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Tips from the top 'Dreamers'

President Bush, Carolyn Renninger and her son, Geoff Taylor, have a press conference at the family’s manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania. photo courtesy of Carolyn Jentzen Taylor Renninger

President Bush, Carolyn Renninger and her son, Geoff Taylor, have a press conference at the family’s manufacturing plant. Photo courtesy of Carolyn Renninger

How to prepare for a presidential visit
(and survive secret service security)

by Carolyn Jentzen Taylor Renninger, Ed '64, small-town factory owner

1. Take it seriously. When your congressman asks if you'd like to host a visit by President Bush next week, do not assume he is joking. Fortunately, in February of last year I said that we'd be honored and privileged. After all, how many times does a small company have such an opportunity?

2. Be willing to make a few changes. Be open to things such as truckloads of sand being dumped in your storage area to deflect any bombs, machinery being moved around to make space for visitors, 60 extra telephone lines being installed for the press and putting everyone through a security check.

3. Prepare to become secure. When the Secret Service, press corps, CNN and NBC all drove in, I was on my cell phone with the White House. They were circling our parking lot, just like in the movies. We had guard dogs sniffing for bombs, high-powered rifles on the roof, no working phone lines and shrouded ground-level windows. Our road was closed, as well as a nearby section of the Ohio River. All 360 visitors had to go through security, and once they came in, they could not leave.

4. Don't worry about details. The White House will be in constant contact. Everything will be "staged" for you. We were told how to greet the president at the door, and they even marked on the floor where we were to stand. It was handled very professionally.

5. Enjoy yourself. Basically, I was asked to tell how the company was formed. I was very nervous. I didn't want to embarrass the president or myself. He is such a gentleman. As we went up to the podium, he grabbed my hand, and that really put me at ease. And he kissed me on the cheek, so that didn't hurt, either.

6. Be willing to return the visit. You may be invited to the White House. We were treated royally at a big Christmas reception. We had our picture taken with the president in front of a tall tree decorated with ornaments from all the states, enjoyed music by the Marine Band and feasted on absolutely wonderful hors d'oeuvres and desserts. Among the guests we recognized were Tom Daschle and Jerry Falwell.

Renninger is CEO of Control Concepts, a small manufacturer of control devices in Beaver, Pa. The UC grad and her son Geoff Taylor, company president, took over the business after her husband's death in 1996. In 2000, Control Concepts was one of three Pennsylvania recipients of the Ben Franklin Entrepreneur Award. The prize money was donated to a foundation to promote reading in area schools.


Control Concepts (now called c3controls) Web site

Seven must-see R&B acts (and one you can't see anymore)

by Joseph Santangelo, A&S '69, PhD (A&S) '76, concert promotor

R & B is a vibrant music that has only gotten more important over the years. Its influence transcends even rock. But, anybody can do a great recording today because they have so much technical expertise available to them in the studio. My yardstick is live.

1. Frankie Beverly & Maze is one of the foundations of R & B and has been for 35 years. They are what I consider a seminal group. Without a doubt, they are the finest live group on the face of the earth. No one can put on a better show. But they've had very little crossover appeal. Ask the average white person on the street about Frankie Beverly, and he'll say, "Who?"

2. Aretha Franklin has to be in this mix. Yes, she is the Queen of Soul. We had Aretha at the Cincinnati Jazz Festival last summer, and she did a tremendous show, an absolutely fantastic live show. She has a reputation that has kind of dogged her -- she doesn't show up, she misses a lot of dates -- but she's still great.

3. Gladys Knight is certainly one of the most important performers in terms of bringing the music over to the pop arena. And if you really want to stretch that to the extreme, you have to start talking about . . .

4. Michael Jackson. He has sort of superceded all musical boundaries. You can't deny someone who has sold the kind of albums he has sold. And the reality is the preponderance of his audience is white. He is the kind of artist who has been completely embraced by the white community.

5. Luther Vandross is one of the greatest voices out there. Especially in terms of live performers over the last 15 or 20 years.

6. The Temptations is a group that has transcended R & B; everyone knows The Temptations. Of course, the group has changed, and there are only a couple of the original members alive today. In fact, two of them have split. There are actually two groups of Temptations.

7. Patti LaBelle, live, is one of the greatest things anyone can ever see. Period.

R.I.P.: Marvin Gaye. He was one of the classic founders of the whole thing. He brought a tremendous amount of social consciousness to the music, a quality that had been somewhat lacking. And almost everyone is familiar with his music.


Joseph Santangelo began his concert production career working with his late brother, Dino (A&S '56), one of the founders of the Ohio Valley Jazz festival. He produces the annual summer event, now called the Cincinnati Jazz Festival, which showcases popular R&B acts. The event was canceled this year for the first time in 40 years after corporate sponsors backed out during the boycott in Cincinnati. Santangelo has taught economics as an adjunct at UC and is an accomplished classical pianist and church organist.


Artists' recordings are available on these Amazon.com pages:
1, Frankie Beverly & Maze, 2. Aretha Franklin, 3.Gladys Knight, 4. Michael Jackson, 5. Luther Vandross, 6. The Temptations, 7. Patti LaBelle, 8. Marvin Gaye

Suggestions for a 'smooth' celebration

by Jim Dintaman, BusAd '66, president, CEO with a cool job

1. Identify a special evening worth celebrating.

2. Select the world's best ice cream, Häagen-Dazs.

3. Locate recipes online

4. Create delicious desserts and drinks
that are easy to prepare and fun to enjoy, even low-fat ones.

Here's one of my favorites:

Four-Fruit Smoothie
1 c. low-fat milk
1 c. sparkling water
1/2 c. frozen strawberries
1/2 c. frozen peaches
1/2 c. frozen blueberries
1 c. Häagen-Dazs frozen vanilla yogurt
1 c. Häagen-Dazs raspberry sorbet

In blender container, combine all ingredients.
Blend at high speed until smooth.
Serve immediately. Makes six 1-cup servings.


UC alum Jim Dintaman is president and CEO of Nestle's Ice Cream Partners USA, a joint venture formed in '99 between Nestle and Pillsbury's Häagen-Dazs frozen desserts. Previously, he had been president of the Nestle Frozen Food Co. and executive VP of the Nestle Carnation Food Co., all based in California.


Recipes from Nestle USA Web site

Häagen-Dazs Web site

Scoring the best seat to the biggest games (with no ticket required)

by David King, JD '89, Goodyear patent attorney

From the Super Bowl to the Rose Bowl. From the World Series to the World Cup. It is always there. Wherever tens of thousands of people gather for pinnacle sports events, one enormous fan is constantly present and always occupying the best seat in the house. The Goodyear Blimp.

photo/courtesy of Goodyear

Photo/courtesy of Goodyear

If you thought luxury box seats were scarce, try getting yourself aboard one of Goodyear's four airships. There is room for only a half-dozen passengers, yet here are a few tips for trying to secure your spot:

Buy a few million tires. Goodyear's best customers get the royal treatment on board one of the most recognized corporate symbols on the planet.

Donate the most cash to charity. Goodyear is known for taking the winners of local charity auctions for the ride of their lives.

Get a job as a blimp pilot or as part of the crew. It is a busy schedule with a chance to see the world from a thousand feet at 35 mph. The graceful giants cover about 300 television events and log more than 400,000 air miles per year.

Become queen of the Tournament of Roses. In addition to reigning over the New Year's Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., her highness also gets a lift in the helium-filled chariot. By the way, you'll need the right combination of poise, personality, public-speaking ability and scholastic achievement. Not to mention a pretty dress.

Work in Goodyear's corporate office, and be in the right place at the right time. I was in Long Beach, Calif., to work on a lawsuit, and the pilot told me the blimp was available for a 45-minute ride. I told some old friends that I needed them to split from work to ride in the blimp. They didn't believe me. It was outstanding. My son, some friends and I had the whole blimp to ourselves. It was really like sailing on air. You can set a drink on the table, and it will never even vibrate. It is the smoothest thing you will ever do.

UC alum David King writes patents for Goodyear's tires and equipment. He took the position with the corporation based in Akron, Ohio, soon after graduating from law school.

UC alumnus Rodger Henn (center) toured an oil rig anchored in the Caspian Sea near Baku, Azerbaijan, along with the president and director of the company that he had been advising.

UC alumnus Rodger Henn (center) toured an oil rig anchored in the Caspian Sea, along with the president of the company that he had been advising.

How to turn Russians into capitalists

by Rodger Henn, CAS '70 and '80, international business adviser

Recognize what is happening. Russians are turning themselves into capitalists. Since the fall of communism, they're soaking up all the business knowledge they can get, like a sponge. I experienced it as a short-term volunteer for nonprofit U.S.-supported organizations that send business advisers to Eastern Europe. It's so much fun to help them with their businesses and see how eager they are to try new ideas.

Teach basic business sense. The owner of a hair salon in Nizhny Novgorod, near St. Petersburg, asked me to coach his employees in ways to make the business more customer-oriented. I had them do a comparison of services they offered and those available from the competition. The owner also wanted to expand, maybe even buy out one of his competitors. We compared financing costs with the revenue he might expect and estimated how soon he would be out of debt. He realized it would be smarter to enlarge his original shop and postpone opening other locations.

Kindle the entrepreneurial urge.
Entrepreneurs are melting the ice, even in the eastern Siberian city of Magadan, where daylight may last only six hours and snow falls almost every day. Where Stalin once banished political foes, I taught entrepreneurs how to write their business plans. My assignment at the Russian-American business education center also included working with the city and banking system to pull financing together.

Spread the word next door. Russia's neighbors are looking for help, too. My most recent trip was to the Azerbaijan capital, Baku. I gave strategic planning advice to a company that buys and sells oil-drilling equipment. We talked about ways to reduce costs and some possibilities for making more money. They have little knowledge of marketing and no real advertising avenues, so I could give them lots of suggestions.

Rodger Henn, a Cinergy retiree, is owner of Import Specialist, a business offering Russian fine art and unusual collectibles, including 100,000-year-old mammoth tusks and hair. He has made more than 30 trips to Russia in the past 10 years, some on behalf of his business and the rest on assignment as a volunteer for ACDE/ VOCA or the Citizens Democracy Corps.


Check out Henn's Web site and find out more about two organizations that
send U.S. volunteers to Eastern Europe (www.acdivoca.org and www.cdc.org).

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