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Top Rated Home Based Businesses


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									             There’s no place
             like home
Home-based businesses are growing more
                                                                              By Jennifer Charney

popular and more profitable for industry,
for families and for the environment.

             The 90s workquake is                           20.7 million income-generating home
             shaking the foundations of                                cs                   s rgt
                                                               The fore a t for the future i b i h ,
             the traditional American                       Knowlton says. The 1999 year-end
                                                            estimate is 52.7 million home office
             w orkplace, workday and,                       households.
             indeed, life as we knew it.                      Oakland University alumni are part o   f
               As computers and faxes make it easier         h s rend. Heres a l o a a f
                                                            ti t                 o k t ew:
             to telecommute, more people are swapping
             their cubicles for home offices.                 Susan (Armstrong) Williams
               John Knowlton, editor of the top-rated Web     SBA 76, MBA 79
             site, Business@Home (, s yas      Milestone Marketing LLC
             m o re Americans are opting to head for          Rochester Hills, Michigan
             home fo t e fo l
                      r h    l owing reasons:                 W illiams company provides customized
             o People are very pressed for time because     marketing research and market analysis
               they commute and work all day. They          and planning. She also works with human
               w ant to make a life while they make a       resources firms to evaluate people for
               living. They need more f reedom and          management positions. Her clients range
               fexibility in the way they conduct                                         from sole
               their personal and professional                                            proprietors t  o
               lves. W
                i      orking from home give you
                                              s                                           corporate
               that freedom. Y don t have t
                               ou             o                                           giants,
               commute. Y have more time to
                            ou                                                            including the
               spend with family and friends.                                             Big Three
             o Corporate downsizing has forced                                            automakers   .
               m o re middle management people                                                       lim
                                                                                          David, Wi l a s
               to become independent                                                      husband and a
               contractors .                                                              W ayne State
             o People want to reap the full rew ards                                      University
               of their own effort.
                                  s                                                       faculty
             o Many people are deciding they only                                         member,i a  s
               go around in life once and they                                            somewhat
               should do what they l fo a
                                      ove r                                               silent partner
               living, rather than what they have                                         who helps with
               t d.
                o o                                                                       statistical
             o Others s a businesses to
                        t rt                                                              analysis.
               accommodate disab l t e .
                                    iiis                                                    W illiams has
               At the end of 1997, America chalked up       w orked for herself since 1989.

                                                                                           Spring/Summer 1998   11
                                        t i n t rt
                                      I d d t s a out to be a home-based         Patricia (Roan) Judd                                                       t irre.
                                                                                                                                 and researching folklore a l b a i s                             go
                                                                                                                                                                                       David Wi t n
                                                    y t s h as           l
                                   business the wa i i , s e s y . I a ways        SEHS 73                                                                                ou
                                                                                                                                    It doesn t seem like work, she says. Y re          CAS 72
                                   w as in marketing. The company I worked         Beyond Storytelling                           happier and you re actually putting in more           W igton Pipe Organs Inc.
                                   f was sold and reorganized. It came at          Birmingham, Michigan                          hours than you would on a conventional job.           Dryden, Michigan
                                   a time when I thought maybe I should            Getting pink-slipped from her                   But Judd shares complaints common                   W igton s corner of Dryden is alive with the
                                   think about what I want to do.                alternative high school teaching job            among people who work at home: I get                sound of music.
                                     So Williams started working                 turned out to be an ideal impetus for           lonely sometimes, she says.                           Six years ago, he designed his basement as a
                                   occasionally for individual clients.          Judd.                                                                                               w orkshop and built a 30-foot tall addition to
                                   She kept busy through re e r l .                 I had a choice to be let go or be put in a      Ann Clancy                                       his barn to set up large instruments. The
                                     W illiams draws on her 20 years o  f        standard English class, she says. I wa  s          CAS 72, MA 81                                                                   bit
                                                                                                                                                                                     organs are custom made or re u l for
                                   experience, including 10 years a as n         not interested in being that kind of an            Clancy Consultants Inc.                          churches, most of them in Michigan and
                                   engineering administrator for Ford                              I
                                                                                 English teacher.ts too sedentary.                  Billings, Montana                                Ohio.
                                   Motor Company.                                  So Judd in 1976 started a home-based              In ever liked working in organizations
                                     T wo years ago, she decided to focus on     business that evolved into Beyond                ale n y ie          ut et h
                                                                                                                                 e r i r i m l f . I j s f l t ey were rather
                                   building the business, reorganizing the                                    l o t es 0
                                                                                 Storytelling. Now she trave s t a l a t 7       stifling. I like to do things on my own, says
                                   W illiams Group under Milestone               daylong bookings annually. She combines         Clancy,  owner of a writing business that
                                   Marketing.                                    mime, puppetry, Irish drumming,                 developed into her present enterprise.
                                         l i m oves her work. One reason she
                                     W ilasl                                     improvisational acting and dialects to             Clancy helps companies with strategic
                                   w orks at home is because she doesn t         perform multicultural folk and fairy tales,     planning, fostering teamwork and diagnosing
                                   w ant to supervise a staff every day. S e     myths and current literature   .                problems such as decreased productivity. H r  e
                                   contracts clerical help, focus groups and       She s performed at the Smithsonian            clients include oil and coal companies in
                                   field interview ers according to her                                                          Montana.
                                   projects needs.                                                                                 Clancy started a writing business in 1983,
                                     She s a huge supporter of people who                                                        producing public relations materials such as
                                   w ork at home.                                                                                newsletters and speeches. She got contracts
                                       An out-of-home office won t                                                               after six months of distributing resumes and
                                   necessarily enhance service for my                                                            describing her services to area businesses.
                                    let, h as
                                   cins sesy.                                                                                      Referrals kept her busy from then on.
                                     Occasionally clients meet her at her                                                          Clancy says she s always made much more             He could be working in a pipe organ
                                   office, but she usually meets them at                                                         m o n ey than she did working for someone                      u e
                                                                                                                                                                                     factory. B t h relishes the freedom of
                                            r ie
                                   their wo k s t .                                                                               le
                                                                                                                                 es.                                                 managing his own business out in the
                                     W illiams realizes she might need an                                                          But the most satisfying rew ard of running        country and working with a staff of
                                   office in the next 12-18 months                                                               her business, she says, is being in charge of her   just two.
                                   because the business occupies three                                                                       u
                                                                                                                                 destiny. B t you worry a lot because you are          He started the company in 1977 by pooling
                                   rooms of her house. And it s g rowing.                                                                                       h a s ou
                                                                                                                                 in charge of your destiny, s e s y . Y re           m o n ey in a partnership. The partnership
                                      I m re l y resisting getting an                                                             oey
                                                                                                                                 s l l responsible for getting and keeping                                   ae
                                                                                                                                                                                     dissolved 1-1/2 years l t r, then Wigton
                                   outside office, she says. I like working                                                      w ork.                                              continued on with the business. He got
                                   here. One of the nicest things is the                                                             t
                                                                                                                                     I s constantly with you. The only wa Iy         started by handling subcontracts for another
                                   commute. V    ery often we work late into     Institution s Discovery Theatre and the                al
                                                                                                                                 can re l y relax is to leave my home.               builder and renting space in a church
                                    h ih. t
                                   t e n g t I s nice to be here when the        Kennedy Center for the Perf  orming                                                                 basement.
                                   children get home from school.                A rts in Washington, D.C., Michigan art                                                               W igton says the hardest part of managing a
                                     One challenge is sticking to the work.      Museums, Meadow Brook Music Festiva      ls                                                         home-based business is juggling domestic
                                    I was raised in the era that said you have           n
                                                                                 Childre s Concert Series, and schools and                                                            uis
                                                             lim as o t
                                   to be superwoman, Wi l a s s y . S i s        churches.                                                                                              Ive got two teenagers now there a l t  re o s
                                   hardfor me to walk past the laundry and           I had been perf                  s
                                                                                                    orming since I wa a                                                              m o re places they have to be ferried to, he
                                   the dishes.                                   kid, Judd says, including her stint with a                                                          says. When somebody forgets something at
                                     Taking vacations is tough, too. She         mime company at OU. It took me about                                                                                                         iey o
                                                                                                                                                                                     school or theyre home sick, it s more l k l t
                                   doesn t have the benefit of paid days off.    s            o
                                                                                  even years t really make a full-time                                                               impact me than it used to.
                                                              h t h as
                                   But the trade-off is wort i , s e s y ,       living at it, she says. I m making what I                                                             His advice to prospective entrepreneurs   :
                                   because it srew arding to master new          w ould have been making if I had been                                                                Looking back on it, a business plan would
                                   sil.                                          teaching, which is fine with me.                                                                                                  e
                                                                                                                                                                                     have been good, he says. W werereally
                                                                 l n eln
                                      Ive never been comfortab e i a s l i g        Most of her business comes from repeat                                                           undercapitalized. But by the grace of God and
                                     l. t
                                   roe I s one of the hardest things for me                    fras
                                                                                 clients and re e r l .                                                                                                  ,          d
                                                                                                                                                                                     a lot of long hours we survive .
                                              lim as
                                   to do, Wi l a s s y .                                                  r t
                                                                                    Judd likes her work fo i s variety:
                                     So she finds that winning business          w orking with different people in different                                                         Jennifer Charney runs a home-based writing
                                   contracts and doing a good job are the        places.                                                                                             business in Ferndale, Michigan. Local, national
                                                                                                                                                                                     and international consumer publications have
                                   most satisfying benefits of her enterprise.      A typical day may include arranging
                                                                                                                                                                                     featured her stories.
                                    Ilove what I do, she says.                   bookings, perf orming for kindergartners

12   Oakland University Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                        Spring/Summer 1998   13
                                                                                                                                              Emlen, who has witnessed firsthand Reeve’s                 wasps, a particular interest of Gamboa’s.
                                                                                                                                           meteoric rise, says, “He’s very friendly,                        “I knew instantly he was the best and
                                                                                                                                           extremely brilliant, an excellent empiricist and              brightest student I had ever seen,” Gamboa says
                                                                                                                                           he’s always ready to listen and discuss ideas. He             of Reeve. “I had never even known another
                                                                                                                                           can translate ideas rapidly into mathematical                 biologist with his skills. He was that good then.”
                                                                                                                                           models to tighten them up and see where the                      The feelings were mutual.
                                                                                                                                           flaws and key assumptions are.”                                  “George has no ego,” Reeve says. “He’s a

                                                                                                                                              Reeve takes the high praise in stride.                     straight shooter. His thinking was extremely
                                                                                                                                              “If I have a talent, it’s the nose for the right           precise.”
                                                                                                                                           questions,” he says. “I’m driven to search for a                 Reeve earned a master’s at OU in 1984 and a
                                                                                                                                           unified vision of social animals and social                   Ph.D. from Cornell in 1988. He then entered
                                                                                                                                           systems. It’s my life’s mission.”                             the prestigious Junior Faculty Fellowship at
                                                                                                                                              Reeve met Gamboa at the University of Texas                Harvard for three years.

               Studying undergrounD mole rats                                                                                              at San Antonio, where Gamboa was an assistant
                                                                                                                                           professor. After completing his bachelor’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                            When he finished the fellowship, the job
                                                                                                                                                                                                         offers were overwhelming.
                                                                                                                                           degree in 1979, Reeve and Jan
                                                                      pushes alumnus to                                                    Shellman, his wife, who now is
                                                                                                                                           studying termites as a Cornell
                                                                                                                                           doctoral fellow, later followed
                                                                   the top of his field                                                    Gamboa to OU in 1981. They
                                                                                                                                           continued their study of social
                                                                                                       By Theodore G. Coutilish

                                                                                         Reeve muses about his shortcomings with,

                                                hinking too much
                                                                                      true to his scientific nature, a carefully crafted
                                                about biology gets in
                                                the way of life for H.                   “I am very prone to recognition errors in
                                                Kern Reeve MS ’84.                    accordance with optimal discrimination
                                   It’s not that Reeve, an assistant professor at     theory,” he says, laughing. “I have to be careful
                                   Cornell University, enjoys thinking about social   because the photographers at Cornell are
                                   biology. It’s virtually all he thinks about.       waiting for slip-ups during speeches. They
                                      “He lives and breathes it,” says George         might have a field day with me.”
                                   Gamboa, Reeve’s biology professor at Oakland          They must wait their turn.
                                   University and longtime colleague and friend.         Social biological experts are having their way
                                      But being overly concerned with the social      now praising Reeve. At age 41, Reeve’s deep
                                   structure and organization of naked mole rats,     passion, unique ability to excel in fieldwork
                                   for example, can get in the way of even            and mathematical and theoretical models, and
                                   mundane tasks. Such as remembering to leave        hard work makes him one of the most highly
                                   the office with his suit coat. Or getting in his   regarded behavioral biologists in the world.                                                                                      “He was the hottest in the
                                   car. Or knowing even what clothes he has on.          “There are a great deal of people interested                                                                                 market,” Gamboa says. “He
                                       “He’s not what I would call a snappy           in his work,” says David Pfennig, assistant                                                                                     applied for six top positions
                                   dresser,” Gamboa says. “When he was at OU,         professor, Biology, University of North                                                                                         throughout the nation with
                                   his socks often didn’t match.”                     Carolina. “He’s a great scientist and he’s                                                                                      hundreds applying for each and
                                      Stephen Emlen, professor, Behavioral            having a positive impact in his field. The sky’s                                                                                got all six offers.”
                                   Ecology, Cornell University, says Reeve is a       the limit for Kern.”                                                                                                              Reeve chose Cornell,
                                   great, albeit cluttered colleague. “Kern has a        Gamboa agrees.                                                                                                               considered by most to be the top
                                   very crisp, organized mind, but a totally             “Kern is going to be a giant in his field. He’s                                                                              school in the study of animal
                                   chaotic office,” he says. “How he finds            already published more papers than most                                                                                         behavior, and continued pursuing
                                   anything, nobody knows.”                           biology professors in their careers.”                                                                                           research of social wasp structures.

                                                                                                                                           H. Kern Reeve MS ’84 examines the social structure of naked mole
                                                                                                                                           rats (upper right).
14   Oakland University Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Spring/Summer 1998   15
                                                                                    throughout the entire animal kingdom. It’s

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Alumni News
                                      Researchers study them, in part, to draw                                                     OUAA to honor alumni,            Administration, Des Moines,          Society, Oakland’s highest
       H. Kern                        parallels with human organizational
                                      structures. From this study, researchers
                                                                                    tremendously exciting.”
                                                                                       Reeve’s research has two goals: 1) to
                                                                                                                                   volunteers at banquet            Iowa, won The Odyssey
                                                                                                                                                                    Award, which recognizes
                                                                                                                                                                                                         philanthropic group. Their
                                                                                                                                                                                                         philanthropy includes a
       Reeve —                        hope to learn best how to organize people     better understand why social systems are
                                                                                                                                   The Oakland University
                                                                                                                                   Alumni Association on
                                                                                                                                                                    alumni whose lives exemplify
                                                                                                                                                                    OU’s motto, “to seek courage
                                                                                                                                                                                                         scholarship, a lab in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Science and Engineering
       snapshot                       in small groups, accomplish tasks and
                                      regulate themselves with minimal group
                                                                                    shaped the way they are to help better
                                                                                    understand human systems and 2) to
                                                                                                                                   September 18 will honor
                                                                                                                                   extraordinary alumni and OU
                                                                                                                                                                    and knowledge.” For years as
                                                                                                                                                                    a student, Clark volunteered
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Building, and soon a new golf

       of a                           conflict.
                                         The study of naked mole rats has been
                                                                                    develop a general theory on the evolution
                                                                                    of societies that predicts levels of
                                                                                                                                   volunteers at its fifth annual
                                                                                                                                   awards banquet. Michael
                                                                                                                                                                    long, erratic hours to help
                                                                                                                                                                    troubled Vietnam veterans          All in the family
       researcher                     pivotal in developing a general theory of
                                      social evolution since the mammals are
                                                                                    competition and cooperation.
                                                                                       “This information can be used to better
                                                                                                                                   Grieves MBA ’79, president
                                                                                                                                   and CEO, Data Systems
                                                                                                                                                                    find jobs, deal with marriage
                                                                                                                                                                    difficulties and cope with
                                                                                                                                                                    other problems. His work
                                                                                                                                                                                                       The family of the late Roderic
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Righter, a School of Education
                                      actually more closely akin to the insects     design human social systems to minimize        Network Corporation,                                                and Human Services professor,
                                                                                                                                                                    with the VA has been
       Favorite author:               than human structure.                         conflict and reduce selfishness,” Reeve        Farmington Hills, will receive                                      has roots that run deep at
                                                                                                                                                                    recognized for making
       Ed Wilson,                        Mole rats are new territory for            says. “My ultimate goal is to understand       the Distinguished Alumni         substantial progress in helping    Oakland University. Five of his
       a social biologist.            behavioral scientists. Discovered in Africa   cooperation vs. conflict so that we all        Achievement Award. The           clients.                           six children earned OU degrees:
                                      during the 1970s, the hairless animals look   benefit.”                                      award recognizes outstanding        Five people will receive        David Righter MBA ’92;
                                      like little pink walruses and exist only         Reeve has come so far, so quickly,          professional achievement.        The Spirit Award, which            Donald Righter SEHS ’90,
       Last book read: The                                                                                                                                          recognizes exemplary
                                      underground. They have a true queen who       Gamboa says.                                   Grieves built his company                                           MA ’97; Rebecca Righter Smith
       Wisdom of the Hive by Tom      is responsible for all reproduction,             “Kern has given me the greatest gift a      from less than $30 million in    volunteer service to the
                                                                                                                                                                                                       MBA ’81; Roberta Righter
       Seeley.                                                                                                                                                      university:
                                      complex social structures and division of     teacher could have,” he says. “I always feel   revenues to more than $130                                          Gilman MA ’84; and Rosemary
                                                                                                                                                                    • Susan Jezewski Evans
                                      labor between the young and the old.          satisfied when my students do well and I’m     million in three years. He and      CAS ’88, federal judicial law   Righter Hall MAT ’88.
       Secret to my success:             Their reproductive and organizational      extremely excited about his success. To this   his wife, Diane SBA ’83,            clerk for, the Honorable
                                      structures have amazed researchers.           day, he still gives me lots of valuable        donated $204,375 in 1997 to         George E. Woods, Detroit.
       Being persistent in
                                         “Most sacrifice their own breeding to      feedback. He hasn’t changed. He’s still        support information                 Evans serves on the OUAA
       pursuing my goals.                                                                                                                                              Board of Directors and has
                                      help others, particularly their relatives,”   modest, unassuming and has a great sense       technology initiatives at the
                                      Reeve says. “They police breeding levels      of humor.”                                     School of Business                  chaired the alumni awards
       My tombstone will read:                                                         Even about himself — and his socks.         Administration and to fund a        banquet and homecoming
                                      and will punish those who do not follow
                                                                                                                                                                       committees. She was also on
       He tried to discover as        the rules by being aggressive. These are                                                     martial arts room at Oakland.
                                                                                                                                                                       the Honors College Alumni
       much as he could in the        common selective pressures that affect the     Theodore G. Coutilish is editor of Oakland    Michael Grieves is chair,           Book Scholarship
       time he had.                   structure and reproduction of societies       University Magazine.                           President’s Technology              committee.
                                                                                                                                   Advisory Board, and chair,       • James and Anne Howlett.
                                                                                                                                   SBA Board of Visitors. Diane        He is president and senior
       Ten years from now I . . . :                                                                                                Grieves is an OU Foundation         managing partner, Beier
       Hope to be at Cornell                                                                                                       director and vice chair,            Howlett PC, Bloomfield
                                                                                                                                                                       Hills. He has donated his
       studying social animals                                                                                                     Investment and Gift Policy                                                                     Roderic               Diedra    Angela
                                                                                                                                                                       services as legal counsel to                                         Elsie
       and refining a unified                                                                                                      Committee.                          the OUF since 1966. He also       So have his in-laws:                                  Deric
                                                                                                                                     Gary Laidlaw CAS ’64, first                                                                    Rebecca       Donald
       theory of social evolution.                                                                                                                                     served as general counsel       Donald’s wife, Diedra
                                                                                                                                   vice president, Comerica                                                                                               David Bradley
                                                                                                                                                                       for the university. He and      Schepler Righter
                                                                                                                                   Bank, Warren, earned the                                                                            Rosemary
                                                                                                                                                                       Anne are members of the         BA ’94 and Roberta’s
                                                                                                                                   Distinguished Alumni Service                                                                  Roberta
       Advice to alumni:                                                                                                                                               Alfred G. Wilson philan-        husband, Brad
                                                                                                                                   Award, which recognizes             thropic society. She is a       Gilman, have taken
       Their investment
                                                                                                                                   volunteer leadership and            member of the Meadow            OU graduate classes;
       in OU will yield                                                                                                            service to the university.                                          and Angela Righter,
                                                                                                                                                                       Brook Theatre Advisory
       payoffs.                                                                                                                    Laidlaw has been an active          Board.                          David’s wife, just enrolled at       The Righter family has a long
                                                                                                                                   OUAA supporter since his                                            Oakland to pursue teacher            history of OU involvement.
                                                                                                                                                                    • Stephan and Rita Sharf.
                                                                                                                                   graduation. He served as a          He is president, SICA           certification. Donald was an OU
                                                                                                                                   member of the OUAA Board            Corporation, Troy. As a         baseball player. And Roderic,
                                                                                                                                   of Directors Executive Alumni       couple, they chaired the        who taught at Oakland for 30
                                                                                                                                   Committee, Kresge Library           Meadow Brook Music              years, even coached the
                                                                                                                                   Campaign; Executive                 Festival. He served on the      baseball team.
                                                                                                                                   Committee, Charlie Gehringer        OU Board of Trustees from         “Our dad thought very highly
                                                                                                                                   Golf Classic; President’s Club      1987-94, and has been an        of Oakland,” Rebecca says,
                                                                                                                                   and Matilda R. Wilson               OUF director since 1985.        explaining that he worked until
                                                                                                                                   Society. He is also an OU           She is a member of the          he died in 1996. “He just really
                                                                                                         Reprinted with
                                                                                                                                   Foundation director.                Meadow Brook Theatre            loved to teach. He didn’t really
                                                                                                         permission from
                                                                                                                                      Jerry Clark CAS ’75,             Advisory Board. Both are        want to retire.”
                                                                                                                                   director, Counseling, Veterans      members of the Founders
                                                                                                         University Press
16   Oakland University Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Spring/Summer 1998   17

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