The Daily Journal’s Main Street columnists Don Daake and Ed Piatt really need no introduction, as both have strong ties to business and education in greater Kankakee.
Daake and Piatt have been writing their weekly column, Main Street Business, for 11 years and have relayed their knowledge, expertise and experience as a public service.
“It’s been a pleasure working with the Journal and letting us write this column,” Piatt said. “We don’t get paid to do this. It is a labor of love, and this is how we give back to the community. We are very excited to continue on with the Journal. We’d like to thank you and the Small [family] for letting us do this.”
Both Piatt and Daake have Master of Business Administration and doctorate degrees and have taught business at Olivet Nazarene University for years. Daake came to ONU 25 years ago, and Piatt grew up in Kankakee.
“It is a trust the community and the Journal has put in us, and we feel a heck of a responsibility to do this,” Daake said.
The two have alternated each week writing Main Street since April of 2009.
“We thought there was something lacking from the business literature to the business readership,” Piatt said. “So we took some of the articles from the literature, and we put our slant on how to apply it to the practitioner, how to implement those strategies that they might not ever come across.”
Daake noted that academic research often lags behind was is pertinent for the present.
“People don’t realize textbooks, in many cases, are using literature that is three to five years old,” Daake said. “We’re always trying to be aware of what’s cutting edge and try to bring it out and make it readable because most academic journals aren’t. That is a lot of it.
“We try to use practical examples. When we can, we try to use as many Kankakee County area examples, and I think that makes it readable.”
They never get writer’s block when it comes to talking business, strategies and the latest marketing trends.
“We saw there was a real need for all of this information that just seems to be sitting out there in a vacuum,” Piatt said. “So I don’t think we’ve ever been stymied on ‘What do we write about this week?’ I think it’s more of cut it back, only so many words in this column.”
Each have had their columns picked up for distribution by the Associated Press.
“For us, that’s just sort of a validation that what we’re writing is being picked up and going across the world,” Piatt said. “That keeps us writing with the Journal because we want to make a difference.”
Now, once a month the column will focus more on local business and what problems or issues can the “professors” solve.
“We’re really excited to launch, Ask the Professor, which is what we’re going to do on the fourth Wednesday of each month where we take a question from the readership and put our spin on it,” Piatt said. “How we can apply seminal business literature to answer the business owner, the large shop or the small shop owners, how to implement this stuff?
“We sort of got that idea from years ago [Ask the Expert]. Let’s mix it up a little bit and get a little more involved with the reader.”
Daake said it’s a growing trend for academia and the media.
“We have introduced the concept of writing for the local newspaper to national conferences,” he said. “One of them was in Orlando and one in Tennessee. We’ve shared this with professors at other schools like Olivet and Trevecca.”
So they would like to hear about your experiences, whether it be customer service, marketing or business strategies. It can run the gamut.
“We do want to hear more feedback from the readers, especially in this column Dr. Daake and I are writing,” Piatt said. “What are those questions that you’re having? We might not always have the perfect answer. We might not always have the answer, but we’ll know where to get the answer. Certainly, we’ll make it applicable to get them to get to the next level.”