"I truly appreciate the entrepreneurial support that our city provides. There are great organizations and individuals who thrive on assisting entrepreneurs in so many ways." — Lynn Cooper, President of BFW
Leadership and giving back
Louisville attracting more aging innovation
Telehealth startup providing new care options
Expanding and collaborating COVID-19 testing
Biomedical tech advances
May 26, 2020
LOUISVILLE LEADERSHIP: LYNN COOPER
A smart businesswoman who wants to pay it forward
Lynn Cooper, President, BFW
Lynn Cooper is the president of BFW, which sells a high-quality range of headlights worn by surgeons and physicians that supplement the overhead lighting that is often blocked by the physicians themselves. Louisville Future caught up with Lynn this week.
Can you give us a little background on the company?
Cooper: BFW was started in 1971 by my father, Leon Cooper, formerly an IBM engineer, with friends who were surgeons in an effort to find a solution to the uncomfortable headlights in the market at that time. He went into the business full time in 1985 after retirement from IBM.
I joined the company in 1990 after a career in television production at KET. I started answering the phones and taking orders, moved to growing international sales, and became president of the medical division in 1994.
What are your duties in the company?
Cooper: I travel a lot to trade shows and distributor meetings/trainings. Up until now, the longest stretch I was ever in town was maybe two weeks. I have had to get used to being grounded and have been in Louisville since February 6th.
During this time, I have been focused on keeping my distributors engaged with training webinars and phone calls, and maintaining consistent communication with my staff, as well as with navigating the PPP and SBA opportunities that have been offered.
What adjustments has the company made during the pandemic?
Cooper: Since sales reps were temporarily unable to go into hospitals to sell/demo products, we created a method by which customers could order products with a simple, no-cost return policy. We are also creating short in-service videos the reps can provide their customers to teach them about the products.
You’re also an avid supporter of women’s issues. Can you tell us about what you’re doing in Louisville?
Cooper: I am currently involved with several organizations. I am one of the founders of Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NEW). Our main goal is to provide a relaxed, non-intimidating opportunity for women entrepreneurs (or women thinking of starting a business) to network and learn.
I serve as chair on the board of Anchal Project, which provides hope and a trade to women who had been forced into the sex trade in India by teaching them design and sewing to create a beautiful line of scarves, clothing, linens and now face masks.
I am also on the Advisory Board of Dress for Success, an organization that provides training to women in need who are heading back out into the workforce and provides clothing for them for interviews and for their first week of work.
What are the advantages of your company being located in Louisville?
Cooper: I truly appreciate the entrepreneurial support that our city provides. There are great organizations and individuals who thrive on assisting entrepreneurs in so many ways. The size of Louisville is manageable; it’s easier to get a handle on who and what is out there to help if you need it.
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EXCELLING IN HEALTH
Aging2.0 is moving its headquarters to Louisville
The Louisville Healthcare CEO Council has announced a strategic partnership with Aging2.0, a global innovation platform focused on aging. Aging2.0 is moving its international headquarters into LHCC’s new Corporate Innovation Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
“By connecting the LHCC corporate healthcare titans and their business challenges to an active network of innovators dedicated to the aging innovation space, we are changing the healthcare conversation about aging from being about challenges to being about opportunities,” added Tammy York Day, LHCC President and CEO.
The two groups are launching their partnership by co-hosting a Global Innovation Search that will provide an opportunity for innovators around the world to showcase their product or service and compete for international exposure.
Innovators interested in participating in the Global Innovation Search can learn more about the program and submit their application at www.aging2.com/gis. The deadline to apply is Monday, June 15 at 11:59pm PT.
Louisville firm launches telehealth consulting service
Telehealth has made great strides in recent years. It’s increasingly common for doctors and other health professionals to meet with their patients virtually to diagnose routine health concerns. But many organizations haven’t joined the telemedicine bandwagon because of regulatory concerns, technology barriers, or other obstacles. That’s a problem one Louisville company would like to address.
HSG has launched a virtual health consulting service to help hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other healthcare systems get on board with telehealth. And many desperately need to: With some providers seeing a 50% decrease in patient volumes, telehealth will be instrumental in keeping the revenue streams coming and keeping the doors open. This is especially true if, as many suspect, telehealth will become the “new normal” way to see patients after the pandemic is over.
Fortunately, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have relaxed restrictions and expanded reimbursement parameters in the wake of the pandemic, paving the way for telehealth to ramp up substantially. To help those impacted, HSG has released a free webinar called “Virtual Visits: Collecting Fees & Operational Logistics,” as well as additional information on billing codes and guidelines.
Louisville joins Rockefeller Foundation’s COVID-19 testing group
The Rockefeller Foundation has selected Louisville to join its COVID-19 Testing Solutions Group. The group aims to conduct 30 million tests per week and dramatically expand contact tracing. The Foundation believes that comprehensive testing, contact tracing, and data collection are keys to reopening economies around the world while scientists develop a vaccine. Louisville joins Honolulu, Tulsa, Washington D.C., Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, the state of Oregon, and the Navajo and Apache Nations as group members.
In addition to gaining help with testing and contact tracing, Louisville will participate with city, state, and tribal leaders in regular meetings to discuss best practices and ways to ramp up the fight against the pandemic. The foundation has pledged $15 million to the plan. A key focus is high-risk facilities like nursing homes and prisons, as well as underserved communities.
The testing plan is ambitious. The foundation wants to increase testing from its current one million per week to three million per week within eight weeks and 30 million per week within six months.
"We greatly appreciate the national leadership of The Rockefeller Foundation during this crisis and their selection of Louisville as a coalition member,” Louisville mayor Greg Fischer said. “This involvement will mean broader COVID-19 testing in Louisville and better outcomes for our community.”
"Ideas to Products” program funds biomedical research
The funding comes from XLN’s Ideas-to-Products (I2P) program, which offers proof-of-concept funding to accelerate biomedical technology for commercialization in the Southeast IDeA states. XLN’s External Advisory Committee (EAC) reviewed 55 proposals and scored them based on things like “unmet need, market size, competitive landscape, IP status, regulatory and reimbursement considerations, development milestones, and personnel.” Those that scored highest were recommended for funding, which totaled $200,000 for this round.
EAC chair Dr. David McLoughlin said, “Our EAC members were delighted to see the high quality of the proposals we were asked to review, and wished there were more funds to provide them, as we had to pick the very best from those that made it to the final group.”
HELPING OUR COMMUNITY
EZ-Chow offers lifeline for restaurants during pandemic
Mo Sloan’s business was doing just fine, but in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became a lifeline to restaurants using online ordering.
A former application architect for Papa John’s, Sloan founded EZ-Chow, a local company that offers solutions for restaurants, particularly an alternative platform that integrates with their existing point of sale software.
EZ-Chow now has roughly 300 restaurant locations either actively using the software or in development, and on average those restaurants report a 26 percent increase in online takeout and delivery sales since utilizing their custom apps.
During the pandemic, Sloan and business partner Sallie Clark are offering a "Relief Package" for restaurants that allows them to offer 40 menu items for delivery or takeout at an ongoing rate of $75 a month per location and a $0.75 transaction fee per order. The installation fee for the package has also been reduced from $995 to $495.
“None of us is an entrepreneur,” Sloan said. “At the end of the day, we’re a tech company. We just found a niche.”
In the 1930s, Louisville architect William Arrasmith was a leader nationally in the Art Deco style. He popularized a sleek variation of Art Deco known as Streamline Moderne, which emphasized curving forms and long horizontal lines.
He started a firm with Bill Tyler and designed the first Greyhound bus terminal in Louisville, which was built in 1937 at 5th and Broadway. The firm went on to design similar bus stations for Cleveland, Montgomery, Evansville, and several other cities.
Below is an image of Arrasmith's first bus station at 5th and Broadway:
All Arrasmith-designed bus stations still in existence are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and considered local treasures. Unfortunately, ours was destroyed in 1972 to become a parking lot with an Ollie's Trolley while a less-architecturally significant Greyhound bus station now awaits us at 8th and Muhammad Ali Bl.
Editor's note: Ollie's Trolley almost makes up for that loss.