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Meet the 98-year-old Centerville man starting his own business

After a lifetime of entrepreneurial and artistic pursuits, Centerville resident Nick Sabatino is taking on a new challenge — starting a business at 98 years old.

Sabatino, the former owner of an advertising agency in downtown Dayton, is now working to create a consulting firm for budding business owners and inventors.

The business, Say It With An Idea, will be comprised of retired architects, salesmen, artists, business owners and politicians who all have the goal of using their expertise to guide the next generation of innovators. Sabatino, and his wife Jody, said they believe their accumulated knowledge and talents shouldn’t be wasted in their late years.

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“It’s going to be simple,” he said. “No offices, no presidents, all owners. We’ll communicate with Skype and our only products will be ideas.”

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Essentially, the group will use its experience to come up with ideas for others. Sabatino said entrepreneurs and businesses can come to them for input, advice and ideas on their work. It could be help on an advertising campaign, turning an idea into a business plan or creating a slogan that will lure consumers in.

They will then refer to them to photographyand digital media companies, interior designers and advertisers to help the clients execute those plans.

And, ideas are all that Sabatino knows.

“Even though Nick is legally blind, he never quits, never feels sorry for himself,” Jody Sabatino said. “He still wakes up in the middle of the night with the most brilliant ideas. That’s how he’s always been.”

Nick,98, and Jodie Sabatino, 83, are working to start a new consulting firm comprised of retired professionals who will offer their expertise to budding professionals and innovators. KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF (Staff Writer)

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The former advertising executive is legally blind but his creative energy is fully intact. Those skills have taken him down many winding roads in life — from painting on a riverbank in Africa during a trip with former congressman Tony Hall to publishing a children’s book about Bill’s Donut Shop in Centerville.

Sabatino grew up in Dayton and went to Fairview High School. After serving in the U.S. Army, he came home and settled right back into his love of words and making art — eventually founding and owning Sabatino Advertising. The company is no longer in business.

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Even in his twilight years, Sabatino has his own website, Nick’s Library, where he sells his collection of children’s books like “The Tiny Donut With A Big Heart” and “Jake and Jack.”

Nick Sabatino was an accomplished business owner, author and artist before losing his eye sight. His wife, Jodie, said he has hundreds of cartoons that remain unpublished. KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF (Staff Writer)

Sabatino sat at his kitchen table with his wife, sipping black coffee and envisioning their potential venture. He sees no limits when it comes to the future of business, and offered simple advice to the entrepreneurs dreaming of turning their idea into reality.

“Just start doing it. Whatever your idea, just start.”

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