News & Tech Tips

Velvet Ice Cream President Luconda Dager Shares Her Career Experiences at Women in Business Event

Luconda Dager, president of Velvet Ice Cream, recently joined four other woman business leaders in a panel discussion and individual breakout sessions on their achievements and the challenges they face in business. The half-day Women in Business event was hosted by Columbus Business First. Luconda was also profiled in a feature story in Business First’s Women in Business publication on August 9.

Luconda shared her experiences about growing up in the family business, majoring in business at Xavier University, working as a buyer for a women’s clothing store after graduating, then returning home to Utica to work at Velvet. She learned the business by working in several departments, starting with receiving. She moved on to become vice president of marketing and sales for a number of years before being named president in 2009.

Headquartered at Ye Olde’ Mill in Utica, Velvet Ice Cream has been a family-owned and operated business for nearly 100 years. Founded in 1914 by family patriarch Joseph Dager, Velvet has been run by four generations of the Dager family. Each year, Velvet produces more than five million gallons of ice cream, which can be found in freezer cases throughout the Midwest. The historic Ye Olde’ Mill, which houses the company headquarters, an ice cream museum and restaurant, attracts more than 150,000 visitors a year.

Phil Heit Receives Jefferson Award for Community Service

HeitDr. Phil Heit, founder of Healthy New Albany, was named one of five winners of the prestigious 2013 Jefferson Awards, the annual awards program that recognizes individuals who do extraordinary things in their central Ohio communities without expecting a reward. Phil was recognized for his work promoting health with Healthy New Albany and the New Albany Walking Classic.

The Jefferson Awards are presented by WBNS 10TV and Nationwide. A total of 215 people were nominated for this year’s awards. From 20 finalists, a panel of 12 business, civic and community leaders selected the top five.

WATCH a video about Phil and his impact on the health of residents in central Ohio.

Two Clients Recognized for Promoting Health of Their Employees

Two clients were recognized in Columbus Business First’s inaugural Healthiest Employers of Central Ohio Awards Program. Award recipients offer health and wellness initiatives that promote a culture of staying active, eating right, managing stress and offering preventative disease screenings.

Hondros College was honored among the medium employers (101 to 500 employees) and Portfolio Creative was recognized among the small employers (two to 100 employees).

Employees of the companies who applied to participate in the awards program completed a health assessment survey and the company completed a questionnaire that covered six key areas of workplace wellness: culture and leadership; commitment, foundational components; strategic planning; communications and marketing; programming and interventions; and reporting and analysis.

All of the award recipients were featured in a supplement to the March 29 Business First.

TOR-VETM Empowers Disabled Combat Veterans through Motorsports

Combat veterans, on the grid, before the race at the Daytona International Speedway in 2013.
Combat veterans, on the grid, before the race at the Daytona International Speedway in 2013.

Client Pete Cline, founder of Team Ohio Racing / Veterans Empowered Through Motorsports (TOR-VETM), is partnering with two Whalen clients, Oxford Consulting Group and Portfolio Creative, to actively engage and empower disabled combat veterans through their motor sports efforts. The team also has assistance from the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) and is supported by 11 other businesses and organizations.

Team Ohio Racing is the first motorsports team to fully integrate disabled veterans into an active race team environment. By working with the Wounded Warrior Project, local alumni-warriors are incorporated into their AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) Pro Racing Harley-Davidson Vance & Hines XR1200 team. Team Ohio Racing delivers respect to the WWP mission by working with WWP-Alumni members, allowing them to focus on their abilities instead of disabilities, and to heal and empower through motorsports.

Oxford Consulting Group partnered with TOR-VETM for two races in 2012 and will again support the organization’s unique program outreach in positively impacting combat veterans in 2013. TOR-VETM recently supported two Harley-Davidson entries at Daytona International Speedway with great success.

“To see these veterans in action as they expertly supported the race teams in 2012 was phenomenal,” said Michelle Kerr, president of Oxford Consulting Group. “To hear about their feelings of accomplishment, confidence and empowerment that resulted was such a rewarding and inspirational experience. We look forward to helping Team Ohio Racing extend this excellent opportunity to other veterans in 2013.”

Cline said that because of Portfolio Creative and Oxford Consulting Group’s direct support, Team Ohio Racing will have a presence in the AMA paddock for the remaining 2013 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson races. To learn more about TOR-VETM, visit the organization’s website at, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter @TeamOhioRacing or Pinterest.

Oxford Consulting Group, Inc. is a leading information technology (IT) consulting firm and solutions provider that has developed, implemented and supported the technology portfolios of hundreds of companies across North America. Established in 1998 and headquartered in Westerville, Ohio, Oxford Consulting Group has a team of nearly 200 talented, dedicated, creative and customer-focused business and technology professionals. The company’s breadth of solutions range from delivering business to business integration and supply chain management solutions for large enterprises, to IT staffing and placement services, to IT services for small to mid-sized businesses.

Portfolio Creative is a creative staffing and recruiting firm connecting clients with creative talent in all areas of design, marketing, communications and advertising.  It also provides educational resources, payroll and direct hire services. Founded in 2005, the company has been recognized as an Inc. 500 fast growth company and with awards from Staffing Industry Analysts, Columbus CEO magazine, the Columbus Chamber, Enterprising Women magazine, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the American Staffing Association, the Ohio Department of Development and the National Association of Women Business Owners. Co-owners are Catherine-Lang-Cline and Kristen Harris.