The Health Care Safety Net

County’s Employers Depend on Trinity Free Clinic for Their Workers

By Mike Corbett

As Hamilton County’s population continues to grow and the cost of living here continues to rise, there’s a growing concern about housing for the workforce. How do we accommodate wage earners who need half their income or more just to pay for a place to live?

Less talked about, but just as pressing, is their need for health care. The high cost of health insurance puts it out of reach for lower paid workers, so health care is often not available through their employers.

Increasingly, employers and their workers are relying on the Trinity Free Clinic in Carmel. Founded 18 years ago, the clinic bills itself as Hamilton County’s medical and dental safety net. It provides primary health care for qualifying Hamilton County residents free of charge. Last year, it served more than 3600 low income residents, a 59% increase in just two years.

Servant’s Heart

The clinic is run by nine paid professional staff and an army of 377 volunteer health care providers with a variety of backgrounds…everything from dental students to retirees, with both medical and non-medical skills. “One thing that all of our volunteers have in common is a servant’s heart,” says Executive Director Dina Ferchmin. “They come to work at Trinity in the evening after they have put in a hard day of work, or they will sacrifice their Saturday to care for our patients. I am most impressed by their dedication and love to those they serve.”

In order to qualify for services, workers must live in Hamilton County and meet specific income guidelines. The average patient comes from a family four and earns about $24,000 a year.

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Spiritual Entrepreneurship

Hamilton County Churches seek opportunities to serve our growing population

By Ann Craig-Cinnamon

Hamilton County is on population growth steroids.  You probably know this unless you live in a cave, and if it’s a cave in Hamilton County, it’s probably a nice one.  It’s the fastest growing county in Indiana according to recent census statistics, and is projected to be second only to Marion County within a couple of decades.  That growth is not only in people and the businesses that serve them but also in churches. 

A count of “religious bodies” and their number of congregations from the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) finds there are 190 congregations in Hamilton County.  This ranges from the Catholic Church with eight congregations and a total of 40,251 congregants to Zoroastrian with one lonely member who must meet in his own garage since there are zero congregations listed. 

While those churches are all shapes and sizes, many of them are huge.  On one short stretch heading east from Highway 37 to just past Olio Road in Fishers there are eight, and at least two of them are building bigger structures or additional campuses. 

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The Future of Asherwood

What do you do with a $30 million gift? Carmel’s American Songbook Foundation has that enviable task as it assesses the best use for Asherwood, a 107-acre estate with a fully furnished mansion, guest house, clubhouse, two golf courses and several additional structures. It is the former home of the late businessman Mel Simon and his wife, Bren, who gave it to the foundation in January.

Since then, a committee has been meeting to figure out how the property can best serve the mission of the foundation, says President/CEO Jeffrey McDermott. Early ideas focused on a museum, but McDermott says they are considering many other options as well. There is no shortage of suggestions, he says, as the committee follows a “thoughtful and deliberate” process.

Here is a glimpse of the spaces included in one of Hamilton County’s most impressive estates.

Home Town Builders

Old Town Design Group transforms Carmel neighborhoods

By Stephanie Miller

“Outstanding Locations, Timeless Designs” - this rubric in action elevated Old Town Design Group from new unsettling neighbor to established well-respected resident just months after presenting their first model home in one of the city’s oldest sections. By securing obscure pockets of raw land and replacing aged structures with lively homes, partners Jeff Langston and Justin Moffett steadily transformed Carmel’s core community from retired to inspired.

Agents of Change

Born and raised in same the neighborhoods they are sprinkling with indelible charm, the pair share a passion for community, camaraderie and investing with the goal of making their hometown a great place to live, work and play. “We started building in the heart of downtown Carmel during the recession in 2009,” says Justin, CEO of Old Town Company, the land development and commercial property division. “Due to the downturn, we didn’t have work and figured we had nothing to lose.” The younger member of the team, just starting his career and a family, Justin expresses appreciation for his wife who was very patient with all of the struggles of launching the new business in tough times.

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Pets in the Workplace

A dogs life is a good one when employers encourage canine companionship

By Ann Craig-Cinnamon

If you are a pet owner, and particularly a dog owner, you may be noticing more and more businesses are rolling out the welcome mat for your furry companion.  There are increasing numbers of pet-related businesses that are opening shop.  In addition, more businesses are becoming pet friendly, which can be anything from welcoming dogs inside their establishments to offering treats.  When I visit the drive through at the bank with my dog, Reggie, he thinks we’re there for the free dog bone.  In his eyes, the pneumatic bank tube is the coolest magic treat provider on the planet.  Oh, and that free pup ice cream cone from Handels is pretty sweet too.

The increase in attention on our pets is understandable when you consider 68% of all US households now have a pet.  That translates to 85 million families according to the 2017-18 National Pet Owners Survey.  Those kind of numbers mean one thing:  opportunity.

Pet Friendly

It’s estimated that by 2020 spending on pets will reach $100 billion per year.  It is currently growing at a 50% faster rate than the retail industry overall.  The pet business is considered to be recession proof too with spending on pets from 2007-09 showing an increase despite the recession.  For the statistics lovers, here’s an interesting one:  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average people spent more than $500 per year on their pets which is more than they spent on alcohol, landline phone lines or men’s and boys’ clothing.

Using national figures, Humane Society for Hamilton County Executive Director Rebecca Stevens estimates there are close to 150,000 pets in Hamilton County.   She has another astounding figure that is not an estimate.   “In 2017, we took in 3,106 animals with a placement rate, even with all of the seriously injured, ill, seniors and special needs animals we rescued, of 98% compared to the national average of less than 40%,” she says. 

She credits the high placement rate on volunteers and the interest in pets in Hamilton County. “It is through the support of our community that we have been able to sustain the explosive growth of Hamilton County's human and subsequent pet population needs in a building we out-grew 10 years ago.  Our volunteers are fiercely loyal, and with sometimes over 200 animals in foster homes at a time, we have depended on this support to become Indiana's only open-admission, truly no-kill shelter,” says Stevens. 

She thinks Hamilton County is very pet friendly but has room for improvement.  “I believe there is an untapped opportunity for Hamilton County businesses to consider allowing pets to visit their establishments.  We do a lot of fundraising and adoption events in the community, so finding, especially restaurants that are open to the idea of including animals (even in restricted areas) is sometimes challenging,” she says.  Four Day Ray in Fishers will be hosting the Humane Society’s 2nd Annual Paws for a Cause Tito's 5K on Saturday, July 28th but she’d like to see more businesses open up to pets.  “With all the new development in downtown Fishers, and the beautiful Carmel Arts & Design District, it would be wonderful for pet owners to have more shops and restaurants, all within walking distance, to visit with pets in tow.  I think area businesses would be shocked by the numbers of four-legged visitors and new customers that would drive through their doors,” says Stevens.

The state laws and local ordinances that relate to having pets in restaurants is not black and white.  The Hamilton County Health Dept. says dogs (except for service animals) are not allowed in operational areas of a public restaurant.  But determining what is "operational" is done on a case by case basis.

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Kicking Opioids

Cicero clinic offers alternative to traditional addiction treatment

By Stephanie Carlson Miller

As parents, we teach our children to fly out of the nest with unconditional love and visions of an amazing future, but the road ahead is unpredictable and sometimes is not what anyone expects. Aristotle Pappas’ tragic death from an overdose of prescription painkillers gave birth to an innovative life-saving business offering addicts a light of hope where there is darkness and despair. In the midst of his anguish, Ari’s father, Joe Pappas, searched for answers. “When I lost Ari, it became blatantly obvious to me that whatever treatment options we have available right now are not working, he says. “I didn’t intend to start a business. I just wanted to help people.”

Ari, a likable, energetic young man and stand-out athlete at Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis went on to join the football team at Ball State University, but broke his hand during his freshman year, which ended his football career. At that time, Ari’s physician prescribed Oxycodone to relieve the pain of his injury. Over time, Ari’s father and family realized there was something wrong, noticed a change in his behavior, but never expected an addiction that would lead to his death at the age of 24.

“I’m not sure he ever got over how those opioids made him feel. Once you’re hooked on a drug, the scariest thing to do is think of coming off of it,” Pappas says. “In my research, I stumbled across NAD therapy. Working with a couple of doctors, we read, we studied, we talked and we finally got Dr. John Humiston, in San Diego, on the phone. We could not believe what he was telling us about the amazing results they were getting using NAD infusions.”

A Last Resort

The NAD protocol, founded by Dr. Humiston, is an alternative solution to mainstream medicine that helps restore damaged brain receptors to normal functioning so the patient can better control self-destructive behavior and fully participate in recovering. According to Dr. Humiston’s NeuroRecover™ website, “the treatment includes formulas of selected amino acids delivered intravenously that assist the nervous system in repairing receptors damaged by substance use, as well as by dopamine-damaging activities such a gambling, pornography and overwork.”

“A couple of months after Ari passed away, I attended a Christian retreat and met Joe Holman. His son was hooked on heroin, and after many treatment centers they had to make the difficult decision to put their son on the streets - he could not quit using and his behavior was disruptive to the family.” Heartbroken, Holman contacted Pappas.

“I said to Joe, I think we can help your son,” Pappas explains. “Greg Holman came in to my office, as truly a last resort. We treated Greg and were absolutely amazed at the results.”

The success of that first treatment led to the formation of Emerald Neuro-Recover Centers, the first clinic in the Midwest to offer this new treatment for addictions. Founded by Pappas, after 35 years working the medical field, and Amora Scott, who has been instrumental in the framework and marketing efforts of the clinic, Emerald Neuro Recover Centers use all-natural ingredients in IV drips to help addicts restore their brain functions to pre-addiction levels.

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Healing on Horseback

Horses connect with people in special ways

By Susan Hoskins Miller
Photos courtesy of Agape

Tucked away in the countryside north of Cicero is a 13-acre horse farm with riding arenas and beautiful wooded acreage with trails. But this isn’t just any horse farm. This farm is Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources.


Agape’s motto is “Unbridled Hope.” That’s what they give to their 1,900 clients every year. Most come weekly. Agape’s clients come to them with a wide range of issues they need help with healing. Some can’t verbalize their thoughts, some have memory issues and some have physical disabilities. The horses, guided by professional therapists and instructors, bring out abilities in these students they have never before been able to master on their own or through traditional therapies.

“Agape does equine therapy as opposed to hippotherapy,” said Donita Wire, who, with her husband, Ben, has volunteered at Agape for the past 19 years. “We are people of faith, and we know that God is working here, too. We’ve served in many different capacities as volunteers, and we’ve seen miracles.”

One miracle they’ve witnessed happened with a client named Bill. “He was in his thirties when he came to us,” Donita said. “He was developmentally at a grade school level and didn’t speak much. He was also shy. He was so unsure of himself when he started on the horse.”

Beginners like Bill don’t use regular reins when they first ride a horse until they are a little more experienced.

“They use a large strap that looks like a handle. He was sitting on a big pad and held on to that strap so tight the horse thought he wanted it to go faster,” Donita said. “We worked with him for two or three years and he started improving.”

Soon Bill was able to not only guide the horse, but he gained confidence in his own abilities. The biggest difference, though, was in his verbal skills.

“He’s now a spokesman for Janus,” Donita said. “His guardian attributes his speaking skills to Agape. 

Unconditional Love

Ben said volunteering at Agape is therapeutic for him and Donita, too.

“The staff, other volunteers and the families of the clients are the most loving people you will ever see,” he said. “We learn so much from them.”

The word Agape (pronounced uh-GAH-pay) is Greek for unconditional love. That is the environment that Agape provides for all its clients, their families and volunteers.

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Unraveling the mysteries of Autism

By Karen Kennedy

“My child doesn’t play well with others and regularly throws tantrums. Could he have autism?

“My toddler isn’t talking yet. The doctor says she might just be a ‘late bloomer,” but I’m worried she has autism.

“My preschooler is obsessed with one certain object and won’t play with any other toys. I’ve read that’s a warning sign of autism. Is that true?

These are the kinds of inquiries therapists at autism treatment centers field every day, along with panicked phone calls from parents whose fears have been confirmed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis, and who desperately want to know, “What do we do now?”

What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a group of nearly a thousand complex disorders of brain development. It can manifest itself in atypical social interaction, repetitive behaviors, lack of empathy, obsession with a particular object or topic, a strong aversion to physical contact or changes in routine, and almost always, moderate to severe language and communication breakdown (25% of those with autism are completely non-verbal and must rely on alternative forms of communication.) While significant numbers of autism patients are also afflicted with an intellectual disability, others are extremely gifted in visual arts, music or math. 

Despite its prevalence today (currently, one in sixty-eight children in the U.S. receives an ASD diagnosis each year,) the causes of autism and other related brain disorders are still not fully understood. While research has definitively linked the disorder to genetic mutations, the jury is still out as to what affect other environmental factors (such as pollution or food additives) might have on the development of the disorder. Boys are four times more likely than girls to develop it, and heredity plays a factor as well.

Over the years, desperate parents have tried special diets, essential oil treatments, weighted blankets and vests, hyperbaric chambers and chelation (a chemical process in which heavy metals are removed from the blood.) Currently, the scientific community endorses only one form of treatment—applied behavior analysis (ABA.)

Help Is Right Here


While parents in other parts of the country may struggle to find help locally, those who live in Hamilton County are fortunate that one of the preeminent treatment facilities in the world is just around the corner.

Headquartered in Fishers since 2009, the Behavior Analysis Center for Autism (the BACA) was founded by Dr. Carl Sundberg, who studied behavior disorders and therapy, along with his brother Mark, under Dr. Jack Michael at Western Michigan University. Michael was a colleague of noted behavior researcher B.F. Skinner, whose “operant conditioning” work with lab rats proved that behaviors can be modified by immediate positive or negative reinforcers. Skinner also posited that there was a significant difference between the formal properties of language (simply being able to name something) and the functional properties of language (understanding the use or context of the same item.) This theory is key in teaching language to the developmentally delayed, who, for example, might be able to identify a “cup” but be unable to identify what a cup is used for.

The Sundberg brothers were on the leading edge of the ABA approach to treating autism, which was based on Skinner’s theories, and have since become internationally recognized authorities on the subject. And while Mark currently resides on the west coast, Carl has chosen to practice in Indiana.

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Beyond Beethoven

Performing arts organizations seek the next generation of patrons

By Patricia Pickett

In the last two decades, Hamilton County’s quality of life quotient has risen considerably as leisure activities like parks, shopping and entertainment have burgeoned at a remarkable rate. Klipsch Music Center rose from the cornfields like a beacon to touring musicians as “Deer Creek” in 1989; with much fanfare and some controversy, The Center for the Performing Arts -- including the palatial Palladium -- opened in 2011.

These venues filled the void for Hamilton County residents seeking national touring acts and high-caliber entertainment in close proximity to their homes.

But then comes the tenuous job of cultivating audiences and filling the seats. It’s the business of the arts.

Seeking Millenials

 According to local arts leaders, it’s a bit of a balancing act: While nurturing the patrons who regularly purchase season tickets and may even be donors, there’s the simultaneous challenge of attracting new audiences, including millennials. Add to the mix the national trend of the traditional “season subscription” lessening in popularity – with so many choices, audiences don’t want to commit to an entire season.

Much like their business counterparts, arts organizations are constantly on the hunt for customers. According to Mark Truett, vice president of marketing and communications for The Center for the Performing Arts, it really comes down to programming followed by reaching potential ticket buyers.

“It’s about making sure we’re programming relevant content,” said Truett, who joined The Center earlier this year. “We have our core constituency of ticket buyers and want to provide what they are looking for and meeting our mission. But there’s no doubt that the millennials are our next-generation audience, and we need to connect with them as well.”

According to a 2016 survey of 25 arts organizations throughout the country conducted by the Wallace Foundation, there are four success factors in growing a millennial audience.

  • Dispel their perceptions of ticket prices which they believe are much more expensive than they are in reality
  • Create experiences that challenge them emotionally and intellectually, encourage self-discovery, and offer them a release from the stresses of everyday life.
  • Create social experiences.
  • Create “buzz worthy” experiences they can share with friends via social media


Janna Hymes

As the newly appointed Music Director and Maestro of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra (CSO), Janna Hymes is familiar with these trends. A guest conductor for orchestras throughout the country as well as serving as music director for the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra (WSO), she points to a performance of Star Trek music that orchestra will be performing this season. “A friend’s adult son came up to me and was so excited … we’re doing it four times, and he’s coming to two shows,” she said.

In another programming twist, when Williamsburg audiences were treated to violinist Elena Urioste, the WSO tapped into her “Intermission” yoga program and hosted a yoga class the Friday evening before the concert. 

“It just created an amazing vibe with not just the musicians, but the community as a whole,” said Hymes. “It underscores what I believe about performing arts. It is an integral part of the community. The arts give the community a heartbeat, provide economic growth and bring in fascinating people. That’s a much bigger story than, ‘Hey did you hear Beethoven on Saturday?’”

As Hymes begins her tenure with the CSO, she says her challenge will be discovering what makes Carmel and the surrounding community tick and programming accordingly. “One thing I know is that Carmel has one of the most beautiful halls I’ve ever seen,” she said. “We’ve been able to create a palpable ‘buzz’ in Williamsburg, and I know we can do the same in Carmel.”

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Look at Fishers Today

This could be FishersThis was our cover story just 3½ years ago. This could be Fishers! It was hard to believe because the town had grown (quickly) on a suburban scale. Wide streets, single story buildings, large fields with trees around the municipal center. This rendering didn’t look anything like that. But Fishers had unveiled a plan for downtown that was designed to make the area around Town Hall more walkable, urban and business-friendly. This was the view from the second floor of Town Hall then.

This the view today

View of Downtown Fishers

It’s a remarkable transformation, especially considering the time frame. In three short years the (now) city has seen amazing activity in the city core. Not everyone likes the change, and some question the public investment, but you have to admire the ambition that’s gone into the dozen or so buildings erected around the Municipal Center. They are creating a sense of place that was missing before, and luring residents and businesses that were nowhere to be found just a few years ago.

Nickel Plate Trail

 One part of those plan for downtown Fishers includes a trail that would run on the right of way of the Nickel Plate Railroad, which runs north to Noblesville and south to downtown Indianapolis. Of course, turning it into a trail means the train tracks would likely have to come out.

For the past 30 years or so, the Indiana Transportation Museum has run a Fair Train on those tracks from Fishers to the Indiana State Fair in the Summer. All those fields around the Town Hall served as convenient parking lots for tens of thousands of people who enjoyed giving their kids a taste of railroading while avoiding parking hassles at the Fairgrounds.

The Fair Train was cancelled last year over track safety issues raised by some within the ITM’s own ranks. It doesn’t look like it will run this year either. The Fair Train was the museum’s main revenue generator and the cancellation has strained its finances.

We take a closer look at this unusual museum in this edition: what constitutes its collection, how it operates, and what are its prospects. It’s run a by a dedicated group of people who love trains and have made countless memories for families over the years. Here’s hoping the wheels of progress don’t claim one of Hamilton County’s most unique assets.

And, while we’re on the subject of trains, let me direct your attention to the Northern Hamilton County chamber page, page 28. Most of it is devoted to promoting a new festival called Atlanta Express. It celebrates our railroad heritage and promises to be a great time for both young and old. Sounds like a great opportunity to head up to the northern part of the county.

The Fixer

When quality lags, its SQ to the rescue

StratosphereWhen large manufacturers of cars, trucks, medical devices, lawn care and other equipment discover they have a quality problem, they know just who to call to solve it for them. They call Stratosphere Quality LLC, an 8-year-old Fishers company founded by Steven Cage.

Cage and his CEO, Thomas Gray, send one of their several teams to the factory having trouble, sometimes within just a few hours from when they received the call.

“We are flexible and so are our employees,” Cage said. “They know they can be called at a moment’s notice to travel anywhere to handle a problem.”

$10,000 a minute

Once they arrive on site, team members assess the operation, determine where the problem is and what needs to be done to fix it. These problems usually involve fixing defective parts that are supposed to go onto a car, a machine or device that for some reason won’t fit or won’t work properly.

These large corporations don’t hesitate to hire Stratosphere because shutting down most production lines in such factories costs an average of $10,000 a minute, Gray said.

The best-case scenario in Stratosphere’s work is when the problem they are called to solve is discovered while the equipment or vehicle is still in the manufacturing or assembly stage in the factory. Then Stratosphere’s team can go in and get the problem ironed out before anything is ever shipped. But sometimes, a problem isn’t discovered until later.

Unfortunately for one manufacturer of outdoor power equipment, one model had a defective fuel line that wasn’t discovered until the equipment had already been shipped to 2,200 retail stores. Stratosphere sent teams to every one of those stores to repair and/or replace every defective fuel line.

Stratosphere“The manufacturer was under tremendous pressure from the retailers,” Gray said. “It was the quickest solution for us to go directly to the stores to fix the problem so there was no additional waiting time for shipping and re-shipping the equipment.”

A word that Cage and Gray both use frequently when describing their work is “fun.” Adrenaline flows when they quickly get their teams in motion and deploy them to where ever the problem is. They serve companies across the United States and in Canada and Mexico.

Stratosphere has 75 employees in two different Fishers locations, 552 total in Indiana and about 2,200 employees total in its warehouses located in strategic locations to best help their clients.

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Indiana Academy: A Higher Education

Cicero boarding school offers unique experience for diverse student body

Hidden in plain sight on a 500-acre campus along Ind. 19 in Cicero, Indiana Academy has been educating high school students for 114 years, yet maintains a low profile in a county nationally recognized for its excellence in education.

The boarding school, owned and managed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, teaches beyond academics, emphasizing work skills and ethics, physical health and service to others. Students are required to work on campus as well as participate in community service programs and mission trips.

Real World Experience

Principal Steven BaughmanProject 58 is one such community outreach opportunity. Principal Steven Baughman says Project 58 is based on Bible passages Isaiah 58 and Matthew 25:40, which call Christ’s followers to serve others as a fulfillment of His commission.

“Once a month we modify our school day to allow the entire student body, staff and faculty to participate in various types of community service,” said Baughman. “We bake bread and cookies to deliver to local businesses and homes, a group of students sews and prepares care packages for the Birthright organization in Cicero, we work with both Gleaners food bank in Indianapolis and the Hamilton County food bank in Noblesville, a group of students helps at the Hamilton County Humane Society, while another group volunteers at the Agape Therapeutic Equestrian Center.”

The academy integrates the classroom with service projects as well, giving students tangible, real-world opportunities to problem-solve for their community.

“Our biology teacher, Art Miller, had his students collect and analyze macro-invertebrates from the Little Cicero Creek running behind our campus to determine water pollution levels,” Baughman explained. “What we're striving to do is incorporate elements of service with this education model. In this case, Mr. Miller had his students prepare and present their findings to members of the Cicero Stormwater Advisory board to help them as they develop methods to inform the greater community of their impact on local water contamination levels.”

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Women Mean Business in downtown Noblesville: Feminine touch helps draw customers

Downtown Noblesville brands itself “hipstoric.” Another apt description might be “chick magnet.”

Women-owned businesses are prolific around the historic Courthouse Square, strengthening its appeal to shoppers as well as clients of professional or medical services.

“Everyone has read the stories about vibrant downtowns serving as attractors for the young and the empty-nester for quality of life — and that trend follows for women-owned businesses,” said Brenda Myers, president and CEO of Hamilton County Tourism, Inc. Noblesville’s downtown is everything a business owner wants. It’s “active, safe, accessible and affordable.”

In a 2010 report, the Indiana Commission for Women said 129,559 – nearly 27 percent – of the state’s 483,242 businesses were owned by women. They produced $20 billion in annual sales and receipts, averaging 9.6 employees each.

Two Hamilton County firms, Avant Healthcare of Carmel and Hare Chevrolet of Noblesville, ranked fourth and fifth among the state’s largest businesses owned by women.

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New Life for Dead Trees: Recycled Wood makes Beautiful, Functional Furniture

The death and disposal of area trees led to an unexpected silver-lining for one local business. 

Vine & BranchVine and Branch, Inc., in Carmel, specializes in tree care and arborist services, recently expanded its business to include creating custom, heirloom-quality furniture and rough-hewn benches for nature centers in Hamilton County. The company anticipates further growth as word gets out that trees lost to pests, disease or age can have a purpose beyond death.

 “I have always been interested in reusing wood, and frankly have felt bad when beautiful wood went into the firewood pile,” said Jud Scott, founder and president of Vine and Branch. A combination of inspiration from a client clearing property and a suggestion from his daughter led Scott to explore the possibilities of creating works of art from the trees typically hauled off and forgotten.

“My daughter sent me some pictures of live-edge slab tables and log-end tables, and said ‘Dad, you need to do this!’ About the same time, a couple of Vine and Branch employees suggested we get rid of these clunky fiberboard desks and make some desks ourselves,” Scott recalls. “Thus, the idea was born.”

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90 Years in Reel Time: No Biz Like Show Biz for the Paikos Family

Martha Paikos says you have to love a job if you’re going to work seven days a week.

Spend a few minutes with her, spot the twinkle in her husband’s eye as he staffs the ticket window, talk to her son, Nick, and you’ll be convinced that all of them love every minute of what they do: Run the Diana Theatre in Tipton.

It's been their family business for 90 years. It's been the delight of audiences night after night, decade after decade.

“More than 300 people erupting in laughter is one of the most satisfying experiences you can imagine,” said Nick, whose first job at the Diana was cleaning, followed by usher, concession seller and projectionist. 

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Virtual Reality: Shooting simulator offers safe, interactive alternative to live-fire practice

Retired Navy SEAL Jesse Barnett knows the difference between firing a weapon at a gun range and engaging a moving target that may be shooting back.

“A traditional range is like a bowling alley: You go up, get your lane, load your gun and shoot your piece of paper,” he said. “You’re not being challenged to turn and face the target, to come up from a carry position. You’re not being challenged with multiple [targets] at different angles, next to somebody or something you don’t want to shoot. When I put people in those situations, it’s miss, miss, miss, miss—including professionals.”

Consistent, repeated practice is the only way to hone those skills, he said, and that’s far too dangerous to attempt with live ammunition. So Barnett is harnessing the power of technology to teach Hoosiers how to master their weapons.

And with more than 11 percent of the state’s population licensed to carry a gun, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, we all could be safer for it.

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