Indie art show in Tiffin tomorrow

Local gallery to donate proceeds to art festival, scholarship

Art Gallery 4Local body and visual arts studio Red Raven Tattoo Gallery  will host this Saturday the latest in a series of indie art shows highlighting the creative talents of up and coming local artists. This Saturday’s show will display 21 works in the skateboard art genre by 12 area artists.

The show will run 6 to 9 pm, auction off the pieces, and proceeds will benefit the scholarship of this year’s Tiffin Music and Art Festival (June 12-13). In addition, 125 other art works will be on display and for sale. Separate donations to the TMAF Scholarship will also be accepted.

Tiffin’s vibrant arts scene is beginning to become more well known. Other arts offerings in Tiffin include:

Public transit open forum to be held June 9

The Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce together with the Heidelberg Business Institute invites the Tiffin area business community to an open forum on adding additional public bus service within the City of Tiffin.  This important meeting will be held on June 9th, 6:00pm, at the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services office at 19 West Market Street.
The Heidelberg Business Institute (HBI) agreed to conduct a feasibility study on behalf of Seneca County Area Transit (SCAT) to estimate demand for a flex-route bus service in the city of Tiffin.  One goal of adding a flex-route service is to spur economic development by making local businesses more accessible to people with limited transportation options.  Likely users of a flex-route bus service include college students, the elderly, and people with limited incomes.  Another goal of additional bus service would be making it easier to attract and retain employees who find it difficult to afford and maintain their own personal vehicle.     
If your business could use more customers, or needs help attracting employees, please join us on June 9th to share your input in developing this very important project.
Please contact John Detwiler, if you would like to attend. 

Two downtown buildings to be updated

94-96 S. Washington

94-96 S. Washington

Façade Enhancement Grant supports $35,000 for improvements

Last week, the Architectural Board of Review approved Façade Enhancement Grants for 94/96 and 190 South Washington Street, the sixth and seventh Façade Enhancement Grants of 2015. Combined, nearly $35,000 will be invested in exterior improvements, with more than $12,000 funded through the grant.

Dr. Robert Shreiner plans to put $4,750 into the exterior of his building at 190 South Washington Street. Updates will include the restoration of five windows, which are to be rebuilt with the exact details of the originals, and the painting of window jambs and an exterior door, both of which will match the original color.

190 S. Washington

190 S. Washington

Improvements will also be made to the outside of 94 and 96 South Washington Street. The $10,000 awarded for the project will go toward the repair of damaged areas of the roof, and the installation of EPDM, a durable synthetic rubber coating. The expected investment for the project is $30,000.

Both buildings have been standing in downtown Tiffin since before the turn of the 20th century. Former businesses to occupy 94/96 include a china dealer, a tailor, a real estate and insurance office and Sacksteder Bros. printing. The building at 190 S. Washington was once Harding and Harding, which sold farm implements and serviced buggies, wagons, plumbing and well-drilling. Today it is the site of Dr. Shreiner’s optometry practice.

Free small business seminars in Tiffin

Small Business Development Center Director Bill Auxter

Small Business Development Center Director Bill Auxter

Thinking about starting a business? Or wondering how to expand the small business you have already? The Ohio Small Business Development Center at Terra State Community College is offering free, two-hour seminars every month on how to start, buy, or expand a small business. Topics covered include the basics of name registration, licensing, taxes, advisors, business entities, employees, insurance, financing, business planning and more.

Bill Auxter, a small business owner himself (Auxter Printing Services) and Director of the Ohio Small Business Development Center for the area (located in Fremont), will be leading the sessions.

Seminars will be held at the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce, 19 West Market Street, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on the following days:

  • June 10
  • August 12
  • September 9
  • October 14
  • November 11

More information and a complete list of times and locations can be found here. To register, contact Bill Auxter at 419.559.2210 or


Tiffin makes list of best commuter cities

Last week, Tiffin was recognized for another aspect of its great quality of life. The Utah-based insurance company Obrella just published their list of the best commuter cities in Ohio, and Tiffin was in the top 15%, ranking 25th out of 173 communities evaluated.

In its research, Obrella looked at the traffic data from the most recent census survey in cities with a population of more than 10,000 to compile a list of the 40 best and worst commuter cities. There are 173 such cities in Ohio. The results? While the average American travels 25 miles to work each way, the average Tiffin commuter travels less than 20 miles (about a 20% time savings), and the majority of residents travel 15 minutes or less (a 40% time savings).

Add to this the fact that Tiffin also has the third highest percentage of public transit users among the cities listed. For a small community, Tiffin continues to work on its public transit to improve quality of life. SCAT, for instance, provides great, inexpensive transportation throughout Tiffin, Fostoria, and all of Seneca County.

It’s just another reason why it’s great to live, find workers, and grow a business here.

2015_05_12 - 40-best-254


SIEDC honors local businesses, announces new projects

Awards presented and $350,000 in projects announced at Annual Meeting

TIFFIN, OHIO – April 28, 2015 – The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) held its 2015 Annual Meeting Tuesday night at Camden Falls. The event was attended by more than 275 people and included a review of 2014, project announcements, a keynote speaker and award presentations.

SIEDC President and CEO David Zak presented a review of 2014. “You could and can positively feel the excitement and momentum in Tiffin continuing to build. More than $75 million invested in new and expanding businesses, and 2600 jobs created and retained, absolutely amazing statistics,” Zak said.

In 2014, investment in manufacturing exceeded $40 million and created or retained more than 1,000 jobs, health projects accounted for $16 million in investment and 650 jobs, and education saw $10 million in investment on top of the $50 million invested in the last decade. Retail had the highest number of projects in 2014 with more than 20 new projects, not including down Tiffin. The Façade Enhancement Grant program accounted for $200,000 of investment in 15 downtown projects.

Zak announced two new projects representing $350,000 in investment. The Laird Arcade will move forward with a $300,000 improvement project, half of which will come from the Community Development Block Grant. The project will repair and upgrade the roof, electrical and HVAC systems. Additionally, SIEDC will select and pursue a state-funded $50,000 beautification project in the industrial corridor on Wall Street.

Also announced were the speakers for the Downtown Summit on May 6, and a new email newsletter. Speakers for the summit will be downtown transportation experts Tedd Hardesty and Brad Strader, national downtown authority and author of Tiffin’s strategic plan Craig Gossman, town-gown guru Terry Foegler, and community development expert Lisa Patt-McDaniel. Additionally, the first issue of Incentive INSIGHT, a monthly newsletter updating businesses on government programs, sharing success stories, and profiling local resource contacts, will go out on May 1.

Keynote speaker Glenn Richardson, Managing Director for Advanced Manufacturing and Aerospace for JobsOhio, provided insight into JobsOhio and manufacturing in Ohio and, specifically, northwest Ohio.

The following SIEDC Awards were presented:

  • Partnership in Development Award – Fostoria Economic Development Corporation, accepted by Renee Smith, president, and Chris Iannatuono, board of trustees chair
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit Award – Beehive Café, accepted by Ashlee Decker, owner
  • Outstanding Business Award – Steyer Seeds, accepted by Tony and Bernie Steyer
  • Economic Development Award – Webster Industries, accepted by Andy Felter, president and CEO
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Chuck Cooper, accepted by Ty Cooper
  • President’s Award – Paul Marion


Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at

Downtown Summit speakers, additional topic announced

With the Downtown Summit  a little over a week away, we’d like to give an update on what to expect and some background on our expert speakers.

Lisa Patt-McDanielWe are excited to announce that a fourth topic, housing, has been added to the agenda. Lisa Patt-McDaniel will apply her experience in housing and development to downtown Tiffin. Lisa joined Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) in 2011 as Director of Community Development. She is responsible for developing relationships and services related to community development, including working with cities and in rural areas around housing issues such as vacant housing, leveraging local community development resources, and convening community development officials around common issues.

Terry FoeglerThe town and gown presenter will be Terry Foegler, President of Terry Foegler & Associates LLC. Terry is a public and private sector planning and development professional experienced in strategic planning, university and municipal planning and real estate, development policy formulation, public administration, complex mixed-use project implementation, public-private development partnerships, economic development, innovative development financing and neighborhood/urban revitalization. His former positions include Director of Strategic Initiatives/Special Projects for the City of Dublin, Associate Vice President, Physical Planning and Real Estate at the Ohio State University, City Manager of Dublin, Ohio, and President of Campus Partners for Community Urban Redevelopment at OSU.

Tedd HardestyTedd Hardesty, ASLA, will be speaking about placemaking strategies. Tedd is a Founding Partner of EDGE and brings over 24 years of experience as an urban designer and landscape architect to his project work. He specializes in the visioning and planning of a wide-range of environments including neighborhoods, campuses, open space systems, and downtowns.  He believes that the physical environment is the foundation for healthy living and that all places should be economically, socially, and environmentally successful.  His recent work includes planning and design projects for Downtown Columbus, Downtown Davenport (Iowa), and the Cleveland Metropark System.

Craig GossmanCraig Gossman, AIA, NCARB, will also weigh in on placemaking. Craig is the owner and principal of Gossman Group Planning & Design and a partner with Source3 Development. Craig has over 35 years of experience in urban design, planning, historic preservation and architecture. He has worked with a variety of clients nationally including city and county municipalities, retail and commercial center developers, and historic property owners. Craig employs a holistic approach to strategic planning by considering the balance between social and economic goals and their impact on physical design for long-term sustainability and timeless placemaking. He has developed strategic vision plans, urban revitalization plans and master plans for numerous communities and mixed-use projects.

Brad StraderTransportation will be covered by Brad Strader, PTP, AICP. Brad is an Institute of Transportation Engineers certified transportation planner.  He has over 25 years of experience in comprehensive planning, downtowns, parking, corridor planning, redevelopment projects, campus planning, and linking land use with transportation.   He has been project manager on over 50 projects in ten states, and the transportation advisor on a number of downtown circulations studies and 1-way v 2-way street evaluations.

The Downtown Summit will be held April 6, 2015 from 4:30-8:15 p.m. at Heidelberg University’s Great Hall. This event is free and open to the public. If you would like to attend, please click here to register, or contact Bryce Riggs at 419.889.3932 or

You can also give your opinion on downtown Tiffin and future development by clicking here to take the SIEDC Downtown Survey.

Tiffin Elks building to receive façade enhancement

Elks LodgeElks Lodge is the fifth Façade Enhancement project of 2015

TIFFIN, OHIO – April 21, 2015 – During a meeting this afternoon, the Architectural Board of Review approved the Tiffin Elks Lodge #94 at 106 East Perry Street for a Façade Enhancement Grant. This will be the fifth façade enhancement project of 2015.

Updates to the building’s exterior will include the installation of windows on the Jefferson Street side of the building, where the original windows have been boarded up, and the painting of the balcony and front façade. The cost of the upgrades is estimated at $6,300, with half of that reimbursed by a Façade Enhancement Grant.

Joe Steinmetz, Exalted Ruler of the Tiffin Elks, is excited about the project. “The lodge is important to our organization, and this grant is going to help us restore the structure and keep the building looking great.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is happy to see another positive change downtown due to the Façade Enhancement Program. “The Elks Lodge is a historic part of Tiffin and I am glad that they are able to use the grant program to revitalize the building’s look.”

According to local historian John Huss, the contract for the Elks Lodge construction was given to Emil Converse of Massillon for $30,000 in June 1914. The building was designed by local architect George Netcher, who also designed the Tiffin Knights of Columbus building, and was described by a local newspaper as the “acme of architectural perfection.” Several thousand people toured the facility at an open house held after construction was completed in June 1915.

 About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at

SIEDC to host Downtown Summit

2014_04_15-town-center-signEvent features updates on downtown development and a panel discussion

The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) will hold its Downtown Summit on Wednesday, May 6, from 4:30-8:15 p.m. at Heidelberg University’s Great Hall. The event will begin with a meet and greet, followed by a project review and updates by SIEDC and the Planning Team. Distinguished speakers will also present on topics relevant to downtown Tiffin, followed by a panel discussion.

The topics covered will include town and gown, placemaking and transportation.

Tiffin’s downtown is anchored by two universities that play a dynamic role in the local economy. Town and Gown describes economic strategies for partnerships that foster local development as well as community relationships through college and city collaboration. Examples of how educational institutions have boosted downtown development will provide inspiration for Tiffin, The Education Community.

Placemaking is the driving concept behind current best practices in downtown planning. It is an approach based on connecting people to place by creating inviting, dynamic spaces. Great placemaking is the result of coordinated planning, urban design, visioning, implementation and management efforts that capitalize on a community’s assets, inspiration, and potential and market opportunities. Simply put, placemaking is creating environments that promote peoples’ health, happiness and well-being.

Complete transportation systems integrate parking, bike lanes, sidewalks, and traffic calming concept elements into roadways to create safe, vibrant corridors. Converting one-way streets into two-ways may also enhance pedestrian safety and revitalize downtown economic vitality by reducing traffic speeds and providing more direct access to destinations. Methods to enhance transportation systems will be discussed in the context of downtown Tiffin.

Light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served. To RSVP for the event click here, or contact Bryce Riggs at 419.889.3932 or no later than April 29, 2015.

 About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at

21 manufacturers hiring at job fair

Last Friday, the Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services (JFS) and Ohio Means Jobs – Seneca  hosted a Manufacturing Job Event on Friday at their offices. Resumes were collected for 50+ types of open positions, ranging from ranged from physical labor and press or machine operation to office management. Mike McLane, JFS Workforce Development Administrator, and Carol Owen-Kern, JFS Business Services Consultant, were pleased with the event and will start delivering those sorted resumes to the various companies today. The economy is booming here, and we are putting in place resources to help companies continue their growth. Area manufacturers who are growing and looking to hire include:

  1. Alpha Coatings (Fostoria)
  2. American Fine Sinter (Tiffin)
  3. Ameriwood (Tiffin)
  4. Arnold Vending (Tiffin)
  5. Ballreich Bros. (Tiffin)
  6. Callie’s Performance (Fostoria)
  7. Church & Dwight (Old Fort, Fostoria)
  8. Green Bay Packaging (Fremont)
  9. Laminate Technologies (Tiffin)
  10. Machine Tool and Fab (Fostoria)
  11. Mennel Milling (Fostoria)
  12. Morgan AM & T (Fostoria)
  13. National Machinery (Tiffin)
  14. NSI Crankshaft (Fostoria)
  15. Owens Corning (Tiffin)
  16. Roppe Corporation (Fostoria)
  17. Sonoco Products (Tiffin)
  18. Taiho Corporation of America (Tiffin)
  19. Tiffin Metal Products (Tiffin)
  20. Toledo Molding & Die (Tiffin)
  21. Webster Industries (Tiffin)

For additional information about the open positions, please contact the Ohio Means Jobs – Seneca office. For information about the companies or resources for companies to assist with recruiting, please contact Carol Owen-Kern, Business Services Consultant, at 419.447.5011 x322 or by email at