Even though it is a gray, foggy, cool day in March, Ron Overton is looking out the window at The Links of Heartland Crossing surveying the 200-acre golf course and smiling. He’s in the lounge, appropriately called the Sand Trap, relaxed and ready to talk about his...
Nestled amongst the trees on top of a hill off Samuel Moore Parkway in Mooresville is a family-owned company that quietly goes about its business. Matt Litchfield is the site director overseeing the 24-hour operation manned by 375 employees that turns out more than 750 to 1,250 packs of wet wipes a minute, depending on the product. That’s more than 250 million packages of cleaning wipes coming out of the 140,000 S.F. building every year. A separate warehouse facility in the area makes certain those packages are shipped around the nation and across the globe.
The Nice-Pak building was constructed in 1974. Workers combined the cutlery and napkin in a nice, neat package for Colonel Sanders as his Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) business was blossoming. But packaging was not the business Nice-Pak was building.
Arthur Julius, who was in the cosmetics industry, came up with the idea for disposable wet napkins in New York in 1957. The product was innovative at the time, commonplace in many different forms now. His belief and purpose are espoused in the company purpose statement which still drives their work today: “Helping families stay healthy and well, one wipe at a time.” In the beginning Arthur Julius was making thirty pieces per minute with six people.
Arthur and his son, Robert, approached Colonel Sanders with an idea. They suggested the consumers of the “Finger Lickin’ Good” chicken would appreciate a pre-moistened wipe to clean up after the meal. Sanders liked the idea but said the packaging couldn’t be changed. If they could find room inside the package, he would agree to the suggestion. The Julius family went to work and found a way to make that happen. They combined the spoon and the fork into one implement, lovingly called the “spork.” That change meant there was room enough in the plastic package for the Wet-Nap®. KFC bought the idea and product, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Jen Sadler noticed she was only one of a few women in the mass of 400 students in the lecture halls at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington. But it did not intimidate her. Because, she said, “I was there on a mission to get my business degree.”
She began college in the late 1960s, pursuing a degree in psychology, although business was what she had on her heart. “I didn’t know it was OK or acceptable at that time,” Sadler said explaining why she was taking psychology classes instead of business classes at first. She switched majors and nothing else mattered. Women were stepping into new roles and she was right there on the front lines and credentials were important.
After graduating, Sadler went to work for Mayor Richard Lugar and then went on to work at the Indiana Department of Commerce. While she was there, she met Stan Sadler, who was working in commercial real estate sales downtown. He encouraged her to take classes to become a Realtor™. Again, credentials and a deep knowledge of the field were important to her, so she took all the classes and exams necessary to not only be a licensed real estate agent, but a licensed broker as well.
Many times, the work of business people, especially business owners, is connected to their skill set or what they enjoy doing. Some-one interested in computers might have an IT managed services business or a computer repair company. It is easy to see what businesses might be started and run by gardeners, mechanics, cooks, or people who love working with children.
While that is relatively true of Jen Staggs, what truly makes her successful in her business and life is her desire to make connections, build relationships and help make others – and her community – successful. Her eyes light up and her speech gets a little faster when she is talking about how someone around her has achieved one or more of their goals.
Jen Staggs is the regional sales manager for Lenders Escrow & Title Services (LETS), a company based in Carmel. That declarative sentence is true but does not really explain any-thing about her.
Even though it is a gray, foggy, cool day in March, Ron Overton is looking out the window at The Links of Heartland Crossing surveying the 200-acre golf course and smiling. He’s in the lounge, appropriately called the Sand Trap, relaxed and ready to talk about his newest venture, the one that is making him smile.
The longtime resident of Mooresville worked hard for forty years alongside his brothers at Overton Industries to build an international operation. He is now semi-retired and felt the need for a new opportunity, a new challenge. That challenge came in December 2018 when he and partner, Shawn Stewart, made the decision to purchase The Links at Heartland Crossing. Stewart currently owns and operates a successful construction business. Although neither had ever owned a golf course before, both were owners of successful businesses and they had done their homework.
It speaks volumes for both sides that the new superintendent of the Monrovia-Gregg School District, Kirk Freeman, said he wanted to finish his career in a great school district to help them become the best of the best.
Freeman began his career at Eminence Middle/High School in Morgan County. Unlike many new teachers, he had already completed a four-year obligation in the United States Army from his college days in ROTC at Indiana State University. He served in the medical service corps, achieving the rank of Captain before being honorably discharged.
Over three years there, he coached the boy’s junior varsity basketball team and the boys and girls track team. While there, he returned to Indiana State for a master’s degree and to get the principal licensure. In his last year at Eminence, he was the principal.
He spent a year at Linton-Stockton High School in Green County, Ind. and then nine years in Clay County. He was principal at Northview High School in Brazil and at Van Buren Elementary in Clay City. In 1994, he completed a doctorate degree at the Terre Haute campus of Indiana State.
You might already know that The Martinsville Candy Kitchen is celebrating 100 years in business this year. There will be a big community celebration on April 6, 2019 with kids’ activities from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and an Open House at the shop at 7 p.m. True to form being an historic tradition in Martinsville, there are plans to have former owners there and lots of surprises.
You might also already know the history of the shop. Greek immigrant, Jimmy Zapapas opened the business in April 1919. He produced candy canes and other sweet treats. His original recipes as well as his original equipment and tools have been passed down from owner to owner through the years. The store has actually moved several times along the street on the square. Hundreds of families both local and from far away have made candy from The Martinsville Candy Kitchen, especially candy canes, a tradition stretching across generations.
What you might not know is that the Candy Kitchen came perilously close to closing its doors after 85 years. It was Martinsville residents John and Pam Badger that rescued the shop fifteen years ago.