Interview with Frank Fleischer (79 year young inventor)
February 28, 2010
Interviewer: What are you up to these days, at almost 80 years young you must be kicking back and relaxing?
Frank: Hardly, I currently am the president of the Canton Inventor’s Association which I founded about 15 years ago. I recently invented a health care product to help realign people’s hips while sleeping. The product is being brought to market and is selling for example in nursing homes, drug stores, chiropractic offices, doctor’s offices, and other locations. At 79, I am sure that I am one of the “oldest new start-up” businesses in the country.
Interviewer: What is the patent pending product called?
Frank: “Nee-Z-eeZtm” which stands for “Knees Ease”.
Interviewer: How does the “Nee-Z-eeZtm” work?
Frank: Well unlike a pillow that moves when a person sleeps, the “Nee-Z-eeZtm” always rests properly in place because of the adjustable strap. We received an endorsement from a woman the other day that said with the “Nee-Z-eeZtm” she slept through the night for the first time in years. She has tremendous hip pain and she always slept with a pillow between her legs. When the pillow shifted during sleep she was always awakened by the pain. With the “Nee-Z-eeZtm” the device didn’t shift so she is now able to sleep through the night.
Interviewer: What has been different in the case of this invention?
Frank: My partner Andrew Spriegel has a lot of experience in commercializing products. He has helped out quite a bit in the process. In addition, he owns his own law firm, Spriegel & Associates, LLC (www.mspatentlaw.com) Patent & Trademark Attorneys.
Interviewer: Who manufactures the Nee-Z-eeZ?
Frank: Goodwill Industries in Akron, Ohio
Interviewer: Tell me about Goodwill Industries of Akron, Ohio
Frank: They do a great job for us (Invoflo, LLC) and other companies and like other industries they have to meet ISO quality standards.
Interviewer: What other companies does Goodwill do work with?
Frank: They do packaging work on the Purell product for GOJO Industries, the do work for Dell Computers and many other large companies.
Interviewer: Do you have other inventions?
Frank: Yes, I invented a dog related product years ago with my wife, Barb.
Interviewer: How long have you been married?
Frank: 50+ years
Interviewer: What is your background in business?
Frank: My Brother and I owned and managed Fleischer Shoe Company, a family business which was started in 1920 by my Dad. The chain of stores was full family shoe stores specializing in orthopedic and functional footwear. My brother and built the business into one of the largest family owned shoe store chains in the United States. Mr. We also owned the Fleischer advertising agency doing advertising and promotions for our shoe chain, other merchants, and some of our shoe manufacturers.
Interviewer: You were also a hypnotist, is that correct?
Frank: I owned and operated an office for clinical and forensic hypnosis after graduating from the Ohio Academy of Hypnosis in the above two fields. I also graduated from the Ohio Institute of Medical Hypnosis in their post graduate program. I was a member of the Association to Advance Ethical Hypnosis and the International Society for Professional Hypnosis. I also graduated from the Ohio State Police Officers course in forensic hypnosis at the Ohio State Police Academy at London, Ohio. Frank was also certified to conduct lie detector tests utilizing a voice stress analyzer and was a member of the Ohio Truth Verification Society
Interviewer: What medical type organizations have you been involved with?
Frank: I knew you would ask me that so Barb helped be type up a list. I was one of the founders of the Prescription Association of America, serving on their board of directors for many years. I was one of the founders of the American Board of Certification in Pedorthics and on their board of directors and certification board.
Interviewer: What is Pedorthics?
Frank: It is the design, manufacture, fitting, and modification of shoes and related foot appliances as prescribed for relief of painful or disabling conditions of the foot and leg.
Interviewer: What volunteer organizations are you a member?
Frank: The Canton Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors of the Downtown Canton Retail Merchants Association, Mayor Stanley Cmich’s Taskforce on Crime chairing their safety forces committee, the Board of Director of the Philomatheon Society of the Blind of Canton Ohio, the board of Community Wellness Center of Canton, Ohio, I served on the Board of Directors of Coming Together of Stark County (formerly Town Hall of race relations), since the inception of this organization and along Barb, we mentored at risk 5th grade students. I was a member of Canton Rotary and was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by the Club. I was also a member of Canton Masonic # 60 and a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Canton.
Interviewer: You were a musician?
Frank: Well I still am but as a teenager, I traveled the country with some of the major big bands as a jazz percussionist. I also played with the Canton Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Louis Lane.
Interviewer: Why did you stop playing in the bands?
Frank: My Dad was supplementing my income while I played in band because I was spending more than I earned. One day he said “Frank get your ass home and come to work for me or I am cutting off funding your lifestyle”.
Interviewer: What other plans do you have for the future and are you going to slow down?
Frank: Are you kidding? I’m just getting started!
Interviewer: How long have you and Barbara been married?
Frank: 54 + years.
Interviewer: Tell me about Barbara.
Frank: Wonderful, smart,even-tempered, loving, patient and settling.
Interviewer: How has Barb helped you in life?
Frank: She has been my advisor and my sounding board in every endeavor that I have been involved in since we were married. She has never said no to anything that I really wanted to do or accomplish
Interviewer: How have you stayed married so long?
Frank: Love, communication, respect, and the fact that she never chews me out until 11 pm, and when she says Frank Fleischer we need to talk at 11 pm I know I’m in trouble.
Interviewer: Tell me about your children and grandchildren.
Frank: We have three sons. Our oldest son is a computer software engineer graduating from MIT in three years, our next son graduated from the Conservatory at Oberlin, receiving his masters degree in conducting from University of Indiana, and is a classical conductor; our youngest son graduated from Kent State University and is now an entrepreneur. We have six grand children.
Interviewer: Tell me about Romeo!
Frank: What can I say about the smartest dog I’ve ever owned? In my life I have had many dogs all of them wonderful pets. But I have never owned a dog as smart as Romeo. I have never had a dog that would stand face to face and argue with me. He has gone through every obedience class with flying colors.
Interviewer: Tell me about your restaurant.
Frank: The concept of our restaurant was way ahead of its time. We opened a gourmet carry out with seating in the restaurant for about 36 people. Every two weeks our dinner menu changed. We would serve from a menu of cuisine from a different country. Our lunch menu ran the gauntlet from Beluga Caviar to Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches.
Interviewer: Did you ever commercialize your previous patent?
Frank: No. When I talked with manufacturers of dog runs about making and marketing my safe T run they told me that my Run was too expensive to manufacture.
Interviewer: How are you advertising the “Nee-Z-eeZ”?
Frank: Every way possible, but we are primarily we are going to utilize the Internet.
Interviewer: What do you know about the Web?
Frank: Very Little!
Interviewer: How are you handling the new technology?
Frank: Kicking and Screaming all the way
What do you know about social networking and Blogs?
Frank: Very little but I am learning fast.
Why didn’t you go to Florida this year?
Frank: Because starting up a new business necessitated my remaining in Ohio
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Frank: Marrying my wife and having my children
What is your biggest regret?
Frank: The only regret I have with my life was opening the restaurant in Nashville. I moved Barbara too far from family. Nobody was happy but me. My children complained that we were too far away so I closed the restaurant and moved back North.