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Cool Success ... Sweet Friendship

April 27, 2009 - Phyllis Sigal
It's so nice to be proud of friends.

It's even nicer when what your friends do is great for so many.

My friend, of whom I speak, is Lisa Allen.

We go way, way, way, way back — our parents knew each other before we were even born. (That's a rare blessing, and I've got two such friends since birth ... or before.)

I'm proud to say she's my friend, and I'm especially proud of her accomplishments as president and CEO of Ziegenfelder Company.

Sunday, she presided over a beautiful event, the dedication of two new freezers to her dad, the late Charles Lando.

Clients and colleagues, friends and family, gathered Sunday for the dedication — many of whom came long distances, which speaks volumes of Lisa, the company, and of course of her dad, Charlie.

Wheeling has benefitted from Ziegenfelder’s expansion, with its increasing workforce and a stable business in a shaky economy.

Also on Sunday, Lisa’s mom, Roz Lando, made the announcement of the Charles Lando Memorial Fund, that will benefit middle school athletes who need some help with their academics. Charlie was such a supporter and follower of middle school and high school sports.

According to Roz, “Charlie enjoyed discovering a talented athlete and tracking his/her career throughout middle school and high school. He’d learn what he could about the youngster and he’d follow how the coach was able to help him develop; he’d know how the youngster did in school truly caring about the success of the individual, not just the athlete. When he found that a boy or girl who he was ‘following’ was in need of assistance with academics, he would do whatever he could to help.

“For obvious reasons you will not learn of this award annually in the news, nor will recipients be announced publicly, but with the assistance of local coaches, athletic directors, school counselors, and others, we hope to be able to target two or more individuals each year and to help make a difference in their educational lives and hopefully, in their future,” Roz explained.

The Ziegenfelder company began as a candy store in the late 1800s and added ice cream in the early 1900s. It was Charlie's dad, Abe, who came to the company after World War I, and then the company was owned by various members of the Lando family. In 1982, Charlie became the owner of the company. Lisa joined the company about 10 years ago, after a very successful career as a motivational speaker for many years.

Lisa is a go-getter. As her husband, Barry, put it, she works harder and has more energy than anyone he knows. I agree.

She always has a kind word, a word of encouragement, for everyone. Little really gets her down. She's strong and sincere. She's the kind of person you want on your side. If your boat is sinking, you'd want her on board. She'd find a way to stop the sinking.

She rarely takes credit. She credits her team for her success; but she needs to realize, she's the captain of that team. She's a great leader. She cares deeply for her team members, which is why her team works so well for her. As much as she credits her team with being committed to her company, she is even more committed to them as workers — and more importantly, as human beings.

With Lisa at the helm, the Budget $aver Rainbow Array Twin Pops, will continue to move forward.

"Strong businesses that withstand the challenging tests of time are businesses built with a foundation of values, ethics and principles across all parts of the business," she said Sunday.

I am sure Lisa will never let that foundation melt away to nothing. And Charles (and Charlie!) would be proud.

ABOUT the facility:

• The two new state-of-the-art freezers are 40,000 square feet and can hold enough of the product to fill 175 tractor-trailers.

• The freezers are minus 20 degrees. (My nose hairs were freezing and my pinky fingertips were turning blue after just a couple of minutes!)

• The expansion effort has allowed Ziegenfelder to manage their frozen inventory inside the new facility, rather than ship it to outsourced frozen storage facilities in nearby states.

• The new product packaging area features state-of-the-art conveyors, motion sensors and packaging equipment for greater efficiency.

• The company manages a 24/7 operation with more than 75-full-time employees producing more than 1 million Twin Pops in a 24-hour period, and using more than 2 million sticks a day.

• Ziegenfelder is the second largest water customer in the city of Wheeling. (Mayor Andy McKenzie happily pointed out that fact during Sunday's dedication.)

Oh, and P.S. .... Budget Saver Twin Pops really are the most flavorful ice pops I've ever tasted ... especially the banana, oh, and the cherry .... and the ..... ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm. You can find them locally at Walmart, Riesbeck's, Convenient Food Mart, Giant Eagle, Foodland, Shop-N-Save, Save-A-Lot and other independent retailers. And if you can’t find them in your favorite grocery store, ask to speak to a manager and tell them you want Budget $aver Twin Pops!!!!


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