis spent two months preparing the interior timbers from lodgepoles harvested in Butte, Montana. Installation takes about two weeks, making the March 18 grand opening possible.

Follow the new store opening on Facebook (/mrpcarmel) or on Twitter (@MackRiverCarmel). You can also watch a video interview with the Shuel brothers and family friend McManis shot during the construction.

atgeist on Broadcast Live Free
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The Painting Edge

Todd Cartmel, owner of the Painting Edge, at a job site in Carmel, Indiana.

Paint is, in so many ways, the fabric of life that we may not always appreciate until the time comes to make home or business improvements. No one knows the painting profession better than Todd Cartmel, owner of The Painting Edge, which has been in operation since 1996.

His journey to starting his own painting company began at an early age with stepping stones to success through experience gained as a teenager.

“I learned how to paint when I was in high school working for a local company that was willing to give a young kid a chance. I painted during the summer months, weekends, and on holiday breaks for 2 years and then was accepted to Indiana University. I majored in Business Entrepreneurship which gave me a solid foundation leg up to one day start my own company. During my first summer break from college, I landed a job as a crew supervisor to oversee and work along side 4 of their company employees. I was able to interact with customers on a daily basis in this position. It gave me insight and experience that eventually allowed me to take the plunge into starting my own company (The Painting Edge) with the support of my father,” Todd said.

Todd is a perfect example of someone who learned his craft from the ground up, working with professionals who showed him the right way to be a painter and a boss. When you listen to his story, you know the effort he put into his company and why he gained customers by word of mouth and an effective, low-budget advertising campaign to attract new clients.

“The Painting Edge is more than just a painting company. Today, we are a full-service painting, drywall, and staining company as well. Our interior painting and drywall operates year round, while our exterior services run from March 1 through the middle of December. We also have cross services with several general contractors that use us for remodels and basement finishes,” he adds.

So how has paint changed over the years?

“Paint technology has come a very long way since I first started my company 17 years ago. Oil-based paint then was considered the best paint to use for both interior and exterior. Latex/acrylic paint kept getting better and better, but eventually oil paint became a dinosaur because of the smell and slow dry times. It was finally banned because it was bad for the environment. Acrylics today are amazing, especially on the exterior. Today, I can guarantee that my exterior painting job will last 8 to 10 years with a one-coat application. Technology has made this possible,” he said.

Todd is certainly a shining example of someone who found his calling early in life and is a well-qualified professional who stands behind his services. So if you are in the market for a painting professional or even have questions about paint, The Painting Edge should be your first call.

Tips from the Painting Edge in choosing a paint color:

  1. Pick a color that you really like with your decor in mind.
  2. Stay away from too many colors in one family.
  3. Remember that paint will look different at certain times of the day and under different lighting conditions.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask paint professionals for their advice as they work with paint products every day.
  5. Remember that a paint color can effect a mood in any given room. Take time exploring the color charts before you make this important decision.
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Novel Idea

Carmel Men at the Forefront of Shakeup in the Traditional Publishing World

Alan Harris, Ray Robinson and Miles Nelson of Dog Ear Publishing.

Ann Craig-Cinnamon

Once upon a time, there were three guys from Carmel who decided to start a self-publishing book company. They published over 4000 books and lived happily ever after. The end.

Actually, it’s only the beginning of the story because the phenomenon that is self publishing is now making major inroads into upending the traditional book publishing world; and locally-based Dog Ear Publishing is at the heart of it.

Dog Ear was founded by Ray Robinson, Alan Harris, and Miles Nelson, three people with unlikely backgrounds to end up in publishing. Robinson started out as a geologist and then realized there wasn’t any money in it. So he and his friend, Harris, who had aspired to be a biologist and astronomer, applied for jobs at a Waldenbooks store at a mall in Akron, Ohio. Before it was over, they were working in Waldenbooks’ front office as buyers. That was followed by stints at MacMillan Publishing and Prentiss Hall Pearson before they figured out they were clever enough to start their own production company.

The plan worked fine until book publishers started sending production overseas. Again reinventing themselves, they teamed up with Nelson, who was a printer in Indianapolis and was one of their clients. Over lunch one day at Panera Bread, Dog Ear Publishing was born. That was 2004, and they haven’t looked back since.

There’s lots of competition, most notably from just down the road in Bloomington where self-publishing giant Authorhouse is headquartered. In fact, they met with Authorhouse early on about being an overflow resource for them. On the drive back, the three men decided they could do it better and in a more custom manner. About that Robinson says, “They’re McDonald’s; we’re a small independent company. We can do it better and different. We can’t mass produce. We can’t say we’re going to use the same template for all 10,000 authors. We can do 3, 4, 500 authors.” Nelson adds, “The industry has changed a lot since then. And so we’re producing much faster. When we first started, it was kind of all about the printed book. Now we like to say, “You have this creation which is the book, and what vehicle do you want to use to share it with your audience? It could be a printed book, it could be paperback or hardcover, it could be an ebook, it could be an audio book. Audio books are cool again.”

Differentiating themselves from the competition is easy since they are a small hands-on boutique shop. Harris says, “It’s someone thinking about their book and the interior, not just a machine that’s just running pages. That someone is actually looking at the pages to make sure the pages look nice for readability and things along those lines and covers also. Caring about the marketplace and what you put into it rather than just trying to get it done as quickly as possible and stamp it out on a template.”

Dog Ear also stands out because they do everything here in the U.S. Of the hundreds of publishing companies in the country today, they proudly trumpet that Dog Ear is one of only 3 or 4 that are completely based in the U.S.

The traditional publishing industry has struggled in recent years. This was either caused by the boom in self publishing or the self-publishing world has been the beneficiary; but in either case, there has been a lot of consolidation with big companies gobbling each other up and sending more and more of their functions offshore to places like India, China, and the Philippines, leaving what Robinson calls just a marketing shell in the U.S. He goes on to say that pressure from online booksellers and lower prices have caused the publishing giants to only look for best sellers. “It’s harder and harder to get shelf space. Fewer and fewer books are in bookstores; fewer and fewer books sell at the quantity that sustain the traditional model. But with self publishing, with a good product in the market, you can be successful with 3 or 400 books. They’ve made their investment back already. And if you sell 5000 books, you’re ecstatic. If you sell 10,000 books, you are now selling crazy amounts.

In the traditional industry, the average book doesn’t sell more than 2500 units. Ninety percent of the books in the traditional marketplace sell under 3000 units.” He adds that it is amazing how few people out there are in charge of these decisions. Maybe 100 people in the entire industry determine what everybody sees on the bookstore shelf. And those people are risk averse.
That leaves many people turning to self publishing which is now much more widely accepted by critics, reviewers, and even traditional publishers as a legitimate entrée into the publishing world as opposed to the “vanity” publishing rap that it used to get. You can “backdoor” your way in by paying to publish your book yourself, doing the marketing, and then getting the attention of the traditional publisher once it sells enough copies. Getting it up on Amazon is a breeze, making it available to tens of millions of people.

Robinson says the barrier to entry really isn’t very large. “Think about what an author invests in time and heart to write his or her book. It may sound glib from this side of the desk, but for 1000 bucks, 2000 bucks, 3500 bucks you are in the market. If you go through the editing process, the design process, and you have a great website, you have every chance to be successful as any book published by any traditional publisher.”
Indeed, Dog Ear has had authors publish with them who went on to be published by the big traditional publishing houses. After finding they can make more money self publishing because they have more control over their own product, these authors have returned to Dog Ear for later books.

Dog Ear authors are a very diverse group including a couple NFL players, a broadway actress, and the LBJ library and movie producer Michael Mandaville. Their most successful authors are those with niches like medical and how-to books. For instance, their biggest-selling author is a physical therapist who writes books about repairing damaged rotator cuffs.

They’ve also had some authors who were a bit odd, to say the least. There’s the hermit from California, the founders of a religion about Atlantis, and the woman who called them to publish her book because God wrote their phone number on her mirror in steam. They’ve had authors murdered, jailed, and they’ve been subpoenaed. But Robinson says they are having a ball. “It has been crazy fun. We’ve met with some of the strangest, weirdest, insanest, and most fun authors you could ever meet. They have UFO’s in their basements and new religions. You might have a crazy book, but at least it will look good. They have a good time talking about it because crazy people are truly earnest and excited about talking about their product.” And there’s no censorship at Dog Ear unless it’s porn or hate, adds Nelson, “If we’re going to be on our soapbox that everyone deserves the right to be published, then we can’t really just arbitrarily start picking and choosing.”

As for the future, they predict more constriction on the traditional publishing side but more surging in the independent market. Robinson says they struggle with their goals all the time. “What we realized over the last few years is that we should begin to focus on authors who have either a platform or a desire to see their book as part of their business plan. So we’ve kind of focused ourselves more on speakers, people who have a platform, people who want to use their book as a tool, or people who really want to get out there and partner in marketing their book and create something in the marketplace as opposed to just putting Grandma’s memoirs on paper.”

It’s often said that everybody has at least one good book in them, and Nelson strongly agrees. “Life is one great big adventure, and as participants, that gives each and every one of us a great deal of material to work with. Unfortunately, not everyone is gifted with great story-telling abilities. But, that’s where a great editor comes in handy.”

If you think you’ve got the makings of the next great American novel, you have the opportunity that authors in the past didn’t have to get it to the market. Robinson says it’s well worth the effort. “The moment you have that book in your hand, you open that box and you smell paper, you smell cover and laminate and all that stuff, it is insane.”

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Camp Bow Wow Lends a Helping Paw

Michele Alexander, owner of Camp Bow Wow.

Camp Bow Wow® is a great place to park your pooch for the day or even for an extended camping visit while you vacation, but what you may not know is that they also have a foundation called Bow Wow Buddies that does a lot of great charitable work.

Their most recent initiative involves fundraising to send Specially Trained Therapy dogs to Newtown, Connecticut, the site of the devastating school shooting on December 14th that took the lives of 20 elementary school children and several adults. They are calling the fundraiser “Scout’s Angels” and are planning for the animals to actually live in the Newtown community for many years. The hope is that the dogs will provide help to trained therapists in the schools, with first responders and at events with the families who lost loved ones in the tragedy. They will be accompanied by therapists from the world-renowned Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver.

Other programs have involved raising money for Operation Freedom Tail which provides training therapy or assistance dogs for veterans who return home from service with disabilities. Camp Bow Wow also is involved in remodeling pet shelters, canine cancer research and many other efforts on a national basis. In Carmel, Camp Bow Wow helps with providing shelter and finding homes for homeless dogs through its foster pet program. Owners Michele Alexander and her sister, Lisa Beals, and daughter Lauren Alexander, assist in transporting dogs that are marked for euthanasia to new homes across the country. Michele says they enjoy their involvement with rescue animals. “One thing that we’ve noticed is that some of our clients will come in with dogs that they have rescued. It’s always a big concern because they feel like they’re a rescue dog and they’ve been through a lot. And sometimes they get concerned about bringing them in for play, but it’s really actually very therapeutic and good for them because they get to learn that they can trust people again and they also get the socialization”. Michele emphasizes that Camp Bow Wow is all about the dogs whether it be a Camper who has the freedom to play all day or a dog that needs a home. You can contribute to the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation at their website

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Tania’s Vision

New President looks ahead to the future of the Center for the Performing Arts

By J. Andy Murphy

Tania Castrovede Moskalenko inside the Palladium.

Tania Castroverde Moskalenko, President/CEO of Carmel’s magnificent Performing Arts Center, early in life didn’t think she would change careers from a ballet dancer, front and center on the stage, to that of an arts administrator, working behind the scenes with budgets, artistic programming, developing adult and children’s educational music enrichment programs, and a mirage of other team management responsibilities. So what was behind her decision to step into a different pair of shoes and pursue another life path?

“I grew up in a rich atmosphere of dance and music. My family came to America from Cuba, settling in Miami when I was just six years old. My mother is a pianist and she and my father enriched our lives with a deep love of music, so it seemed only natural for me to fall in love with the arts, which led to a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theater and Dance from the University of Memphis. I found myself taking on leadership roles in the arts community. I discovered that arts administration was a solid fit with my music and dance experience and my passion for the arts,” Tania said with a warm smile that reflected the moment of recollection as to how it all began.

This career change became official when she joined the Buckman Performing and Fine Arts Center in 1998 (to 2005) where she established a highly-respected performing arts series focused on world music and contemporary dance. She also found the time (2000 to 2002) to serve as a commissioner for the Tennessee Human Rights Commission (appointed by the Governor of Tennessee) and served on the board of Latino Memphis.

In 2005, Tania took the reins of the Germantown Performing Arts Centre. There, she further established herself as a dynamic leader who thoroughly understood the daily challenges of presenting world-class performing arts programs and working tirelessly to expand the support of the corporate environment in the arts community.

Meeting with this unassuming woman who speaks quietly with such personal dedication and conviction for the arts immediately grabs your attention. When asked what programs might be forthcoming, she said, “This Performing Arts Center has done an amazing job of establishing a bar of excellence. I love all kinds of music – especially classical music – and I know there are artists from all over the world who would love to perform in this amazing facility. Right now, we are in the planning mode, but I can share that there are thoughts of doing more world music and dance; perhaps developing a coffeehouse music series; and definitely exploring more community engagement while creating more programs for life-long learning. We have a campus of wonderful theater locations with the Palladium, Tarkington, and The Studio Theater. It’s my responsibility to curate the best artistic seasons possible in order to create meaningful experiences for our diverse audiences.”

Tania Castroverde Moskalenko discusses the year ahead for the Center for the Performing Arts.

One such future program might include an exciting nationally-recognized storyteller who has designed a one-of-a-kind, multi-visual arts music appreciation show that uniquely demonstrates how storytelling and music presentation work together. This performer appeals not just to kids, but to adults as well. Just listening to her explain all the unique elements that this artist brings to the stage demonstrated her wonderful ability to think outside the box. I can honestly tell you that I wanted to purchase a ticket right then and there as she has that rare ability to help a person visualize what might be, even though they have no previous knowledge of the subject.

The serious side of Tania Moskalenko comes to light when discussing the phasing out of so many arts programs for our children. “Today, the support for the Arts nationwide is not what it should be,” she said. “Children need to be able to experience and be involved with the arts. Learning to dance, sing, or play an instrument can make a huge difference in their lives. It’s an opportunity that our children are losing as more and more funding for school programs is being cut,” she added. “At some point, we separated the arts from our culture,” she stated with obvious concern. “History will show this to be a mistake, so we must find a way to fund and provide these programs. We will definitely be working with our wonderful corporate community to build exciting enrichment programs that immerse our children in the arts.”

Tania has certainly accomplished this before, creating a children’s orchestra that went from just 35 to 110 students in a 2-year period. In 2011, she took 52 students, teachers, and parents on a 17-day music cultural and educational tour in China. “It was, indeed, a magical journey for the students,” she said. “They learned so much from this experience and will carry this memory with them for the rest of their lives.”

Webster’s Dictionary, in part, defines music as the art of multiple compositions and harmony working together in many different forms. We think this comes very close to describing Tania Castroverde Moskalenko’s professional side. Stay tuned for the rest of her story.

The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts
Seating: 1,600
Size: 151,000 square feet of
state-of-the-art concert hall located in Carmel, Indiana.

Box Office Hours: Mon-Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday: NOON to 4:00 p.m.
Closed on Sunday
Phone: (317) 843-3800
Address: 1 Center Green, Carmel, IN 46032

The Feinstein Initiative
The Great American Songbook
Archive & Gallery Hours
Monday-Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Located on the Gallery level of the Palladium
SOMETHING NEW: A new exhibit with a theme change will open in the Feinstein Gallery in the next few weeks: “Blast from the Past: Roaring Hot 20’s Jazz.” It is quite a transformation. Look for the Grand Opening in the near future.

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LearningRx – Ty’s Story

Sue and Ty Layton turned to Lynne McCauley at LearningRx to help with short-term memory issues.

Sue Layton is an aggressive go-getter who decided that her memory skills needed sharpening to stay a step ahead in her broadcast sales job. “My husband and I both have horrible memories,” declared Layton. This working mom appreciated the value of gaining competitive advantage whenever possible. Such were the circumstances that brought Layton to LearningRx, a professional “brain training” center located at 9767 Fall Creek Road, for a memory evaluation. However, an unexpected twist would force a dramatic shift in Layton’s intended focus – and in short order.

Tagging along that day was her then eight-year-old son, Ty, whose memory was also evaluated. The results were troubling. “We found out our son had memory issues, having apparently inherited his Mom and Dad’s poor memory,” shared Layton, who promptly signed up Ty for a personally customized 12-week memory development program at LearningRx.

Ty’s story is a familiar one to Lynne McCauley, LearningRx’s executive director. “Ty was doing well at school but didn’t qualify for the gifted and talented reading class in third grade because of his reading comprehension score. Once he was tested by us, it became clear that he didn’t have comprehension problems, he had short-term memory problems,” McCauley explained. “He understood the material but couldn’t remember it long enough to answer the questions correctly. While his school reading scores were in the ‘normal’ range, it prevented him from making it into the gifted and talented reading program.”

Lynne takes Ty and his mother Sue through some short-term memory exercises during one of their one-hour sessions.

Layton described Ty as “fired up” about his three-times-a-week, 90-minute sessions with a cognitive skills trainer. His exercises included this daunting challenge: memorize and then recite, in two minutes or less, the names of all the American presidents – forwards and backwards – while being subjected to audible and visual distractions. Layton noted that the training was non-judgmental and replete with positive reinforcement. “Ty is a quiet kid who was gaining confidence, and we could see his progress,” she remembered. “He left those sessions feeling like a champion. Who doesn’t want to feel like that?”

McCauley explained the larger implications for Ty and kids like him. “This last school year was the first that all third graders must pass the I-Read test to move to fourth grade. If kids don’t pass the test, they get held back. This is a big deal because it’s crucial that kids master fundamental reading skills to be able to learn effectively at higher levels. Our reading scores in Indiana are dismal because of the way schools teach reading.” Consider this: 55-60% of fourth graders in Indiana don’t read at a proficient (mastery level), a number that climbs to about 64-66% in 8th grade.

When Ty took the I-Read test at the end of third grade, he was one of only six kids in his school who had a perfect score on the test. McCauley explained that Ty’s fundamental reading skills were always strong, but his memory wasn’t. “If they hadn’t addressed this, he would have gone on to have more and more problems over the years because of his memory issues,” she said. Today, Ty is in an academically-advanced class at his elementary school. “He was thrilled he could go into advanced classes because many of his friends were there. It would have been devastating if he’d been put in another class without them,” Layton said.

The cost of Ty’s program was about equal to a very nice family vacation to Disneyworld – a short-term financial sacrifice that Layton believes was well worth it because of the long-term benefits. “I wanted to make sure my kid had every confidence in the classroom and socially, before starting to make bad choices,” said Layton. McCauley is unambiguous about the importance of early intervention. “Learning problems left unchecked become bigger problems – it’s not going to go away. Why hesitate about something that will affect your child the rest of his or her life?”

Layton offered great praise for McCauley’s management style, and LearningRx’s commitment to excellence. “Lynne is spot on with her experience, and demands only the best. The skills trainers are great – we just loved the staff. And, most impressive is Lynne’s continuing support. She still stays in touch.”

If parents have suspicions, the Laytons strongly encourage scheduling the child for an assessment to determine what his or her tool set is like, and what might be missing. “Then you’ll know if your child is prepared for the future.”

Additional information about LearningRx is available online at and by phone, 317.845.1999.

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Ocean Prime

Shawn O’Brien, executive chef at Ocean Prime.

“This table is reserved for Humphrey Bogart.”

A kitschy placard boasts what could easily pass for a real reservation inside Indianapolis’s latest restaurant embodying the 1950s decade du jour – Ocean Prime, located just east of The Fashion Mall in the Keystone Crossing Corridor.

The upscale seafood and steak restaurant may have just opened in June, but it’s not hard to imagine the ascot-wearing playboy seated inside one of the espresso-colored leather booths ordering another bourbon to wash down his Kansas City strip steak.

Ocean Prime is the brain child of Cameron Mitchell – whose approachable take on seafood and steak has yet to disappoint at his eight other Ocean Prime locations nationwide. He believes his tried and true mix of sophisticated cool is just what the Circle City needs.

Executive Chef Shawn O’Brien couldn’t agree more. “I don’t even call this work. It’s my life. I kind of feel like it’s my baby…because my name is on the front door,” says the towering 28-year-old who moved to Indianapolis in April.

And while O’Brien may be new to Indianapolis, he’s been honing his culinary chops with Mitchell for more than seven years. He started at the original Mitchell’s Fish Market (now owned by Ruth’s Chris) in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, while enrolled at the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute where something felt “just right.”

Since then, O’Brien has had his hand in many of the company’s pots, working everywhere from Mitchell’s Ocean Club in Columbus (the original concept for Ocean Prime), to Ocean Prime locations in Phoenix and Orlando. “I can’t picture myself working for another restaurant company,” says O’Brien, whose unwavering dedication to the restaurant is clearly reflected in his dishes.

The menu does not read like a vision of trends or tricks, but of what is essential, long-lasting and true about food. Old classics like “Surf n Turf” are gaining new traction using sea scallops and slow-braised short ribs, while deviled eggs are dressed up with white truffles and caviar.

Their French Onion soup may sound simple, but it takes nearly 40 hours to make. “It takes 4 hours to caramelize the onions, 24 hours to make the veal stock, and 8 hours to make the chicken stock,” O’Brien continues. “Then we roast the bones for 3 hours and make a mirapoux (carrots, onion, and celery). There’s so much work and so much appreciation going into that one soup.”

The same can be said for the tuna tartare. The chef manipulates the ahi tuna with the care of a sushi master — gently topping the fish with chunks of avocado before drizzling it with a ginger ponzu sauce. (Download recipe)

One of the most lauded dishes is the Chilean Sea Bass finished with a champagne truffle sauce. And the perfectly-seared sea scallops over creamy parmesan risotto, served with English peas and citrus vinaigrette, is not to be missed.

“The secret is using the freshest and the best quality food,” O’Brien confides. True to form, Ocean Prime sources out its own “specially fed cows” for the restaurant from Michael’s Finer Meats & Seafood in Columbus. “I order my meat before 3 p.m. They cut it between 3 and 5 p.m., and then they pack it and send it the next day.”

From there the meat is simply seasoned with salt, pepper, onion, and garlic powder, and cooked under a double broiler – using the “right technique,” of course. “When you’re paying $50 for a steak, that steak better be perfect, taste perfect, and look perfect – or else,” he warns.

The same goes for their fish – “frozen” is not in their vocabulary. Instead, every single day fresh fish is ordered and filleted in house. And those fish aren’t ordered exclusively from one company – O’Brien has at least four on speed dial. “If the Chicago place is closed on Wednesday, I can get it from Cleveland so I’m getting the freshest quality.”

O’Brien not only maintains a great relationship with his food vendors, he’s personally toured their warehouses. “We’ll go as far as to cut open a head of lettuce and make sure it’s not brown inside. If it is, we’ll send the whole case back,” he exclaims.

“No one else in this area is getting the same beef that we’re getting. No one is getting the same quality of fish. The quality that you’re getting is totally worth the price.”

But if paying $23 for a chicken dish is not your thing, consider this: Ocean Prime’s chicken (from JC Miller Farms in Zionsville) is not only free range and organic, it’s brined for 6 hours before each half roast is cooked to order and served with fresh asparagus in a lemon pan jus.

Even the linguini is made locally and delivered fresh twice a week – then tossed together with shrimp, spinach, tomato, garlic butter, and goat cheese – making up one of the chef’s more popular compositions.

Their infamous 10-layer carrot cake is also made fresh at 6 a.m. every morning. Their seasonal sorbet is spun by none other than Steven and David Buckner who own Sundaes Homemade Ice Cream on East 79th Street.

The people serving those dishes have been vetted just as solicitously as their vendors – and it shows. The service staff is never less than courteous, and the dining experience isn’t hushed but rather pleasingly civilized. “Yes is the answer. That’s our philosophy. Yes is the answer. What’s the question,” O’Brien says of their omnipresent credo.

Indeed. O’Brien recounts a situation at their Orlando location where a customer didn’t care for the restaurant’s brand of ginger ale. “For some reason, they wanted Seagram’s. So she (the server) grabbed $10, ran across the street to the gas station, then poured it tableside for the guest.”

“Just because they didn’t like our ginger ale, she went above and beyond. They didn’t even ask her to. She just did it. That’s what everyone lives by in this company,” says O’Brien, who adds that the staff is encouraged to take holidays off.

“We have every holiday off. We even have Super Bowl Sunday off. That’s not a holiday, but to him (Mitchell) it is. He figures everybody wants to watch the Super Bowl. They just treat us really well. It’s just a good vibe.” And it’s those good vibes that O’Brien hopes keep customers coming back.

While it may be 2012, it’s time to dust off your father’s fedora because the old days are back and Ocean Prime has definite staying power. Here’s looking at you kid.

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Play Again: Power Your Joints

Power Your Joints: You’ve Just Found Your Ultimate Joint Solution!

Debbie Ecksten is a successful businesswoman who, years ago, made a firm commitment to be involved in her own health care, especially when it involved pain and the aging of joints. This commitment led to the discovery of an amazing new product: Play Again, an oral, liquid formulation of injectable hyaluronan that many believe is the last joint solution a person will ever need.

Her new company, Viscos, LLC, which she now serves as president, introduced Play Again in 2012. The product is a unique and revolutionary viscosupplement consisting of high molecular weight hyaluronic acid (HA) patented for the relief of joint pain and discomfort due to arthritis and fibromyalgia.

In non-technical language, HA is the main natural constituent of synovial fluid. This fluid is quite simply the shock absorber that keeps joints lubricated and prevents bone-on-bone friction that causes inflammation and, ultimately, arthritis. As we age, synovial fluid deteriorates; and that is when we start to notice the aches and pains of joint stiffness.

HA indeed plays quite a role in our bodies, it is the molecule that holds in place all the moisture in your body. It is present in the fluid that coats the muscle sheaths in your connective tissues, in your eyes, your skin and hair, as well as in your joint fluid.

The development of HA boasts thoroughly tracked-patient success. It is now half way through a placebo-controlled, randomized, double blind clinical trial, the gold standard for any clinical trial.

In a world with so many supplements, Play Again is at the top of the list as a safe and effective natural liquid oral supplement with an 87% success factor (within 14 days) for pain relief and increased range of motion in a patient field study. (See Note.) Studies also show that radioactive-tagged, orally ingested, liquid hyaluronan was detected just hours later in joint fluid. This is important because pill forms of powdered HA must go through the entire digestive tract, breaking down the HA molecule increasing the time it takes for any remaining available HA to get to the joint fluid and the rest of the body.

While most people begin taking Play Again because they are having mobility challenges or joint pain, Play Again is an excellent preventative solution. Athletes can benefit greatly from taking Play Again on a daily basis before any symptoms appear, keeping joints well cushioned and thoroughly lubricated before and during rigorous exercise.

Dallas Clark

“It has been my pleasure to introduce Dallas Clark as our first Brand Ambassador,” commented Ecksten. “As both a dedicated Play Again user and our first Brand Ambassador, Dallas will be an invaluable addition to our team as we raise community awareness about Play Again during our launch into retailers this fall,” she added.

“Play Again is an amazing product that will help so many people. As the first national Brand Ambassador, I am excited to tell everyone about Play Again so they will hopefully take it and enjoy the same benefits I have personally experienced with my knees,” concluded Clark. Dallas Clark’s full testimonial for Play Again can be found on the company web site:

Ecksten has indeed amassed a long list of noted athletes and doctors who support this amazing new supplement. Among the athletes are such stand-outs as Jeff Saturday, Donald Brown, and Dionne Branch. The medical support includes major orthopedic physician groups and rehab specialists including Dr. Joseph Randolph of Ortho Indy (specializing in joint replacement), and Dr. Patrick Kersey of the St. Vincent Sports Performance Center.

Slade Smiley, BRAVO TV reality personality, is a noted competitive cyclist since high school. He started using the product and now serves the company as its marketing and promotion director. “Play Again got me back in the game. I couldn’t ride without the direct results I experience from this supplement,” he said.

Play Again has an informative, interactive website ( with additional physician locators, testimonials, and important product information for ordering. You can buy Play Again direct from the web site and it will be in many national retail locations by the end of 2012.

Play Again is, indeed, an exciting, safe supplement that opens up a whole new world in the fight against inflammatory and joint pain issues.

NOTE: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. FDA does classify HA as GRAS – Generally Recognized as Safe.

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Torc You Very Much: 7e Fit Spa

Steve Neilsen, CEO of 7e Fit Spa, at his first location at Geist Reservoir. The franchise now has 7 locations and growing.

Eureka! The Fountain of Youth has been found in the Winslow Wellness Center, and it has nothing to do with Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon and his mythical spring.

Instead of magical, restorative waters, this fountain is a stream of electrical pulses that mimic the body’s natural bio-electricity to work out abdominal and other muscles. Proponents say the result of a “Torc” session, as it’s called, is an eyebrow-raising reduction in waist size that leaves them feeling, well, younger, and infused with vitality.

Drop by 7e Fit Spa at 2000 East 116th Street, and instead of good ol’ Ponce, you’ll likely bump into Stephen Neilsen, the entrepreneur responsible for bringing bio-electric body contouring therapy to Carmel. “Our biggest customers are people ages 35 to 55 who want to maintain their youth,” explained Neilsen, 7e Fit Spa’s CEO. “They’re Baby Boomers who don’t want to get old – who want to live longer and healthier and look better doing it.”

Here’s the skinny (pun intended) on how bio-electricity and a Torc session works. After a discussion with a spa technician about the client’s desired outcome, two Velco bands are wrapped around the body’s mid-section. Wire leads snaking from the Torc machine are attached to the bands at various contact points. It looks a bit like the rig used for an EKG heart exam, but this procedure is all about dropping a pant size or two, not arrhythmia.

Clients lie comfortably in a private room where a spa technician sets the appropriate Torc level. Immediately, a sensation of tingling, massage-like waves pulse across the body’s mid-section as muscles are systematically constricted. The Torc’s intensity is slowly ramped up, but never beyond the comfort level. “Torc is an FDA-approved device that contracts muscles, simulating exercise about 150 times more effectively than with exercise,” said Neilsen. “First-time users can lose one to three inches around the waist. We can also apply the Torc to your thighs or buttocks which has been very popular with women.”

Elastic bands hold digital pads in place at the top and bottom of the muscle and use electro magnetic stimulation to contract the muscles without exercise.

According to 7e Fit Spa’s website, Torc utilizes several proprietary waveforms for a strong, yet comfortable, contraction and relaxation of the muscles producing intensified results in a short period of time. It helps to flatten your stomach, reduces cellulite on thighs, and improves posture by strengthening your core muscles. Clients swear by its effectiveness.

Neilsen says a 30-minute Torc session produces remarkable results, but only for people who try it. “That’s probably the hardest obstacle – getting people to believe that there is actually technology out there that can contour your abs and take off an average of three inches in 30 minutes,” said Neilsen. “That’s because it’s almost unbelievable. But, after the first session, 80% of people purchase more sessions. The cost of trying it out is cheaper than a personal trainer.”

7e Fit Spa takes its name from eastern medicine and holistic values, including the Seven Life Energies and Seven Dimensions of Wellness. Neilsen discovered the Torc technology while researching Johari Digital Healthcare Ltd., an Indian manufacturer of medical and spa equipment. After 25 years in the health spa industry, he said the U.S. market had developed a sameness about it, and that he wanted to differentiate from the competition. With Torc, Neilsen believes he’s found the answer. “We’ve established a model in Carmel that can be replicated,” he said. “We have stores in Geist, Florida and Arizona, and our growth will be as fast as we can handle. Already, we’ve done more than 10,000 treatments in Indy in our first year.”

7e Fit Spa also is aggressively pursuing franchise agreements locally and across the country. Neilsen explained that he’s looking for operators who have a passion for helping people. While a spa/fitness background is ideal, it’s not required. Instead, the company is targeting people with drive and ambition and who understand what it takes to be successful. The entry fee is $50,000 and includes a lease program for equipment with a lifetime warranty. “A lot of applicants are doctors,” said Neilsen. “Health care reform – Obamacare – has caused decreased revenues, and they’re looking for investment options.”

Additional information about 7e Fit Spa is available online at

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Get Connected: Strike a Yoga Pose for Life Balance and Rejuvenation

Tree Pose – improves sense of balance, strengthens thighs, calves, ankles and spine. (Left to right) Tracy Stoner, Staci Alfes, Letitia Haywood, and Heather Thomas Leo.

Yoga blends a variety of physical postures, meditation, breathing, and philosophy with a focus on body, mind, and spirit; and it’s not a stretch to say this ancient Hindu practice is growing in popularity. According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, yoga is becoming more common among adults as a way to maintain health, improve fitness, and relieve stress. While many people associate yoga with stretching, for those who practice, this discipline is a way to enhance quality of life.

Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means to unite or yoke together. “When you practice yoga you are making a connection with yourself,” said Heather Thomas-Leo, co-owner of The Yoga Center of Indiana. “Yoga returns us to our natural state. Modern lifestyles can make you feel disconnected. Often we aren’t even aware we have become numb to ourselves. Yoga re-establishes balance to the physical, mental, and spiritual body and promotes relaxation, calmness, and rejuvenation.”

Warrior II pose by instructor Heather Thomas Leo. Increases stamina; stimulates abdominal organs, strengthens legs and ankles; stretches groin, chest, lungs and shoulders.

The ancient practice is said to date back more than 5,000 years to its Indian heritage and was introduced to western society in the 19th Century, later evolving as a health movement in the 1930’s. While there is no formal way to track the growth of yoga, the results of a 2005 study by NAMASTA, the North American Studio Alliance, estimated 70,000 yoga teachers in North America. These findings were gathered from yoga publications’ readership surveys and teacher training certifications. Market research conducted by Gfk- MRI, claims the number of yoga practitioners has increased from 11 million in 2007 to more than 14 million in 2010.

Triangle pose by instructor Staci Alfes. Helps relieve stress; improves digestion; stretches thighs, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and spine.

Thomas-Leo has personally experienced the yoga boom in her business. Since opening the doors of her first studio with her partner, Karen Fox, in 2007, the Yoga Center of Indiana has doubled the average number of clients per day. “I have seen huge growth in the popularity of yoga and meditation. People are curious and looking for alternatives to their workout and are interested in the relaxation techniques.”

To keep up with the demand, the company is opening two new spaces in addition to two existing studios. Thomas–Leo encourages men and women to practice the art of yoga and take their personal experience to the next level by participating in teacher training courses. A few of her instructors demonstrate poses in the accompanying photos and share their reasons for choosing this form of exercise.

Backbend pose by instructor Letitia Haywood. Stretches chest and lungs; increases energy; strengthens arms, wrists, legs, buttocks, abdomen and spine.

Letitia Haywood was an active runner but due to chronic knee injuries, she turned to yoga as a gentler way to stay in shape. “It’s a challenging, low- impact workout, and my practice helps keep me in balance – in perfect alignment in all things.” A psychotherapist by trade, Haywood now integrates yoga therapy into her patients’ treatments. “Yoga is a beautiful gift to share with others and a way to promote positive health in my clients.”

According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, yoga is low impact, safe for healthy people, and may help those with chronic back pain, as well as increase flexibility, reduce high blood pressure, and relieve anxiety.

Warrior III by instructor Tracy Stoner. Improves balance and posture; strengthens ankles, legs, shoulders and back muscles, tones the abdomen.

“Yoga is liberation – freedom,” said Tracy Stoner, who has practiced for seven years and now teaches regularly. “My relationship with yoga has transformed me. It’s helped me to become more self-accepting, less angry and frustrated, stronger, balanced, more confident, and more present in my life.”

According to Thomas-Leo, yoga is our natural way. Everyone has practiced a posture at one time or another without knowing it. “As children we just do. We breathe deep, stretch our limbs, do backbends and know to close our eyes when we need to start over. Yoga reminds us to live like the child we once were, to live joyfully without worry or fear.” She says yoga is all inclusive. Anyone can participate and choose the way they practice to fit their individual needs. “Basic poses are not difficult, but will build strength and increase flexibility. There are many variations of standard postures that can make yoga very challenging, but the practitioner makes the choice.”

The positive energy flows after moving through a routine of postures, and classes at The Yoga Center close with meditation, a quiet time where students sit with crossed legs, eyes closed, heads bowed and hands together at their heart center. Teachers end each session with the gesture Namaste, a symbol of respect and gratitude, which means “I bow to you” and acknowledges the divine spark within each practitioner.

“Yoga is so much more than the postures,” said yoga instructor Staci Alfes. “The practice teaches life lessons that can be taken off the mat and into the world. The learning never ends.”

Learn more about The Yoga Center of Indiana by visiting their website at or visit one of the studios – Broad Ripple, Clay Terrace, the newest location at Pit Fit on the west side of Indianapolis. A fourth studio will open at City Center by year end.

Find tips and stories about the practice of yoga by visiting

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Best Seat in the House

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods await their turn to putt on the 8th green while Crooked Stick residents look on from their back yard.

For most of the 150,000 golf fans who ventured out to Crooked Stick Golf Club for the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship in early September, half the battle was just getting to the course. They had to negotiate the often-congested roads of 116th Street, Ditch Road, and Towne Road. Then they had to find a parking place in Coxhall Gardens or the alternate parking area near 116th and Pennsylvania. And finally, they had to hop on the shuttle bus to the course.

But for a fortunate few, the commute to the gallery ropes was as easy as walking out their back door. These are the people who live in the Crooked Stick neighborhood with homes bordering the course. Bill Bonner has lived in his house near the number three green since 1994. He said tournament organizers had few, if any, restrictive rules for the residents that live adjacent to the golf course property.

“Just put off cutting grass between certain hours and make sure you let your dogs out when nothing’s going on,” said Bonner. Cleaning up after the dogs was a given – the high rough and deep bunkers were enough of a hazard for the likes of Tiger and Phil without also having to dodge a pile left behind by Sparky.

Scott Prince has a home on 116th Street that backs up to the teeing area of the fifth hole. He and his family and friends were sitting in lawn chairs lined up just to the left of the cart path. In addition to the mowing and dog-walking rules, Prince explained that residents were not allowed to put up tents featuring advertising nor could they make any direct solicitation of the golf patrons. Despite the luxury of being able to watch the tournament for free from his backyard and walk anywhere on the course, Prince chose to purchase a grounds pass good for the entire week of the tournament. “I just wanted to be compliant,” offered the six-year Crooked Stick homeowner.

Muffi James watches Tiger Woods putt on the 7th hole at Crooked Stick GC.

On Saturday during the third round of the tournament, Muffi James was sitting at the top of a small hill to the left of the seventh hole anxiously waiting to see Tiger Woods’ group play through. James, a 36-year resident of Crooked Stick, has access to perhaps one of the best vantage points on the course. She lives on Prestwick Lane, a cul-de-sac that forms something of a peninsula that extends into the small lake on the eighth hole.

“We can see here seven, the tee on eight, we can see them play three, and we can watch them all the way down eight,” said James. She has lived in Crooked Stick long enough to see the 1991 PGA Championship, the 1993 U.S. Women’s Open, the 2005 Solheim Cup, and the 2010 U.S. Senior Open. James has also been a volunteer for each of those events.

Traffic in and out of the neighborhood was mostly a non issue for the residents. Leaving his house on 116th Street, Scott Prince found it “easy” to go west, away from the glut of cars headed to the Coxhall Gardens parking. Muffi James said she had little problem using Ditch Road, as long as she only wanted to go south. “If you wanted to go on up to 116th, it was terrible,” she said.

While Prince and James relaxed in their strategically-placed lawn chairs, back at the third hole, Bill Bonner seemed happy to stand in his back yard with drink in hand watching the action through an unusually-large space in the trees that ring the course. “I got a diseased tree that had to come down,” he explained. “So it worked out well.”

With talk of the BMW Championship returning in 2016 or even another PGA Championship in 2020, Bonner, Prince, James, and the rest of the Crooked Stick residents could once again have the best seat in the house.

BMW Championship winner Rory McIlroy chips to the 14th green as fans look on from the back yard of a home on 106th Street.

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Malt Madness

Mike Sale (shown here) and Ryan Coyle conceived the BrewBracket Challenge in 2011.

It’s no surprise the idea of launching a live competition to crown Indiana’s best craft beer brewers began germinating at a local watering hole. Such a wholly appropriate setting is where Mike Sale and Ryan Coyle envisioned the BrewBracket Challenge. As the co-founders sipped – well, beer – they brewed up a full-bodied, flavorful idea: Create a bracket-style, single elimination tasting tournament. “The purpose of BrewBracket Challenge is to bring people together to taste and determine the very best craft beers,” explained Sale. “It also serves to promote the brewery that makes it to the top.”

In spring, 2011, the inaugural BrewBracket Challenge was held. “We did some small tastings and quickly determined that we could do this on a larger scale,” remembered Sale. About 150 people are expected to attend the fourth BrewBracket event, Bourbon Barrel Aged Beers, Saturday, September 29, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., at Tomlinson Tap Room in City Market, downtown Indianapolis. Tickets are priced at $45.

Eight brewers will compete, this time with a new twist, er, taste. Each is required to have stored their beers in wooden barrels donated by Harrison Bourbon Company, a southern Indiana distillery. “These premium beers will have set in the barrels about three months soaking up the flavor and color of the bourbon,” explained Joe Eaton, brewer and owner of Barley Island Brewing Company in Noblesville, and the winner of the most recent BrewBracket Challenge. Eaton described the bourbon taste as “strong, alcoholic – a more in-your-face flavor. These beers will pick up some additional components from the barrels.”

Ryan Coyle pours a draft during the BrewBracket Challenge.

Acting as both public tasters and judges, attendees sip and compare the tastes of two beers, picking a favorite. The randomly-seeded beers are served in two identical tasting glasses; tasters have no way of identifying the brewers. “A big component is making it a blind taste test. It strips away any bias,” said Sale.

The winning beers move on in their respective tournament brackets. Taster palettes are cleansed, and the process repeats until two finalists remain for the championship round. “People love brackets! That’s certainly some of the allure,” Sale said.

The winner receives the handsome Big Tap Trophy – and more importantly, bragging rights. “There’s a lot of camaraderie among the brewers. This provides an opportunity to exchange ideas, but no trade secrets!” explained Eaton. “It’s more about showing off products than it is winning.

Brewers participating in the Bourbon Barrel Aged Beers challenge include Barley Island Brewing, Bloomington Brewing, Flat 12 Bierwerks, The RAM, Bier Brewery, Figure Eight Brewing, People’s Brewing, and Triton Brewing.

Craft beer brewing is bubbling. In the early days, Indiana had 18 or 19 commercial craft brewers. Now there are 50, with another seven or eight in the planning stages. “There’s still room for growth,” said Eaton. “It’s been nice to see it hit big. People want quality, not quantity, in beers.”

Each BrewBracket has a featured charity that receives a portion of the proceeds. Additional information is available at

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Jeff Sheats: A Whirlwind of Creative Interior Design Genius!

Jeff Sheats has over 19 years experience as an interior designer.

If you’ve met Jeff Sheats, you will understand when I describe him as a whirlwind of unlimited interior design creativity. His work is a prime example of someone who takes “getting to know his clients” to a whole other level.

“It’s my job to find out exactly what my clients want and how they ‘see’ the final outcome of what I need to accomplish for them. It’s not about me and what I want. It’s about them. To accomplish this takes a lot of interacting and a well-thought-out discovery plan,” he said.

Jeff accomplishes this by going on a personal “mind trip” with each customer. He calls it the “It’s You Survey.” The questions are unique in an industry where designers usually have a certain style, look and pallette for which they are known. With Jeff, you simply can’t put him in a box like that. He gets the big picture, and he’s a master at honing in on even the smallest details such as if the client is right or left handed; selecting a doorknob that brings out the personality of a client and door; or mixing patterns and colors that, when combined, create a cultural outcome not thought of before. I could go on. It is a fascinating process that he has developed so successfully that in the end, his finished interiors reflect the clients’ personalities to a tee.

“I think of it as satisfying the visual sensibilities of individual living habits. Once you have this insight, everything falls into place. I work with a lot of clients and their builders in new construction, as well as working with homeowners who want to stay where they are, but remodel their interiors and/or exteriors,” he adds. “My forte is building or remodeling spaces then furnishing them to meet the client’s lifestyle, comfort, and aesthetic desires.”

Jeff started this business nearly 19 years ago as a freelancer when his friends started asking him to help them design and decorate their homes. “I grew up in Carmel but moved to the Irvington area, bought a house, and remodeled it. I was involved in my family’s business at the time and hadn’t ventured out on my own until one friend’s project turned into another and, through word of mouth, it led to getting the opportunity to be mentored by two wonderful designers. This really gave me the foundation to open the doors for my own shop,” he said with thoughtful reflection. It’s obvious Jeff loves working with people and being part of the fabric of their lives. To spend a few moments with this creative interior designer is not enough to convey the knowledge that he has stored from his business and design degrees (Indiana and Purdue Universities) and the extensive first-person experience in doing what he obviously was born to do all over the world!

As I said earlier, he’s a whirlwind of unlimited design creativity. So if you are considering building or remodeling a home, or just need professional interior design assistance with furnishing your spaces, give Jeff a call. Even if it’s to be done one room at a time, there is no job too small or too large for Jeff and his talented associates.

For a detailed list of services and visual picture projects from A to Z, we encourage you to see for yourself the comprehensive world of Jeff Sheats Designs at or email him direct at Call for a consult (317) 357-0155.

Jeff Sheats Designs, Inc.
Jeff Sheats, Allied ASID RID
Indiana Registered Interior Designer No. 00052
Direct email address:
Website: www.
Studio Phone: 317-357-0155

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A Gift that Gives More Fun

(Left to right) Jayson Parker and Tatum Parker receive a $30,000 grant from Fat Atom’s Jen Fox and Todd Muffler to cover a year of marketing services for the four year-old nonprofit.

After giving gifts to more than one thousand sick children, Tatum’s Bags of Fun is on the receiving end this time and the gift is a whopper! The non-profit organization that gives children diagnosed with cancer backpacks full of fun has received a $30,000 grant from Fat Atom Marketing which will cover the cost of marketing services, including branding, web development, graphic design and consulting.

Tatum’s Bags of Fun was founded in 2008 by Jayson Parker, who named the organization after his daughter, Tatum, an 11-year old two-time cancer survivor. The charity distributes backpacks filled with toys, games and other activities to every child diagnosed with cancer in Indiana. In 2011, Tatum delivered 284 bags packed with over $350 worth of goodies, including electronics like an iPod Touch or Nintendo DSi. Recently, the charity gave away its thousandth backpack full of smiles and laughter.

“We are a small operation and work out of our home. We rely heavily on volunteers and spend a lot of time on fundraising so we can purchase new items for the backpacks” said Parker, CEO of Tatum’s Bags of Fun. “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to boost awareness. Our objective is to build a larger network of support, increase donor base and develop a marketing plan so we can reach more people, spread the word about Tatum’s Bags of Fun and help more kids by expanding to other states.” According to Parker, they have about 450 Likes on their Facebook page and a Twitter account encouraging the kids to stay strong. But, he would like to grow the social media and expand Tatum’s reach.

“Tatum’s is a great organization and a good fit for us,” said Jen Fox, team leader of
Team Fusion at Fat Atom Marketing and CPR. “They need branding, website improvement and help with marketing and volunteer recruitment. In the time we have,
we should be able to do a lot of good. Tatum’s Bags of Fun is a charity that all
of Fat Atom is passionate about.” The year-long grant runs until April of 2013.

Fat Atom’s CPR program, which stands for Community Philanthropic Resource, was created as a way for Fat Atom’s employees to be a part of the community while also flexing their marketing and creative muscles. In order to be eligible for CPR, an organization must be a tax-exempt and focused on serving within Indiana and be community based. Several companies applied but ultimately Tatum’s won out.

Parker was inspired to take action after his daughter received a similar bag during her first cancer fight when she was six years old. “It’s a gesture to remind kids they’re still kids,” said Parker. In addition to raising awareness he hopes a more focused marketing approach will encourage companies to sponsor their annual events, The Bull Run and The White Party. “Recently, Towne Meadow Elementary asked students to raise money for Tatum’s charity. It’s wonderful to see the schools get involved and shows the power of children.”

Learn more about Tatum’s Bags of Fun at their website
Be sure to Friend the charity on Facebook!
Contact Jayson Parker at

Tatum’s Bags of Fun
PO Box 90290
Indianapolis, Indiana 46290

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Living on the Edge with HVAC

It’s all in the family when it comes to keeping your family comfortable. In 1966, Jim Williams, Sr. set out to build a business with comfort as its middle name. Entering the heating and cooling industry, he started one of the first companies in Carmel dedicated to improving living environments and providing reliable indoor air quality in customers’ homes. Williams Comfort Air thrived, homeowners were pleased and he developed the reputation as a reliable caring community partner.

A few years ago, thinking it might be time to retire, Williams sold his company. But, retirement didn’t make him comfortable, thus Williams teamed up with his son, Jim, Jr., daughter Kelly and close friend, Tom Melangton to launch Edge Guys. Now, he is back in the comfort business. “I started my career in 1952, sweeping floors and cleaning bathrooms. I kept progressing until I was hired at Bolls Furnace Company in 1955. They are still in business today.” According to Williams, he learned his trade from his boss, Fran Bolls. He trained at the Williamson Company in equipment manufacturing, engineering and mechanical layouts and learned to hand craft sheet metal on the job. “Back then, we were still doing coal furnaces. Because of utilities and their expanding role in heating, we installed a lot of oil and gas furnaces in the late 1950’s and 1960’s. In that same era air conditioning was coming on strong in the automobile and in residential markets.”

Founder of Williams Comfort Air which sold. His son, Jim Williams, Jr. (1970's) started a new company, the Edge Guys.

As the comfort climate evolved, Williams knew it was time for him to make a change – from employee to employer. He established an office at the northwest corner of 116th and Range Line Road next to the Estridge IGA supermarket. “I worked alongside Paul Estridge when he was just getting into home building.” Carmel’s booming residential market in the 1960’s and 70’s paved the way for the growth of his company. Williams was instrumental in designing and installing HVAC systems in nearly 80-percent of all homes built during that time in neighborhoods like Brookshire, Cool Creek, and Woodland Springs working with innovative builders who plotted subdivisions and built home throughout Carmel.

“My son was born the same year as my company. Back then I could only hope he might be interested in the same line of work.” As his boy grew, Williams began taking him on jobs.

“My favorite memories when I was little are of Dad taking me to places like the Beehive, where Cancun is located today on Rangeline Road. All of the builders and subcontractors met to discuss business over coffee and made deals on a handshake,” said Williams, Jr. “I started working for Dad here and there, after school doing odd jobs and picking up parts at Hedback’s supply house.”

As he got older the tasks became more challenging. “I made sure my son got to do the dirtiest jobs possible, not to be mean but to teach him that he must be able to do what he asks his employees to do,” said the elder Williams. “I put my son in the hottest attics and smallest crawl spaces in an attempt to make him enjoy college and pick out a career of his own.” After a semester in school, Jim Jr. decided he wanted to work in his dad’s business full time doing something he loved and knew well. For 20 years, father and son, worked side by side.

Williams team in late 1970's

In 1992, the Williams duo hired Tom Melangton, a Carmel native, to run the sales and marketing efforts of Williams Comfort Air. “When Mr. Williams decided to retire, I knew there was going to be a change. I enjoyed working with the new owners but missed being on the Williams team.”

According to Jim Williams, Jr., because the family business was so highly respected, when it sold they agreed to a two-year non compete clause. “This would give the new owners an opportunity to engage with our existing customers. I created the Edge Guys thinking the company name would give me flexibility to do pretty much anything,” said Williams, Jr. “And it has. I’ve learned a lot over the few years I was out of HVAC. But, my Dad learned he missed the industry. Our two-year clause came to an end and we decided we should stick to what we know. HVAC.”

“I am honored to join the Williams team in their new venture. We want to get back to the grassroots of providing a high-level of exceptional service with a personal touch. We envision a boutique-style company,” said Melangton, head of sales and marketing. “The Edge Guys are classy guys that take the extra step to ensure that customers get full service and have a positive experience with climate control, as well as comfort in knowing we are going to send the right guys on time, in believing we will respect their homes, and confident that we have the expertise to get the job done right the first time.”

Not only are the Edge Guys taking the lead on service, they are on top of the latest technology and most energy efficient, high-end products representing Lennox and Heil HVAC systems and recently expanded to enhancing recreational comfort as the preferred dealer for Arctic Spas and Primo Grills. Their strong and devoted crew of professionals, are trained to install and maintain a wide variety of mechanical systems including competitor units, as well as service hot tubs around the clock in a timely manner with precision.

“Our goal is to try to fix it first and not just try to sell the customer something,” said Jim, Jr. “We work more and more with women running households and they are making the decision on which company to hire for the job. Our focus on comfort, not only refers to the HVAC system we are installing or servicing, but also includes paying special attention to our customers’ feelings, making certain they trust the Edge Guys in every way ensuring they are 100% comfortable with us working in their homes. After all comfort is our business.”
Edge Guys
290 Gradle Dr
Carmel, IN 46032
Phone: (317) 595-9720

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Group is “ADDing BAC” to the Arts & Design District

Photo L-R: Michael Kilpatrick, Kilpatrick Traditions - 301 S Range Line Rd; Heather Lapham Kuhn, L'Evento Event Resource Boutique - 20 N Range Line Rd; Loni Wilson, 28 Star Studio - 25 W Main St; Jill Zaniker, Simply Sweet Shoppe - 30 N Range Line Rd; Beth Smietana, Carmel Clay Public Library - 55 4th Avenue SE; Hillary Hushower, Rangeline Chiropractic - 531 N Range Line Rd.

As Carmel’s Arts & Design District continues to grow and prosper, some area business owners are coming together in an effort to support, expand, and serve the businesses located in the district. The Arts & Design District Business Association of Carmel (or ADDBAC for short) has one primary mission: to “add back” to the community together.

Originally formed in 2008, ADDBAC started as the brainchild of local business owners including Jill Zaniker, owner of the Simply Sweet Shoppe and Second Story Playhouse, located at 30 North Ridgeline Rd. The current ADDBAC Board is comprised of six members

Michael Kilpatrick, President
Kilpatrick Traditions

Beth Smietana, Vice President
Carmel Clay Public Library

Dr. Hillary Hushower, Treasurer
Rangeline Chiropractic

Heather Kuhn, Secretary
L’Evento Event Resource Boutique

Jill Zaniker, Membership
Simply Sweet Shoppe

Loni Wilson, Marketing
28 Star Studio.

The group’s initial goal was to create an organization that would work as a tool to improve the communication between district businesses, as well as promote charitable efforts and develop meaningful events within the community. According to Zaniker, “Having all of the businesses working together will only improve the quality and experience of the Arts & Design District.”

Any District area business may join the organization, and there are several options for participation. The organization meets once a month to discuss current events surrounding the Arts & Design District and to plan new events that will both enrich the community as well as drive patrons into the District. “The unique businesses that call the Arts & Design District home are what give the area character and charm, and when those unique talents are combined we can create some really special events, “ says Zaniker.

ADDBAC is already gearing up for a new event to take place this fall – The Carmel Apple Fest. Intended to be a fundraiser for the Arts Council Scholarship Fund, ADDBAC will be soliciting the help of the community to submit recipes to compile into a cookbook that will be released in conjunction with Apple Fest. Many plans are still under construction, so stay tuned for more details.

The members of ADDBAC’s Board hope that through the group’s efforts the District can continue to see positive growth and can become known as a premiere arts and design attraction in the Midwest. For more information on ADDBAC, please visit their Facebook page at

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At Morning Side of College Park, The Best is Yet to Come!

Morning Side near the Pyramids at 96th and Michigan Road.

Nestled in the shadow of the Pyramids of College Park, sits an elegant independent and assisted living apartment home complex, which was designed for both style and convenience The very private and beautifully kept grounds are surrounded with the luxuries of a fine resort.

The first thing I noticed when entering the front lobby of Morning Side of College Park was the laughter where residents and guests were gathered around a beautiful grand piano. The companionship of neighbors enjoying life was clearly present.

A tour of the large complex shows the diversity this senior community offers including impressive multiple floor plans that are based on particular lifestyle needs. Multiple levels of care are available as well for assisted living services, and therapy such as speech, physical and occupational can be arranged to make it convenient for residents to receive any additional care that might be needed in this community living environment.

Morning Side activity room.

A wide variety of daily scheduled activity opportunities for socialization, lifelong learning, inspiration and spirituality, hobbies and cultural arts are always in motion, and a lower level game room, theater, billiards room and full service beauty and barber shop compliment the wonderful physical fitness studio where keeping fit is easy to do.
Susan Albers is clearly at home in her position as Executive Director of Morning Side as the passion she feels for seniors resonates in her face as she speaks to finding her dream job some 6 years ago when she was looking for a new calling after a distinguished career in business development, fundraising and association management.

“I have often thought that we don’t revere our seniors as much as we should. To me, they are our past and within them exists a world of knowledge and a lifetime of experiences that speak to the core values of generations. It’s a rare privilege to share time and space with people who are unique within their lives joining together concentration camp survivors; World War II soldiers and pilots, a Pearl Harbor sailor survivor, retired presidents of companies and other special human beings all in one location. They are a wealth of folks ranging in age from 60 to 102 who bring rich, first-hand experiences to our family of residents. They teach us all so much. I can’t imagine my life now being centered anywhere else,” Albers said.

Susan Albers, Executive Director of Morning Side.

When asked what the most enjoyable part of her job was she answered,”Interacting daily with our residents and helping them with their independent and assisted living experience. In addition, getting to know and work with their families is a wonderful extension of our team of professionals. Our team goes way beyond what is expected. This is what real families do for each other.”

Morning Side is indeed host to a rich cultural exchange of residents with a sampling that includes a blend of Jewish, Irish, Polish, Greek, English, Russian and American heritage. Wonderful gatherings celebrating country traditions and tales of life experiences make for special times of joyful celebration, which are enhanced by Morning Side’s own executive chef, Gozo Schatz who is known for whipping up spectacular menu creations every day.

Yes, at Morning Side of College Park, you will hear a lot of laughter as the staff and the residents love to make each other smile. They share a common belief that laughter is a wonderful vitamin for life. It’s easy to see why this lovely senior complex is often referred to as a living, one-on-one caring community where the best is yet to come!

Morning Side of College Park, an Independent and Assisted Living Community is located at 8810 Colby Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN 46268. For more information call Susan at: (317) 872-4567 or visit their website at:

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Church, Church, Hittle & Antrim: From Cobblestones to Computers

Managing partner and school law attorney David Day. (Photos by Brian Brosmer)

Today’s market leaders are those companies that had the foresight to recognize the changing landscape in their community and business environment. Church, Church, Hittle & Antrim is Hamilton County’s oldest and largest law firm.

Church, Church, Hittle & Antrim’s history began in 1880 when Joseph A. Roberts began his practice in Noblesville, the county seat of Hamilton County with 5,000 or so residing residents at that time. As time passed, Roberts’ two sons (Roger and Justin Roberts) joined his practice concentrating in real estate, probate and estate law. Justin Roberts served as the Hamilton County prosecutor during the trial of D. C. Stephenson and served as the local trial counsel to the Marion County prosecutor. As history documents, the Stephenson trial was the beginning of the end of the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana.

In 1952, the modern era of the firm began with the arrival of Manson Church. Manson, a World War II veteran, represented a new generation of lawyers in the county and in the community. Shortly after his arrival, Church was asked to serve as school board attorney and city attorney and thus began a commitment that carries on to this day in the powerful and deeply experienced law practice of Church, Church, Hittle & Antrim. In the many circles of law, a comment that is heard often is, “If you end up in court in Hamilton County, you need this firm in your corner.”

(Left to right) Samuel Robinson, Ann O’Hara, and John Davis discuss a case in the downtown Noblesville offices of Church, Church, Hittle & Antrim.

Today, there are 24 attorneys (13 partners) working actively in the many areas of law. The partners routinely have been lead counsel in both state and federal courts and have appeared before the Indiana Court of Appeals, the Indiana Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Law is a demanding profession indeed, and this firm sets the standard in required continuous, advanced education for each of its attorneys. Not only has the firm grown in the number of skilled and qualified lawyers, but the support staff has also expanded in size and knowledge with experienced legal assistants and clerks who provide a wealth of practical and useful information and support for the ultimate benefit of the firm’s clients.

Another note of interest is the firm’s representation of every school district in Hamilton County. Managing Partner, David Day, is the practice group leader for the firm’s School Law Practice area. And, we would be remiss if we didn’t tell you that CCHA enjoys an AV Preeminent rating, the highest ranking possible for both legal ability and ethics in the Martindale-Hubbell listings, a national ranking service compiling the opinions of other lawyers about CCHA lawyers.

The firm’s Noblesville office occupies a corner position at 2 North 9th street on the square in Noblesville. A recent restoration has joined the new with the treasured past history of the building which dates to 1890. The class of the building is indeed fitting for this law practice, which now has additional offices in Fishers and Tipton and represents clients throughout central Indiana.

The legacy of this 130 year old law firm is evidenced today by the community presence and involvement of its partners and associates. That’s the measure of a successful legacy.

For more information on the legal services of Church, Church, Hittle & Antrim, please visit their website at or call direct at (317) 773-2190.

  • School Law Practice – David R. Day
  • Personal Injury – J. Michael Antrim
  • Family Law – Leslie C. Henderzahs (Fishers Office)
  • Criminal Defense – Samuel R.Robinson
  • Business Law – Eric M. Douthit (Fishers Office)
  • Estate Planning & Probate – Ann M. O’Hara
  • Real Estate Law – G. Jack Hittle
  • Banking & Finance Law – Bruce M. Bittner (Fishers office)
  • Local Government Law and Litigation/Eminent Domain – Douglas D. Church

Church, Church, Hittle and Antrim's offices are in downtown Noblesville at 2 North 9th Street.

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Titus Dentistry: All in the Family

Alex Titus, D.D.S.

Alex Titus knew from an early age exactly where his footprints would lead him in life. He wanted to be a dentist.  His uncle was a dentist and this family relationship would evolve into a direct personal desire to helping people with their dental needs.
“I saw my uncle solve problems that had to do with people who had toothaches or were embarrassed by their own smile.  His skills and care made a deep impression on me as a kid. I loved going to the dentist and always felt better after a visit to have my teeth cleaned or a cavity fixed,” he said with a beautiful smile of his own.

When he graduated from Indiana University School of Dentistry there was never a question as to where he would set up his family dental practice office.

“I come from a big family. I grew up in Carmel and loved the area. I was fortunate to be able to take over the practice of a retiring dentist and the location on Medical Drive. Owning my own business allows me to be able to control my life and my involvement in the community, which is very  important to me,” he added.

This engaging young dentist balances his career with on-going advanced training to make sure that his patients benefit from his “one-stop” approach of care from cosmetic veneer enhancements to difficult bridge construction.

“It is important to me and my team to keep my practice based in the cutting edge of a high quality standard of care,” he reflected adding, “I don’t advertise a lot and am expanding my patient base mostly by referrals. To me, these personal referrals are important as it tells me I am  giving the best care available to my patients, and that they benefit from my skills and years of training. A healthy mouth and a beautiful smile are so very important.”

Giving Back
Dr. Titus  volunteers his time at the Trinity Free Clinic located on the north side of Carmel, which is a free dental and medical clinic.

Sam Titus (left), office manager and younger brother of Alex Titus, D.D.S (middle) with dental assistant Tammy Oyler. Sam has applied to IU School of Dentistry to follow in the family footsteps.

“What I see during my time at the Trinity Free Clinic are individuals who can’t afford or have no access to proper dental care. Helping them truly inspires me. It’s the least I can do and at the end of the day it is so very rewarding.  To me, it demonstrates a lack of care available in our society for so many people, and shows how the insurance industry has changed the landscape  of dental care. This worries me a great deal as dental care is so important in the overall wellness of an individual. Your mouth can reflect disease far beyond cavities. I believe that dental care is undervalued in today’s world. One day, hopefully this will change. Until that time comes, I will be engaged as a volunteer of dental care,” he says with conviction. Just for the record, he also works at Healthwise Dental located in Tipton for Medicaid patients. It’s clear this young dentist actively gives back to his community.

It is interesting to note that Alex Titus is not the only Titus in the dental field. His brother Jonathan is also a practicing dentist who sees patients with Alex. Sam, his younger brother currently working as the office manager, has recently applied to the IU School of Dentistry. There is also one more brother who is seriously considering following in the Titus tradition of producing fine dentists who really do love this professional field of dental care.  When you visit, you will also be introduced to Tammy Oyler, a dental assistant who makes you feel right at home within the Titus dental empire!

For additional information on Titus Dentistry, visit their website at or call for an appointment at (317) 844-8292.

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Thermography of Indianapolis: Finding Thermal Abnormalities in the Body

Abby Appelt, founder of Thermography of Indianapolis.

The world of medicine, which is supported by the wonders of specialized imagery, is moving toward what might be the difference in discovering a disease well before it has advanced to life threatening situations.

Abby Appelt was a woman diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia Syndromes. She went from doctor to doctor, undergoing multiple examinations, tests, blood draws and consultations. With no results or improvement in her condition, she found herself spending 95% of her time in bed, too sick on most days to cope with the combinations of prescribed medications, blinding migraines, vomiting and constant pain.

One day she decided she had to go beyond traditional methods and seek out alternative medicine. With this new perspective of alternate pathways, she told me she began by making healthier choices. First, she stopped all the pills, changed her diet and began slowly to exercise. She then began to read everything she could on diseases that had been diagnosed for her. “I didn’t find the answer right away and had to try several things before I found something that worked for me,” Abby said.

“Eventually my search led me to the Internet for alternative medical practitioners who were involved in the FDA approved, digital infrared thermal imaging commonly known as Thermography, which is a brief, non-invasive, radiation-free, pain free, clinical imaging procedure for detecting and monitoring a number of diseases and physical injuries, by showing the thermal abnormalities present in the body,” she added.
“This discovery and the proper medical diagnois and life changing nutritional habits led me back to school where I received my certification (CNHP,CCT) and opened a business, Thermography of Indianapolis, to provide these FDA approved imaging services to the public,” she said. “Today, I work with many doctors and receive referrals from other medical specialists who are also invested in providing alternative methods of early detection. I also work with companies whose employees have had injuries. The process allows clear information about whether a person is truly ready to resume normal activities. Thermography saved my life and changed my life. I know the happiness of feeling well each and every day and that is my blessing in this journey,” she said with a smile.

A brief history of Thermography…
Thermography is used as an aid for diagnosis and prognosis as well as monitoring therapy progress for an array of conditions and injuries. The list of diseases and conditions includes back injuries, arthritis, headache, nerve damage, unexplained pain, Fibromyalgia, RSP (CRPS), dental and TMJ, artery inflammation, vascular disease, breast disease, Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, disc disease, inflammatory pain, skin cancer, referred pain syndrome, sprain/strain, whiplash and digestive disorders.
Hippocrates, the Greek physician, wrote, “In whatever part of the body excess of heat or cold is felt, the disease is there to be discovered.” Hippocrates wrote this in 400 AD. This history of Thermography is fascinating and now documented. In 1982, the FDA approved thermography as an adjunctive tool in breast cancer screening. Thermography’s role in breast health is to help in early detection and monitoring of abnormal physiology and the establishment of risk factors for the development or existence of cancer. When used with other procedures, the best possible evaluation of breast health is made.

With full disclosure, I know Abby Appelt. She was a very involved person in many charity functions and our paths crossed many times. I saw her descend into chronic illness and the toll it took on her body. When I walked into her office this week, I found a vibrant woman who was the picture of health. Smiling brightly, she sat me down and proceeded to do a Thermo image of my face and neck. No pain, no discomfort. The report showed my inflamed sinus areas and in my jaw, it showed more than the normal heat reading. As it turns out, I am having dental work done to replace all the old silver fillings that are now infected and causing me additional discomfort aside from my sinus issues.

There is so much more to this subject. It is indeed exciting. I encourage you to go to for extensive information on this new technology. Or you can call Abby Appelt at (317) 370-5111. Her story is living proof that medicine of the future is changing and Thermography will definitely be part of this evolution.

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Invest in Your Nest: Full Steam Ahead

After Shot.

Sometimes a simple repair can lead to a full remodeling job, as in the case of my own guest bathroom, which doubles as a steam shower, and was the most popular bathroom in the house for family members and our guests.

So when it came time to fix a small leak in the shower, I decided it was time to Invest in My Nest, with full steam ahead to give this bathroom the makeover it deserved!

Designer Wendy Prather of Lemire Design was the first to take a look at the room. “We knew that the plain vanity, dated faux painting, and little shower door had to go. In my mind, I wanted to go with a darker, sassy look instead of the neutrals. Wendy agreed and the transformation was started.”

The Carlini bathroom "before" the remodel.

The room was gutted and the opening to the shower was widened by 12 inches, which gave the shower a surprisingly larger look. It also exposed the back wall of the shower, suddenly making it a focal point and in need of something dramatic. We chose a tile pattern (Architectual Brick and Tile) made up of shimmery bronzes with random highlights of silver. It certainly made a statement and we decided on a glass door to show off the new wall of tile.

A strip of the same tile wrapped around the rest of the bathroom, topped with a unique black-bronze chair rail, custom flooring and ceramic tile all in the same hues (The Tile shop) really blended together filling out the rest of the bathroom.

Every project of redecorating can have it challenges and ours came in the tile selection, which came from three different stores with three different grouts. It took some work to make it all blend.

The plain white vanity was replaced with a sleek black cabinet (Zinn Kitchens, Inc.) topped with an exotic stone called Black Thunder (Stone Spectrum). A partially recessed Kohler glass bowl and a Pfister waterfall faucet (Fergusons) brought it all together.

The strip lighting and mirror were replaced with a framed backlit mirror (Glassworks by Design) and two chocolate colored crystal pendants that I found on the internet. A bronze shimmery faux finish (Faux painting by Lisa)was added to the walls and a silvery sparkle to the ceiling completing this steamy oasis ready for all to enjoy.

I did add a warming system to the floor so we wouldn’t get cold fee when it comes time to do the next remodeling project!

If you have a remodeling project in your home, let me know so we can follow your progress, too.

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Making Baby Sleepers a Zip

Hello World Clothing Company founder Cynthia Wise has developed baby sleepers featuring zippers instead of snaps.

Have you ever had to change a diaper at three o’clock in the morning? You have one eye open, your baby is fussing, and you’re trying to snap the bottom of the kid’s pajamas. Frustrated and cursing under your breath you think; there has to be a better way! Enter Hello World Clothing Company.

Hello World® is the brain child of a loving mom, Cynthia Wise, who wanted an easier way for savvy parents to connect with the needs of their children and with their own world. “We realize that busy parents and children have one important common thread: each other. When your child shines the eyes of innocence in your direction, everything else is insignificant,” said Wise.

The first product was the SmartZip Sleeper. It comes in blue “Blue Me Away” and pink “Made Me Blush.” Both have brown accents. The sleeper has a two-way zipper that allows you to unzip from the top for traditional dressing, and it has an additional zipper pull at the bottom, so you can unzip from the bottom, where access is needed most during a diaper change. No more little arms wiggling out at the top when you want to change a diaper at the bottom!

“Our second product was the SimpleZip Pant,” added Wise. “This pant has a one way zipper at the inseam. This allows for one simple zip when changing the diaper. I loved the snap pants, but didn’t enjoy realigning them. And there weren’t very many on the market. I also would get frustrated when I would be in a public restroom and had to take the pants completely off as they would inevitably fall on the dirty floor. I wanted to simplify a sometimes very stressful situation for all caregivers.”

Wise also unveiled a new green color unisex sleeper, “Olive You More,” with sizes ranging from 0-24m.

Where were these gems when I was changing diapers?

Not only does this new company make great products, they understand that part of being in business is giving back to the community. Hello World Clothing Company has a giving back foundation that donates 5% proceeds of online sales to The Aidan Brown Foundation, a local charity that raises money to provide iPads to children in the hospital with cancer, in honor of Aidan Brown, who fought Neuroblastoma and won! They donate sleepers and 5% proceeds to The New Life Home Orphanage in Kenya through the Amani Foundation. This was inspired by a local girl in Wise’s daughter’s school, her family created the Amani Foundation to help support the orphanage where they adopted their daughter.

“We are currently working with a tube fed children’s organization. It turns out our sleepers are a great answer for tube fed babies. The two-way zipper allows for an opening anywhere along the body. The parents typically cut holes in clothes or use gowns. Our sleepers keep their babies warm and comfortable while keeping the tube in place. I get letters all the time from parents wanting bigger sizes and more colors. Our hope is to run a yearly holiday campaign to provide one sleeper to the foundation for every one sold on our site,” Wise stated.

Hello World made their first sale in June of 2009, they continue to grow and learn new things daily. Thoughts on being a business owner, what does it take? “Money! It takes money to start and keep going, but sales take time to catch up to that initial investment. I believe if you do your research, continuously ask questions and give it your all, you will succeed. In the end the business may fail, but at least I took a risk, had fun and learned a lot about myself. I also have more enthusiasm and less trepidation about launching new ideas.”

That’s good, because we love those zippers!

For additional information on products please visit:

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Divvy it Out – Small Plates, Big Impression

Richelle and Kevin "Woody" Rider - owners and chefs of Divvy and The Library in Carmel.

Good things come in small packages…and that is the absolute truth at the new, innovative and fun Divvy restaurant in Carmel, where small plates to share and “fun” are their specialty. There are over 100 cute, little scrumptious dishes on the menu to “divvy” out – from seafood, spreads, salty snacks, cheese, all types of meat, vegetarian, sweets and so on (and I can go on, trust me). Even the beer and wine tasters are cute and presented oh just so! One of the unique elements is the offering of gluten free, vegan and lactose free dishes, which is hard to find at most restaurants. Small plates are the “future of dining” according to Kevin “Woody” Rider, owner and chef of Divvy and The Library. For Kevin and his wife Richelle, fellow owner and chef alike, starting this restaurant was an easy choice. “We eat that way anyway,” said Kevin. “It’s a fun way to dine.”

The dishes at Divvy are the culmination of the past four years of Kevin and Richelle’s travels. “We ate at 27 restaurants in Seattle,” explained Kevin. “And you can’t go ten steps in Chicago without finding a great restaurant.” Another favorite dining destination was New York City. “Divvy is a melting pot of all those traveling adventures. We just wanted something different, edgy and fun.”

When you walk in the door you are immediately drawn into the chic and edgy atmosphere. “We wanted a wow factor,” Kevin said. “The bar tops are poured concrete, the floor is made entirely of reclaimed wood, the overhead lights look like floating clouds. You get a good feel when you come in.”

As you are greeted at your table, you are given the choice of sparkling or bottled water (for a nominal fee), plain tap water or their specialty tap water chilled and infused with a cucumber lemon mixture. Very refreshing and a great twist highlighting the things to come. “We wanted an alternative option that was of no cost to our customer,” said Kevin.

Before you even look at the menu, I suggest asking the wait staff to bring out two of their top favorite dishes to start, so you’ll have something to eat while you are reading over all the unique and flavorful options. And let’s face it, it never hurts to order a little extra!

I’ve been to Divvy twice and have a reservation for the third set up and waiting. This is my next order: I’ll start with a drink of course, will then order the warm bacon jam with pretzel breadsticks and horseradish mustard along with the gorgonzola balls. Moving right along to the corn crème brulee (or save this one as a dessert – it’s a nice sweet treat) and the scallop rockafellas. I would tell you what is in each of these, but it would take up too many words, so you’ll just have to go and see for yourself. Then I’ll order the Thanksgiving balls and bacon bites. Finishing my evening with a nightcap and the chocolate mousse (has a peanut butter glaze – OMG). But honestly, you can’t go wrong with any you choose. Just have fun and try something different.

I had the pleasure and privilege of taking behind the scenes (kitchen) photos. Richelle and two other chefs were working at top speeds to provide amazing turnaround times to the patrons. I was impressed. Every dish had a special added touch of art. “There will never be more than two dishes sharing the same flavor (i.e. sauce),” explained Kevin. From my personal experience and just watching several dishes go through the kitchen in about 20 minutes, each dish was unique and I’m certain they were all savored.

I would say it is the little things that count. Literally. Everything is just above and beyond the norm, from the décor, to the specialty water, to everything on the menu, to the little box of goodies you get with your bill – to either save for later or eat before you leave. (This is a very nice way to end your night.)

Reservations are recommended and it is 21 and over, so go ahead and get your date night or GNO (Girls Night Out) planned by calling 706-0000. Divvy is located at the Carmel City Center. You can’t miss it and there is plenty of parking! Enjoy. Or as Divvy says it “sip, share, savor.”

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Carmel’s Winter Market

Mother-daughter duo Peyton and Stephanie Lewis serve up Walking Waffles at the Winter Market inside the Carmel City Center on Saturdays through March 17, 9 a.m.-noon.

A tasty summer tradition continues with Carmel’s first Winter Market featuring 21 vendors offering a kaleidoscope of vegetables, fruits, meats, teas and treats. Multiple suggestions from summer market regulars requesting an opportunity to sell their goods throughout the chilly months, planted the seed for a winter market.

From root to reality, the City of Carmel partnered with Pedcor Companies and the idea grew into a busy marketplace held at Carmel City Center from 9 a.m. to Noon on Saturday mornings.

“We had available space and thought this street-level retail area would be the perfect venue for a winter market,” said Michelle Kremery, marketing director for Carmel City Center. “Pedcor realized there was value in hosting a winter market after talking with several summer vendors who wanted to continue to sell their products.” Vendors pay a nominal fee to participate and appreciate the opportunity to do business with their customers year round.

Whipping up a quick lunch, Pei-Ming "Sunny" Sun with Sunny Chinese Kitchen.

Grand Grilling has been engaged in the Summer Market for nine years. The pig farmer from Muncie sells farm-raised pork and cooks up barbeque beef and ribs for shoppers so they can try before they buy. According to Sue Orebaugh, who works alongside her husband Joe, they enjoy getting out to meet their customers. “This market is a great way for customers to put a face with the product they are purchasing. They come away knowing the pork or cheese we sell is high-quality, good and fresh.”

“Guests and vendors have been asking for a winter market for some time but we haven’t had a location,” said Ron Carter, a city councilor and an active volunteer for Carmel’s Summer Market. “Pedcor became enamored with the idea and stepped forward to sponsor it providing space without charge.” In addition, Pedcor built out the space, gained a certificate of occupancy and is providing staff to help coordinate and implement the weekly event that runs through March 17.

“Pedcor contributed $45,000 worth of space, employee time and build out expense to make the market work,” said Kremery. Since opening on November 19, the market has attracted about 500 people each weekend. “Not only have the patron comments been positive, but visitors are excited to have something to do in the winter and Pedcor thinks it’s a great service to the community.”

Stephanie Lewis agrees. Her family started a company call The Walking Waffle. “We’ve been involved in the Summer Market for the past four years. It’s a great gathering place for residents,” said Lewis. “My husband and four children are all involved in the company. We all make and sell waffles here every other week. We came up with the walking waffle so people can have a good breakfast food and still walk around and enjoy the market.” According to Lewis, their secret recipe has been a big hit. The red, white a blue waffle decorated with a topping of strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream is a crowd favorite.

Annie Grosskopf and Glen Brabow from Grabow Orchard & Bakery in Pendleton.

Ready for lunch? Hands by Sunny Chinese kitchen will stir-fry a healthy batch of noodles and veggies, while Skillington Farms cooks made to order quesadillas. If want to tantalize our taste buds with munchies, Larry Carman, owner of The Amazing Potato Chip Company will give you a sample of his one-of-a-kind chips. “I went searching for a chip without salt and couldn’t find one that tastes good so I came up with my own recipe,” said Carman “I’m trying to invent a diet chip that has 22% less calories and no loss of flavor, so the good Lord said you can learn how to do it. I’ll help you.”

Kei and Julie Fernatt peddle loose leaf locally blended tea and tea accessories. “We offer about 50 blends of tea at our virtual store online but we like getting out to meet our customers and to find out what they like,” said Kei, owner and company namesake.

A few booths down, Mission Coffee, Inc. not only brews all natural java, it serves up heart-warming goodwill evident in the company’s slogan – help, healing and hope, one cup at a time. “Our coffee is grown on an active missionary in Panama. We purchase the coffee from the farm at retail prices then resell it in the states,” said Peter Beering, an active volunteer with the organization. “We give people who tend the coffee skill sets in an effort to break the cycle of poverty.” Proceeds support the Boquete medical mission that operates a dental clinic, a women’s and children’s shelter, food and clothing ministry and employs over 40 impoverished Panamanians.

Julie and Kei Fernatt sell loose leaf, locally blended tea and accessories.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Deborah Schmitz, secretary of the Summer Market board and head of vendor relations. “Vendors must adhere to certain guidelines in order to participate.” For instance, sellers must live in Indiana and are selected based on what the market needs are to keep it fresh and interesting for visitors as well as profitable for businesses. At least half of the products sold by a vendor must be home grown or produced, a stipulation that is verified by the market’s vendor relations committee.

Glen Grabow was one of the original participants in Carmel’s first farmer’s market and is glad to see its growth. “The summer market is very productive for us and I’ve been wanting to operate all year round,” Grabow said. In 1989, Grabow retired, purchased 14 acres in Pendleton, and planted apple trees, adding a bakery a few years later. Grabow sells his products online but looks forward to the market. “I’m a people person. I like to help customers by providing a good, quality product.” Not only does his spread include a variety of apples, Grabow offers dumplings, pies, quick breads, and his personal favorite, Glen’s tomato zucchini Ratatouille.

The wide variety of vendors offer something for everyone, from Happy Everything Catering and The Farming Engineers to Artisano’s oils and spices and Homestead Heritage’s grassfed beef and organic eggs, it’s a one stop shop complete with healthy, local flavor.

“This is a wonderful tradition. I hope it continues,” said Carol Carlson, who stopped by to pick up fresh vegetables and some baked goods from a booth operated by St. Athanasius Byzantine Church.

“At this point the future of the Winter Market is uncertain,” said Kremery. “Pedcor happened to have this space open, if it rents the market will have to find another home and considering the number of people shopping here, we see a demand. Hopefully we, as a community, can find a way to continue this winter tradition.”

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Something Sweet Even for Valentine Cynics

Connor Alderman enjoys a sweet Valentine's treat at Holy Cow Cupcakes.

Valentine’s Days is a holiday that divides people into one of three categories: hopeless romantics who go all out, cynical skeptics who refuse to participate in a “greeting card holiday,” and people who just like chocolate and flowers regardless of the occasion. Even if you fall into the second category, chances are someone in your life falls into one of the other two and forces you to celebrate Valentine’s Day. So if you’re going play nice and indulge your sweetie with some sweetness, then why not skip the old dinner and a movie standby and use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to try something different?

Everyone has heard the old expression, Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. For this Valentine’s Day you could take that expression literally and learn to give your honey a massage. La Dolce Salon (1119 S Rangeline Road) offers a “Massage Your Mate” package that teaches you and your partner massage techniques to help each other achieve total relaxation. If the do-it-yourself approach is not for you, then maybe you’re better suited for a couples massage where the two of you will be treated to the massage of your choice in the same room with two massage therapists. Prices start at $75. And if spas are just not your thing at all, then consider gifting your sweetheart with a trip to La Dolce’s new “Makeover Mondays.” On the third Monday of each month each of the departments in La Dolce (hair, nails, etc) will host workshops where the pros will instruct clients on how to achieve salon looks at home. Contact the salon (317-848-0294) for more information or to make reservations.

Maybe you & your lovey are more “foodies” than “spa people” and you would like to splurge a bit on some culinary treats, but dinner at a fancy restaurant is still out of your price range? Consider putting together a basket of goodies from Vine & Table (313 East Carmel Drive). For less than $100, you could assemble a gorgeous basket with a fine wine, delicious cheese, and yummy chocolates. For wine lovers, Neil Charles of Vine & Table recommends Rosa Regale, a romantic sparkling red from Northern Italy ($22.95). For a nice splurge, Charles suggests a bottle of Chartogne Taillet Le Rose Brut ($61.95). Chartogne Taillet is unique in that they grow their own grapes for their champagnes. If your Valentine isn’t a oenophile, Charles suggests a nice bottle of bourbon, for example Black Maple Hill from Kentucky. Pair these with Sottocenere cheese ($25.49/lb), a decadent cheese infused with black truffles, or Delice De Bourgogne ($14.49/lb), a creamy French triple similar to brie. Top off your basket with a box of Ghyslain chocolates (starting at $12.99), which are made in Indiana. Each chocolate is hand painted and each design has an individual flavor. No reservations, no dress code to observe (you guys could even stay in PJs!), and if you wait until after bedtime no babysitter.

So you have some ideas for your special someone, but what about the rest of the gang? Kids definitely fall into the “people who like chocolate regardless of the occasion” category and there’s no reason to leave them out of the Valentine’s Day fun. At Holy Cow Cupcakes (61 W. City Center Drive) you can load up on special Valentine treats such as heart shaped cupcakes, cookies and cinnamon rolls. The bakery will also be playing off the idea of the traditional box of chocolates by creating special chocolate cupcakes with filled with an assortment of flavors such as raspberry or peanut butter. Holy Cow will even deliver a dozen of their Valentine cupcakes right to your door (starting at $24 per dozen with $5 delivery fee). Says Karen Vonkamecke Sutton, owner of Holy Cow, “Our cupcakes delivered are cheaper than flowers and much tastier!”

To help everyone work off their sugar you can take the family over to Carmel Ice Skadium (1040 3rd Avenue Southwest). On Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11 from 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., the rink offers Cosmic Skating. The rink plays dance music and turns on the funky lights for a little disco party on ice. If you have younger folks who find that disco skating interferes with their bedtime, Carmel Ice Skadium also offers public skating from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. most weekend days. Admission is $5 for 10 yrs and younger, $6.50 for 11 and up, $8 for Cosmic Skate and $3 for skate rental.

Whether you are of the opinion that Valentine’s Day is a trumped up holiday to boost winter flower sales or whether you believe that Valentine’s Day is the single most romantic day of the year and must be celebrated, there are plenty of local options to satisfy your needs. Wine, cupcakes, and massages are tokens of affection that even the most hardcore Valentine grump will appreciate.

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Piano Solutions: Finely Tuned

Co-owners Brian Hostetler and Greg Durthaler have crafted Piano Solutions into a comprehensive piano refurbishing, sales and service business.

It’s all backwards. You enter into a storefront area filled with vintage pianos and an all-but-hidden desk sitting to the far left. Did I just walk in the back door? Where are the luxurious showrooms, water fountains, and granite floors?

An opened doorway leads you directly into a large workshop area where pianos are sitting in various stages of repair and restoration. Parts and tools are scattered across work tables, all within the reach of technicians who are busy restoring heirloom instruments to their original quality of sound and structure.

Each piano has its own complete process of being built. Restoration follows the original design of first construction. When the work is completed with a used piano, the gift of being restored has been carefully and painstakingly delivered. The atmosphere within this area invites a visitor to inquire about the history of these wonderful musical instruments. The stories told are magical.

Piano Solutions is backwards of what you might expect from a piano retailer, but it is exactly how it should be as most people looking to buy a piano, either new or used, have no idea about the anatomy of the instrument or the differences between the various piano types. Having a shop immediately inside the front door reinforces the true nature of Piano Solutions’ business with emphasis on quality and piano repair services.

Piano Solutions was selected to restore legendary composer Hoagy Carmichael’s piano.

Once you’ve had a chance to see the structuring of different pianos, you are ready to venture on to the adjacent showroom and recital hall that houses nearly 300 pianos. These areas present an impressive array of new and used pianos from around the world. With prices ranging from $500 to more than $200,000, customers have an open invitation to sit down and play. There are no “Do Not Touch” signs at Piano Solutions, even for the $200,000+ C. Bechstein grand piano that sits among other notable brands such as Estonia, Kawai, Kohler & Campbell, Wm. Knabe, Pearl River and Charles Walter (an Indiana-made piano).

Co-owners Greg Durthaler and Brian Hostetler have crafted their business into a comprehensive rebuilding and service company that just happens to sell quite a few pianos. They are considered piano historians with a national reputation for delivering restoration excellence in this industry.

Since 2000, Piano Solutions has sponsored and directed the Indiana Young Hoosier Piano Competition. This two-month statewide piano competition uniquely accepts pianists of all skill levels and musical interest and had more than 600 performances last year.

“When people walk through our front door, we know they’ve already made up their minds to buy a piano. They are looking for direction and our job is to help them select an instrument that meets their musical needs and budget. You don’t have to spend a fortune when buying a good piano, and being able to service every brand we sell is an important part of our identity,” explains Durthaler.

Their unique trade-back program provides customers with a risk-free purchasing experience—allowing the original piano purchased to be traded for more instrument as players improve.

“One of the most rewarding components of our business is when people call us and purchase pianos sight unseen. They trust us to find a piano that will serve them both musically and aesthetically. That’s quite an honor and it’s what Brian and I and our whole team strive for every day,” he adds with thoughtful reflection.

Webster’s Dictionary defines a piano as a stringed instrument having steel wire strings that sound when struck by felt-covered hammers operated from a keyboard. It should be noted that these sounds emit a musical tone that by any definition is pure magic.

If you’re shopping for a piano, it’s highly recommended that you visit Piano Solutions — the reverse designed piano company. As you listen, you will hear the sounds of music created by this wonderful, centuries-old instrument. Time spent at Piano Solutions can indeed be a magical experience.

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Green B.E.A.N. Brings the Farmer’s Market to Your Front Door

Matt Ewer, owner of Green B.E.A.N. Delivery, is here holding organic produce at his Feel Good Farm in Sheridan, Indiana.

One of summer’s little luxuries is being able to amble through the local farmer’s market, sampling new foods and picking up fresh, local produce. But what if summer mornings are consumed by soccer games or baseball practice, and what happens when the farmer’s market goes away with the winter weather? Where can a shopper turn to find good local foods? Green B.E.A.N.Delivery, a home delivery service of organic produce and natural groceries has a solution to this dilemma.

Founded in 2007 by Matt Ewer and Beth Blessing, a husband-wife team and Indiana natives, Green B.E.A.N. sought to fill a hole in the local market by providing convenient and affordable access to foods from local farmers and artisans. Says Matt, “We knew that everyone has a busy life, and so we felt that if we could make healthy food options convenient that it would be utilized.”

After a short stint on the west coast where Beth earned her Masters degree in Nutrition and Matt worked as the General Manager of Full Circle Farm, they decided to return to Indiana to start their family and to fulfill their dream of owning a farm. Matt’s knowledge of buying, selling, and growing produce combined with Beth’s nutritional acumen, they decided to work backwards toward reaching the goal of owning a farm. First, they would partner with local farmers and artisans to delivery their goods and eventually purchase their own farm where they would grow many of the organic items that they deliver.

Starting with just 4 employees and utilizing word of mouth and social media as marketing tools, Green B.E.A.N. has grown to having nearly a 100 employees and delivering approximately 2,000 food bins to customers in the greater Indianapolis area. When asked for his opinion as to why the organization grew so quickly, Matt responded, “We have a good understanding that you only grow when you are providing a good product. Since the beginning we have been very focused on the quality of our products and service.”

So how does Green B.E.A.N. work? A customer simply logs on to the website ( and creates an account. The only requirements for membership is a standing order totaling $35 or more. This standing order consists of the produce bin you select and the frequency of delivery, either weekly or bimonthly. The produce bins come in small (for a small family or 2-3 people), medium (sized for a family of 4), or large (sized for a large family). Additional options include a fruit only bin and a produce plus groceries bin. All bins include a mix of seasonal produce. A unique aspect of Green B.E.A.N. is that, unlike similar food delivery services (such as a CSA), members may customize their bins with items they can choose from the company website. The company delivers each bin to the customer’s home on their scheduled date.

“Lots of members have reported weight loss after starting the program,” says Matt. “If healthy food choices are dropped off at your door, you will eat healthier.”

Heather Mullins of Carmel, whose family has been using Green B.E.A.N. for 2 years, agrees. “We decided to use Green B.E.A.N. because we wanted fresh organic produce and dairy in our home at all times. We also thought if we had produce automatically delivered to our house we would be more likely to eat it, and we were right.”

Beth Blessing & Matt Ewer, owners and founders of Green B.E.A.N. Delivery, with their daughter and dog on the Feel Good Farm.

This year Ewer and Blessing realized their dream when they opened Feel Good Farm, a 60-acre organic farm in Sheridan, Indiana. “The B.E.A.N. in our name stands for Biodynamic Education Agriculture and Nutrition, and in 2011 we really focused on agriculture by opening the farm,” says Ewer. In addition to the foods they grow at Feel Good, they typically utilize about 100 different growers during the season with an emphasis on using local farmers. According to Ewer, “Local food is so important to the local community.” In addition to the greater Indianapolis area, Green B.E.A.N. also delivers to Fort Wayne, Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Louisville. Plans for 2012 include developing a farm in the Cincinnati area.

Supporting the local community is a top priority to Green B.E.A.N. “We believe in showing what a food company can do. We take our community partnerships very seriously,” says Ewer. In the 4 years that they have been operating, Green B.E.A.N. has donated over 125,000 pounds of food to local food banks and charities. Green B.E.A.N. partners with Gleaners Food Bank and Second Helpings, as well as organizing their own ongoing food drive, called Constant Can Food Drive. Members can place canned goods into their empty bins for pick up on delivery days to make an easy donation. “It’s important for members to know that when they choose us as a delivery service their money is staying within the community, both by supporting local growers and artisans as well as local charities.” That commitment extends to the customer service they provide their members. Says Mullins, “They are a great business because they provide excellent customer service and are very flexible. The few times we have had an issue over the past 2 years it was quickly resolved. I recommend them to all our friends.”

“It’s been one heck of a ride,” comments Ewer when asked about Green B.E.A.N.’s rapid success, “but we knew if we offered a quality service that the reaction would be positive, and we’re proud of what we’ve been able to do.” So while that weekly stroll through the farmer’s market is a distant memory this time of year, by delivering fresh, local, and quality produce and groceries to customers, Green B.E.A.N. is bringing that farmer’s market experience right to your front door.

For more information on Green B.E.A.N., please go to the company website and their blog at

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Rent Your Home for the Super Bowl for $10,000?

Signs are everywhere in Geist and Carmel, some tips before you turn your castle into a hotel for the weekend.

Super Bowl XLVI is right around the corner and everywhere you look there is some sort of Super Bowl story or advertisement. A particularly interesting sign spotted around town claims that you can earn up to $10,000 per day by renting out your home for the Super Bowl. While earning $10,000 per day may be a bit far-fetched, renting out your property to earn some extra cash is not.

According to the Super Bowl Host Committee, the Super Bowl is expected to bring an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 visitors to town during the ten days that lead up to the big event. There are about 13,800 hotels in the area, but the majority have been booked solid for months! This means many football fans will turn to rental property, which will offer visitors more space, privacy, and the coziness of an actual house.

If you plan on renting out your home during the Super Bowl, do your research. Take appropriate steps to protect yourself and your home before deciding if renting your home is worth the risk and extra money. Below is a non-exclusive list of tips to consider before renting out property for the Super Bowl.

  1. Draft a written rental agreement and have an attorney review the agreement before it is signed.
  2. Contact your home insurer to add proper and comprehensive liability insurance for the rental period in case of a problem — like your tenant falling and hurting him or herself — or damage to your home. Do you really want that loose floorboard to create a financial nightmare?
  3. Furthermore, for those of you who already have home insurance, contact your provider to make sure renting out your home is within your policy’s limits. Insurance providers may consider a Super Bowl lease a type of business pursuit that is otherwise uncovered. Remember: it’s better to be safe than sorry, so do call your insurance company.
  4. Seek full payment ahead of time. This is to ensure that the renter does not skip out on rent. You could also do a credit check on the renter to evaluate the renter’s ability to pay and how responsible they are.
  5. Also, get a security deposit from the renter. Simply stated, there is no way to tell what will go on in the home during the rental period. The renter could completely trash the property or take everything out of the home if it is furnished. If you do collect a security deposit, however, be aware that Indiana sets out a detailed list of procedures to follow for deducting damages, returning the balance to your tenant, etc. Consulting an attorney familiar with landlord/tenant law will ensure you avoid legal pitfalls.
  6. If there is a homeowners association, check to ensure that there are not any regulations on renting homes short term. On that note, double-check your mortgage paperwork to be certain renting out your home is permissible with your lender.
  7. Take a video or photos of the property before renting it out. This provides proof of the condition of the property before the rental period in case there is a dispute as to whether the renter damaged the property during the rental period.
  8. Consider how the renters will affect neighbors. Will the renters have out of control parties? If so, neighbors likely won’t be happy with you.
  9. Proceed with caution when a company seeks money to list your house on a website for rental. There is no guarantee the company will find a suitable renter or that the company is not a scam to begin with.
  10. This list is not exhaustive and you should always seek legal advice from a licensed attorney before you rent out your property. Your home is your unique castle; only after consulting with an attorney should you feel secure that your individual concerns have been addressed.
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Carmel’s Mary and Martha’s: An Exceedingly Chic Boutique

Laura Shattuck, owner, and her daughter Lillian Bernard, store manager - Mary & Martha's Exceedingly Chic Boutique.

“…Clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Colossians 3:12

Laura Shattuck wanted to open a retail store based on the philosophy that fashion is about textures, color and movement. She also wanted women to embrace their own body with wonder, no matter what size is marked on the tag. That’s one of the reasons Mary and Martha’s clothing inventory carries sizes from 0 to 20.

The name of the store is unique in that it was conceived from a biblical reference from the book of Luke. “I wanted the store to have a focus not only for the business, but for me to live by as well. My life is truly about honoring my faith and my family. Fashion should be something that enhances your personal story. What you wear should enhance how you feel inside as well as on the outside,” Laura states in a quiet manner.

Lillian Bernard serves with her mother as the store’s manager. Knowledgeable in all areas of the store’s inventory it is a good pairing for this chic Carmel boutique located at 111 W. Main Street which opened on July 22, 2005.

Mary & Martha's is located at 111 W. Main Street in the Carmel Arts & Design District.

The fashionable store carries many lines of clothes from formal wear to casual blue jeans, jewelry, purses, scarves, hats and mittens and, Aquiesse candles (Made from soy that can also be used as a moisturizer for the hands. When the wax melts and is warm to touch, just rub it in with no need to peal).

“We love bringing new styles and merchandise to the Carmel area. With all the new construction that has taken place over the last few years it hasn’t always been easy, but we dedicated our efforts to doing whatever it took to keep the business open and growing. In the end, it has put the Midwest in the spotlight in a very positive way. Carmel is now a destination city and Mary and Martha’s is in a super location,” said Laura.

“There are so many new events taking place every week now in Carmel that present an opportunity for our customers to take advantage of our inventory and for us to help them find their own personal style. If we don’t have something they want, we will go the extra mile to find it for them. We hand select every piece of our merchandise with 40% of our stock exclusive to Carmel. For instance, we carry the Masterpiece line of Brighton (there are 3 lines attached to this brand). Workmanship on the Masterpiece line is exquisite and hard to find in some areas,” adds Lillian.

Customers are inclined to shop and then sit down on the comfy couch to touch base with each other and Laura and Lillian. It’s obvious that customers appreciate the extra service and warm atmosphere present in Mary and Martha’s. That’s a sound endorsement for a business philosophy based on a higher purpose.

Mary and Martha’s is located at: 111 W. Main Street, Suite 120, Carmel, IN
For more information call: (317) 848.2624

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Corner Vise is the Perfect Gallery & Frame Shop!

at geistcarmel pictures 039 Nestled in the charming town of Zionsville, renowned for its quaint brick street and Victorian charm, you will find a successful framing and art operation that has been in place for over 30 years.

In 1986, Barbara Jennings was working in the advertising industry when her parents proposed a business partnership in acquiring a custom framing business. The opportunity to manage a creative operation appealed to the daughter and so she found herself emerged in learning two separate operations: Custom framing and masterful art.

This business model works because art, no matter what the style or price point, is always enhanced when surrounded by a custom frame designed to complement the visual work of the artist.

“I love our business. It has allowed me to indulge myself in the exploration of discovering new artists and the craft of framing, which is really art in a different format,” said Jennings. “I love to help our clients locate those special pieces that are just the right fit to go into their homes or businesses; or pick out the perfect custom framing selection to enhance their artwork or priceless mementos – all within their personal budgets,” she adds.

Today, Jennings has a team of friendly, helpful staff associates. Kelly Fuller is the assistant director capable of art and frame consulting, as well as custom framing. Katie Harris is the full-time custom framer and Milo Popovich is a part-time art consultant. It’s a team that works well together.

at geistcarmel pictures 009 The Corner Vise staff offers no-obligation consultations, expertly honing in on the ideal combinations from the thousands of possibilities available in the custom framing operation. Craftsmanship is extremely important. Personalization and exceptional service is their goal, which they exceed based on stellar client referrals and comments. It’s obvious they have built a business that stands on an excellent reputation known for service and quality well outside their Zionsville zip code.

“We offer an ever changing collection of original fine art, limited edition prints and unique gift suggestions. On display you will find a wonderful cross selection of artists such as the worlds’ most collected artist, Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light; Thomas Arvid, arguably the world’s foremost, wine painter; and romantic realist, Pino” adds Jennings with a warm smile.

The variety of displayed art work covers a broad selection of art personally selected by Jennings in her travels across the country. “I was born in Jamaica to Chinese descendants. Needless to say, I feel lucky to be able to travel and discover new artists. Art is meant to feed your soul. I feel truly blessed to have this career. I owe it to my Mom. She saw the frame shop for sale and predicted it would a great fit because of my love of art. It has been such a gift – here I am still thriving in this business after 25 years,” said Jennings.

Visiting Corner Vise is indeed a gift. One you should give yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

Corner Vise is located at
104 South Main Street, Zionsville, IN
Store hours are: Monday-Wednesday – 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Thursday – 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Friday and Saturday – 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday – NOON to 5:00 p.m.

For more information on Corner Vise call: (317)873-2976

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Stratford Garage Sale Benefits Carmel Clay Library Reading Program

CCPLF-The Stratford Garage Sale

The Stratford in the Village of West Clay recently presented a check for $8,000 to the Carmel Clay Library Foundation. Pictured here are (left to right) Bob Meeker, Joyce Winner, Mary Jane Meeker, David Temple, Wendy Phillips, Ruth Isenthal, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, and Jim Hehner.

As the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Residents at The Stratford in the Village of West Clay proved that true by selling their unwanted goods in a community wide garage sale the last weekend of October. The twist to this shopping experience is all proceeds were to benefit the Carmel Clay Public Library Foundation.

According to event organizer Mary Jane Meeker, the residents wanted to organize something to build a sense of community and contribute to a worthwhile cause, so she and Margaret Shaw started planning and collecting merchandise. “We chose to support the library and its Ready-Set-Read program that teaches literacy to preschoolers so when they get to kindergarten they can read,” said Meeker. “We thought we might raise $500.”

The team of Stratford volunteers started collecting items in July, picking up donations at residents’ apartments. “A lot of people come to The Stratford with too much baggage. This was a chance for them to get rid of some things for a good cause,” said Meeker.

Library Guild Member, Joyce Winner, who owns a company called Good Riddance, helped price items and organized furniture and decorative pieces for consignment with Consigning Women. “Some of the furnishings from the models were too nice to sell in a garage sale. I knew they could raise more money through consignment,” added Winner.

And they did. At a special reception, The Stratford residents presented a check totaling $8,000 to the CCPL Foundation. “We are so pleased,” said Meeker. “It took a conglomerate of people to make this happen and many neighbors from the village came to help us.”

Mayor Jim Brainard and Foundation Board president, David Temple both complimented The Stratford residents on their efforts and thanked them for choosing to support the library – turning their trash into a valuable lifelong treasure for children learning to read.

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Watts Fine Art: Bringing Comtemporary Masters to the Midwest

at geistcarmel pictures 031

John Watts retired from Wellpoint, Inc. and decided to open a gallery on Main Street in Zionsville with his wife, Shannon.

When John and Shannon Watts retired from Wellpoint, Inc., they wanted to find a second phase for their energy and passions in life as a couple. In their search, they discovered that their own interest in art most always took them out of the Midwest. They took note of this.

“When we began our search for just the right location for our new business, we kept coming back to the village of Zionsville, where we live. Our search did indeed take us to multiple areas, but we both discovered that Zionsville was where we wanted to live, and work. When this site opened up, we went for it,” John said.

“We felt that we wanted to focus on bringing nationally recognized artists to our town. It was a niche we believed would enrich and expand both communities of collectors and national artists. Business has been strong since day one, and there’s not a day that goes by that we don’t feel like sponges soaking up everything we can in the world of contemporary art. To us, we are fortunate to be able to do this,” John adds.

Watts Fine Art represents a range of painters and sculptors. ”We host a lot of artists that we have in our own collection. It’s a true labor of love,” he says.

Watts Fine Art Gallery is located in downtown Zionsville at 20 North Main Street.

John and Shannon enjoy meeting these artists and hanging out with people who also love art. Their contemporary art gallery features an artist every month with additional shows offered throughout the year that are fun and thematic in nature. A few artists for discovery would include: Roseta Santiago, Jamie Chase, GiGi Mills, Rocky Hawkins, Quang Ho and, sculptor, JD Hansen. Hansen’s bronze sculpture, The Nest is currently prominently displayed in the Gallery.

Watts Fine Art Gallery is opening a larger gallery space right next door to its current location. Visitors will see well-lighted viewing rooms and a discussion area set off with an inviting fireplace. If you want to be put on a list for future artist showings coming up, you can sign up by going to:

When visiting the gallery, bring your love of art and don’t be afraid to mention your own favorite contemporary artist as the Watts Fine Art gallery offers a host of services for collectors and is more than willing to find exposure for new artists. Please know that all of the gallery art is available for sale online. We encourage you to visit their website to view all the magnificent work of artists represented by this gallery.

For more information please call: (317) 344-2534.

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Eleanor Rozella’s: My Happy Place

Owner and employees

Tammy Daubenspeck (left), Cindy Grove, and Tina Dell model a few of the scarves available at Eleanor Rozella's

Cindy Grove, owner of Eleanor Rozella’s gift shop in Noblesville, refers to herself as the “third sister” to her two employees, sisters Tammy Daubenspeck and Tina Dell. Their camaraderie sets the tone for the fun-loving experience that is Eleanor Rozella’s and carries over to the customers. “You’re not a stranger when you walk in here,” said Cindy. “Tammy and Tina are so much fun; they’re so loving to our customers. It’s like girlfriends. Our customers end up being our friends.”

Just strolling through this gift shop puts a smile on your face because of the cacophony of colors, scents and laughter that greets you. If you’re looking for a unique gift for a favorite person, you’ll find it within Eleanor Rozella’s three floors.

Cindy didn’t have to look far to find the inspiration for the store’s name. On her piano rests a vintage photo of her grandma taken when she was in her 20s. “She was very artsy,” said Cindy. “She loved to knit and make jewelry. I loved her to pieces, and her name just had a ring to it.” So her grandma’s name—Eleanor Rozella—became the name of the shop that resides at 982 Logan Street. The current location of the shop was, as Cindy is fond of saying, “born of divine intervention.”

Eleanor Rozella’s original location was at the Deer Creek Shops, the present location of the IU Health Saxony Hospital. One day Tammy came in to explore the shop and the two struck up a friendship. As a former part owner of Corner Cottage in Noblesville, Tammy mentioned how much she missed the retail business. Cindy promptly hired her to run the store, a relief for Cindy who often travels for her other job as a flight attendant

CIndy Grove holds up a pair of Toms Shoes with a matching headband.

Not long after that, the two were informed they would have to find a new business location as their strip mall was being torn down. Through a timely tip, Cindy learned that Alley Cats in downtown Noblesville was up for sale. Attached to Eddie’s Corner Cafe, the building was 3-1/2 floors of prime location. Cindy was certain the rent would be too high.

It turns out, the worry was for nought. “It was divine intervention. I just turned it over to the Big Guy and said ‘Okay, You’ve got to show me where to go …. The way everything worked out, it’s just like we were meant to be here,” Cindy said. Eleanor Rozella’s opened August 25, 2006 in downtown Noblesville. “We looked at each other and said ‘Here we go!” laughed Tammy. Not too long after that in April 2007, Tina joined the dynamic duo. Cindy also receives support from her parents and sister Norm, Judy and Julie Wilson.

Cindy bought the inventory of Alley Cats, but slowly over time, they put their own stamp on the product line. “We wanted more of an upscale, girly-girl boutique,” said Tammy. “Noblesville had so many shops that had the country, primitive-type home decor. We were taking things in a different direction. People were really excited about it, and we heard all positive about it.”

Today the shop is known for its eclectic, fun mix of items. They carry lines they themselves love and use, and they try to keep up with the trends too. Nestled among the other displays, you’ll find Cindy’s own exclusive line of animated butterflies called Innovative Animation. Cindy also has a penchant for carrying (whenever possible) product lines that encourage “aid through trade,” product lines from Indiana business owners (she loves supporting new Indiana businesses), and made-in-the-USA products. Here’s a few of their product lines.

Photo Letters, Language Arts, Toms Shoes (they were the first shop in Indiana to carry his line), Demdaco, Nora Fleming, Magnabilities, Switch Flops, Lenny & Eva, Moving Butterflies, Alexis Angels, Holly Yashi, Mogo Designs, Sseko Sandals

They also carry horseshoe and collegiate bling for women, as well as lots of baby gift items and unique home decor items.

Overall, Eleanor Rozella’s is the place to be when you need to hear a friendly word or to find that perfect gift. Repeat customers are known to wander in just to feel better on a bad day. Cindy tells a story from one of her customers who fondly refers to Eleanor Rozella’s as her “happy place.” The customer told Cindy, “One day there was a lady in your store who was not being very nice, and I had to tell her, ‘Listen, this is my happy place. If you’re having an issue, I think you need to go somewhere else, because you’re not going to ruin my happy place!’”

Eleanor Rozella’s
982 Logan Street
Noblesville, IN 46060-2225
Store Hours
M-T-W-SAT 10-6
TH-F 10-8
SUN 12-5

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Young Entrepreneurs Bring Energy to Noblesville

Noblesville is blessed with a town square and merchants that draw in visitors from around the county. But as beautiful a city as Noblesville is, what completes the draw for those who live in the area is the small-town community feel that locals love. Despite the downturn in the economy over the last few years, Noblesville is thriving in part because of some passionate, creative and dedicated young entrepreneurs who represent the heart of the city.

Leading the charge at Hare Chevrolet are co-owners and sisters Monica Peck, in charge of service, and Courtney Cole, in charge of sales.

Hare Chevrolet

Leading the charge are sisters Monica Peck, in charge of service, and Courtney Cole, in charge of sales, co-owners of Hare Chevrolet. The two have taken over running a company that was started by their family 164 years ago as a carriage and wagon making business. Over the years, Hare Chevrolet has continued to thrive, and Peck and Cole are getting ready to lead their 160 employees through their ninth expansion in just 12 years.

Both of them attribute their success to the support of their dedicated customers. Neither Monica nor Courtney are content to hole up in their offices, but are out in the showroom everyday having coffee and talking with customers. As Monica explained, “We treat people right. We have customers for life, not customers for the day.”

Hare Chevrolet is highly involved in giving back to their community. Monica will be the 2012 president of the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce and has been on the Boys and Girls Club board for 9 years. Their love of community is evident in their commitment to and support of local organizations such as the Noblesville schools, Riverview Hospital, youth sports, Relay for Life, and Prevail, just to name a few.

Although Monica worked at Hare Chevrolet through her childhood and teen years, neither she nor Courtney envisioned themselves taking over the family business. Both had successful careers in other fields, but Monica found herself missing Noblesville.

“I realized that I could work hard and build someone else’s business or my family’s business,” she said. Courtney has rediscovered the jewel that Noblesville is. “I value the fact that Noblesville is an incredible place to raise a family … it’s affordable, there’s plenty to do, the people are nice, and it’s safe!” she said. Neither have looked back, and Noblesville is the better for it.

Hare Chevrolet
2001 Stony Creek Road
Noblesville, IN 46060
(888) 893-3917
Open Mon-Thu 7:30am-8pm; Fri-Sat 8am-6pm

Indiana Kitchen Company

Jon Oliver, owner of Indiana Kitchen Company, says “I like the old historic downtown, and that’s certainly a draw for me, and a good fit for the business as well.”

As a Huntington, Indiana native, Jon Oliver, owner of Indiana Kitchen Company, found it was easy to feel lost in the bigger city of Indianapolis when he moved there for business 8 years ago. As he was looking for a place to open his own design business, he hit upon Noblesville.

“Noblesville gives that small town atmosphere I grew up in,” he said. “ I like the old historic downtown, and that’s certainly a draw for me, and a good fit for the business as well.”

As a full service design and remodeling company, Indiana Kitchen Company has helped many Noblesville homeowners transform their kitchens and baths into functional, beautiful spaces. With integrity and honesty as the backbone of their business, Jon and his employees have made good communication with their customers a key to successful home improvements. That and providing a good value. His pricing is competitive with the big-box stores, yet Jon also provides design knowledge and skill as


Supporting the community that he works in is important to Jon. He is active with the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce and Noblesville Main Street, participating in projects that benefit the community. Indiana Kitchen Company also gives back to the community-at-large by supporting organizations like Gleaners Food Bank and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Ultimately, Jon has found that his “customers feel good because they’re supporting the local economy. We feel good because we like to work with them on a local basis. We can relate to them. We know our clients really well by the end of a project.”

Indiana Kitchen Company
925 Conner Street
Noblesville, IN 46060-2622
(317) 773-4000
Open Weekdays 10am-6pm; Sat 8am-12pm

Uptown Cafe

Kristie Whitesell, owner of Uptown Cafe a breakfast and lunch cafe and bakery, went into business with a desire to provide her customers with a “great cup of coffee and a place for people to feel comfortable enough in to come in, sit down and get cozy.”

Kristie Whitesell, owner of Uptown Cafe a breakfast and lunch cafe and bakery, went into business with a desire to provide her customers with a “great cup of coffee and a place for people to feel comfortable enough in to come in, sit down and get cozy.” Judging by her slew of regular customers, she’s succeeded on both parts. Uptown Cafe has its own blend of coffee roasted just for them by Harvest Cafe Coffee Roasters in Broad Ripple.

After graduating from culinary school, Kristie worked evenings as a chef for a Carmel restaurant. She tired of working every evening, and when the opportunity presented itself in 2008 to buy the cafe, established originally as Lowther’s Shoe Store in 1883, she went for it.

As she grew into her role of entrepreneur, Kristie realized the value of having her business in Noblesville. “The Noblesville community is very important to Uptown Cafe. The amount of successful businesses on the square correlates to how well we do,” she said. As a member of Main Street, Kristie meets with the other shop owners to plan and participate in events. “It’s amazing how everyone sticks together,”she said.

What Kristie did not expect about being a business owner was how attached she would become to her Noblesville customers. “I have loyal, amazing customers. We know their names, we know their families, we know how they’re doing, they ask how we’re doing; there are a few I go out to dinner with as well. It’s amazing to have their support,” she added.

Kristie in turn supports the community by providing gift cards for fundraising auctions. She also provides all the cookies from her own in-house bakery for Riverview Hospital’s Valentines Day fundraiser.

Uptown Cafe
809 Conner Street
Noblesville, IN 46060-2613
(317) 674-8668
Open Tue-Fri 7am-3pm; Sat 7am-2pm; Sun 8am-2pm

Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano

Husband and wife team Matteo and Emily DiRosa of Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano.

Another successful entrepreneur in Noblesville is husband and wife team Matteo and Emily DiRosa of Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano. Matteo is no stranger to the restaurant business. He has worked in the business with family in his native country of Italy and in Indianapolis. While working in Indy, he met his wife Emily. They left Indianapolis to open their restaurant in Noblesville, and right away noticed the difference. “I feel a lot of support from the Noblesville community,” said Matteo. Success is not just one person. It’s the team, the employees and the customers — about 80% from the community. If I didn’t have a good community, it wouldn’t happen.”

Authenticity of product and service is what Matt and Emily strive for. All their entrees are made individually from scratch, and they use traditional, Italian recipes, some of which come form Matteo’s mother, focusing on fresh, natural, high-quality ingredients. They seek out employees who take pride in their work and take care with the customers.

Matteo and Emily work to constantly improve their business and the atmosphere for their customers, which for them is really a labor of love. “This is not my job. It’s not my business. It’s my life,” Matteo said.

Indeed the DiRosas are highly involved in the community. Emily is on the board of both the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce and Noblesville Main Street and active in community projects. They frequently give away donations for silent auctions and do large food donations for groups such as the Noblesville high school football team and Prevail events.

Always looking for ways to connect with their customers, Matteo and Emily are again leading a trip to Italy (Rome and the Amalfi Coast) in March of 2012. “It’s about staying fresh and doing new things for our customers,”said Emily.

Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano
40 North 9th Street
Noblesville, IN 46060-2203
(317) 774-9771
Open Weekdays 11am-2pm, 5pm-10:30pm; Sat 5pm-10:30pm; Sun 4pm-9pm

Go ahead and take a stroll through Noblesville and stop in to see these entrepreneurs and others like them. Entrepreneurship is alive and well in Noblesville.

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Mopey Dick: Deep Thoughts From A Shallow Mind

Mopey Dick Wolfsie Dick Wolfsie is an Indiana icon, a long-time WISH-TV television personality, a gifted author and syndicated columnist, and the funniest curmudgeon I’ve ever kept in my garage for six months. (Editor’s note: It was a life-sized cardboard cut out to be exact.)

There’s not a day that goes by that something doesn’t annoy or perplex Mr. Wolfsie such as: an 80-page washing machine manual he can’t understand; the creative passwords his bank says he can’t use; the 4,000 friends on Facebook he’s never heard of; finding his lost cell phone in the freezer, and the tradition in his household that says you can’t get into your pajamas until after 8 p.m. (He explains this family issue in his new book).

His readers all benefit from his zany musings on surviving daily life as he writes about all the things in life that at times befuddle most of us. He makes us laugh out loud as we digest his genuinely funny way of looking at big and small things. Eli Lily should patent his sense of humor!

Dick Wolfsie

Mopey Dick … Deep Thoughts From A Shallow Mind will make its’ debut at the Indianapolis Christmas Gift and Hobby Show opening on November 9-13. Wolfsie will be on hand everyday to meet, greet and sign a personal autographed copy of Mopey Dick from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For most authors this would be a challenging daily schedule, but for Dick Wolfsie, it’s a love fest!

In the words of another icon, health guru and workout celebrity, Richard Simmons, who reviewed an advance copy of Mopey Dick and gave a rare personal endorsement, “You will laugh your buns off!”

  • Title: Mopey Dick … Deep Thoughts From A Shallow Mind
  • Author: Dick Wolfsie
  • Publisher: Cardinal Publishing
  • Debuting November 9-13 at Christmas Gift and Hobby Show
  • Available in all bookstores and Amazon after November 15

You can order direct by emailing your book(s) request to Dick at
Include your name, address, zip and phone number and the number of books you wish to order. The cost per book is $12.95, which includes shipping directly to your home or office.

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Reserve Your Ticket For Book & Author Luncheon

It’s not too late to reserve your seat at our sister community for the annual Carmel-Clay Book and Author Luncheon on October 27 at the Ritz-Charles. This year’s best-selling authors’ include the following:

Cara Black with her latest book, Murder in Passy. This is the eleventh book in the series featuring P.I. Aimee Leduc.

Chris Bohjalian, The Night Strangers just released October 4. Oprah selected this busy author’s book, Midwives for her Book Club. Chris is the author of 14-mystery books.

Susan L. Hirshman contributes with her best-selling book, Does This Make My Assets Look Fat? A Woman’s Guide to Finding Financial Empowerment and Success. Practical advice you won’t want to miss as you laugh your way through the chapters.

Mike Lawson has won a reputation as one of America’s best political thriller writers with his sixth and latest book in the DeMarco series, House Divided.

Maris de los Santos is the New York Times bestselling author of Love Walked In and Belong to Me. Her newest work, Falling Together is one of those rare, unforgettable novels.

Liz Garton Scanlon is the author of the highly acclaimed, Caldecott-honored picture book, All the World, illustrated by Marla Frazee and A Sock is a Pocket for Your Toes, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. Her newest book is Noodle & Lou.

To make your reservations call: (317) 814-3905. Individual tickets with lunch and author presentations and personal book signings is $60.

Schedule of events:

9:30 a.m. – Doors open, books available for purchase and author signing
11:15 a.m. – Luncheon (raffle & silent auction ends)
11:45 a.m. – Program begins
2:00 p.m. – Book sales & author signings continue
3:00 p.m. – Event ends

The Ritz-Charles is located at 12156 North Meridian Street, Carmel, Indiana

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Beware! Halloween Haunts Sure to Scare

What’s happening for Halloween? Have a Howl! From werewolves to witches, chilling to thrilling, haunted to headless, there’s plenty of ways to scare the heck out of your family and friends this October.

1. Cool Creek Haunted Trails

Fright Station at Cool Creek Park's Haunted Trail

Ghouls and goblins are lurking in woods at Cool Creek Park. Haunted trails twist and turn daring hikers to take their next step – which could be their last. Those who make it out of the horrifying forest gather around the campfire for some story-telling and music. Trail not recommended for kids under 12.
Date: October 25, 26, 27
Time: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Location: Cool Creek Park
2000 East 151st Street, Carmel, Indiana 46033
Cost: $5 per person
Contact: 770-4400

2. Headless Horseman at Connor Prairie

The Headless Horseman at Conner Prairie.

A galloping ghost appears out of the dark prairie. He’s gaining on you waving a sword in the air as you beg the hayride to move faster – to get away! Screams of panic and fear fill the air as you realize it’s the Headless Horseman! After a heart-wrenching scare, enjoy The Legend of Sleepy Hollow puppet show, a bonfire calm your nerves, scary-o-ke and a caramel dipped apple. Appropriate for all ages.

Date: October 14-16, 20-23 & 27-29
Time: 6 – 9 p.m.
Location: Conner Prairie 13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers, IN 46038
Cost: Free for Plus Level Members
Thurs. & Sun. tickets=$9 presale/$11 at the gate
Fri. & Sat. tickets=$13 presale/$15 at the gate
Presale tickets are available at Central Indiana Marsh
Contact: 317-776-6006

3. House of Terror

Home Sweet Home? NOT! This horrible house is filled with ghastly ghosts. The smell of fear lurks in the air as guests tour a horrendous home unfit for humans. If you dare, be a guest of this house filled with chambers of blood-curdling scenes- mixed in with an occasional comical scare!
Appropriate for 10 and under until dark.
Date: October 7th & 8th, 14th & 15th,
20th, 21st & 22nd, 28th, 29th & 30th
Time: 6:30 p.m. ~ 7:00 p.m. nightly (ages 5 – 10)
7:00 p.m. ~ 11:00 p.m. nightly (ages 10 – Adult)
(Sunday, 10/30 7:00 ~ 9:30 p.m.)
Location: 1130 Racquet Club North Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46260
Pickwick Place Apartments on Indy’s Northwest side.
Cost: $15 individuals/$10 for groups (10 or more)
Contact: or 317-372-1656

4. Barn Of Terror Noblesville

Hoosiers have been scared silly since 2007 at the Barn of Terror. A 100 year-old horse barn is home to classic movie killers challenging so-called brave souls to a “Nerves of Steel” contest – if you can make it all the way through the barn – you get to live! If you survive the terrorizing without jumping, screaming, or running for dear life, you earn a certificate to get in free in 2012. What are you waiting for – chicken?!
Date/Time: Oct 26th 7-9p.m.
Oct 27th – kids night 6-8p.m.
Oct 28th 7-11p.m.
Oct 29th 7-midnight.
Oct 30th 7-10pm.
Oct 31st 8-10pm.
Location: 19807 Hague Road?Noblesville, IN 46060
Cost: $15 individuals/$10 for groups (10 or more)
Contact: 317-509-7801

5. Children’s Museum Haunted House – Vampire Vacation

A few of the “dead-stinations” on Vic and Vivs’ Vampire Vacation include American tourist hot spots such as Count Rushmore, the Ghoulish Gate Bridge, Horrorwood, Moon-hattan and New Gore-leans. Dare to travel with this devilish duo!
Date: Oct 15-31
IPL’s Lights-On Hours
Tuesdays-Saturdays: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Tuesdays: 3:30–9 p.m.
Sundays: 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Halloween: 10a.m. – 3 p.m.

Defender Direct’s Frightening Hours
Wednesdays & Thursdays 3:30p.m. – 9p.m.
Fridays & Saturdays 3:30p.m. – 9:30p.m.

Location: Children’s Museum, 3000 N. Meridian, Indianapolis, IN
Cost: $6.50 at the door or $5.50 advanced purchase at Marsh, under two – FREE
Contact: 317-334-3322

6. Hanna Haunted Acres

Six chilling opportunities to scare you senseless! Since 1992, Hanna Haunted Acres has spooked even the bravest Hoosiers. 75 acres of frightful, freaky fiends wielding chainsaws and a wild assortment of witches and werewolves threateing to end it all right then- right there! Attractions include: Phantazmagoria-The Haunted House, Scare Crow Revenge, Carnevil, Blackout, Medical Malpractice and Hanna Haunted Hayride.
Appropriate for teens and adults – if you can handle the madness.

Date: Oct 9, 13,14,15,16 & Oct 18-31
Time: Sunday – Thursday Open at dark – 10pm
Friday & Saturday – dark – midnight
Location: 7323 E. Hanna Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46239
Cost: $27 for all 6 attractions, $40 Fast Pass for all 6 attractions, $13 for one attraction
Contact: 317-357-0881

7. Corpse Manor

Dare to visit the haunted attractions of Corpse Manor, Night Shadows, and Sinister Woods. Corpse Manor, an ancient mansion owned by strange Lord Henry Calvert, was built on a graveyard – its foundation composed of crumbling tombstones. Your deepest, darkest fears come to life in deathly Night Shadows while Sinister Woods winds wary walker on a treacherous trail through a spine-chilling forest filled with grotesque creatures. That’s right…there’s not a single thing to protect you from the tormented spirits that roam these grounds. Appropriate for Teens & Adults.

Date & Time: Fridays and Saturdays 7PM to Midnight.
Sundays and weekdays – 7p-10p (beginning Oct 19)
Location: Post Road Recreation Center, 4700 North Post Road, Indianapolis, IN
Cost: $15-$20

8. Indy Scream Park

Six terrorizing attractions toy with your mind, Nactmahr, which means nightmare in German, features computer art and images, 30 actors and detailed scenes; Kurayami, Japanese for blackout, is a labyrinth of pure darkness; Infected, Backwoods, Bedlam 3D and Monster Midway will freak you out to the max. Appropriate for teens and adults.
Date & Time: Oct 13-16
Oct 20-23
Oct 27-31
Fridays and Saturdays 7 – 9:30p.m.
Sundays and weekdays – 7-11:30p.m.
Location: 5211 S New Columbus Road, Anderson IN 46013
Cost: General Admission $20

9. Falkirk Fearscape

Sir Creepington invites visitors into his lair. Walking down a path which winds through the graveyard, into the laboratory of a crazy scientist, past two witches who have captured a young trick-or-treater, through the field of torture, by a bottomless pit and an evil pumpkin with a surprise. Eleven live actors scare the wits out of unsuspecting guests and will turn down the scare factor to make the spookfest enjoyable regardless of courage.
Appropriate for all ages.
Date & Time: Halloween Night, Oct. 31, 6p.m. – 11:00p.m.
Location: 9503 Falkirk Drive- Indianapolis, Geist Landing Neighborhood
Cost: Admission is a donation of $2 or one non-perishable food item per person. 100% of cash donations go to the Hamilton County Humane Society and food items go to Gleaner’s Food Bank.

10. Frite Lodge

A not for profit Haunted House located in the 50-plus year old Masonic Lodge in Acton, IN. Each year, a new more petrifying theme is designed and implemented by volunteer zombies. 60% of ticket proceeds go to charity. The main goal for Frite Lodge is to scare up funds for the needy family fund and goblin food pantry.
Date & Time: Thursday & Sunday 7p.m. – 10p.m.
Friday & Saturday 7p.m. – midnight
Cost: $10 donation at door or $8 with online $2 off coupon
Location: Masonic Pleasant Lodge 134, 7525 Acton Road, Indianapolis, IN 46259

Other Haunted Attractions:


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Modern Take on the Lunch Box Note

Do you remember your first day of school as a kid? The unknown classroom. The new teacher. Locker combinations. What desk is yours? Will you sit next to a friend? Thoughts, and even more thoughts. I can remember when I was entering grade school. I still got a little bit nervous. There was always something about the first day that brought out a little anxiety in me.

Suppose you’re going to an entirely new school. New everything. That can be quite an adjustment at any age. Imagine you’re stepping into the cafeteria at lunch time looking around for someone to sit with. You find a couple of familiar faces from your classroom, sit down, open your lunch box, and suddenly the fear goes away. Why? A little note from your mother or father, tucked carefully away in your lunch box, wishing you a great first day of school. Makes that peanut butter sandwich taste a little bit better, doesn’t it?

Add a modern twist on the lunch box note and you have Lunch Box ScribblesTM.

“Lunch Box Scribbles are a great way to leave a personal note in your little ones’ lunch bag each day. They are reusable chalkboards in fun foam shapes and are the perfect way to remind your children that you are thinking of them throughout the day,” said creator Carolyn Carter.

How much fun is that?

Carolyn started CaitiMac Creations® in 2007 with her first product, called the Clingy CordTM, after realizing that her firstborn, then a toddler, loved to throw anything she could get her hands on. “I was tired of picking up her sippy cups off the dirty floor, worried about losing her bunny blanket and concerned about how many germs she was coming into contact with after she had thrown her items to the ground at the park or mall. My husband and I had an idea, and created the first Clingy CordTM to address the problem. People began stopping me everywhere I went to ask me where I got it; the word spread, and it grew from there.”

Carolyn has gotten all the motivation for running her business from her customers and three beautiful children. “My kids are my inspiration; without them I never would have conceived my product ideas. As far as role models go, I really look up to other mom entrepreneurs who have created wildly successful businesses in the midst of the hectic schedule that being a stay-at-home mom brings.”

“Being a business owner can be very challenging, especially with three young kids at home. But inventing a product that is not only unique but helpful is extremely rewarding. Hearing how my Clingy Cord has given extra security to a mom who was terrified of losing their child’s precious blanket while at Disney World is very reassuring that my product is really worthwhile. And hearing how excited a child was to get a “cool note” in their lunch box gives me the motivation to keep my ideas coming and my confidence high. I love being a mom business owner,” says Carolyn.

Love the idea and need the products? Log on to

For more information, contact Carolyn at

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ASG: Delivering Dealership Quality Without The Fancy Price


Automotive Service Group owner Craig Douglas.

Automotive Service Group offers exceptional quality that you would expect to receive at a reputable car dealer, as it was strategically designed to give you all the amenities of a dealer, but at price points dramatically less than your local car dealer’s service center.

“You can expect up to 30% off dealership prices,” says Craig Douglas, owner of Automotive Service Group (ASG). “In addition to the savings, we offer many communication comforts that the dealers just don’t have. We have invested in technology that allows you to book your appointment online through our Facebook page and website, and receive a text reminder when your car is ready for pick up. You can even talk with our friendly technicians about your service so you understand what is going into the work on your car.”

The address for ASG is easy to memorize since the street name features an American automotive icon, the Thunderbird. ASG is located at 5841 Thunderbird Road (Suite 3) near the intersection of Pendleton Pike and Sunnyside Road.

“What sets us apart from other car repair shops is our three-year or 36,000 mile warranty,” says Douglas. “We feel that when we repair your vehicle, the parts and work should hold up as well as when your car was new.”

Furthermore, ASG is on the cutting edge of technology. Douglas explains, “Everyone has their world on their phone. We’re trying to make it easier for customers to maintain their cars by scheduling appointments online and receiving communication of their car’s progress/service appointments by texts.”

Here are some of the special advantages you will find at ASG:

• Warranty for all service (3 years or 36,000 miles)
• Ease of scheduling appointments online
• Service reminders/service updates via email and/or text messages
• Convenience of Saturday service from 8am to 3pm
• Saturday Price Special – 10% off all scheduled maintenance performed on Saturday
• Servicing all makes and models
• Same software and updates for equipment programming capabilities as dealers (on 12 different makes of cars)
• Abundant coupons/website specials through the U.S. Mail, online, email/text and Facebook
• Price Guarantee – Bring in any dealer estimate and ASG will beat their price by at least 20%
• Extended warranties are honored
• Family-owned with friendly, honest staff who recognizes you by name instead of by number
• Spacious waiting room with free wireless internet, computer work station, and complimentary beverages
• Free shuttle service while your car is being serviced

Simply put, Craig Douglas represents a risk-taking car enthusiast who is passionate about buying, building, modernizing, collecting and even racing cars. Douglas laughs as he says, “I love cars. I’m like the kid that never grew up. People collect dolls, baseball cards… but I collect cars.” He rebuilt his first engine at 13 years old. That was only the beginning of his engine building success. He also built all of the engines in the championship winning cars that he raced as well as several of those of his fellow co-racers.

ASG_006a “My dad’s custom ‘54 Ford is in my shop right now,” boasts Douglas, who loves to modernize any chance he can get. “My dad brought it in for a new gas gauge but we are redoing the dashboard and installing a touch screen flip-out navigation DVD player that plays iPod and videos.”

Douglas bought his first car, a ’67 Charger, at the age of fifteen. He raced it and won several championships. After owning it for 23 years, he sold it to someone in Hawaii. Later, his fateful wheel would steer him in a different direction.

One day, he got a phone call from a man named Jimmy Ray who was looking for someone to race his car because he had been terribly hurt in a motorcycle accident, leaving him a paraplegic. As a result, Douglas became half owner of a ’67 Camaro with Ray, completely transforming the car within a five-year period getting it to the top of its class, all the while, racing it in Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky, Orlando, and Indy. Douglas recalls the coincidence of how he and Ray both owned their first cars at fifteen, and both raced cars and motorcycles in drag races.

“I always try to be the best that I can,” says Douglas, who once raced a NASCAR in the “Richard Petty Experience” at the Indy 500 track, and got the fastest time of the day. He has also raced a NASCAR truck at the Indy Raceway Park. He admits, “I prefer drag racing as I don’t like going in a circle.” But he is very competitive, even when he goes go-karting with his kids.

Ironically, in 2008, Douglas was also involved in a motorcycle accident. He was badly hurt with many broken parts such as ten broken ribs, four vertebrae, a collarbone, a shoulder and a punctured lung. Although he owns a 2009 Challenger SRT-8 and 2010 Camaro SS and has raced them, he has not raced in a head-up series since his accident, yet remains open minded to the idea again someday.

Douglas lives in Greenfield with his wife, Jenn, and four children: Kyle (14), Korah (12), Emma (12) and Chase (10). He invites you to come by ASG, say “hello,” and take advantage of receiving dealership quality service at much lower prices.

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