awards

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 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.

Second Tiffin Toyota supplier wins award

American Fine Sinter 2018.jpgAmerican Fine Sinter has won a supplier award from the Toyota Company of North America for excellence in value analysis achievement. AFS is the second Tiffin automotive parts manufacturer recognized by Toyota, joining Taiho Corporation of America, which received a technology and development award.

Tiffin is home to the North American headquarters of AFS, located in the Eagle Rock Business Park. The company, which manufactures parts for the automotive, railroad, industrial machinery, and hydraulics industries, has undergone several expansions in recent years to accommodate growing production.

In 2014, they announced a $16 million and the construction of 100,000 square feet of new manufacturing space, additional office and storage space, and an $8 million investment into state-of-the-art automation and manufacturing equipment, due in part to a contract with Toyota to produce transmission parts. (See article)

Yet another project was announced in 2017, filling the 2014 expansion with equipment to produce mid and high torque carriers for the Toyota Highlander, RAV4, and Camry, using new technology from Toyota only implemented in three facilities worldwide. (See article)

About American Fine Sinter
American Fine Sinter (AFS) was established in 2001 in Tiffin, Ohio and started production in 2003. Today, Fine Sinter Co. a joint venture between Tokyo Sintered Metals (TSM) and Japan Powder Metallurgy (JPM), the parent company of AFS, is a $350 million company with more than 1,000 employees worldwide. The company manufactures parts for the automotive, railroad, industrial machinery, and hydraulics industries, and American Fine Sinter most recently has focused on valve seats and variable cam units for the automotive industry.

 

 

Taiho Corporation of America receives supplier award from Toyota

Taiho.jpg

Accepting the award, Taiho president Nick Isogai and sales manager Ken Kamata.

Recognized for Technology & Development

Press release provided by Taiho Corporation of America

TIFFIN, OHIO (March 20, 2018)  – Taiho Corporation of America, a supplier of engine bearings, bushings, shoe bearings and vacuum pumps, was recognized with an Excellent award from Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMNA) at its Annual Supplier Business Meeting (ABM) on March 20.  Held at the MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit, ABM brings together approximately 850 supplier representatives from across North America.

We are proud to receive this award from Toyota Motor North America, Inc. This award is for the Technology and Development of Taiho’s newest product, Vacuum Pump that started mass production in 2017. This award will give our team members pride and motivation for the recognition of their daily hard work that they do. – Taiho Corporation of America

Currently celebrating 22 years, ABM allows TMNA to discuss business objectives with direct and indirect suppliers in preparation for its upcoming fiscal year. Each year, TMNA recognizes suppliers who exceeded the company’s expectations in several categories.

“Toyota collaborates with each of our supplier partners in order to build vehicles with the high safety, quality and reliability standards to meet and exceed our customer’s expectation,” said Robert Young, Group Vice President, TMNA R&D Purchasing and Supplier Engineering Development and Cost Planning.  “We are pleased to recognize those in our supply base who exceed our high performance targets and allow us to build ‘ever better vehicles’ for our North American customers.  We thank them and their team members for their tremendous support, partnership and commitment to continuous improvement and collaboration.”

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 36 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 47,000 people (more than 37,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.7 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2017 – and about 87 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today.

Toyota partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We share company resources and extensive know-how to support non-profits to help expand their ability to assist more people move more places. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.

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.