Bascom Communications announces Full Throttle fiber optic internet service

20170420_083420.jpgBascom Communications announced last week a new, ultra high speed internet service provided via fiber optic line. They are the first company to offer such a service in Seneca County.

Press release provided by Bascom Communications:

Communications Company Offers New Service Over Fiber Optic Infrastructure
Bascom Communications Delivers Service Announcement and Presentation for Accelerate Full Throttle

Bascom, Ohio: Bascom Communications hosted an event to announce Accelerate Full Throttle, the service provider’s newest offering available to members May 1st. Full Throttle offers Gigabit-capable access over Bascom’s state-of-the-art, fiber-to-the-premise infrastructure, featuring faster download speeds and aggregate bandwidth. The service announcement and presentation on the social and economic impact of how fiber optic and Gigabit service from Bascom is propelling Seneca County forward took place on Thursday, April 20, 2017 in the historic Redwood Ballroom of Meadowbrook Park in Bascom, Ohio.

Bascom Communications has provided services to Bascom and surrounding communities since 1906. Bascom is a cooperative company and anyone with wired services becomes a member. Once a member, if Bascom has a strong year and posts a profit, the membership receives an allocation back to them in the form of capital credit refunds. Bascom serves around 59 square miles of service territory and covers 99.92% of its subscribers with fiber to the premise.

Bascom is one of only a couple providers in the entire state of Ohio, and the only in Seneca County, to offer a service of this magnitude. Many companies use Gigabit service as a marketing ploy but Bascom wants to have people utilize it. To accomplish this, Full Throttle features a metered-usage approach to bring down costs, which allows customers to pay for only what they need and never worrying about speed again, as opposed to traditional internet plans that utilize a smaller bandwidth model to keep costs and resources manageable. Residential customers will be able to choose between numerous, tiered-data plans including an unlimited option, while business customers who want and need it, can improve their productivity and efficiency with Accelerate Full Throttle Business Unlimited. Customers will be able to go as fast as their devices will let them and can and will in many cases see speeds up to 16-200 times faster than those they are used to currently through Bascom or their competition.

New business, Ink Element Studio, to open downtown

20170418_114815A new business, Ink Element Studio, is set to open on the second floor at the end of the month. In this new venture, owner and modification practitioner Cam Magers and his wife, Cassandra Magers, combine 14 years of experience with a spa-like atmosphere.

Called a “modification studio,” Ink Element services will include tattoos and piercing, as well as body modification such as permanent cosmetics and hair follicle pigment restoration, and free services for breast cancer survivors. They are also working on a clothing line, which will live mostly online.

With the Ink Element studio space, Magers said he is trying to create a relaxing environment for customers. Sessions are to be scheduled by appointment, ensuring privacy and the complete focus of the artist, one entire wall of the tattoo room is a hand-painted mural designed to give customers something calming to look at, and customers can listen to music of their choice. “I want people to come in and feel at home,” he said.

Once the studio is up and running, Magers would like to provide youth art classes using the studio space of Gem Yoga (located just across the hall). “I love what’s going on here,” he said. “We want to leave our positive mark on the community.”

Visit the Ink Element Studio Facebook page for more information.

Select Realty merges with Bolte Real Estate

Press release from Bolte Real Estate

North Central Ohio Real Estate Firm Attains Tiffin Company

new nameBolte Real Estate, a fourth-generation, independently owned company based in Port Clinton, is pleased to announce its merger with Select Realty Group in Tiffin. With four offices currently throughout Ottawa and Sandusky Counties, the merger allows Bolte Real Estate to expand into the Seneca County area and strengthen its presence as a real estate leader in this region of Ohio.

Founded by Ann Bolte in 1936, Bolte Real Estate has maintained its commitment to excellence by taking a personal approach with its customers. With offices in Port Clinton, Clyde, Fremont and Catawba, the company has grown to become the largest independent brokerage in North Central Ohio.

Phillip Bolte and Renee Bolte-Stine, Ann’s great-grandchildren and current owners, bought the company in 2014 and have built a state-of-the-art real estate company while maintaining the family heritage and providing a distinctive personal approach to their business. In 2016, Bolte Real Estate achieved $93 million in real estate sales.

“What excites us about this merger is the opportunity for greater brand recognition throughout the region and access to more tools, training and a larger leadership team,” said Phillip Bolte.

“Also, we feel that our merger will allow us to better help our clients ever growing and evolving real estate needs while also giving back to the communities we represent.”

Co-owner Renee Bolte-Stine is a Tiffin native who graduated from Columbian High School in the early 1990s, along with her husband Cory Stine. “For my family, Tiffin is a part of our heritage so the expansion of Bolte Real Estate into this area is exciting from a business aspect and rewarding on a personal level,” said Renee Bolte-Stine.

Select Realty Group’s office at 23 S. Washington Street will remain open and the only noticeable change will be the name on the building. Owners Fran Andersons and Sara Riesen founded Select Realty in April of 2012 with three agents and quickly grew to be a dominant name in local real estate. Today, there are nine agents who work for Select. Both Fran and Sara will remain in leadership positions once the merger is complete.

Sara Riesen explained that even though the name Select Realty will change, their commitment to their clients will not. “Our team will remain the people that the community has come to know and trust,” she said.

All owners agree that the merger of Bolte Real Estate and Select Realty Group evolved because of a mutual respect among professional colleagues who became friends. Sara explained, “I’ve known Phillip and Renee for a long time but got to know Phillip even better when we served on the board of directors for the Firelands Realtor Association. They were very helpful to us when we began our business, offering advice and support. When the discussion eventually turned to the possibility of ‘teaming up’, it seemed like a natural fit for all of us.”

Philip added, “Our philosophy of working hard, treating people right and having fun will be strengthened by having a larger team across a larger area engaged in the real estate business and committed to our family’s heritage of excellence.”

Final Façade Enhancement Grants of 2017 approved

Funds exhausted in record time

2014_04_15 - Bears DenTIFFIN, OHIO – April 18, 2017 – Today, the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved two Façade Enhancement Grants for downtown building improvements, depleting the $100,000 set aside by the City of Tiffin for 2017. The projects were awarded a combined total of $12,754, for a total reinvestment in downtown Tiffin of $50,800, bringing the total investment for 2017 façade grants to $266,000.

The Bear’s Den, located at 60-68 E. Perry St., received approval for a $10,000 grant. The $21,000 project is to include replacement of second floor windows and first floor doors, balcony and tile repairs, painting, and the addition of exterior lighting.

The building at 92 S. Washington St. was the final Façade Enhancement approval of 2017 and received the remainder of the city funds. A grant was approved in the amount of $2,754 for a nearly $30,000 roof repair project.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is pleased with the continued success of the city funded Façade Enhancement Grant Program. “It has been another record year for the façade program,” he said. “We have had 17 projects approved this year, the most since the program began in 2014, and all of the allotted funds were used within just four months.”

Since the Façade Enhancement Program began, 37 projects have been approved for funding and $1.4 million invested in downtown buildings.

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 www.senecasuccess.com  (search “Façade Enhancement”).

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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Bourbon bar announced for downtown Tiffin

The Renaissance to open in late 2017

20170412_184141

Dave Spridgeon prepares a cocktail.

TIFFIN, OHIO – April 13, 2017 – Dave Spridgeon, partner in the Bourbon Affair of Findlay, has announced plans for a bourbon bar in downtown Tiffin. Located at 129 S. Washington St. and named The Renaissance Refined Spirits, the bar will feature a wide variety of whiskey and wine with a Roaring Twenties theme.

“My hope is to have the widest whiskey variety in the state,” Spridgeon said. Along with whiskey and cocktails, The Renaissance will also provide a range of other beverages including 20-30 wine options and twelve beers on tap – half domestic and half craft brews.

The menu will also offer three small plate options, and patrons are encouraged to order outside food to enjoy at the bar. “We would like to work with local restaurants, and complement other downtown businesses,” Spridgeon said.

Spridgeon also plans to hold regular events, including a monthly whiskey tasting featuring distilleries, and special event such as a Kentucky Derby party and a party commemorating the end of Prohibition.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is excited for the new development downtown: “The Renaissance will further our vision of making downtown Tiffin a destination, and provide another high-quality option for residents. This is not just another bar, this is a full experience.”

Spridgeon says it’s about the atmosphere: “If I go to another city, I want to taste their flair, to go home and tell people, ‘you won’t believe it, you need to experience this.’”

Preparations for the opening include a renovation of the interior of the building, carrying the theme of the 1920s throughout. Servers will even dress in period costume. The target completion date is set for late summer 2017.

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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Sentinel students compete at state SkillsUSA Championships

sentinel logoMore than 100 Vanguard-Sentinel Career Center students traveled to Columbus this week to participate in the SkillsUSA Ohio Championships, bringing home 71 medals.

The students displayed projects either as individuals or in groups, showcases projects that they have been working on throughout the year. Students from all 12 Vanguard-Sentinel District programs competed in the chapter display.

Thirty-five Sentinel students won gold medals, giving them a shot at the national competition in Louisville, Ky this June. The district also brought home 22 silver and 14 bronze medals.

Congratulations to all of the Vanguard-Sentinel students and educators!

About Sentinel Career Center
The Seneca County-based Sentinel Career & Technology Center is located in Tiffin (central Seneca County), is part of the two-county district, and serves 560 students (1,100 district-wide). The District received As across the board on its report card from the Ohio Department of Education for technical skill attainment (92%), graduation rate (95% for four years), and post-program placement (98%). Sentinel is also the only vocational technical school in the nation to receive the National School of Character designation from Character.org. The school has also had multiple students compete nationally at the SkillsUSA challenge.

About SkillsUSA
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled work force. SkillsUSA helps each student excel. SkillsUSA improves the quality of America’s skilled workforce through a structured program of citizenship, leadership, employability, technical and professional skills training.

Coppus Motors receives Mercedes-Benz “Best of the Best” award

mercedes best of the best

Local auto dealer Coppus Motors recently received a national award from Mercedes-Benz for their 2016 performance:

Press release from Coppus Motors

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) has announced that Coppus Motors, Inc. of Tiffin, Ohio has once again received the prestigious Mercedes-Benz Best of the Best Dealer Recognition Award based on their performance in 2016.

The “Best of the Best” Program recognizes dealers for their exemplary performance in sales, service and parts, as well as excellence in operations and customer experience. The award supports the Mercedes-Benz brand and recognizes exceptional dealers that rise above all others through achievement and outstanding results.

Coppus Motors performance in 2016 placed them among the upper echelon of all Mercedes-Benz Dealers across the country. They are among 59 dealers out of 383 in the United States to earn this honor, and one of only 4 dealerships in the states of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. This contribution helps make Mercedes-Benz the #1 Luxury Automobile brand in the United States, as well as globally.

Coppus Motors Inc. has been in business since 1927 in Tiffin, OH. They began offering the Mercedes-Benz brand line in 1954, making them the oldest continuously operating Mercedes-Benz Dealer in North America.

ABR approves two Façade Enhancement Grants

Projects total nearly $80,000 in downtown investment

20170321_131351TIFFIN, OHIO – April 4, 2017 – Today, the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved two Façade Enhancement Grants for downtown building improvements. The projects were awarded a combined total of $20,000, for a total reinvestment in downtown Tiffin of $78,000, leaving $23,000 available of the $100,000 set aside by the City of Tiffin for 2017.

The largest project is the façade of 130 S. Washington St. (the former Sports Cuts building), which will be restored to its 1941 look. Work will include removing the brick work added in 1979 and rebuilding the 1941 storefront, including front windows. Second and third floor windows will also be replaced. The total project cost is estimated at $46,000.

In the same block, 144 S. Washington St. (the Bookmyer building), will be receiving a $32,000 update. The aluminum facing on the front of the building will be removed and the previous look of the building will be restored, including the original concrete columns and storefront windows.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is pleased to see so many building owners downtown planning restoration projects. “The atmosphere of improvement downtown is contagious,” he said. “The Façade Enhancement Program is helping us transform the downtown.”

Last month, 135 S. Washington St. (Cabin Creations) received a $6,800 grant for a $13,600 roof and chimney repair project, bringing the remaining total of funds for 2017 to $23,000.

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 www.senecasuccess.com  (search “Façade Enhancement”).

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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Ward Law Office helps inventors obtain patents, trademarks

20170316_143837Meet registered patent attorney Jake Ward and his staff at Ward Law Office LLC. Jake works alongside his wife and Business Manager, Kristi; Office Manager, Jenn; and Associate Attorney, AJ, in their office on the second floor of the Laird Arcade building, in downtown Tiffin. The patent and trademark law firm opened their doors this January, although Jake has been practicing patent law for over 12 years.

Quite simply, “We help inventors.  That’s our job,” Jake explains. They have opened over fifty new cases, with more than ten new clients, since January. The firm represents independent inventors and businesses locally, and across the United States.  Local companies include Cooper Tire, Ballreich’s, Ralph’s Joy of Living, and Creative Plastic Concepts. The firm also helps many foreign companies, in countries such as the UK, Brazil, China, Israel, and Canada.

Usually, patent attorneys congregate in large cities, and you pay a premium.  Locating his office in Tiffin has allowed Jake to keep his rates more affordable to entrepreneurs and small businesses. “I’ve been in the Laird a few years; it’s a great space,” Jake said. “I like the energy here, and it’s fun to be a part of it.”

Jake said that at any given time there are about 500,000 patent applications pending in the United States. With only roughly 40,000 practicing registered patent attorneys and nearly 10,000 patent examiners, the process can be lengthy.

The patent process takes about three years, while the trademark process takes about six months to one year, on average. First, the firm learns about the invention, then they conduct research to see if it can be patented. They then file the patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Washington D.C., and argue the merits until an agreement is reached and a new patent is issued.  Once filed, and prior to issuance of the patent, the invention is considered “Patent Pending.”

Jake is also a recognized authority in his field. He is an adjunct professor teaching patent law and patent practice at the University of Toledo, College of Law.  He often speaks to chambers of commerce, business incubators, technical organizations, and libraries on the topic. “I try to educate people about the changing state of the law,” he said. “Due to the America Invents Act in 2011, which overhauled the patent process in the United States, patent law has changed more over the past decade than it had in the previous 60 years.”

He also maintains a patent and trademark law blog, Anticipate This!, which sheds some light on the industry and his business, while also pointing out humorous and interesting patents.

Jake encourages anyone with an idea to consult with him – “You don’t have to be a genius to be an inventor,” Jake said. “If you’ve solved a problem, then you’ve invented – in a sense, we’re all inventors. So, if you’re considering a new product or process, come talk to us.”  Ward Law Office can be reached by email at info@wardpatent.com or by telephone at (419) 408-5500.

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Tiffin Aire at the Seneca County Airport

20160907_151604Tiffin Aire, Inc. is the company that runs the Seneca County Airport, located at 1778 W US 224 in Tiffin. The company is owned by Brad and Kim Newman, the second generation of the family-owned business. The airport is a unique asset for Seneca County and Northwest Ohio.

The Seneca County Airport is a 24-hour fueling station, a propeller shop, an airplane storage location, an FFA pilot examination location and testing center, an aircraft sales location (one of only three in Ohio), a chartered flight provider and more. The business has 33 employees including pilots, front office, and technically skilled positions in the airplane frame and propeller shop.

The company was established in 1965 and dedicated in 1968 by Kim’s parents, Dwight and Jeanne Gnepper. It began with only three employees, two single engine aircraft, two hangars, and an office. Over the years, the Gneppers expanded the business, selling it to the Newmans upon their retirement in 1989. By 1996 Tiffin Aire offered aircraft charter, flight instruction and rental, aircraft sales, aircraft maintenance, parts and oil sales, and propeller/governor sales and service.

Tiffin Aire is one of only 13 propeller shops in the entire country. The prop shop was built in 1997 for $750,000, with another $500,000 in equipment. They service all kinds of propellers, and perform inspections and mandatory “overhauls” every six years. There are no chemicals used to strip the paint from the parts, reducing waste, and all grinding of the blades is done by hand.  They are also able to repair wings, and about once a year, they restore an antique aircraft, like an airplane from the 1940’s sent down from Canada that is currently in one of their hangar bays.

The airport currently has 18 separate hangars, the most recent built in 2015 for $400,000. There are 52 planes based in Tiffin, and storage at the Tiffin Aire facility includes oil, fuel, service and a private hangar. Brad says a lot of their business used to come from local business owners keeping their own private planes, however, that is not the case today.

Over the last several years, they have seen their charter business grow. “We have a great location for people coming into town, or stopping over for repairs,” he said. “We’ve got a great network with the businesses in Tiffin, and customers can walk to local restaurants and stores.”

One way Brad would like to increase traffic to the airport and to Seneca County is through a runway expansion. The current runway is 4,000 linear feet. In order to entertain commercial flights, it would need to be expanded to 5,000 feet. The closest airport able to accommodate commercial flights is in Findlay, which does not offer as many services as the Seneca County Airport. “We’d all benefit from a longer runway,” Brad said.

While the runway expansion is in the works, it could be years before the project begins.

Another way the airport benefits the community is through the Federal Excise Tax. For every gallon of airplane fuel sold, 21.9 cents goes to a tax fund that can only be used for airport improvements. This tax applies whether you purchase fuel at an airport, or if you purchase a ticket on a commercial airline. Since 1989, Brad has collected $4 million from that fund, which provides a 90/10 split on improvements, saving the county money as well as bringing funds spent by citizens back to Seneca County.

Brad attributes the business’ success to great community support, and giving back to the community. “I always tried to make my own way and didn’t ask too much,” he said. “And I always supported our local companies and vocational schools.”

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