CNOtes – Optimist 2.0 November 21, 2019 – Vail Miller – Heidelberg Distributing – Chappy’s Social House

Guests and Members in Attendance

Steve Bennett
Lauren Delong
Rocky Matthews
David Mcgowan
Leslie Miller
Vail Miller
Mary Stahley
Mike Vallo
Gail Aiken
Jack Anderson
Diane Arehart
Brandon Barrett
Mike Cordonnier
Abby Davis
Kelly Davis
Gary DeMarco
Judy DeMarco
Emily Duke
Beth Duncan
Greg Fay
Stan Fronzaglia
Karin Gilstrap
Greg Griffin
Cindy Harris
Ken Hattan
Vida McDowell
Bryan Miller
Brian Nolan
Jean Pummill
Jack Quinlan
Ruthy Quinlan
Vince Reidy
Brent Richburg
Ashley Simeone
Michelle Tagliamonte
Nick Tarkany
Jayne Weikel

All Photos are Here

CNO 2.0 Venue and Details

The venue for tonight’s CNO 2.0 meeting was Chappys Social House at 880 Washington Village Drive. Thank you to the team at Chappys for hosting us.

There was a 50/50 drawing won by Ruthy Quinlan.

There were 38 people at the meeting (30 members and 8 guests).

Quarterly Teacher Recognition Awards

Nick Tarkany announced tonight that this quarter we are recognizing two outstanding Centerville Elementary School teachers, Sarah Storer from Normandy Elementary and Lauren Delong from Cline Elementary. Teachers are selected by administrators for going above and beyond to help educate the youth in our community. Each received a $25 gift certificates courtesy of Chappys.

New CNO 2.0 Member Induction

Greg Griffin inducted Abby Davis. She is sponsored by Vince Reidy.

Social Events

12/10/2019 – 6 – 8:45 PM, Tuesday, Holiday Party at Yankee Trace. Any member of CNO, CNO 2.0 or CNO St Leonard can sign up to attend the party.

CNO 2.0 Introduction

Greg Fay, the chair of CNO 2.0, said he was so thankful for all the guests and members that came to tonight’s meeting.

Greg Fay said that CNO 2.0 is a club within a club of the Centerville Noon Optimist club. CNO (and CNO 2.0) is a world class service organization. Being a member of either club allows their members all the same opportunities to participate in fundraising and club activities. CNO 2.0 was created nearly 3 years ago and is very much a part of the 51-year-old Centerville Noon Optimist Club. CNO has given away over $2 million during its history. CNO is a group of like-minded members that are passionate about helping youth and having fun in the process.

The speaker at each 2.0 meeting is someone with a local business success story.

Annual Fundraisers

  • Christmas Tree Lot, located behind the Centerville BMV
  • Avenue of Flags
  • Golf Outing


Major Activities for the youth in our community

  • Build-a-Bear at Children’s Hospital, 3 times a year
  • Fishing Derby in June
  • Kid’s day in the park in August
  • Easter Egg hunt

Vail Miller Jr – Heidelberg Distributing

Greg Fay introduced tonight’s speaker, Vail Miller Jr., the CEO of Heidelberg Distributing. Born in 1971, Vail Miller Jr. is a native of Kettering. He became the CEO in 2010. The owners of the business are his mother and uncle.

Vail’ wife Leslie Miller and their daughter were able to attend tonight’s meeting.

Heidelberg was started by Vail’s grandfather 80 years ago in 1909 by Albert W. Vontz, a 22-year-old German immigrant, who arrived in Cincinnati in 1907. Vontz’s only son, Albert Vontz Jr, returned from World War II and earned a degree in economics from the University of Cincinnati.

In 1959 Vontz Jr. purchased the Anheuser-Busch branch in Cincinnati for $25,000. In 1961 he purchased the Dayton Budweiser distributorship from another wholesaler. Vontz Jr. passed away in 2002, but not before the company had grown substantially through mergers, acquisitions and industry consolidation.

Miller Jr. started working for the company in 1982 at the age of 12. He took the bus downtown to fill vending machines.

Miller Jr. studied organizational behavior at Miami University. He met his future wife, Leslie, and worked for another distributor in Missouri. Then he went to work for Ernest and Julio Gallo.

Other family members work for Heidelberg as well. Miller Jr.’s sister manages contracts with brands and teamsters. His 7-year younger brother works in sales. Recently, his cousin joined the team.

Heidelberg is comprised of nine warehouse and office facilities located in Cincinnati (two companies), Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lorain, Toledo, Youngstown and Northern Kentucky.

Statistics about Heidelberg

  • 1,600 associates
  • 2800 people are covered under their health insurance
  • 18,000 beverages
  • 740 suppliers
  • Two million square feet of warehouse
  • 300,000 square feet of cooler space
  • Serving 26,000 retailers throughout Ohio and Kentucky

For 15 years Miller Jr, has had the Optimist Creed hanging in his office. His family follow the creed. Beth Duncan asked if he would fill out an application to join and he did.

Vail uses “Mind Hacking” to constantly improve himself. He is mindful to return calls quickly. He believes respecting who you are engaging with and “Be where your feet are”. He gets at least 3 hours of exercise per week. He makes sure he is showing his enthusiasm for everyone he has contact with.

Their business is about continuous improvement. He believes there is no failure, only results. Remember to be curious. He asks himself and others do we have grit. We are building brands.

It is important to do what is right, and not who is right. He wants to make great decisions each day for their employees and their customers.

He said there is an awesomeness when employees of the company leave and then return to Heidelberg. He did the same and it benefits the employee and the company.

When his kids were young, he traveled 180 days per year. His business is about making friends. It helps that his wife’s family also has a large business and understands the sacrifices necessary for success.

His grandfather loved the community. The company has been a big supporter of the Schuster Center and the Victoria Theater Association.

Vail Miller Jr, his wife Leslie and their children currently live in the house that Miller Jr. was raised in. It had been owned by other families, but he was able to purchase it.

Thank you, Vail Miller Jr., for taking the time to tell us about your experience growing up and working with the Heidelberg company.

CNO Donations 2013 through June 2019

Click this link to see a summary of the donations our club has made.

Over 50 years, we have donated close to $2,000,000 to our youth community. In the past 6 years, we have donated nearly $700,000.