Seneca County

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.

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.

Stover Veterinary Services opens mobile veterinary clinic

Stover Mobile Vet.jpgFull-service clinic to hold regular hours, continue house calls

TIFFIN, OHIO – April 16, 2018 – Stover Veterinary Services is expanding its practice with a new full-service mobile veterinary clinic. The clinic will hold regular office hours in Tiffin and at two other locations in Seneca County, in addition to house calls.

Dr. Amber Stover has been in business for 11 years, dealing mostly in house calls requiring mild to moderate care. The new clinic will enable her to treat a wider range of issues without sacrificing convenience to her clients.

“Many of the pets I treat, or their owners have mobility issues or their schedule won’t allow for an office visit, making a house call much more convenient. Now, I am able to perform even more services while maintaining that convenience factor,” she said. “We are also making veterinary services more accessible to residents of Seneca County by bringing a clinic closer to them.”

The mobile unit includes a surgery suite and lift table, as well as capability for bloodwork, X-rays and dental services. “Basically, anything that does not require an overnight stay,” Stover said.

The clinic will hold regular hours weekly at the corner of Riverside Dr. and N. Washington St. in Tiffin, at Riehm Produce Farm and the lot adjacent to The Corner Restaurant in Bloomville. Appointments can be made online at www.stoverhousecall.com or via phone call at 419-455-9572. Walk ups are also welcome.

 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.

Tiffin’s historic drive-in theater open for 2018 season

Drive In Neon

Rendering of the proposed restoration of the original neon sign at the Tiffin Drive-In.

Created in the 1920’s, drive-in movie theaters were once a staple of rural communities, counting more than 4,000 theaters nationwide at the height of their popularity in the 1960’s and 70’s. Today, less than 10% of those theaters still exist, and we are fortunate to have one right here in Tiffin, Ohio.

The Tiffin Drive-In Theater opened in 1949 and will celebrate its 70th year in continuous operation next summer. Current owners Rod and Donna Saunders purchased the theater in 2011, when the previous owners decided to retire from the business. The Saunders’ got their start in the drive-in theater business with the original Field of Dreams Drive-In, which they built in the backyard of their family home in Liberty Center as a way to provide an inclusive family entertainment experience, and they were excited at the prospect of expanding this venture.

After purchasing the long-time Tiffin establishment, the Saunders’ immediately set about making improvements to the theater and its grounds, including the purchase of a new projector, the addition of a second screen, updates to the concession stand and its equipment, and the transition from film to digital movies in 2013. In 2018, the name was reverted to Tiffin Drive-In Theater.

Their next big project is restoring the original neon sign. When the theater opened in 1949, it featured a large neon sign affixed to the back of the screen, facing SR 53. The neon was removed in the 1970’s due to maintenance concerns. In 2017, the Saunders’ began working with local neon artist Michael Flechtner to recreate the original neon sign. To this end, the Saunders have created the Historic Drive-In Theater Revitalization Fund, a non-profit organization with IRC Section 501(c)(3) status for the sole purpose of fundraising to repair iconic symbols of operational drive-in theaters in Ohio. Find more information or make a donation here.

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 siteselection.com.

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.

Terra State, Heidelberg partnering on new nursing degree

HU Logo 12.8Press release provided by Heidelberg University and Terra State Community College

TIFFIN, OHIO – December 8, 2017 – Heidelberg University and Terra State Community College are partnering to develop a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program that will address the rising market need for more highly skilled nurses entering the healthcare profession.

Today, the two institutions took a step toward Terra Logo 12.8finalizing the program when they signed a 1+2+1 articulation agreement on Heidelberg’s campus.  When the new program is launched, nursing students would begin with one year of study at Heidelberg, proceed with two years of nursing study at Terra State and finish their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with a year of coursework at Heidelberg.

Academic leaders from Terra State and Heidelberg have been working to establish the groundwork for the new program.  The strengths of both institutions will be leveraged for the benefit of nursing students, who will take advantage of two years of tuition costs set by each institution. This blended model will reduce the overall educational expense for students interested in a BSN degree.

“We at Terra State Community College are so pleased to be partnering with Heidelberg University to expand educational offerings and opportunities to those interested in the nursing profession,” said Terra State President Dr. Jerome Webster. “Our faculty and staff, and especially our nursing faculty, are pleased to pledge our support to this initiative.”

Terra State is committed to working with Heidelberg “for the educational delivery of a high-quality, licensed, state-accredited and nationally accredited Registered Nurse program to Heidelberg students,” he said.

Noting that the two institutions’ share a core value to place students at the center of the learning experience, Webster added, “Our partnership with Heidelberg only strengthens our transformational journey and we are thrilled to join in this collaborative and innovative partnership with such an outstanding institution.”

President Robert H. Huntington echoed those sentiments.  “Heidelberg is especially thrilled to craft this educational partnership with Terra State Community College in order to give a top-quality and affordable new professional program to students interested in a nursing career,” he said.

Huntington added that the new nursing program is the perfect intersection of the liberal arts and professional education, which has been at Heidelberg’s core since its founding. “Now is the time,” Huntington said.  “Together, we have developed an innovative learning opportunity to make the beginning, middle and end of this program very successful.  This will be a wonderful four-year experience for our students.”

In addition to both presidents, Dr. Jennifer Spielvogel, vice president for Academic Affairs at Terra State, and Dr. Beth Schwartz, vice president for Academic Affairs and provost at Heidelberg, participated in the signing ceremony.  Both thanked their faculty members who have played an important role in developing the new BSN program.

“This will be a great way to serve students at both institutions and also serve the healthcare needs of the community,” Schwartz said.

Also on hand for the signing were: Terra State representatives Susan Kajfasz, associate professor of nursing; Holly Penhos, director of nursing; and Amy Anway, dean of Allied Health, Nursing and Human Services; and Heidelberg representatives Dr. Bryan Smith, dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Allied Health Sciences; Dr. Pam Faber, professor and chair of the Biological and Environmental Sciences Department; Ryan Musgrave, assistant professor and director of athletic training; Doug Kellar, vice president for Enrollment Management; and Phil Ness, vice president for University Advancement and Marketing.

In the coming weeks and months, work will continue to finalize the program in anticipation of a formal announcement about its launching in 2018 (pending review by the Higher Learning Commission).  The expectation of both institutions is that students will be able to enroll in the new program beginning in the fall of 2018.

Seneca County Young Professionals reach 100 members

SCYP Logo (1)This month, the Seneca County Young Professionals (SCYP) reached 100 members for the first time! The group began the year with less than 40 members and through an increased focus on programming and added value to members, they have grown to 100 members and counting.

SCYP was started in 2014 as a way to connect new and emerging professionals with each other and the community. The organization was made possible by Pat DeMonte and the Tiffin-Seneca United Way, who saw a need for such a group in the community.

SCYP focuses on three core missions: Connect, Inspire and Grow.

Connect
The Connect committee plans social and networking events for the group. These include summer and winter sports leagues, exclusive events at new establishments throughout Seneca County, and two signature monthly events – Wednesdays After Work and Quick Connect Lunches.

Wednesdays After Work take place on the first Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. Each event takes place at a different location within Seneca County. For those who cannot make it to an after-hours event, SCYP also hosts a Quick Connect Lunch from 12-1 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month. Both events are open to professionals of all ages. Check social media for upcoming events and locations.

Inspire
Young professionals place importance on community involvement and social responsibility. The Inspire committee organizes volunteer efforts for the organization. While anyone may reach out to the young professionals for assistance with events, they have several organized events each year for members to get out and volunteer. Past events have included Painting for a Purpose, proceeds benefiting the United Way CPR training, installing smoke detectors in homes in Fostoria, serving food for the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, assisting at the Bash on The Bay concert, and participating in the United Way Day of Caring.

Grow
The Grow committee focuses on professional and personal development for members. Previous events have included Wellness at the Y, from which the group’s YMCA membership discount stems, a Financial Literacy round table, Networking 101, and a presentation about maintaining a work-life balance, to name a few.

In addition to these events, members are also eligible for a professional development scholarship. Members can apply for up to $500 to cover costs, including travel and registration, for a professional development event or training not covered by their employer.

For more information about SCYP, visit their website or Facebook.

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Heidelberg University’s graduate counseling program lands $1.3M grant

HU Logo 10.17Press release provided by Heidelberg University.

Heidelberg University’s Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) Program has received a four-year, $1.3 million grant to train counselors to fill gaps and unmet needs in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA). The grant, titled Project KITE, will target the rural counties of Erie, Huron, Seneca and Sandusky and three urban cities, Cleveland, Toledo and Columbus.

Through the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training grant, graduate counseling students in their final internship will be eligible to receive a $10,000 scholarship during their field experience/internship. Working in interdisciplinary behavioral health care teams, the students will focus on providing trauma-informed care and substance abuse mental health services in rural and underserved areas throughout northwest Ohio.

This is the second grant the graduate counseling program has received from the Health Resources & Services Administration as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Last fall, the program received a $214,286 grant to assist in the training of counselors dealing with at-risk children.

“What’s attractive about the grant is that it gives our students who are accepted into the scholarship program a $10,000 stipend to do their field experience as well as first-hand experience working with interdisciplinary teams in various agencies and schools,” said MAC Program Director Marjorie Shavers. The funding “opens up opportunities for our students and also speaks to the deficit we have in mental health providers” in the area.

In all, 78 scholarships will be available over the four-year lifespan of the grant.

Counselors trained through Heidelberg’s MAC program are being prepared to serve mental health clients with issues specifically related to the ever-growing drug epidemic, Shavers explained.

Jo-Ann Lipford Sanders, dean of the School of Education and Counseling at Heidelberg, said certain geographic areas historically have had less access to behavioral health care. “There’s a real serious shortage of both medical and behavioral healthcare in these areas for myriad reasons,” Lipford Sanders said, noting that by 2025, HRSA projections indicate “an additional shortage among many healthcare providers, specifically psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors and school counselors.”

“There are really strong demands for these behavioral healthcare personnel trained in comprehensive service delivery as the demand for services from models such as the Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) continues to grow,” Lipford Sanders said.

In addition to the student scholarships, Heidelberg will use the grant funding to recruit men and minorities into the MAC program, develop an interdisciplinary behavioral healthcare conference working with consultants from The Ohio State University, the University of Michigan and Arizona State University, and ongoing education for faculty and clinical supervisors. A full-time project coordinator will be hired to administer the grant.

Heidelberg’s grant partners are the Sandusky City Schools, Mercy Health, the Neighborhood Health Association of Toledo and the Erie County Health Department.

ABOUT HEIDELBERG
Founded in 1850, Heidelberg offers 30 majors, 30 minors and 10 pre-professional programs, awarding the bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, bachelor of music degrees, as well as master’s degrees in education, counseling, business administration and music. Heidelberg has been consistently ranked as one of the top colleges in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report Magazine. For more information visit the web site at www.heidelberg.edu.

Community seeks proposals for new Comprehensive Plan

Seneca County, Tiffin, Fostoria to collaborate on community plan

View the complete request for proposal here.

TIFFIN, OHIO – September 27, 2017 – The Seneca Regional Planning Commission released a request for proposals for a new county-wide Comprehensive Plan, to include Tiffin and Fostoria. The request includes a combined plan for the three entities, as well as individual plans, each with separate cost estimates, and a twenty-year horizon. Proposals will be accepted until Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 3 p.m.

Seneca County Commission President Mike Kerschner said the plan is yet another way for the county to partner with the cities on a common cause. “This plan will continue the climate of collaboration between the different entities within Seneca County, including the successful merger of the Fostoria and Tiffin courts, as well as the execution of the Justice Center,” he said.

The Comprehensive Plan will address long-range policy for land use planning, transportation, economic development, housing, public facilities, historic, natural and cultural resources, agricultural preservation, intergovernmental cooperation, budget preparation, and capital improvement planning and other facets of community life deemed important by the chosen consultant and agreed to by the participating entities.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is looking forward to a new plan and direction for the city. “Our current plan was created in 1994 and is, at this point, extremely outdated. I am excited to see what the consultants will come up with for the community’s development,” he said.

Work is anticipated to begin in 2018 with an 18- to 24-month timeframe, if a firm is selected and funding allocated. The finished product should be ready for adoption by the participating legislative bodies at public hearings by late 2019.

Inquiries should be directed to Charlene Watkins, Executive Director, Seneca Regional Planning Commission, cjwatkins@senecarpc.org, 419.443.7936 ext. 123.

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.