2018 Downtown Summit – Recap

Maker:L,Date:2017-8-22,Ver:5,Lens:Kan03,Act:Kan02,E-YSIEDC celebrated Downtown Tiffin in the fourth annual Downtown Summit on May 16. The program offered a review of the successes of 2017 and a look forward to 2018, as well as a preview of the East Green community park, and award presentations.

Highlights from the program include:

  • Investment numbers: In 2017 we had 20 completed facade projects, 10 new businesses, 41 new jobs, the East Green Amphitheater project and an infrastructure project resulting in a total of $5.1 million invested downtown last year.  We are only in May of 2018 and we’ve already had the completion of the new Seneca County Justice Center and 11 completed city Facade Enhancement Grant projects resulting in $15.9 million already invested downtown this year.
  • Facade numbers: This year (2018), we had 12 approved city facade projects which will result in $570,000 in building renovations.  Since the inception of the program in September 2014, we have had 64 project approvals resulting in nearly $2.2 million of investment in our beautiful, historic downtown buildings.  This program is one of the most successful facade programs in the state of Ohio and was recognized last spring in “Revitalize Magazine” for the success of the program.  We are also scheduled to be recognized in the upcoming summer issue of Cities and Villages Magazine, run by the Ohio Municipal League, for the continued success of the program.  This program has been a catalyst for growth in the downtown. Building renovations help to draw new retail and restaurants (36 new businesses have opened since January 2015), as well as upper floor housing.

East Green

In a video presentation, Andrew Kalnow recapped the progress of the East Green Ampitheater project and unveiled the upcoming seven performance East Green Summer Concert Series. In the video, he also gave the community a sneak peek at Phase II of the project.

 

Downtown Awards

  • The 2018 Business Legacy Award was presented to Diane Hassinger and Jolly’s.
  • The 2018 Downtown Entrepreneurial Award was presented to Zoe Dolch and Spenser Blackiston of Washington Street Outfitters.
  • The 2018 Downtown Development Award was presented to Dave and Angie Spridgeion for The Renaissance of Tiffin.
  • The 2018 Downtown Achievement Award was named for Anne Gase, in a presentation by Brian Bilger. The newly dedicated Anne Gase Downtown Achievement Award was presented to Brent T. Howard.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

2018 SIEDC Award winners

SIEDC AwardThe SIEDC Awards are presented each year at the SIEDC Annual Meeting to recognize businesses and individuals in the Tiffin and Seneca County community. Not every award is given each year, only when the Membership & Events Committee and/or the president or chairperson deem a company or individual deserving of the particular recognition.

This year, the following seven awards were presented. Click the links below for additional information and a video about each award winner.

2018 Special Recognition Award – Assistant City Engineer Matt Watson

The 2018 Special Recognition Award was presented to Assistant City Engineer Matt Watson for going above and beyond his job duties to create a welcoming environment for development in Tiffin.

For the award presentation, SIEDC asked for feedback from representatives of the NRP Group, the developers behind the 52-unit Tiffin Pointe housing development. Their team members praised Watson for his diligence, and named Tiffin the most efficient and professional community they have worked with.

Tiffin City Administrator Dale Thornton also vouched for Watson’s excellence in the workplace. “Matt is an extremely valuable asset to the city and its residents,” he said.

Watson is a 2004 graduate of Tiffin Columbian High School and a 2009 graduate of The Ohio State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering along with state accreditation to become a Professional Land Surveyor. Aside from his time at OSU, he has been a lifelong resident of Seneca County and active within the community.

 

About the Special Recognition Award
This award is given by the President or Chairman, at his or her discretion, to any person, business, or group whose service to the community is largely unknown.

2018 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award – Ralph’s Joy of Living

The 2018 recipient of SIEDC’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award was Ralph’s Joy of Living. Ralph’s is a family owned and operated business that has been in the community since 1950 and is currently run by Ralph (the original owner’s son) and Julie Smothers. Though Ralph took over the family business started by his father, he and Julie have made many changes to the business, making them true entrepreneurs in their own right.

Ralph’s Joy of Living began as Ralph’s Maytag, an appliance store, in 1950. When Ralph took over the business he added cabinetry to their offerings and Julie began teaching cooking classes. Then came the Joy of Living. Ralph and Julie expanded into a 6,000 square foot addition and became the only appliance store in the nation with a liquor license, selling all kinds of wine and specialty beer. Finally, in 2016 they added mattresses to the store.

“We are thankful for the community,” Ralph said. “We love Tiffin, we love our customers.”

 

About the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
This award is presented to an individual, business or organization that have exhibited the imagination, initiative, ability, and determination to mix capital and labor together to generate a business that provides employment opportunities and  new investment for the community.

2018 Partnership in Development Award – Suzie Reineke and Weston Reinbolt

The 2018 Partnership in Development Award was given to Suzie Reineke and Weston Reinbolt for their downtown building restoration projects. Not only do they preserve historic buildings, but also provide opportunities for business and downtown housing.

Suzie and Weston got into historic building renovation through their connection with Bill and Dan Reineke, who were already restoring a building of their own. “These are really cool buildings,” Weston said. Suzie added, “I never knew what was inside.”

Their first project was the “Beanstalk building,” which houses the Beanstalk on the first floor and three fully renovated apartments above. Those apartments are now full

The second project was The Renaissance. In early 2017, Suzie and Weston purchased the former DP’s building and brought in Dave and Angie Spridgeon of the Bourbon Affair in Findlay. The Renaissance of Tiffin opened later in 2017.

Their latest project is the building that house the Tiffin Glass Museum. They are completing the first of two phases in renovating seven upper level apartments.

The couple cited the collaboration in the community as a motivating factor in continuing these restoration projects. “It’s a team oriented project from start to finish,” Suzie said.

Suzie and Weston were both born and raised in Tiffin, left to pursue college and careers elsewhere, and are now living in Tiffin once again. “I love being back in Tiffin,” Weston said. “We’re enjoying the momentum and hope it continues.”

 

About the Partnership in Development Award
This award is presented to an individual, business, organization, or political entity that has provided support and means to promote economic development throughout Seneca County and have demonstrably, through their actions, furthered the mission of SIEDC.

2018 Economic Development Award – Arnold Machine

The 2018 Economic Development Award was presented to Arnold Machine for their recent 25,000 square foot expansion, creating 25 new jobs.

Zach Arnold started Arnold Machine in a garage as a small custom machine shop, beginning with machining and fabricating, in 1994. The business grew quickly, and branched out into designing and manufacturing manufacturing systems in a 50,000 square foot building in the Northstar Industrial Park in Tiffin. The company now has more than a hundred customers throughout the United States, including Commercial Metals Company, Sonoco, Bridgestone, Cooper Tires, Libbey, Nucor, Whirlpool, Roush Fenway Racing, National Machinery, NISIN and SSC.

Arnold is a Sentinel Career Center alum and still maintains a strong relationship with the career technology institution. Arnold serves on their business advisory council and hires on students through a work-study program, as well as a new three-phase employment program that starts students out working in their Junior year of high school and prepares them to be hired on upon graduation. More than 40% of the workforce at Arnold Machine are now Sentinel grads.

In 2016, Arnold Machine announced a new, 25,000 square foot addition to their facility, adding 25 jobs. The expansion was built and completed, the space is full, and 11 of the 25 positions have been created and filled.

Arnold has had a long relationship with SIEDC. In 1996, they purchased their first brand-new machine using the Revolving Loan Fund with SIEDC’s assistance. Today, Zach Arnold serves on the SIEDC Board of Trustees.

 

Economic Development Award criteria:
A community based project that will significantly impact other development in the community. A project that underscores the commitment of the business or owners to the community. A project that eliminates a potential blight in the community. A project that brings recognition to the community and is imaginative.

2018 Outstanding Business Award – Zeis Companies

The 2018 Outstanding Business Award was presented to Zeis Companies for their business growth and exemplary community service.

Zeis Companies started in 1984, in the cabinet resurfacing business. The business grew into fire restoration services, and then sub-divisions and homes. Just this pass year, Zeis Companies was able to bring all of their operations under one roof in a new building N. SR 53. The building includes a showroom, a full shop for custom trim work and other pieces, as well as storage.

Zeis Companies is not just an asset to the community for the remodeling and restoration services they provide, but also for their community involvement and charitable works. Zeis was asked to assist in two Extreme Makeover: Home Edition builds, which inspired them to create the Extreme Build for Habitat for Humanity in 2011. Over the course of a day, volunteers are able to frame up and enclose an entire house. They have done four such builds since launching the program. They are also working with Habitat for Humanity to establish a ReStore, a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price.

Rich Zeis accepted the award on behalf of the company and all of its employees.

 

 

Outstanding Business Award criteria:
The business must be able to demonstrate leadership in their particular field. The business must be able to show the involvement of its owners, managers, or employees in community affairs. The business must be able to demonstrate generosity of time, talent, and money to local charities or non profit programs. The business must be able to show initiatives taken to improve the quality of life in the community. The business must be able to show activities that improve the community.

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award – New Riegel Cafe

The New Riegel Cafe was the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The cafe has been a Seneca County staple for more than 60 years.

The New Riegel Cafe is a family owned and operated restaurant started by W.J. “Pete” Boes in 1953. The cafe started out selling barbecued ribs and chicken before branching out to other fare, like ham and shrimp, and in 1971 began selling homemade bologna and sausage, as well as homemade salad dressing. The business expanded in the late 80’s with the addition of the gift shop, connected to the restaurant but located in the building next door.

The award was accepted by Tom Boes, who currently owns the restaurant with his brother, Dick Boes.

 

Lifetime Achievement Award criteria:
The business must be established with a history of continuous operation in the community. The business must be able to demonstrate community involvement and/or made some civic contributions that have made a significant impact on the quality of life in the community. The business must be an example of leadership in their business field, and an example of entrepreneurial spirit.

2018 President’s Award – Andrew and Cindy Kalnow

The 2018 President’s Award was presented to Andrew and Cindy Kalnow. SIEDC President & CEO David Zak chose to give this award to the Kalnows to recognize their contributions to the community.

“It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to publicly thank them, for what they mean to this community and everything they’ve done,” Zak said. “Their passion for preservation, drive for excellence and quality,  and caring for the community.”

The Kalnows have been involved in the Tiffin community for many years, and in a myriad of different ways, contributing to economic, downtown, and community development. Recent large projects include:

  • The purchase of National Machinery LLC in 2002, reopening the facility and bringing jobs back to Seneca County. National is now the largest private employer in Seneca County.
  • The purchase and restoration of the East Tower. The purchase of the building saved this historic landmark from demolition and further investment has readied it for development.
  • The opening of Hawkes Crystal in downtown Tiffin. By purchasing the former Crytal Traditions business, the Kalnows were able to keep the Tiffin glass tradition alive and continue to offer custom glass in a beautiful downtown show space.
  • The restoration of 136-138 S. Washington St. and the opening of the Empire at 138, downtown Tiffin’s premier fine-dining establishment. The restaurant has consistently ranked at the top of restaurants in northern Ohio.
  • Creation of the East Green park and pavilion. The Kalnows used their own private capital to fund this large-scale community project. The amphitheater will be completed in summer of 2018 and inaugurated with a summer concert series. A second phase is also planned for the site, to include a splash pad and community garden.

These are just a few of the projects in which the Kalnows have been involved in recent years.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz joined in recognizing Andrew and Cindy. “When I think of model citizens or individuals who have contributed in virtually every way possible to a community, Andrew and Cindy, you’re the first two that come to mind,” Montz said.

 

About the President’s Award
The President’s Award is given by the SIEDC President & CEO to an individual or business deserving of special recognition. It is not given out every year.

Tiffin Candle Co. celebrates local history

Tiffin Candle Co.jpgPortion of proceeds donated to local landmarks

TIFFIN, OHIO – May 3, 2018 – A local couple has created a new candle line to celebrate the community’s history, and donate to the upkeep of historic landmarks. The Tiffin Candle Co. combines local history with unique scents to represent local landmarks and give back to the community.

The Tiffin Candle Co. was started by Brian and Chelsea Bilger earlier this year. “We love candles and had the idea to start making them ourselves. We were brainstorming what we could do with the candles and got the idea of naming them after landmarks in Tiffin,” Brian said. “We both love Tiffin, and this seemed like the perfect way to give back.”

All of the candles are handmade and formulated to provide a strong scent with an even, long-lasting burn. The scents are created to complement the landmark they are named for, with the assistance of people with extensive knowledge of the site or organization. The Bilgers work with the Seneca County Museum to provide historical information on the back of the candle tin as well. For each candle sold, Tiffin Candle Co. donates $1 to the landmark the candle represents.

The first three scents available are Seneca County Museum, Oakley Park and Apple Jack Park. There are plans to expand the park series, and feature Tiffin streets in the future. The candles are currently available at the Seneca County Museum and Simply Susan’s in downtown Tiffin, which matches the Tiffin Candle Co.’s donation for each candle sold.

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.