Biomedical company arrives

A small start-up medical technology company founded in Kentucky that is developing a spinal fusion sensor called the IntelliRod will call Akron home. Biomedical company Orthodata Inc. is moving into new headquarters at White Pond Crossing Development, off White Pond Drive, effective today. The company has fewer than five employees now but plans to expand.

Funds from Akron BioInvestment Funds LLC, part of the city’s Akron Development Corp., enabled OrthoData to pull together $1.1 million from private sources to pay for the relocation. Cleveland-based JumpStart Inc. invested $250,000, making OrthoData its 71st company. OrthoData also will work with the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron.

Ric Navarro, president and chief executive officer of Orthodata is a Northeast Ohio native. The company was founded by spine surgeon Rolando M. Puno and professors from the University of Louisville. OrthoData is seeking additional capital to complete animal studies and pilot human trials of the IntelliRod. The device is intended to allow surgeons to assess the success of spinal fusion surgery without the need for additional exploratory surgery.

New Knight VP named

The former head of CEOs for Cities, a national network of urban leaders, has been elected the new vice president/community and national initiatives for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Carol Coletta is a nationally recognized expert on cities and the use of the arts to build communities, said the Miami-based philanthropic foundation that invests in communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers, including the Beacon Journal.

Coletta was the founding head of ArtPlace, a collaboration between private foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. She starts May 6 and will be a member of the foundation’s executive committee and report to Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen.

Settlement at plant

The Utility Workers Union of America said its members at FirstEnergy’s Harrison Power Station in West Virginia will receive $1.25 million under a settlement agreement to resolve unfair labor practice charges.

The settlement requires the company to grant an immediate 6 percent pay increase and to reinstate or improve incentive bonuses and other employee benefits that were unilaterally cut or eliminated by FirstEnergy, the union said.

The settlement resolves unfair labor practice charges filed by the UWUA against FirstEnergy at the Harrison facility, where the union represents more than 150 bargaining unit employees. In January 2013, the National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint charging that FirstEnergy had illegally cut Harrison workers’ pay and benefits during 2012 without negotiating with the union.

Said FirstEnergy spokeswoman Jennifer Young: “While we believe the actions of FirstEnergy have been appropriate, we also recognize that a settlement is in the best interest of the company and employees and eliminates uncertainty to allow the parties to move forward in a positive direction. As a result of the settlement, FirstEnergy is in a solid position to continue dialogue with the Utility Workers Union of America for a collective bargaining agreement at Harrison.’’

AT&T names Ohio executive

AT&T announced that Adam Grzybicki has been named president of AT&T Ohio. He replaces Tom Pelto, who was named vice president of national strategies in Washington, D.C., earlier this year. Grzybicki will lead AT&T’s legislative and community affairs activities in Ohio. He will work with community leaders, legislators and policy makers, as well as local and regional business leaders and customers. “I’m delighted to ... work with [Ohio] leaders to help bring the state the benefits of high-speed wireless and wireline broadband,” Grzybicki said. Grzybicki comes from AT&T Oregon, where he served as president of a region that included Portland as well as Alaska, Montana and Idaho.


Dow falls 33 points to 14,526

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 33.49 points, or 0.2 percent, to 14,526.16. Twenty of the Dow’s 30 components ended in the red, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co., off 1.8 percent.

Another Dow component, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., finished marginally higher, a day after the discount retailer said in a securities filing it would likely take a loss from foreign bribery probes.

The S&P 500 index shed 0.92 point, or less than 0.1 percent, to end at 1,562.85, leaving it within points of its all-time closing high. Leading decliners, Cliff Natural Resources Inc. of Cleveland dropped almost 14 percent after its shares were downgraded by Morgan Stanley. Bucking the negative trend, the Nasdaq composite rose 4.04 points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,256.52.

Compiled from staff and wire reports