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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 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 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.

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.

39th Tiffin-Seneca Heritage Festival this weekend

heritage festival brochureBeginning in 1979, the Heritage Festival is the 8th largest in Ohio and is preparing for a great 39th year. Originally a one day event, the festival was an event for the community to celebrate the town’s history by visiting the Seneca County Museum, strolling among craft exhibits, enjoying bands, and eagerly watching to see which ladies dressed in old fashion clothing would win the titles of Miss and Mrs. Heritage Festival. Although times have changed, the event still honors the traditions of the city while including some new attractions September 15th-17th, 2017.

At the Park

The Living Historic Village in Hedges-Boyer Park features reenactments, live entertainment, arts and crafts, and much more for a fun family environment. “Children’s Village Crafts and Games on the Green” are free to all ages, and children under 12 can enter the Village gate for free as well, with adult tickets costing $3. “Candy Cannon Shoot” happen at 12:30pm and 3pm both Saturday and Sunday for children 12 and under, and a “Heritage Cemetery Walk” at the Village Entrance at 6pm Saturday. Be sure to check out the “Heritage Ball” held in the YMCA Fieldhouse Saturday night at 7:30pm, where the whole family can learn dances of the era. Sunday the games continue with a Vintage 1860s Baseball Game at 10am and the Lake Plains Chorus performing at 1pm. Throughout both days live music will play, making any time a great time to stop by!

Downtown

German Heritage Block kicks off downtown Friday night with Richard Wiener 6:30pm-9:30pm in the County Health Department Lot. The Fostoria Community Band will perform the following day 12pm-1pm, followed by a Cream Puff Eating Contest (sign up quick, only the first 6 can compete!). The Toledo Holzhacker Baum will be there 2:30pm-3:30pm as well as 6:30pm-7:30pm on Saturday, with the Route 161 Happy Wanders following 4pm-6pm and again 8pm-10pm. Men and women are encouraged to show off their skills with a Women’s Beer Stein Carrying Contest at 7:30pm on Saturday and a Men’s Beer Stein Holding Contest Sunday at 4pm.

In City Lot 7, New Frontiers: Journey Tribute Band performing Friday from 9pm-12am, and on Saturday, Smalltown Throwdown will perform 6:30-9 pm followed by eighties arena rock tribute band Electrik Circus 9:30pm-12am.

Following the annual parade Saturday, which begins at 10:30am, Elk Lodge 94 is hosting the Kids Korner, filled with free kids events include face painting, sand art, prize giveaways, and crafts, making Saturday’s events fun for all ages.

Also on Saturday, gear up for the 5th Annual Independent Car Show from 12pm-5pm, at the Seneca County Museum. The show will include raffles and drawings to support the museum, as well as the Jolly’s food truck for refreshments. Judging starts at 2pm and plaques will be awarded to winners at 4:30pm.

In the downtown area food will be available all day and rides will run all weekend in the RTA parking lot. Tickets are available at the event and pre-sale tickets can be purchased at Croghan Colonial Bank and Old Fort Bank, 24 tickets for $10 (2-3 needed per ride). For more information visit TiffinFestival.com, a free shuttle is available to the Village and Downtown locations. Come join the community of Tiffin September 15th-17th for the Heritage Festival, where history comes alive!

Other Events

Elks Lodge 94 and Tiffin Eagles 402 will both have beer gardens and live music both night. The Elks will feature Nebdroola Friday and Alternate Ending Saturday night; the Eagles will feature Quickshine on Friday and the Eric Sowers Band on Saturday night.

The Behind the Facade Tour: Riverside Ramble takes place Sunday from 2pm-5pm at Frost Parkway, an exploration of Tiffin’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods. More information can be found at TiffinHistoricTrust.org or contacting Vicki Ohl at 419-448-8588.

Museums around town will also be open, including the American Civil War Museum, The Enchanted Moment Doll Museum, Tiffin Art Guild, Seneca County Museum, and Tiffin Glass Museum. Hours can be found on each museum’s website, as well as the Heritage Festival’s site TiffinFestival.com.

View the brochure and schedule of events here.

Plans for downtown Tiffin brewery announced

 

Venture to occupy space in historic Laird Arcade

iron-gate

The intended location of the brewery – the former Iron Gate Cafe space inside the Laird Arcade.

TIFFIN, OHIO – January 11, 2017 – Plans have been made public for a downtown brewery and taproom to be located in the historic Laird Arcade building. Local entrepreneurs Eric Kuebler and Rob Weaver announced their intentions at yesterday’s Tiffin Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.

“Breweries are being added to a lot of communities, and contribute to the livelihood and revitalization of downtown areas,” Weaver said. “Downtown revitalization is already going on in Tiffin and we’d really like to be a part of it.”

The brewery zoning classification was granted by the Zoning Board, pending approval by the Planning Commission and Tiffin City Council. The next major steps will be filing a federal brewer’s notice, a process that takes six to eight months, and obtaining a state liquor license.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was delighted by the news. “Tiffin has a long and interesting history of breweries like this run by local entrepreneurs. This is an exciting venture, and we’ll give them all the support we can.”

Kuebler and Weaver, both avid homebrewers, will brew beer on-site. The taproom will offer ten varieties of beer, including six flagship brews to be served year-round as well as rotating seasonal specialties. Half-gallon growlers will be sold and filled, and there are plans to make kegs available to select Seneca County bars and restaurants.

“We are both from Tiffin and looking to give back to our community, by providing quality products with thirty years of combined experience,” Kuebler said.

Along with beer, they plan to offer locally produced snacks but leave heavier fare to local restaurants. “This is a cooperative venture with our neighbors, at the Laird and in the surrounding community,” Kuebler said. “This will benefit them as much as it benefits us.”

According to The Brewers Association, Ohio is one of the leading states for craft beer, ranking fourth in barrels produced annually (1.4 million) made by 143 craft breweries statewide. The annual economic impact is in excess of $2.1 million and growing.

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 the community at www.senecasuccess.com.

 

Poignon invests in business, holds community art event

poignon ownersRyan and Monica Poignon, owners of the Poignon Project, located at 227 East Perry Street, have invested into their small business by purchasing the building they were renting. The previous owner had held the building, which at one time was a grocery store and a barber shop, since 1972.

“The past five years, moving back to Tiffin was the greatest thing I ever did,” Ryan said. “There is so much support here.”

Ryan said this was the next step in his plans to grow his business as well as the art community in Tiffin. Motivation to purchase the building also came from the Poignons’ investment in express yourself dayscustomizing their shop. Ryan said the glassblowing equipment alone is worth $20,000, and there is another $20,000 invested in the building. Ryan’s next step will be moving his glassblowing equipment to a different part of the building to expand classes and workshops. Along with art education for adults, he is also looking to expand into art camps for children.

In addition, starting July 16-17, the Poignon Project will be hosting “Express Yourself Days” to support the local art community and raise donations for local charities. The July event will feature live music, art vendors, food vendors, live chainsaw art, live glassblowing and more. There will also be a cardboard house building contest to help grow awareness of homelessness in Seneca County.

Ryan’s efforts to extend opportunities in the arts to the community stem from seeing the need in the Tiffin community. “When I was in high school, we didn’t have a lot of opportunities in the arts. I never imagined that I would be sitting here in front of my own building,” he said. “This is something for everyone to learn: don’t give up.”

Ryan recently published his own motivational book featuring his works called “If You Do Nothing You Are Nothing,” a motto he certainly lives by.

For more infomation, visit www.thepoignonproject.com.

 

Dead Shark Productions

20160623_180831In honor of Dead Shark Week…

Meet Alex and Brady Doepker, owners of Dead Shark Productions based in Tiffin. Alex and Brady are Tiffin-native brothers with exceptional videography skills. You may know them from Mayor Aaron Montz’s “Keep Tiffin Moving Forward” video, or the series of promotional pieces for the Tiffin Music and Art Festival, but there is so much more to Dead Shark Productions.

The Doepkers got their start early, assisting their dad in making wedding videos as children. “We started helping as soon as we could hold cameras, and that became our weekend and summer jobs,” Brady said.

“Video production has always been the plan,” Brady said. Alex and Brady made their first short film in 1998, “The World’s Greatest Baseball Player,” as part of a summer video production class for kids through Heidelberg University. From there, both went to college to pursue filmmaking degrees.

In 2013, they began using the name Dead Shark Productions. “If a shark doesn’t move forward, it dies. It’s fitting for our business, because if we are not out there making films and trying new things, we lose motivation,” Alex said.

Most of their work takes place in Seneca County, and they are happy to keep their services here. Alex explained, “I was never one with a strong need to leave Tiffin. Clearly, things are going in the right direction here. I always thought, ‘Why can’t I do this here? Why can’t we have something of this quality, this production value?’ People don’t have to go to big cities to get great videos.”

“We set up our base here, and we can always travel,” Brady added.

Dead Shark Production’s services include commercials, music videos, wedding videography, live events and media conversion, and they also create their own short films, but they are open to trying new things. “If it’s video in any way,” Alex said, “we can probably do it.”

With more than $20,000 invested in equipment and terabytes of footage from around the county, these sharks are certainly moving forward.

Check out their work on their YouTube Channel and learn more at their website.

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