Will Cleveland Indians Get another Chance at the World Series?

Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field

The Cleveland Indians came out swinging starting the 2017 MLB season on a good footing and fans are starting to believe they can successfully defend the 2016 AL Championship title. So far the tribe has scored 25 wins and 23 losses; a run that has pushed the team to 2nd place in the AL Central division. “They are holding their own but if the tribe can turn up the heat and squeeze out a few more impressive wins, the World Series could be in the cards for the second time in a row”, mentioned Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

Like any team, the Indians have gone through some really tough times. For example, they had to turn things around to stop a frustrating losing streak. And they did this in style by beating Kansas City Royals 10-1 at Progressive Field to grab the final game of the three-game series. The last time the Cleveland Indians lost more than three games in a row was back in July, 2015. This illustrates how impressive the tribe’s performance has been in recent years. According to Cleveland Indians manager, Terry Francona, the team needs to stay focused in order to play again at the World Series.

Although the Indians did manage to make it to the 2016 World Series for the first time in nearly twenty years, losing to the Cubs was devastating. But Clevelanders are known for dusting themselves off and getting right back in the game. And that’s exactly what the tribe has done. In fact, Francona is looking to leave his mark by winning this year’s World Series for the first time since 1947. The Indians made their intentions clear at the start of the 2017 season when they showed how aggressive they are in free agency by landing one of the biggest prizes on the market; the signing of Edward Encarnación to a 3-year, $60 million contract.

With a healthy rotation and postseason experience, the tribe is expecting to get things done this year. And manager Francona is getting the best out of the likes of Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez, Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley, and right-hander Josh Tomlin. The Tribe does not expect this season’s run to be a breeze, but they can take some positives and experience from their loss in last year’s World Series. They also need to absorb all the mounting pressure and pound out a few more impressive wins to score another chance at bringing the Commissioner’s Trophy home to Cleveland.

Image Credit: Doug Chapman

Record Number of Tourists Visit Cleveland, Up 30 percent since 2007

cleveland-ohioThe number of tourists visiting Cleveland and Cuyahoga County has been steadily increasing since 2007, according to the 2015 Convention & Leisure Metric Report recently released by Destination Cleveland. The report showed tourism in Cleveland grew 3.7 percent after welcoming a record number of 17.6 million business and leisure travelers to the Northeast Ohio region. In fact, the rate of tourist growth in Cleveland has outpaced the U.S. since 2011, according to a study published by Tourism Economics.

In 2007, there were 13.7 million tourists who visited Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. And within eight years this number jumped to 17.6 million; an increase of almost 30 percent. Cleveland has been registering a consistent rise in tourism for the past several years, giving a much needed boost to the local economy. The increased tourism resulted in an $8.1 billion economic impact supporting 65,900 local jobs and $1 billion in sales tax revenue.

The big increase in Cleveland tourism has also been a boon for the hotel industry with over 5 million hotel rooms sold in 2015, representing an increase of 5.2 percent from the previous year. It was the largest increase ever recorded in the past five years. Additionally, the number of hotel rooms sold in Cleveland outpaced the number of rooms sold nationally by 0.7%. “Growth in nearly every metric we report shows that more people are motivated each year to visit and discover more about Cleveland for themselves,” said David Gilbert, president and CEO, Destination Cleveland. “Research shows that continued short-term gains in travel and tourism are the foundation for broader economic success as many of those who move to a new city often had a favorable visitor experience first.”

So, why are so many tourists visiting Cleveland? “There are a lot of exciting attractions throughout the Cleveland Metropolitan area including The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, Cedar Point Amusement Park, A Christmas Story House, Cleveland Aquarium, and Cleveland Botanical Garden, among others that are attracting visitors,” said Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Also, many business travelers come back with their family to explore the region. In addition, the city has beautiful waterfront parks, a lively shopping and entertainment district, a world-class convention center and top-rated hotels that attract business and leisure travelers from around the globe.

Image Credit: Tim

Cleveland to Host Team USA Triathlon National Championships

Team USA Triathlon

Cleveland, Ohio has been selected to host the USA Triathlon National Championships in 2018 and 2019. The events, which are expected to attract around 5,000 athletes and 10,000 spectators, will be another big for boost Cleveland’s economy with a total estimated $13 million economic impact for the two annual events,” noted Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

The 2018 USA Triathlon National Championships is scheduled to take place from August 11 – 12. The venue will be at Edgewater Beach Park and the surrounding neighborhoods of downtown Cleveland. The 2019 event is expected to take place from August 10 – 11 in the same venue.

On Saturday (August 11, 2018, and August 10, 2019) the concentration will be on the Olympic-distance triathlon. This section includes a 10-kilometer run, 1,500-meter swim, and 40-kilometer bike. Athletes who come top in these categories will represent Team USA at the International Triathlon Union Age Group World Championships. That event will take place in 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland and 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Also, there will be Sunday competitions (August 12, 2018, and August 11, 2019) and this includes a sprint triathlon. The competition will be open to public competitors. The open sprint triathlon will feature a 5-k run, 20-k bike ride, and 750-meter swim. The 5k run and 20k bike ride are scheduled along the Detroit-Shoreway, St. Clair-Superior, Downtown Cleveland, and University Circle neighborhoods. The 750-meter swim, on the other hand, will be held at Edgewater Park.

This is great news for Cleveland. “We are extremely excited that Cleveland was chosen to host the Team USA Triathlon National Championships,” said the President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, David Gilbert.

This is not the first time Cleveland has held a major competition. In 2007, the city hosted an NCAA Division I women’s basketball Final Four while in 2015, it hosted the ACHA Division I Men’s Hockey Championships and U.S. Master’s Swimming Championship. It has also hosted the Donate Life Transplant Games of America, which was held in 2016 and the 2017 USA Fencing North American Cup.

Cleveland is becoming known as the sports city and has been selected to host some very exciting sporting events in the near future. And these include the 2018 NCAA DI Wrestling Championships, 2018 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Progressive Field, which is the home of the defending American League Champion, Cleveland Indians.

Image Credit: West Point Military Academy

Cleveland Sees a Bright Future in Solar as Jobs Double

solar power home

With the solar industry on the rise across the country and in Ohio, Cleveland sees a bright future as jobs double. The Solar Foundation, an independent non-profit organization, recently released employment data indicating a number of states have greatly benefited from solar jobs. And Ohio is taking the lead. A recent report states that 5,831 people were employed in the Ohio solar industry in 2016. “Definitely Ohio is the heavyweight among its neighboring states,” said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director of The Solar Foundation. The number of solar jobs in Cleveland doubled in 2016 to 1,632 workers representing nearly 30 percent of the state’s total solar workforce.

According to Luecke, solar energy adds tens of billions of dollars to the U.S. economy annually. Experts are encouraging solar states like Ohio to continue investing in the solar industry. In 2016, the U.S. solar industry employed more than 250,000 workers generating a $62.5B economic impact and creating nearly 789,000 jobs nationwide. In other words, every solar job creates two additional indirect jobs that support the industry.

“After years of economic decline from the loss of manufacturing and other industrial facilities, Cleveland has spent much of its resources on economic revitalization diversifying its industry portfolio without relying too heavily on any one sector for job growth,” noted Victor J. Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Capitalizing on solar makes economic sense for Cleveland. Sustainability and clean energy is big here, and in Ohio as a whole, and Clevelanders have embraced solar as the next big thing in green energy. In fact, Mike Foley, head of the Department of Sustainability in Cuyahoga County, has even gone so far as predicting “in 10 years a rooftop that doesn’t have solar will look funny and will look out of place, ” in a Midwest Energy News article.

In cooperation with OH SUN, the Cuyahoga County Solar Co-Op is helping to educate local residents throughout the Cleveland Metropolitan area about solar energy and adding solar panels to their rooftops. With the increase of high paying solar jobs ($26/hr. avg.) combined with the recent economic growth, the sun is rising again in Cleveland.

Image Credit: Andrew Fogg

Cleveland Indians Ticket Sales Double Over Past 5 Seasons

Cleveland Indians

As Opening Day approaches, Cleveland fans are optimistic that the Indians will bring home the World Series pennant this season. They are having a pretty good run in Spring Training clinching the top spot in the American League and this is fueling the excitement. The tribe recently confirmed that they will play their home opener before a sellout crowd after selling out all tickets in just 40 minutes. In fact, the Cleveland Indians have been selling out home game tickets for the past 25 years. And according to the Indians, “The Tribe’s 2017 one-day on-sale total is double that of any on-sale date in the past five seasons.”

“Apparently, losing the MLB World Series to the Cubs has not hurt ticket sales. The tribe’s fans are an intensely loyal crowd,” mentioned Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. To show their support of the team, fans are making sure that they will be present in the club’s home games. Most vowing to attend all home games like they have done in the past five seasons.

In the 2016 season, for instance, the Indians sold out all remaining World Series tickets in only 15 minutes. Average resale prices for those tickets rose past $24,000 within hours of the Indians winning the AL pennant, based on sales figures from TicketIQ. All are clear indications that single ticket sales for the tribe have significantly improved.

With the off-season signings of Edwin Encarnacion and Boone Logan, it’s clear that club manager Terry Francona has his sights on winning the World Series pennant in the upcoming season. Also, the Indians announced today that it has signed a 5-year contract with INF Jose Ramirez. The contract includes options that could extend his run through the 2023 season. The 24-year old Dominican Republic native has an impressive record scoring 84 runs, 46 doubles, 3 triples, 11 home runs and 76 RBI while stealing 22 bases in his first MLB season in 2016.

The tribe will play the first game of the major league season in Texas against the Rangers on April 3rd. The Cleveland Indians will host the White Sox in its 2017 home opener on Tuesday, April 11th at Progressive Field.

Image Credit: Keith Allison

Tips To Help You Grow A Healthy Business


business meeting

This article was originally published on Cleveland.com.  Read original article here.

How are things going with your business?


Does your business look the same as it did last year? Without some fresh perspective, 2017 won’t be any different.

The year’s first quarter is already coming to a close. It’s past time not only to take a closer look at what your business is doing, but also to remind yourself why you’re in business and who you’re serving.

Here are three questions every business owner should ask themselves today:

1) How much do you focus on your people? It all comes down to people. Are you really in tune with the needs of every person your business touches? 

2) What’s the why of your business? What’s the why for you? What’s the why for your customers? Do you know the why of your business from the perspective of your customers, your employees and yourself?

3) Do you know what you really want from your business? Lots of money? More time with your family? Is all your hard work getting you nearer the goals you have for your business?

Businesses of all shapes and sizes wrestle with hard questions about work-life balance, about making enough money, and about the direction they’re going. Many of them don’t come up with good answers.

One out of every eight businesses in North America discontinued operations in 2016, according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Will you become part of that statistic in 2017?

What are you doing to answer the tough questions about your business? Do you even know what to do? Are you praying for miracles and just hoping to get healthy?

“The magic answer is to be realistic with yourself,” said Victor Bierman, a lawyer and partner in Inveriti, a business assessment, strategy and coaching firm in Cleveland. “Let’s look around. Let’s peek under the covers and acknowledge what’s going on.”

It might not make business owners comfortable, but they should solicit blatantly honest perspectives on the health of their business from all of their stakeholders. Looking at a business through the eyes of others can offer valuable insight to help change the way an entrepreneur sees and thinks about the business.

They should ask their most trusted employees whether they really like coming to work and if they don’t then why not? They should ask how comfortable their financial advisors really are with making them a loan. They should take a close look at their customer base to better understand who they’re serving and what opportunities they’re missing.

They should talk with a professional advisor for a realistic, unbiased, educated perspective on the health of their business. Profits alone don’t measure the health of a business.

“One of the things we harp on constantly is perspective,” Bierman said. “Everything’s about perspective. Are you really looking at your business with the right perspective?”

There’s still time to make 2018 Q1 feel different for your business than 2017 Q1.

Recruiting and Retaining Qualified Workers a Top Business Challenge for Cleveland Companies

downtown Cleveland

Talent is a top priority at any workplace. And in order for companies to compete in today’s very competitive global marketplace, they need to not only recruit top talent, but retain them as well. But According to polls released in 2016 by the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) , around two-thirds of employers interviewed agreed that recruiting and retaining qualified workers is a top business challenge here.

And retaining employees is often more challenging than recruitment. Workers are not staying in their jobs as long as they used to. The average millennial changes jobs approximately every 4.4 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Job changes are not always related to pay. If an employee becomes bored or doesn’t feel there are career advancement opportunities, they may begin to transition elsewhere. Between networking, social media and online job boards, changing jobs is just one click away.

But the local job market is also a reflection of Cleveland’s growing pains in an economy that is on the move. For instance, Crain’s Cleveland Business notes that a new restaurant pops up in or around downtown Cleveland just about every week. There is just not enough talent to fill local demand for these positions. “It’s an employees’ market right now,” said Chris Hodgson, co-owner Driftwood Restaurant Group. “We’ve started to expand our new hire search outside the city, like Columbus.”

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported that the state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9% in December, 2016, with an increase of 10,300 jobs. The industries with the largest gains were service providers, leisure and hospitality, and educational and health services fields adding 41,000, 13,300, and 11,200 jobs, respectively.

Also, Cleveland businesses that find recruiting and retaining qualified workers difficult can rely on a number of strategies to help them turn things around. First, they can consider upgrading their employees’ skills through advanced education or job-related training. And this can be achieved through a financial assistance program. Companies can also offer a mentoring program as a way of retaining employees they have recruited. According to Lauren Rudman, president of the Cleveland Society for Human Resource Management, learning opportunities can help in recruiting and retaining employees as well. And this can be done through coaching, a cross functional project, and participation in a leadership development program, among others.

“Additionally, the State of Ohio offers a number of programs that can help Cleveland employers attract and retain qualified talent. Through its website, OhioMeansJobs, employers can search through a database of over two million resumes to find available workers with specific skill sets. There are also a number of tools and other resources available for human resource professionals,” noted Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

Image Credit: Tim

Craft Beer Industry Hopping in Cleveland


Fueling demand for Clevelanders taste for craft beer, the craft beer industry is hopping in Cleveland. Much of the craft beer is consumed at local brew pubs that create their own unique taste and blend. In fact, Cleveland has an entire district devoted to the local craft beer scene. The Brewery District, located in the city’s Ohio City neighborhood is lined with small independent breweries and pubs. And the city is recognized on almost every decorated list when it comes to breweries. GQ magazine, for instance, ranked it 4th in its ranking of “The Five Best Beer Cities in America”, while Matador.com and Thrillist Media Group ranked it the country’s 13th- and 12th-Best Beer Cities.

Cleveland has had a rich beer history since the 1840s. But a difficult economic climate in the 1980’s forced local breweries out of business. C. Schmidt and Sons was the last remaining brewery until it closed in 1984.  That is until two Irish brothers took a leap of faith and opened the Great Lakes Brewing Company in 1988. Since then more small independent craft breweries cropped up in Cleveland and around Ohio, including Columbus which is arguably the state’s craft beer capital, transforming the once depleted beer industry into an economic powerhouse.

To meet consumer demand and to compete with other states, Ohio farmers are growing more than 30 varieties of hops and barley which not only benefits the craft beer industry, but local farmers as well. “In addition, the state’s pro business environment has also been a big benefit. For example, a law requiring separate licenses for operating tasting rooms has been eliminated. Other business friendly actions have also helped smaller craft brewers, those producing less than one million barrels annually, by significantly reducing the cost of obtaining a brewing license,” mentioned Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

As a result, Ohio is flourishing with more than 150 craft breweries with over 20 breweries in Northeast Ohio alone. The state is now 4th in the nation for craft beer production, according to the Ohio Craft Brewers Association. In addition, Ohioan adults consume 5.1 gallons of craft beer per capita every year. According to reports by the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association, the Ohio craft beer industry contributes approximately $10 billion annually either indirectly or directly to the state economy. Furthermore, there are 83,000 workers employed in the beer industry, contributing $1.9 billion in annual taxes.

Other notable brewers that have helped to establish Cleveland as a hot spot for craft beer are Market Garden Brewery, which is upgrading to a 35-barrel system; and Platform Beer Company,  a production brewery with a tasting room that also serves as an incubator for home brewers desiring to become professional beer masters. Cheers!

Image Credit: Edsel Little

Cleveland Cavaliers Working Hard to Defend Championship Title

Cleveland Cavaliers

Just as everyone hoped, the Cavs appeared to be on course to successfully defend their championship title with an impressive 28-8 performance at the season opener. Recent wins over the Rockets, Magic, Raptors, and Knicks have boosted confidence in the camp with fans rallying for another championship year, especially when the Cavs came out victors against the Celtics who fought hard. Like the season before, the Cavs’ incredible run appears to be reliant on home-court advantage.

But, just when everything appeared to be right on track, the Cavs fell apart with a disappointing record in January. Some fans were beginning to doubt whether the team could pull off another championship victory. Worst of all, injury issues came from all corners with All-Star forward Kevin Love forced to sit out a Dallas game, which they eventually lost. According to Tyronn Lue, Cleveland Cavaliers coach, Love has back problems and had to leave the court in the first half of a game that saw them overcome Oklahoma City.

The good news is this is not the end. As January ended so too does their misfortunes (we hope) scoring a nice rebound in the first week of February. First, LeBron James seems to have his mojo back. He has an average of 20.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 9.5 assists. The team is also relying on the efficiency of Kyle Irving who posted a 32-point lead against Houston. And with the big three (LeBron James, Kyle Irving, and Kevin Love) on the court, the Cavs have their sights on another championship title for Cleveland.

“In fact, the Cavs’ impressive win against the Vikings shot Cleveland to the top spot in the Eastern Conference with 33 wins and 15 losses,” mentioned Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Their closest rival in the conference, the Celtics, are 31 and 18. LeBron James and Kevin Love are proving their worth to the team once again with an average of 25.7 points and 11 rebounds, respectively. Every player is focused on defending the title. Their guns are blazing, a clear indication that they are after nothing but to make sure the title remains at The Q. Already the Cavaliers are off to their best start in 40 years and if this run continues (excluding January) will no doubt bring success at the end of the 2016-17 NBA season.

Image Credit: Erik Drost

Meet the 7 Inspiring Performers Inducted into the Cleveland Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, recently announced the induction of 7 great musical performers in 2017. “Since its opening in 1995, more than 300 performers recognized for their significant achievements and contributions to rock and roll and the music industry have been inducted,” said Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

During its history spanning more than two decades, the museum has attracted over 10 million visitors making it one of the most-visited attractions in Cleveland. The museum injects approximately $107 million into the local economy every year.

Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)

When founding members Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood came together to form Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) in 1970, they had one mission; to start where the Beatles left off, an amazing feat to accomplish. Since then, ELO has sold over 50 million records around the world and the group still has a growing legacy and unending success today.

Joan Baez

Joan Baez, an American folk singer and musician, has performed publicly for more than half a century. During her golden career, Baez managed to release over 30 albums, mostly conveying the message of social justice and political consciousness. Her unwavering activism has not just provoked most performers but also has inspired them and after all these years she is still taking the audience by storm.


The 5-member legendary rock band Journey enjoyed much of its success in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Neal Schon, an incredible rock guitarist, creatively combined his skills with the soaring vocals of front man, Steve Perry to create the band’s distinct sound. Journey had a number of popular hits including “Don’t Stop Believing”, which has been featured on popular televisions shows including “Glee”, as well as in the season finale of “The Sopranos”.

Nile Rodgers

Nile Rodgers is a legendary music producer, sonic innovator and performer who developed a unique dance-rock sound, which became so popular that nearly every artist in the ‘80s and ‘90s wanted to be associated with his signature sound. Currently, many soul-groove, funk-inspired, and electro-musicians still try to imitate Rodgers’ signature sound.

Pearl Jam

When Pearl Jam released its first album “Ten” in August 1991, they were relatively unknown. However, when “Alive” and “Jeremy” became double hits the band was launched into stardom. More than a quarter century later, Pearl Jam is still one of the world’s popular modern rock bands.

Tupac Shakur

Known for his complex, personal, and fearless personality, Tupac Shakur sold over 75 million records worldwide. His lyrics sparked conversation about race relations, young black men in America, and rap. By the time of his death in 1996 at the age of 25, Tupac had left behind a legacy that went on to inspire many artists like Eminem, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar, to name a few.


The Grammy-award winning rock band “YES” is best known for expanding the rock genre both in concert performances and in recorded music sales  and is arguably best known for its hit single, “Owner of a Lonely Heart”. With their progressive and symphonic rock sound, YES is still one of the most popular classic rock artists and are still touring around the country today.

Image Credit: Chris Capell