When Rob Paul, founder, CEO and chief science officer of Nawgan, created a functional beverage to improve brain performance, it was the science that came easy. Paul, after all, does have a science background. His standing as a university professor with a Ph.D. in biopsychology and a specialty in neuropsychology matched perfectly with his vision to create a functional brain improvement beverage. It was all of the other stuff, however – business operations, marketing and even flavor – that posed the greater challenges. 

Paul was settled on the science – an anchor combination of Cognizin, also known as citocoline, and caffeine met all of his thresholds for the functionality of the beverage. The Cognizin contains choline – which is available in many foods, such as potatoes, and cauliflower – as well as cytidine. In his research, Paul found that people who consume 250mg of Cognizin daily experience improved performance on a test of attention. So he made sure that every can of Nawgan would contain 250mg of Cognizin, as well. 

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Monarch Custom Beverages stays true to its name. As a contract beverage manufacturer, the Cold Spring Brewing Co. subsidiary works with private label-brand customers to provide each one with a unique product. Whether energy drinks, teas, juice, carbonated soft drinks, fruit-flavored beverages, beer or flavored malt beverages, Monarch Custom Beverages is able to walk its clients from A to Z and produce a one-of-a-kind quality beverage. The company’s manufacturing facility produces more than 30 million cases of canned and bottled beverages annually. In working with partner bottlers, Monarch Custom Beverages can produce in excess of another 10 million cases annually.

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Founded in 1945 as Southeastern Beverages Inc., a lot has changed about Craig Distributing over the years. But one thing that has always remained true about the company’s operations is its commitment to providing the best possible services to its local Indiana communities. 

Craig Distributing has been an exclusive Anheuser-Busch product line distributor for close to a decade. The company also has a Nestle division. Headquartered in Aurora, Ind., the company was once owned by a number of stakeholders. Today, the company is solely owned by Richard Craig. 

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Not many retailers have had the honor of being recognized for their time in their communities, but Clark Appliance soon will. For a century, the company has sold high-quality appliance products to people in Indianapolis.

“We’re one of the very few that has seen 100 years in our business,” President Bob Clark says. His grandfather, Revere Jacobs, started the business with a single store in 1913 that sold washing machines.

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Launched in California in 1997, Rocket Dog Brands has grown into one of the leading footwear brands for girls. The company’s roots stretch to the beach with its EVA and sport products, but it has evolved its collections and introduced full product lines in everything from casual, sandals, flats, dress and boots, and strives to deliver fashion trend relevant styling each season for this consumer. 

“Our brand is very California and playful, and we have been a leader for young girls and teens 15 to 17 with a broad appeal and crossover in the 19 to 25 range, as well,” CEO Cathy Taylor says. “We want to be true to our California roots and the DNA of our brand in casual and relaxed styling. We know our customer and we give her fashion and fun.”

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The world of women’s fashion is vast, with a seemingly infinite number of choices. Standing out among the ocean of brands that can be found in the world’s most popular department stores is a daunting proposition, but that’s a challenge Joyce Azria is only too eager to take on. As creative director of BCBGeneration, Azria says it’s her job to make sure the brand hits its target market with apparel that appeals to young women’s style and budget considerations. With five years already under its belt, it’s clear that BCBGeneration is living up to Azria’s expectations. 

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Innovation and good fortune can help any business get off to a good start. Such is the legacy of Architec Housewares, a growing designer, manufacturer and distributor of an array of unique housewares.

Architec Housewares is the housewares division of its family-owned parent company, Alice Ink, spearheaded by CEO Kathy Sellers.  The company also owns Plastec Lawn and Garden run by Sellers’ sister Susan Yeager who serves as president. Architec, which is led by Sellers’ daughter Jenna Sellers Miller as president and Erin Yergens as operations manager, has seen steady growth since it devised a cutting board with a non-slip surface known as The Gripper. It is now seeing additional opportunities arise. 

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The team that manufactures and sells OKA b. shoes knows exactly what its brand stands for. Director of Operations Davar Irvani says the challenge for the company today is making sure that message is relayed to its customers.

“I’ve been with OKA b. since September 2012, and I came in as director of operations to help rebuild the company,” Irvani says. “We are focused on rebuilding our sales team, redoing or marketing and refining our branding position.”

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