Workflow One reorganizes in Chapter 11

Workflow One, the former Relizon, the spin-off of Reynolds and Reynolds and the recipient of some very nice “economic development” incentive packages to be in their Port Authority-financed building on the corner of Monument and Patterson announced to employees yesterday that they are going to restructure using Chapter 11:

Wednesday Sept 29 at 10:01 PM

Dear WorkflowOne Employees,

Today we took an important step forward in the ongoing transformation of our company.  We have begun finalizing the terms of a debt restructuring with our lender group.  This restructuring will enable us to significantly improve our balance sheet and provide us with more financial flexibility to grow our business.

In order to complete the restructuring, WorkflowOne, our parent company and its U.S. subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.   We decided to make use of a court supervised restructuring process because we believe it is the most efficient way to implement our financial restructuring on an accelerated basis while continuing to operate our business and serve our customers without disruption. During the Chapter 11 process, we intend to continue improving and transforming our company.

We want to assure you that WorkflowOne is NOT going out of business.  We simply need to address the timing and payment terms of current debt.

Chapter 11 is a well-established process that has been used successfully by many companies in the U.S., including some in our industry such as Norwood, Quebecor, American Color and Vertis, as well as major airlines, automobile companies and retailers.  We believe that WorkflowOne will emerge from Chapter 11 far better positioned to maintain and expand our leadership in the industry.

We fully expect that as we continue through this process, there will be no changes to pay or health and welfare benefits for our employees as a result of the filing.  Customers and suppliers should also see little change.  Our plants and business service centers will remain open on normal schedules, and we will continue providing uninterrupted customer service and industry-leading solutions and services to our customers around the country.  We also intend to continue paying all of our suppliers for goods and services they provide after the filing.

Please remember that delivering for our customers remains our top priority.

Our restructuring efforts will likely raise questions among our customers and suppliers as well as from people within our company and industry.  You will be receiving answers to frequently asked questions, and other communications materials to assist you in responding to general inquiries.

If you receive questions about our debt restructuring actions from customers, suppliers, or former employees, please do not try and address their concerns beyond the materials we will provide you.  Instead, refer them to our new, toll-free Restructuring Information Line at (866) 419-7365, which will be operational during regular business hours.

If you have questions, we encourage you to talk with your supervisor, Human Resources representative, or site leader if you need additional clarification.  You should also feel free to submit any questions to your HRdirect team toll free at (866) 375-2222 (Dayton ext. 59301) or [email protected]. We will monitor these mailboxes and post replies to the most commonly asked questions in the new restructuring section of Neo, our internal website.

Our goal is to emerge from the Chapter 11 process in as few months as possible.   During this time, a small group of senior leaders will be involved in the legal and financial requirements of the restructuring.  They will be working to complete the financial restructuring process as quickly and efficiently as possible.   The majority of our people and resources should continue focusing on serving our customers, strengthening our relationships with them and driving profitable growth.  In short, it will be business-as-usual for us.

When this process is complete, we expect to have a new, stronger capital structure that will free up our resources and allow us to invest in building our business and give our customers and other business partners even more confidence in our strength as a solid partner for them.

Taking the necessary steps to accomplish a new capital structure with an improved balance sheet coupled with our ongoing operational enhancements will help us transform WorkflowOne into an even better company.

Let’s continue to stay focused on those areas that will drive our success – delivering for our customers, partnering with our suppliers, and continuing to meet our sales targets and performance goals.  We will make every effort to keep you updated throughout this process.

Thanks for your continued commitment.

Dave Davis                                                                               Dean Truitt

Chief Executive Officer                                                           President and COO

Workflow Management, Inc.                                                 Workflow Management, Inc.

Is “Economic development” bad for the economy?

In our free-wheeling, “democratic” nation with our belief that capitalism solves all problems, we seem to have let Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” deal us a whopper of a punch. All of a sudden, property values are dropping like a rock, causing tax revenues to drop, causing local and state governments who are mandated to have balanced budgets to go into crisis mode. The federal government has jumped in to “bail out” the major players throughout this crisis- by extending super-low-interest-rate loans, grants, and a lot of “stimulus investment” in construction and infrastructure projects.

Yet, what if they have it all wrong? That the real disaster was too much “economic development” and not enough investment in “social capital.” Had we invested more in education than the war on drugs, national health care instead of the military-industrial complex and public transit instead of more off ramps and cul de sacs where would we be today? Did oversupply of new housing, new office space and new developments lead to the disaster? And was it mostly fueled by politicians who love to have their picture taken with a shovel in hand at a groundbreaking?

A real estate lawyer in Florida, Ms. Lesley Blackner seemed to think so- and is taking on the culture of construction with an amendment to Florida’s constitution to put the brakes on builders gone wild:

the real estate crisis is not just the fault of Wall Street, Washington or misguided borrowers; it is also the back-scratching bond between elected officials and builders — a common source of frustration in weak real estate markets around the country wherever developers are still fighting to add more housing.

In Florida, at least, Ms. Blackner hopes to put an end to the chronic oversupply with a ballot initiative she has labeled “Hometown Democracy.”

Amendment 4, as it is officially called, would give Floridians a vote on changes to state-mandated plans for growth in every county and municipality. Much of the potential impact of the measure is up for debate, with important details most likely to be decided by the courts.

But if it is added to the state’s Constitution — which would require 60 percent approval on Election Day — critics and supporters envision revolutionary change.

Leaders of the Yes on 4 campaign, including Ms. Blackner, say it would end a culture of freewheeling development

via In Florida, Battle Over Growth Goes to the Voters –

When I first entered politics I had no idea who the power brokers were, or what their agendas were. One that I kept running into, which seemed odd, was the HBA- the Homebuilders Association. They were one of the primary backers of Mike Turner in his first run for office as Dayton mayor, and the money was substantial. Considering Dayton had shrunk by about a third, it would seem that the city had an oversupply of housing already, and “home building” wouldn’t be high on the list of priorities- how wrong I was.

Bankers like home builders too- because construction loans, and then the mortgages that go with them are a constant source of revenue. Heavy construction people like home builders, because we then need new roads to carry the sprawling suburbanites to and from their cul de sacs. Automakers love new homes too- because they are generally built further and further out- on pristine farmland- instead of in core cities. And because the density of new construction has been lower over the last thirty years- shopping malls and “town centers” like them as the ideas of walkable communities falls apart in our mad rush to build, build, build.

In Florida, a ridiculous  glut of new homes is now causing the real estate market to fall apart. There is such an oversupply that when the rose-colored glasses come off, the landscape is pretty grim. The state had decided that “growth” was a goal – instead of sustainability and the results have been a disaster. Whether a constitutional amendment is the right solution or not, judging by the amount of money the Homebuilders are throwing up against it (considering many of them had to ask for a bailout from the feds) one should be able to infer it’s a shot in the right direction.

While Montgomery County’s population hasn’t grown substantially in the last 40 years, our footprint has spread out at a ridiculous pace. The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission has the numbers and show that we’re overbuilt between 20 and 45% depending on type of development- from housing to office space to retail, yet the politicians keep banging the drum for builders to build.

What would happen if government got out of the “economic development” business altogether? What if there were zero incentives for new construction, instead, only offering incentives on projects that either reuse and adapt, or increase population density? What if there was a premium impact tax on expansion? Isn’t this what Portland, Oregon, did with its development limits? But, let’s also realize that we’ve let our state and local governments’ preoccupation with “economic development” take center stage instead of focusing on delivering top-notch, low-cost public services. The Ohio taxpayer is supporting a whole legion of people who do nothing except spend our tax dollars on diluting the value of our housing stock, our existing infrastructure and add overhead that makes doing business even more expensive.

Is it time for a referendum in Ohio, or perhaps nationwide? Florida may be leading the way if Amendment 4 passes this November.

Early voting vs honest voting

So far, other than the newspaper- no one has told me how to vote yet. The party machinery, so used to working a last-minute push, with “slate cards” and endorsements in hand hasn’t adjusted to this newfangled expanded voting period. And while the party faithful have no problem checking off all the D’s or R’s on the ballot- the general public would probably rather see a “C” or an “I” next to the candidate’s name.

“C” for challenger that appeals to the growing movement of “throw the bums out” and “I” for incompetent- I mean incumbent, because in most cases, candidates, once elected do a horrible job of communicating how they represent you once they have obtained the nod.

It’s funny- in sports we have all kinds of stats to measure our players’ performance, and although there are some sites that perform indexing on candidates based on voting records, this only goes on at the national level- not so much at the state and nothing on the local level. In addition, when you look at the sheer number of candidates a voter must choose from- it can be mind numbing. Yet, we’re supposed to go in like sheep and vote in a few minutes on a vast number of candidate and issues. Each one, spending huge amounts of money on telling us in rapid-fire sound bites why we should vote for his or her cause/person. The ticker in the right sidebar is showing 3.331 billion right now and counting…

Spending billions on propaganda, is that really a free and equal-opportunity election process? In no other country does this kind of auction for offices take place. What’s even more bothersome is that there are no true “Truth in Advertising” laws that apply to political campaign rhetoric, with a shoot first, pay the consequences after the election oversight system. In a country that’s preoccupied with warning labels, disclosure and fine print- you get more information on a cereal box than you do on campaign literature and almost zero information on the actual ballot.

Even with early voting, sitting at home, trying to research every candidate and issue on the ballot, with an internet connection, there is no single point to find the links to every issue pro and con or every candidate- with at least a set of basic questions with answers. The League of Women Voters sends out a “guide” that adds a paragraph or so- but it’s not even out until a few weeks before the election- and although widely distributed, it’s not reaching all voters.

Campaign season is the one time we could all do without- from the mudslinging crapfest of TV ads- to the roadside garbage signs that spring up like weeds. Imagine if instead, a nicely printed magazine came to every household, complete with mail-in ballots, giving each voter at least a page on each candidate and issue. There would be standard questions plus room for a candidate’s main message- along with links to each candidate’s website for those with internet access (note, you’d be amazed at how many people are on the wrong side of the digital divide when it comes to voters).

Oregon moved to vote by mail years ago- and the fact that we allow it for “early voting” and “absentee” says the process works. We’d save all the money of having poll workers, renting voting spaces, the actual machines and the risk we take of having bad weather on election day. It would truly democratize the process- and, it might serve us much better at engaging voters in a more honest process than what we have now.

Until we have some kind of true campaign finance reform, we’ll be doomed to having the best politicians money can buy. Changing the voting process would be a good first start.

Is Dayton a land of opportunity for Veterans?

We’ve heard the Richard Florida argument for a culture centered around the “Creative Class” as a driver of economic prosperity. Yet, the “creative class” is somewhat a matter of opinion- and it’s something that any community could have a shot at.

The Dayton Development Coalition talks about their four key focuses as drivers of economic development.

Advanced Materials and Manufacturing
The unique and compelling nature of our industry allows us to quickly transform innovations into processes and products.

Aerospace R&D
The advances achieved by our Aerospace R&D community gives ample evidence that the Air Force Research Laboratory and their hundreds of industry and university partners in our region have formed the preeminent aeronautical research and development center in the world.

Healthcare and Human Sciences
Aeromedical research, training, and acquisition elements are being consolidated into a Center of Excellence for Human Performance at Wright-Patt, accompanied by 21 existing regional hospitals, medical schools, training facilities and human science-focused businesses.

IT / Data Management
The Dayton Region is a global leader in understanding how the innovative use of information can transform people’s lives.

via – Dayton Region.

These are all business focuses- and leave out the most critical part: social capital. How do we really get these things done if the people who do these things have a really good reason to operate here instead of elsewhere. Sure, there is the base- with its huge R&D budget, but in a virtual world, that money could be spent here or in San Jose without much difference to the contracting officer.

Having a major military installation nearby is a good economic engine to rely on, but with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq winding down, and our economy in shambles, it would be foolhardy not to expect cutbacks in the military budget.

However, there is one thing the wars have created a bountiful supply of: veterans, and more specifically, service disabled veterans. Besides being a logistics center, WPAFB has a medical center that is serving a multi-state area for transitioning seriously injured vets. We also have the Dayton VA Medical Center- another large treatment facility- toss in the Wright State University with one of the nation’s most accessible campuses with extensive experience in handling students with disabilities and all of a sudden, you start to realize that we may have a strong positioning potential to become a community of choice for disabled veterans to put down roots.

When I was in the Army and traveling from post to post- I could tell which communities embraced their soldiers and which didn’t. Fayettville NC, Augusta GA both seemed to loathe the kids in uniform- while the people of Columbus GA welcomed us and treated us with respect. Dayton has always seemed to be somewhat apathetic- but leaning toward respect. Of course, I also often marveled at the star power on base- when first arriving here I saw more stars on shoulders in one trip to the BX than I’d seen in 2+ years of active duty on an Army post.

With this idea of starting to market Dayton as a great place for disabled veterans to retire and reside- will require additional support of local businesses in their commitment to hire these brave young men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country- but also a strong support network to assist them in starting and running their own businesses. The Federal Government passed a law in 2003 requiring all Federal contracts to have 3% Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) participation- a goal that’s not even remotely close to being met. Quite a few States have also given SDVOB and even Veteran Owned Businesses (VOB) preference in bidding. Ohio has not shown an interest- although they did vote to make military retirement pay not eligible for State income taxes.

For the last four plus years, a small group of which I’m a founding member has worked to support and grow VOBs in the region. We’re the representatives of NaVOBA here in SW Ohio and just received our 501C6 designation as a non-profit.

Vet Biz Now! Flyer for event

Click on image for Printable PDF

This Oct 14th, from 11 to 2 we’ll be hosting our first event, Vet Biz Now, bringing in a nationally recognized expert in the field:

Scott Denniston, former Director of Small Business Programs and the Center for Veterans Enterprise at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will present a status update on Vet Biz opportunities.

Seating is limited for this lunch event at the Hope Hotel at WPAFB in Dayton. Please make reservations at $20 includes lunch.

via Vet Biz Now! Oct. 14 2010, Dayton Ohio — VOB108.

Besides Scott discussing the state of Veteran Business opportunities and a status update, VOB108 will be making some presentations of success stories- and highlighting some area VOB that are making a difference.

We welcome you to attend, and ask that if you know any Veterans who own their own business to inform them of this event.

Small business has been one of the saving graces through this economic crisis, with all the programs available and becoming made available to help assist these wounded warriors transition back to civilian life- this could be an effort that is both good for our country and our community and our souls.

Got Elephant?

Straight from the Neon Movies press release:

Here’s more great news. On Oct. 1, we will begin a one-week run of THE ELEPHANT IN THE LIVING ROOM. “The Elephant in the Living Room is an award-winning documentary about the controversial world of raising the deadliest and most exotic animals on earth as common household pets. The story follows the journey of two men at the heart of the issue. One, Tim Harrison, an Ohio police officer whose mission is to protect exotic animals and the public, and the other, Terry Brumfield, a big-hearted man who struggles to keep two pet African lions that he loves like his own family.
Since its premiere in Dayton earlier this year, the movie has been playing to sold-out crowds all over the country. It has been selected by no less than fifteen film festivals from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles and winning three BEST DOCUMENTARY awards, including one from Academy Award winning director Michael Moore who called the film ‘One of the scariest, most entertaining and technically perfect documentaries.’ ” (taken from press notes)

You think it’s bad when the neighbor has a rooster? How about a bear or a lion (or two)?

My friend Mike Webber- who is an incredible film-maker right here in Dayton, made this documentary about Oakwood Police Officer Tim Harrison- who specializes in dealing with exotic house pets.
I wrote about it when Mike hosted the free showing at the Schuster. If you didn’t catch it then- go see it. If you saw it- go see it again or send your friends. Besides supporting a local film maker and our only independent movie house- it’s a great film.