Chamber expands Farmers’ Markets with the Court Street Collection

Farmers Market LogoAs the 8th season of the Seneca County Farmers’ Market begins, a new shop local option has been added: the Court Street Collection. In addition to the traditional market vendors along S. Washington St., Court St. will be closed off between Washington St. and the alley to accommodate any business interested in setting up a pop-up shop (as space allows) in this non-traditional market.

This season also includes a bonus October date.

Press Release from the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services:

The Seneca County Farmer’s Market in Downtown Tiffin will begin its 2018 season on Saturday, June 9, 2018. This year’s calendar includes 9 total dates on the second and fourth Saturday of the month, June through September, with a bonus market in October! 2018’s full calendar is as follows:

  • June 9 & 23
  • July 14 & 28
  • August 11 & 25
  • September 8 & 22
  • October 13

For all dates, the market begins at 9 am and concludes at 1 pm, rain or shine. Vendor set-up begins at 8 am.

The market is located on South Washington Street between East Perry Street and East Market Street. A variety of products will be available, including baked goods, fresh produce, plants and flowers, and more. Live entertainment, demonstrations and children’s activities are also being planned.

New this year in conjunction with the farmers’ markets is the Court Street Collection. A non-traditional market on Court Street from Washington Street to the alley, any business is welcome to have a pop-up shop, but space is limited.

The Seneca County Farmers’ Market in Downtown Tiffin is sponsored by the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services. Vendors interested in participating are encouraged to call 419-447-4141 for additional information.

Registration forms and information are available at

Northern Ohio & Western Railway receives CSX award for Dramatic Growth in 2017

OmniTRAXThe Northern Ohio & Western Railway, the short line rail operated by OmniTRAX on behalf of the Sandusky County-Seneca County-City of Tiffin Port Authority, received the 2017 CSX Short Line Development Award for a more than 150% growth in shipping volume.

Press release from OmniTRAX:

DENVER – OmniTRAX, Inc., one of the largest privately held transportation service companies in North America and an affiliate of The Broe Group, received the 2017 CSX Short Line Development Award for the Northern Ohio & Western Railway, LLC (NOW) at the 2018 CSX Short Line Workshop in St Augustine, FL this week. The award, which recognizes the “Cooperative efforts that generated the highest switch carrier carload percentage growth,” was received by Doug Ernstes, Vice President of Business Development at OmniTRAX.

The CSX Short Line Development Award is one of several awards given annually by the Class I railroad to its short line partners. NOW earned the honor for a switching volume increase of more than 150% in 2017, which resulted from additional covered hoppers of lime shipped from Carmeuse Lime.

“The OmniTRAX team is very pleased to earn this award from CSX. In the railroad business, it’s not easy to double your business in 10 years let alone one, so we’re very proud of the hard work and collaboration of Tim Schumm, and the entire NOW Team that made it happen,” said Kevin Shuba, CEO of OmniTRAX.

In addition to Ernstes, OmniTRAX was represented at the event by Peter Tousenard, Chief Commercial Officer; David Rohal, Senior Vice President of Customer & Class I Relations; Gord Anutooshkin, Senior Vice President of Operations; Wally Sieruga, Vice President of Operations; Steve Ward, Vice President of Engineering; Allan Thiem, Vice President of Class I Relations; Matt Despos, Vice President of Operations, and Jeff Burns, Commercial and Marketing Support Manager.

About the Northern Ohio & Western Railway, LLC
The NOW operates more than 25 miles of track southeast of Toledo, extending from Woodville to Tiffin, Ohio. The communities served by NOW are within the I-75 corridor and a growing industrial base and a plentiful supply of developable land. NOW serves customers like Ameriwood Industries, Carmeuse Lime, Kokosing, Laminate Technologies, MGQ Asphalt Terminal and National Machinery, and the primary commodities transported are limestone, lime and pressed board.

Heidelberg to honor 4 local women entrepreneurs

Press release provided by Heidelberg University

TIFFIN – For the sixth year, Heidelberg University’s School of Business, Computer Science and Information Technology will honor four local women entrepreneurs for their contributions to their businesses and the community.

This year’s winners will be honored at a breakfast and award presentation ceremony, titled Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs, on Thursday, April 5.

The recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award is Karen Klepper, a 1991 Heidelberg graduate who has served on a number of local boards and non-profits, including the Mercy Hospital Foundation, the Tiffin-Seneca United Way, the NOAH Foundation and PatchWorks House. Klepper is currently organizing a community collaborative non-profit, called ReClaim It, a resale shop whose proceeds will be used to improve the lives of local children and strengthen the systems upon which they depend.

Kelli Dariano, the owner of Threads, will receive the Established Entrepreneur Award. Dariano opened Threads 19 years ago after working in sales and management in Chicago and Columbus. In its nearly two decades in operation, Threads has experienced 300 percent growth as it continues to bring the latest fashion trends in clothing and accessories to Tiffin. In 2009, Dariano, a John Carroll University graduate, also launched Club Thread, a loyalty club of customers that has raised more than $40,000 for charity.

Heidelberg will present the New Entrepreneur Award to Zoe Dolch, owner of Washington Street Outfitters in the Laird Arcade. Dolch, a Tiffin native, Dolch received her advanced cosmetology license from Sentinel Career and Technology Center and her bachelor’s degree from Kent State in fashion merchandising. After returning to Tiffin, Dolch realized her dream of opening a business that offers a distinct product assortment, including men’s and women’s clothing, music, home goods and unique gifts and accessories.

This year’s recipient of the Young Entrepreneur Award is 16-year-old Columbian High School student Maya Clouse-Henry. In addition to holding down part-time jobs at Behm and Henry Law Offices and Simply Susan’s, Clouse-Henry also operates her own T-shirt design business and her own photography business, MCH Photos. She also has been assisting Klepper in her efforts to get ReClaim It up and running.

“Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs” is held annually in conjunction with Heidelberg’s spring Patricia Adams Lecture Series (PALS). This semester’s keynote speaker – publisher, educator and philanthropist Monica Lozano – will participate in the awards program. Attendance is by invitation-only.

Tiffin Ace Hardware to become Great Lakes Ace Hardware

ACEPress release provided by Great Lakes Ace Hardware

Tiffin, OH. March 4, 2018- Great Lakes Ace Hardware announced today it has entered into an agreement to acquire Tiffin Ace Hardware in Tiffin, OH owned and operated by the Deats family. The acquisition will be finalized in late March.

“The Tiffin Hardware family has been serving Tiffin and the surrounding communities for over 57 years. We have worked together with our team to ensure that Tiffin Hardware supports and serves those communities, and we are proud of those accomplishments” says Bryan Deats. “We are pleased to be passing ownership over to Great Lakes Ace Hardware as their excellent reputation, shared values, and focus on continuity assures us that our team and community will continue to be well served.”

While Jim and Marilyn will be retiring, Bryan has accepted a leadership position with Great Lakes Ace Hardware which includes overseeing operations in Tiffin as well as Great Lakes Ace in Fostoria, which is opening in early March of this year.

According to Mark Vandenberg, President of Great Lakes Ace, “We are committed to retaining the Tiffin Hardware associates who are familiar faces to the customers in Tiffin and the surrounding communities. There will be a transition to some new and exciting products including nationally recognized brands. However, customers should expect to experience the same exceptional service to which they have been accustomed.”

“We are thrilled to expand into the Tiffin area and look forward to continuing Tiffin Hardware’s tradition of customer service and community involvement,” says Mark. “Our company vision is to improve lives and communities and we do that by going above and beyond to serve our customers. In a time when customers have more options than ever before, this is the bedrock fueling our growth.”

Great Lakes Ace Hardware began operation in Dearborn, Michigan in 1946 and has a history steeped in the traditional American tale of hard work and reinvention. The company provides local neighborhoods with access to national brands such as Craftsman, Scotts, Valspar, Toro, Weber, and others, while providing customers with a localized product mix and a friendly neighborhood hardware store experience. It has been part of the Ace Hardware Cooperative since 2014. For more information about Great Lakes Ace Hardware visit

Summer Concert Series set for East Green

East Green Amphitheater LogoPress release provided by East Green Summer Concert Series Board of Directors:

The East Green Summer Concert Series, a 501(c)3 has been established and will be the umbrella administrator for the complex and oversee all operations.

The vision:  The East Green Summer Concert Series is a local non-profit arts organization that desires to build an enduring legacy of art and beautiful music in the Tiffin-Seneca County area by encouraging artists and musicians with grants, scholarships, and performance and teaching opportunities. The main purpose of this not for profit entity is to promote fine arts, the performing arts and music education while engaging the community.

The Summer Concert Series is the first step.

A group of local community leaders and music professionals gathered by Mr. Kalnow, have come together in the beginning stages of preparation for the Inaugural Summer Concert Series at the Amphitheater at the East Green.

There will be a minimum of 6 sponsored events in the summer of 2018 – Two Top level programs for the months of July, August & September to include but not limited to: Children Concerts, Motown, Indie Folk, and Jazz & Blues Concerts.

East Green Summer Concert Series is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization with one staff member. Therefore, we depend greatly on our volunteers to help our many events and programs run smoothly. There are a wide variety of opportunities for you to get involved, including: helping with outdoor events, assisting with children’s theater programs, ushering at performances, and serving as committee members. Although volunteer tasks change seasonally, there is a need for volunteers at almost all times of the year. Some volunteer positions require an ongoing commitment, some require only a few hours. With a wide array of programs and events, you can find a volunteer opportunity that fits your schedule.

Potential sponsorship opportunities include: Summer Series Main Sponsors, Event Sponsors, and individual sponsorships are greatly appreciated as well.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions:

John M. Kerschner
East Green Summer Concert Series



ABR approves Façade Grant for Hunan King

MVIMG_20180306_140046.jpgRoof project awarded $10,000 grant

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 6, 2018 – Today, the Architectural Board of Review approved a Façade Enhancement Grant for a roofing project at Hunan King, 253 S. Washington St. The project is a roof replacement at an estimated cost of $24,200. The project was awarded a $10,000 grant.

Jay Zheng submitted the application on behalf of the business, noting that the roof was nearly 100 years old. “The roof was well overdue for replacement,” he said. “It’s great that the city can help us with the cost.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented on the amount of roofing projects that have been awarded grants so far this year. “The grant does not have to be solely about the appearance of the building, it can also help with maintenance and improving the structural integrity of the building,” he said.

This grant brings the total building investment related to the Façade Enhancement Grant Program for 2018 to $324,460 with a balance of $54,871 remaining in the city’s grant fund for the year.

About the Façade Enhancement Program
This City of Tiffin reimbursement grant program was started in 2014 and provides a 50 percent match of funds for eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district, up to $10,000. Each building is eligible to receive up to $10,000 per calendar year.  For more information, visit  (search “Façade Enhancement”).


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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at

Seneca County ranks in Top 10 nationally for economic development

Site Selection Magazine March 2018Community earns third such ranking in five years

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 5, 2018 – The Seneca Industrial & Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) announced today that Seneca County has again placed in the top ten nationally in Site Selection Magazine’s rankings for large, private economic development projects – placing tenth out of the 575 micropolitans in the US for the honor for the second year in a row. Site Selection has been annually ranking states and cities since 1978.

This is the sixth year in a row that the Tiffin-Seneca micropolitan area has ranked in the top 100 nationally and the fifth year for ranking in the top ten percent. Qualifying projects must involve a capital investment of at least $1 million, create at least 20 new jobs, or add at least 20,000 sq. ft. of new floor area. Six Seneca County projects qualified for Site Selection, including projects by American Fine Sinter, Treves, OCECO, Mennel Milling and an industrial speculative building in the Eagle Rock Business Park.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz praised the announcement. “The momentum continues, and businesses keep expanding, locating and starting up in our community. We are proud of this ranking.” Fostoria Mayor Eric Keckler agreed, “Fostoria and Seneca County are demonstrating that we are a great place to do business.” Seneca County Commission President Mike Kerschner agreed: “We are establishing a track record of success that business finds attractive, and we look forward to more good things to come.”

This year, Ohio ranked as the number two state for development projects and the entire Northwest Ohio region posted strong numbers, with Findlay taking the number one micropolitan slot, Defiance tying with Seneca County for tenth, and Toledo ranking seventh in its division. “Northwest Ohio continues to be an economic development powerhouse,” said Dean Monske, President & CEO of the RGP Northwest Ohio in Toledo, the regional economic development organization for Northwest Ohio. “We congratulate the Toledo metro area, Findlay, Defiance and Tiffin on their national success.”

A press release from Site Selection magazine and a list of rankings can be found here. More information can be found at

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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at

Downtown CDBG Façade Enhancement Grant Program expanded

Revised CDBG Target Area

Commercial buildings within the orange line are eligible.

Area, scope of state grant increased

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 1, 2018 – The downtown Community Development Block Grant-funded Façade Enhancement Program has been expanded to include more downtown buildings and apply to a wider variety of projects. The grant is federally funded and provides a 50% reimbursement of up to $15,000 for improvements to downtown buildings.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is excited about the impact the expansion could have. “With both the city and CDBG Façade Enhancement Grant programs we have seen a tremendous revitalization in the appearance of our downtown buildings,” he said. “This program expansion is another opportunity to contribute to the health and longevity of our downtown structures.”

The program guidelines have changed to allow for all commercial buildings within the area designated for the CDBG, as well as some of the area within the existing Architectural Board of Review district covered by the city’s Façade Enhancement Grant Program.

Eligible projects now include all building elevations and the roof along with any code improvements.  This can include awnings, window/door repair/replacement, painting of already painted surfaces, tuck pointing, signage, second floor egress, roofing, repair or replacement of furnaces and HVAC units, electrical upgrades, plumbing improvements, handicapped accessibility, roof repair/replacement, foundation repair/replacement and structural improvements.

Since its inception in 2014, the City of Tiffin’s Façade Enhancement Program has been awarded to 58 projects, for a total investment of $1.7 million. Three projects have been completed using the CDBG Façade Enhancement Program since it was made available in spring of 2017, for a total investment of $103,000.

This grant will be available on a first come first serve basis, but all projects must be completed by August 31, 2018, when the grant expires. For more information, contact SIEDC Downtown Main Street Manager Amy Reinhart at 419.619.5517 or

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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at

Spire Advertising to open Tiffin office

Spire - Jeremy.jpg

Jeremy Harrison leads a small business seminar.

Ashland-based advertising firm chooses satellite location

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 1, 2018 – Ashland, Ohio-based Spire Advertising has signed a lease on a Tiffin office, located at 19 W. Market St., Suite E. The satellite office is set to open in spring of 2018.

Spire specializes in “done-for-you” advertising, tailored to small business owners. Services include content creation, website design, targeted traffic solutions, and sales and marketing software.

Owner and founder of Spire Advertising Jeremy Harrison grew up in Seneca County and attended Heidelberg University before moving to Ashland, where he opened his business in 2006. His next step is to open a series of satellite offices in small communities, starting with his hometown.

“Being local, you know how people are wired,” Harrison said. “Small business owners are busy, they don’t have time to get into the weeds with their digital marketing. We take care of everything so they can get back to work and not worry about the details.”

Spire also regularly offers free seminars to small businesses on a range of topics, including time efficiency, growing sales, hiring and retaining employees, and simple advertising solutions. Their next seminar will take place March 23 at 19 W. Market St., Suite B, focusing on “7 costly mistakes small businesses make with their marketing & websites.” Register at

About Spire Advertising
Started in 2006, Spire creates done-for-you digital marketing solutions for local small businesses who are ready to grow. Spire employs 15 full-time employees and serves over 400 clients across the Midwest. Learn more at

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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at

Mercy Health to merge with Bon Secours Health System

Mercy Health, an integral part of the Tiffin community since 1913 and one of the largest employers in Seneca County, announced today a merger with Bon Secours Health System, creating one of the largest health systems in the country.


mercylogopngbon secours logo

Bon Secours Health System and Mercy Health Announce Intent to Merge

Serving Communities Across 7 States; 43 Hospitals with more than 1,000 Sites of Care Providing $640 million annually in Community Benefit

Press release provided by Mercy Health & Bon Secours Health System:

MARRIOTTSVILLE, Md. and CINCINNATIFeb. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Bon Secours Health System, a Catholic health ministry serving residents across the East Coast, and Mercy Health, a Catholic health ministry serving Ohio and Kentucky, today announced their intent to merge, creating one of the largest health systems in the country spanning seven states in the eastern half of the U.S.

“As consumers grapple with the implications of Health Care Reform in a dynamic marketplace, Mercy Health and Bon Secours share a vision to improve the health of the communities we serve as the low-cost, high-value provider,” said John M. Starcher, Jr., Mercy Health President and CEO. “Working together, our strong faith-based heritage fuels our mutual focus to provide efficient and effective health care for each patient who comes through our doors.”

“The mission, vision, values and geographic service areas of Bon Secours and Mercy Health are remarkably well-aligned and highly complementary,” said Richard J. Statuto, President and CEO of Bon Secours Health System. “This merger strengthens our shared commitment to improve population health, eliminate health disparities, build strength to address social determinants of health, and invest heavily in innovating our approaches to health care.”

Together, Mercy Health and Bon Secours rank in the top performing quartile of Catholic health systems for low-cost, high-quality patient care, promoting healthier lives and creating more affordable health care for residents across an expanded footprint. The merger creates the fifth largest Catholic health system in the country, allowing the new entity to leverage economies of scale by integrating resources and teams across the ministries. This merger creates future opportunity to deepen our commitment to our existing communities and expand the health ministry into complementary service areas across United States. Further alignment of the ministries offers an opportunity within the United States and outside of its borders to bring healing and hope to those most in need.

Stronger Together – Bon Secours and Mercy Health:

  • One of the top 20 health systems in the nation and the fifth largest Catholic health system with $8 billion in Net Operating Revenue and $293 million in operating income. This strong operating margin allows us to advance our shared ministry and reinvest in community benefit.
  • 57,000 associates and more than 2,100 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians
  • More than 10 million patient encounters across seven states, with 43 hospitals and more than 1,000 care sites
  • Robust post-acute care services with more than 50 home health agencies, hospice agencies, and skilled nursing and assisted living facilities
  • Almost $2 million per day in community benefit, serving the most vulnerable in our service areas

“We are guided by our shared faith and commitment to partner with communities to create a more humane world, build social justice for all, especially the poor and dying,” noted Sister Patricia A. Eck, C.B.S., chairperson of Bon Secours Ministries. “This merger ensures a strong future for our shared health ministry as we work to bring health and wholeness to those we so humbly serve.”

“We are excited about the prospect of two like-minded health systems joining forces to advance our mutual health ministry and improve the health of our communities,” noted Katherine Vestal, chairperson of Mercy Health Board of Trustees. “The synergistic alignment of our mission and values make this merger a natural fit.”

In the coming months, both parties will work together to finalize a definitive merger agreement, obtain applicable approvals and complete plans to merge. While there is no specific date outlined, executives at both Mercy Health and Bon Secours expect to complete this merger by the end of the calendar year.

About Mercy Health

Mercy Health is the largest health system in Ohio and among the top five employers in the state, with more than 33,500 employees serving communities throughout Ohio and in Kentucky. Mercy Health provided care for patients more than 6.8 million times in 2017. The system includes assets of $6.8 billion and nearly 500 care facilities including 23 hospitals and 26 post-acute care facilities including senior living communities, hospice programs and home health agencies. Its clinically integrated network, coordinates more effective and efficient care for more than 200,000 patients, saving money for taxpayers through the Medicare Shared Savings Program. In keeping with its mission to extend the healing ministry of Jesus by improving the health of its communities, Mercy Health provides more than $1 million per day in community benefit services. For more information, visit or connect with Mercy Health on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and Twitter (@mercy_health).

About Bon Secours Health System

Bon Secours Health System is a not-for-profit Catholic health system sponsored by Bon Secours Ministries and founded by the Sisters of Bon Secours. With operations in MarylandVirginiaSouth CarolinaKentuckyFlorida and New York, Bon Secours owns, manages, or joint ventures 20 hospitals and 27 post-acute care facilities or agencies including skilled nursing facilities, home care and hospice services, and assisted living facilities. Consistent with its commitment to alleviate human suffering, Bon Secours has developed more than 800 affordable housing units for low income families. Bon Secours has more than 24,000 employees and has been recognized as a Gallup Great Workplace for six consecutive years. The Mission of Bon Secours is to bring compassion to health care and to be Good Help to Those in Need, especially those who are poor and dying. For more information, visit or connect with Bon Secours on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter (@BonSecours).