But you promised…

Back on Feb. 14, 2008, the Dayton City Commission and the County ED/GE committee gave away $125K to an ad agency that claimed 19 employees at the time and an additional 15 during the next three years. I said then there were problems- in that a video edit suite doesn’t cost $125K- and the jobs were imaginary:

In today’s paper, I see that BGH Studios has politicians believing that what costs about $125K is really a $650K investment- and getting the government to buy them their tools.

Wright Institute to create 62 jobs

BGH Studios received $50,000 from the city and $75,000 from the Montgomery County ED/GE program…

• BGH Studios is a high-tech marketing communications firm that focuses on video content delivery systems, retail marketing, corporate marketing and audio/video and film services. The studio will invest $650,000 for two new video suites, an audio suite and visual effects suite on the third floor of 116 N. Jefferson St. downtown. The studio has 19 employees and plans to create 15 jobs during three years with an average salary of $46,000.

via Corporate welfare with your tax dollars.

It’s not been 3 years yet- but on June 16, 2010- they fired all their staff and closed the doors to BGH Studios – leaving employees unpaid and clients with unfinished projects.. Now, they are back… as “The Radical Giraffe” and they have a lot of video on their front page- probably made with the very equipment they got the taxpayers to fund.

The same people at the helm, the same office space, the only things that seem to have changed are the phone number and the name of the company. Take a look at www.BGHStudios.com and compare.

Now they claim they don’t need staff- they’ll draw upon their “large pool of best in class professionals.” Listen to Bill Galvin in his “director of wow” video.

So no 35 employees, no growth, but- they have some nice video equipment paid for by the taxpayers.

It’s time to hold both the people who handed over your tax dollars and the people who took it- accountable. This isn’t a minor amount of money- if it was Raleigh Trammell, they’d have the FBI in the offices, carting the computers out- and splashing it across the front pages of the paper.

This is theft- the actions are criminal, but, will we see anyone in office ask the questions- or get our money back? Commissioners? Anybody? Deborah Feldman? Anybody home?

NOTE: Oct 12 2010- 2pm- Joe Tuss, director of Development for the County- and head of the ED/GE program called and said that BGH Studios failed to comply with terms of agreement, hadn’t finished the grant process-and that on Feb 19, 2009 it was canceled. That is one year after it had been voted on. This has been mentioned numerous times on this site previously- yet, no official has responded and corrected previously.

It’s nice to know that we get the record straight after this site keeps hammering away.

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29 Responses

  1. Gina Kay Landisg October 11, 2010 / 3:00 pm
    Wow – wonder if DBJ will cover *this* story and how this will play out at #SummitUp? Pretty dang amazing.

    @ginakayRE

  2. Sue October 11, 2010 / 3:15 pm
    Pretty amazing, but nothing will be done.  Should have gotten the equipment back at least.
  3. shane October 11, 2010 / 3:44 pm
    Did you watch the Happiness video?
    It looks like a SNL spoof video almost.
    interesting.
  4. Civil Servants Are People, Too October 11, 2010 / 6:13 pm
    I agree, the company that asked for the grant money should be held accountable.

  5. larry sizer October 11, 2010 / 10:43 pm
    The Sheriff gets away with it, Raleigh Trammell got a little heat but is walking the streets to the bank, you have printed it, and nothing is going to happen. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, it only confirms that Dayton is either inept, crooked or all of the above. Keep up the good work David, and what as a citizen can I do to correct this crap?
  6. Thomas October 12, 2010 / 8:57 am
    You all seem to be forgetting where the last member of the former agency went, David Bishop? The buzz in my neighborhood is that he’s making coney’s at the local Skyline Chili.
  7. Another Civil Servant October 12, 2010 / 11:15 am
    Just ran across this on CNN’s Money Page.  While it is not directly related to the topic, I found it rather interesting…

    “So the mystery of the S&P 500 fat cat gap remains. Nuti, for his part, took home $7 million in 2009 —  a year in which the company deserted its longtime home base of Dayton, Ohio, lost $33 million and saw its stock drop 21%. For one man, at least, NCR truly is a cash machine.”

    Good to see that NCR is doing so much better in Georgia!!!

  8. David Esrati October 12, 2010 / 11:51 am

    @ACS- Beautiful- never mind that Nuti lost 2/3 of the company value before bailing on Dayton. The shareholders should sue- but, then of course, when the shareholders are large institutions- they don’t care- they get bailed out by the Feds when they go belly up.

    Nevermind the taxpayers of Georgia who got a $100 Million dollar screwing.

  9. David Esrati October 12, 2010 / 1:57 pm

    Added this to the post- after receiving a call from Joe Tuss at the county:

    NOTE: Oct 12 2010- 2pm- Joe Tuss, director of Development for the County- and head of the ED/GE program called and said that BGH Studios failed to comply with terms of agreement, hadn’t finished the grant process-and that on Feb 19, 2009 it was canceled. That is one year after it had been voted on. This has been mentioned numerous times on this site previously- yet, no official has responded and corrected previously.

    It’s nice to know that we get the record straight after this site keeps hammering away.

  10. Robert Vigh October 12, 2010 / 4:20 pm
    This money would have been better spent by the city in which of the following:
    a) Schools
    b) Roads
    c) Police and Fire
    d) An alternate company with a more promising outlook
    e) Kept by the people that earned it.
    @CSAPT: It cracks me up you say hold the people that asked for it accountable!!!!!!!!!!!  LOL LOL LOL……….That is like holding a 5 year old accountable for ASKING for candy. Perhaps government should simply stop taking money away from the populace to give away as they see fit. Hold the askers accountable…………………..awesome.
  11. Bubba Jones October 12, 2010 / 6:39 pm
    I chuckled at the “Accountability” video on their new website.  I wonder if the same accountant that’s making sure they’re on a stable financial footing is the same one that oversaw the demise of the predecessor company?
     
    And that “Happiness” video that @shane mentioned?  How stupid!!  I didn’t bother with any of the rest of them after that.
     
    RV – I believe the correct answer is “E”.    :)
  12. Josie Irons October 12, 2010 / 9:03 pm
    I know BGH Studios former Controller, who was one of the employees who was laid last October and was never given final paycheck.  Bella Konikova, Bill Galvin and Mike Boyd are the biggest CROOKS in the city of Dayton, OH and need to find their HAPPINESS IN A FEDERAL JAIL CELL along with David Bishop.  Want proof? Talk to their former Controller! I can put in contact with her.
  13. Jesse October 12, 2010 / 10:28 pm
    economic fascism sucks…I wish we could become capitalist again.
  14. Bubba Jones October 13, 2010 / 5:41 am
    >>> I know BGH Studios former Controller, who was one of the employees who was laid last October and was never given final paycheck. <<<    -Josie Irons
     
     
    Sounds like a really interesting place to work then! LOL!
  15. Greg Hunter October 13, 2010 / 8:00 am
    All of the people at the top are criminals.  I mean you meet them one time and one can tell that they are bums.  Another fine candidate whom I have known for 20+ years finally got the hook but not as much as he should have for his crimes.  I would love to make a list but truth of the situation eludes people.  Are Joe Tuss and George Argue related?
  16. Heather October 13, 2010 / 4:05 pm
    Doesn’t seem right that the “public officials” have now called in to notify the discrepancies, yet still list BGH as a success story on the Dayton Business Resource Center Website. Seems to me that either way BGH got some money (your tax dollars) from the city. It makes me sick to think that the city isn’t following up correctly to keep this from happening. Crooks are everywhere and the city just loves giving the money away, look at at the times the city threw money at developers for  The Arcade renovations and we are yet to see any progress from any of the developers that took on that job. This whole Radical Giraffe business just makes me sick, and you wonder why small businesses are leaving the dayton area, its because every company that services small business take there money and runs, closing doors without completed service ala “BGH Studios” and soon “The Radical Giraffe” why else would they create mockumentary style videos that protest their honesty and loyalty and accountability. They are laughing in the faces of their previous clients. I for one would never want to work with a company that has a “Director of Happiness” seems like a big waste of salary dollars and their clients money.
    http://www.daytonbrc.com/successStories/

    Marketing Firm Invests in Downtown Dayton

    BGH Studios, a high-tech marketing communications agency headquartered at 116 N. Jefferson St. in downtown Dayton, will invest $650,000 in technology, equipment and facility upgrades as it prepares for future growth. BGH specializes in audio, video and Web content production and will install two new video suites, an audio suite and a special effects studio at its current location. The investment will allow the company to retain 19 jobs and add 15 jobs with an average salary of $46,000 over the next three years. “BGH joins a growing list of firms specializing in creative services that have found a home in downtown Dayton,” said City Manager Rashad Young. “These companies know that Dayton´s creative capital is extensive and that the urban environment is right for their work. “The City of Dayton is supporting the firm´s expansion with a grant of $125,000 from the City´s development fund and the Montgomery County ED/GE program.”

  17. David Esrati October 13, 2010 / 4:12 pm

    Nice detective work Heather- there it is- sure as snot, a “success story” that never took place according to Mr. Tuss. Now, let’s see a complete list- along with the outcomes on all of the people’s investments please…

  18. David Lauri October 13, 2010 / 4:26 pm
    At least that Dayton Business Resource Center website is using that terrific Dayton Patented logo at the bottom of every one of their pages.  Surely that’s worth some points, even if some of their success stories are stale.
  19. Jesse October 14, 2010 / 11:24 am
    Really?!? I get flack for being anti-fascism? I am so confused.
  20. Heather October 14, 2010 / 4:13 pm
    Wanna see your tax dollars hard at work in the community? Well stop by The Radical Giraffes open house on October 22nd and see for your self just what your city spends your tax dollars on. You will even have a chance to speak with the notorious Bill Galvin himself. Again, The Radical Giraffe open house October 22nd at 116 N. Jefferson St. Downtown.
  21. jstults October 14, 2010 / 6:44 pm
    WOW, he’s certainly no Poe.  The Happiness one was a bit creepy.  The question you gotta ask yourself is, “Do I wanna be happy?”  Well, do ya, punk?
     
    Robert has this one nailed.  The right organizational dynamics for success don’t exist here because the folks serving the public interest can continually redefine the criteria and declare success when it suits.  Nobody gets fired for spreading the money around.
  22. Cyndi Maple October 17, 2010 / 12:35 am
    Most of the employees at BGH Studios made $10.00 to $12.00 dollars an hour. Yes, Bella Konikova was and still if the Chief Financial Officer of BGH Studios. I learned this evening, BGH Studios is still operating behind the scenes at The Giraffe Radical. Kind of funny…huh?  They only closed BGH Studios to get away from the debt of their mismanagement.  If you engage in business with The Radical Giraffe AKA BGH Studios , all I have to say is you are an IDIOT and your a bigger idiot then Bella Konikova, Bill Galvin, David Bishop and Michael Boys put together.  They do not pay their contractors, they don’t pay their vendors and have a history of screwing employees.  Bella would not even buy toilet paper so employees could wipe themselves.
     
  23. Bubba Jones October 18, 2010 / 1:52 pm
    >>> Bella would not even buy toilet paper so employees could wipe themselves. <<<  – @Cyndi Maple
     
    That’s understandable.  According to the “Accountability” video on the Radical Giraffe site, Bella’s responsible for keeping an eye on the financial stability of the organization.  In Bella’s home country toilet paper was often used as a trading currency so she must feel that it’s part of her fiduciary duty (or is it “doodie”?) to the company to oversee it’s purchase and use.
     
     
  24. Greg January 10, 2011 / 2:55 pm
    I wondered what had become of BGH. I had heard that Dave Bishop, a principal in the company had left. I had an ill fated partnership with them on a project a few years ago. All smoke and mirrors. They never delivered on what they promised. Sorry to hear that so many took the fall for them. The business was basically a sweat shop. Lots of low, pay-by-the-hour contract work. The city was desperate for a success story — this is what they got. I am amazed that they are back for another go at it. The whole “Radical Giraffe” thing is quite funny. I think a rodent would have been a more appropriate choice.
  25. Michael R. Collins January 11, 2011 / 1:05 pm

    I’m the one who edited their web promo videos! 
     
    The work was completed on October 3rd, 2010. 
     
    It is now January 10th, 2011 and I still have not received payment for my work! 
     
    They also had me sign a contract, in which these videos were “conveniently” not included. On top of all that, I have yet to receive a copy with their signature on it! 
     
    I have done this work in good faith, and I’ve received nothing in return. I feel like I’ve been taken advantage of,and I don’t think I have a legal case against them, due to lack of proof :(
     
    BGH may try to turn itself into a different animal, but it’s still the same creature on the inside.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     

     

  26. Ice Bandit January 13, 2011 / 6:46 am
    In Bella’s home country toilet paper was often used as a trading currency (Bubba Jones)
     
    …..hence the term “legal tender”…….
  27. Michael Collins April 18, 2011 / 3:39 pm
    “To err is human, but forgiveness is divine.”

    Perhaps I was wrong about the Radical Giraffe LLC.

    I exchanged some emails and text messages with CEO Michael Boyd and they’ll be cutting me a check for half of the amount today.
    Sometimes it just takes a little patience and communication.

    I really appreciate what Michael is trying to do with the former BGH and I commend him for it.
    Economic times are tough right now, and many of us are struggling to pay our debts. And right now, a lot of companies and organizations are seriously cutting their advertising budgets.
    Communication and quality service have a big impact right now, and I appreciate Michael’s ability to listen and respond to The Radical Giraffe’s clients and vendors.

    I’d really like to see this company bring a new kind of approach to the industry in a struggling midwestern town.

    – Michael R. Collins

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