Daily briefing – Dec. 25

Staff report

* The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) today announced 10 nominees for its 2015 Luddite Award—and Ohio was on the list. The annual “honor” recognizes the year’s most egregious example of a government, organization, or individual stymieing the progress of technological innovation. ITIF nominated Ohio for its new law limiting the use of red light cameras. In announcing the nominees, the organization also opened an online poll and invited the public to help decide the “winner.” The result will be announced in late January.

“Innovation is a wellspring of human progress. It provides higher living standards, better health, a cleaner environment, increased access to information, and countless other benefits. Yet too many people stubbornly oppose it,” said Robert D. Atkinson, ITIF’s founder and president. “The purpose of the Luddite Award is to point out glaring examples of how misunderstood self-interest or misbegotten ideology can stifle progress. It is important for policymakers to recognize the pattern and steadfastly champion innovation.”

Highlighting what it refers to as the “worst of the year’s worst innovation killers,” ITIF outlines its rationale for each nomination in a new report. Ohio is nominated for its law limiting the use of red light cameras, which inhibits the benefits of this technology—including increased safety and efficiency—in favor of unfounded fears about surveillance.

* Expand your memorabilia collections and donate to a great cause! Then stay for some laughs. The University of Findlay’s Campus Program Board invites you to a Broadway Cares, Equity Fights AIDS Silent Auction, followed by the 14th Annual Comedy Jam to be held Saturday, Jan. 30 at the new Marathon Center for the Performing Arts, 200 W. Main Cross St. in downtown Findlay. This will be the first time that UF events will be held at this off-campus, independent venue, which opened earlier this month in the beautifully renovated and expanded former Central Middle School.

* Spitzer Management, Inc. recently announced their induction into the 2015 Western Reserve Historical Society’s 100 Year Club. The club was created in 1953 to honor the region’s businesses that have been in business for at least 100 years.

The Spitzer Organization was founded in 1904 when George G. Spitzer opened a hardware store in the small Northeast Ohio farming community of Grafton. It was about eight years later when

Henry Ford passed through Grafton by train and decided to recruit a dealer there to sell his popular Model T. Spitzer Hardware & Supply Company was selected.

In 1939 one of the founder’s sons, John A. Spitzer, was asked to liquidate the auto dealership so the family could expand their hardware business. John fell in love with the car business and in the decades after World War II, under his leadership, the family became one of the country’s largest automotive retailers. Much of the company’s success was as a result of implementation of the innovative “Spitzer 10 Point Sales Plan.” John, along with his younger brother Del, were asked by Ford Motor Company to share their secrets in a training film that Ford used for several years to instruct dealership salespeople nationwide. Over the years it became the basis for industry-wide training initiatives. Spitzer was one of the first automobile dealers to embrace television advertising, making the Spitzer brand a household name across Northeast Ohio with the slogan “I want to sell you a car now!” Del served as the company’s spokesperson.

Over the years the organization has expanded into several other businesses including commercial and residential real estate, consumer lending, marina and golf course management.

Automotive retailing continues to be at the core of the company’s operations. Today, the family operates approximately 30 franchises in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, representing 13 brands. Spitzer Hardware is still in business in Grafton.


Staff report