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Seneca CEO Program Now Seeking Facilitator and Student Applicants

First program in the state of Ohio officially set to launch this fall.

TIFFIN, OHIO – April 16, 2021 – The board of the Seneca CEO program announced today that applications for student participants and the part-time Facilitator position are now open. Individuals can apply at The Facilitator job application is open through May 10 and the student application is open through May 15.

Seneca County is on track to be come the 66th community nationally, and first in Ohio, to host a Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) program which was developed by the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship to help high school youth successfully start new businesses and learn valuable skills.

A new 501c3 nonprofit called Seneca CEO was created last year to administer the program. Edward VanHoose, President of Federated Energy Services Cooperative including North Central Electric locally, is serving as the organization’s first president. VanHoose saw the program’s success firsthand when he worked in southern Illinois several years ago and is excited for the program to launch here in our community.

“I know this program works, makes business sense, and dramatically impacts local lives,” said VanHoose. “Our next step is to hire a Facilitator that embodies the spirit of the program and will be a great fit for engaging our students. We’re also looking for bright students to participate in the inaugural class beginning in fall of 2021.”

The program would not be where it is today without the generous support of the almost 40 community Investors who have committed financially to ensure that neither schools nor students are charged for the program, making it openly accessible to all students in the county. The organization also is seeking community business leaders to serve as speakers and one-on-one mentors for students as well as business locations to serve as visit sites.

Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kershner said, “This program will be a huge asset to our community’s educational, workforce and business infrastructure and I would encourage anyone who is interested to get involved.”

To apply, to learn more about the program or to enquire about getting involved in various ways, you can reach out at , visit and find Seneca CEO on Facebook at

Seneca CEO Board members include Ed VanHoose of Federated Energy Services Cooperative, Tony Gorrell of Sutton Bank, Suzie Reineke of Reineke Family Dealerships, Nate Brickner of Bascom Communications, David Zak of the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, Sarah Stevens-Krupp of the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce, Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kershner, Dr. Laura Kagy of Seneca East Local Schools, Michelle Snay of Mohawk Local Schools and Ted Willman of Calvert High School.

More about the Facilitator Job Description

Seneca County CEO will prepare the next generation of strong effective leaders and be proactive in building our future economic growth through a transformational entrepreneurship program called Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO). Our community is seeking an innovative educator to facilitate the class – someone who believes that education extends beyond the classroom.

The CEO Facilitator will create a learning environment where students are encouraged to explore, discover and experience learning through real life activities. The facilitator’s role is to model a passion for learning, connect with the students and community, collaborate with the CEO Board, and most importantly provide guidance to the students on their personal CEO journey.

CEO offers real life experiences through regular contact with local entrepreneurs and business people. Students in the program will come from area high schools and will meet from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM Monday – Friday during the school year. This is a half-time position. CEO requires a great deal of time from the facilitator to establish good relationships with the business community, prepare the many communications that make the program transparent, and build the learning environment that allows students to succeed. If you are passionate about cultivating lifelong learners, please send a resume with references to

More About the Midland Institute

The Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship was established in 2007 in Effingham, Illinois to oversee and promote the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) initiative – a year-long high school program created by Milken National Educator Craig Lindvahl designed to bring high school youth, entrepreneurs, and businesses together and provide an overview of business development and processes. Now, more than 200 schools offer the program. For more information, visit

Tiffin couple launching their new business Happy Days Nutrition

New smoothie and juice bar opening August 17

TIFFIN, OHIO – Aug. 14, 2020 – Jose and Kimberly Arias, long time Tiffin residents, are chasing their dreams with a new shop in the northeast part of Tiffin. The new store, at 451 East Market Street, will be serving nutritious shakes, smoothies and more after their grand opening on Monday, August 17th. The space features a comfortable lounge area where customers can relax, socialize and enjoy their beverages. The couple also hopes to build relationships with customers and spread positivity, hope and success through their business.

Jose Arias, born in Colorado but raised in Tiffin, and Kimberly, originally from New York, met after Kimberly moved to Tiffin to attend Heidelberg University and have since been building their lives here; they’ve been married for six years and have four children. Jose, along with his full-time job, got involved with Herbalife in 2013 and always dreamed of growing it into something more. During the COVID shutdown, they invested in the new shop and they believe now is the right time to take it to the next level. Mr. Arias credits his strong partnership with his wife as well as good timing with allowing them the opportunity to grow their business dreams.

“Happy Days Nutrition is not just about shakes. We want people to leave better than they came – to teach people that they can become better, do more and be more,” Mr. Arias says. “This is something we have always want to do, and it will also allow me to be home with my wife and children more.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said, “It’s exciting to see city residents starting a business right here in our own community. We’re happy to support young entrepreneurs like the Ariases.”

Happy Days Nutrition recently became a member of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services. They also plan to get involved in the community through philanthropic projects such as holding a food drive for local nonprofits like FISH and sponsoring golf outing fundraisers. The shop will be open 8am to 5pm Monday through Saturday. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit, call 567-268-9047 or find Happy Days Nutrition on Facebook.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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

Free PPE Kits Available for Small Businesses

TSEP is distributing a limited supply of PPE Kits to Tiffin and Seneca County businesses.

TIFFIN, OHIO – July 24, 2020 – A small shipment of PPE (personal protective equipment) kits that include 100 disposable face coverings, 10 KN95 masks and a 23oz bottle of hand sanitizer have been allocated to Seneca County. These shoebox-sized kits are provided by JobsOhio, which is the private economic development marketing and sales arm of the State of Ohio.

The kits were distributed to counties on a population bases and are part of the State’s “Ohio Safe. Ohio Working” initiative which was launched to support Ohio business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. TSEP is tasked with distributing them to local businesses. Development Managers Audrey Flood and Nick Dutro, along with Downtown Main Street Manager Amy Reinhart are working to disseminate the kits to businesses. TSEP is working with rural elected officials to offer kits to businesses in the townships and villages as well as businesses in the Downtown and throughout the City.

We are grateful you chose to pursue ‘your American Dream’ with your business in Ohio and it is our privilege to provide support,” said JP Nauseef, President of JobsOhio, in a letter. “We hope these items serve as one less thing to worry about as you operate under the state’s Responsible RestartOhio safety guidelines.”

These kits are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are a small business owner who would like one, please reach out to TSEP at or 419-447-3831. To find out more about this initiative, go to

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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

About JobsOhio

JobsOhio is the private economic development marketing and sales arm of the State of Ohio, developing and implementing the state’s economic development strategy and crafting incentive and support packages to spur economic development in key targeted industries. JobsOhio is focused on job creation and new capital investment, and they work hand-in-hand with regional network partners supporting every community in Ohio, large and small. Learn more at

What is Rural Development Anyway?

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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. 

The Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership has always supported economic development across Seneca County. However, the Rural Development Manager position was just recently created to increase the level of service and focus in the townships and villages. Our services are free to the townships, villages and businesses we work with.

Our mission is to facilitate projects and we do so by using a variety of tools and resources. Here are just some of the ways in which we can help businesses:

  • Where to locate: We keep an up-to-date database of all available properties and buildings in Seneca County and can help with site selection for a new business or expansion project. 
  • Who to hire: Our workforce partner, Carol Kern of Ohio Means Jobs, can help find the right people to hire for your business.
  • How to finance: We work with a number of local banks on business loans and can also connect you with many different financial programs through organizations such as the Small Business Administration, USDA Rural Development, Great Lakes Community Action Partnership, Jobs Ohio and more.
  • Getting the word out: We put together press releases, help with social media and work with over 70 media partners to help market a new business or expansion. Our promotion frequently results in newspaper, print, online and even TV stories.
  • Working through red tape: Our staff can help coordinate and manage zoning, regulatory, code, permit and licensing requirements. We also work closely with township, village, county and city officials to support business projects. 
  • Retention & Expansion: We will periodically check in with businesses to see if we can provide resources to help them grow or keep them going. 

These are just some of the many ways in which our office can support businesses. Have questions? Reach out! or 419-561-0244

#SupportLocalSnapshots social media contest created to promote the support of local businesses during crisis.

Directions for the contest are as follows:

Post a photo to Facebook that shows an action supporting local businesses! Examples include picking up a carry-out meal, getting a delivery from a local restaurant or ordering online from a local shop.

We ask you to use the honor system and to post only photos taken after this contest began on Monday, March 23rd.

To be entered in the contest, you must use the hashtag “#supportlocalsnapshots” and tag both the business as well as Downtown Tiffin or Tiffin Seneca Economic Partnership.

Gift card prizes will be awarded based on the number of “likes” received.

Remember, you can use the new site, to locate local carry-out and delivery options that are available as well as hours for each.

If you have qeustions, you can message our Facebook page or email

We look forward to seeing your #supportlocalsnapshots posts!

Please remember to follow the guidelines put out by the CDC and the State of Ohio that include staying home expect to perform essential tasks. Picking up food and groceries is still permitted. Remember to wash your hands frequently and practice safe habits. See the website below for more information on best practices:

Lewis and Upton open in new Tiffin office

Local Thrivent Financial representatives open new office to better serve their clients

Release provided by Thrivent Financial.

Tiffin, OH (August 7, 2019) – Thrivent Financial representatives Chris Lewis, Financial Associate and Michele Upton, Financial Associate, recently announced they are opening a new office to better serve their members. 

The new office is located at 120 ½ S. Washington Street, Suite 210, on the second floor of the historical Laird Building.

The financial representatives believe the new space will contribute to the quality of the service they can provide. “We believe the new office will enhance our ability to work together so we can provide the best level of service possible,” said Lewis. Added Upton, “The space will help us tap our combined knowledge, experience and expertise to support our clients and help ensure they achieve their financial goals.” 

The financial representatives offer a broad range of financial products and services and assist individuals with education funding options, business continuation plans, retirement strategies, charitable giving options and estate strategies, among others.

Lewis says the group’s first priority is to help clients achieve their financial objectives by giving them the professional and personal support they need to make more informed decisions about their financial future. 

An open house and ribbon cutting will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28, 2019. 

Lewis and Upton are financial representatives with Thrivent Financials’ Mid-Atlantic Regional Financial Office in Cleveland. 

About Thrivent Financial
Thrivent is a not-for-profit membership organization that helps Christians be wise with money and live generously. It offers its more than 2 million member-owners a broad range of products, services and guidance nationwide. For more than a century it has helped members make wise money choices that reflect their values while providing them opportunities to demonstrate their generosity where they live, work and worship. For more information, visit You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Insurance products issued or offered by Thrivent Financial, the marketing name for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Appleton, WI. Not all products are available in all states. Securities and investment advisory services are offered through Thrivent Investment Management Inc., 625 Fourth Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55415, a FINRA and SIPC member and a wholly owned subsidiary of Thrivent. Thrivent Financial representatives are registered representatives of Thrivent Investment Management Inc. They are also licensed insurance agents/producers of Thrivent. For additional important information, visit

Penn Station to Open in Tiffin

National sandwich chain franchise slated for West Market Street

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 11, 2019 – Penn Station East Coast Subs has announced the opening of a franchise of the national sandwich chain in Tiffin. The new restaurant will be located on 596 West Market Street, near Chipotle, with the opening goal of November 2019.

The franchisee owners, Steve Pryor, Hank Barnard and Brian Bullerman, are excited to be opening a location in Tiffin.  Barnard stated, “We are looking forward coming to the Tiffin area market and providing a new quality dining option for the community.  The intent is to hire approximately 30 full and part-time high character employees, with future growth potential within the company.” 

Inspired by Philadelphia cheesesteak on a visit to Philadelphia, Jeff Osterfeld opened the first Penn Station in Cincinnati in 1985. In 1988, Jeff’s vision for an upscale, fast casual dining experience revolving around “fresh ingredients and display cooking” was formulated into a franchising concept. The company has grown successfully and currently has over 350 restaurants throughout 15 states. Penn Station was also named the best sandwich chain in the Nation’s Restaurant News 2015 Consumer Picks survey.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said, “We’re excited to see this space filled and to have yet another food choice for citizens in Tiffin. I am pleased to welcome Penn Station to Tiffin and look forward to their opening.”

As Penn Station is committed to fresh ingredients and great service, meals are prepared in front of their customers offering sandwiches, wraps, salads, fresh cut fries and more. 

About Penn Station East Coast Subs

Penn Station East Coast Subs is renowned for its legendary Philadelphia Cheesesteak Sub sandwich, served grilled and made-to-order with high-quality ingredients on freshly baked bread. Featuring an upscale fast-casual atmosphere, Penn Station serves a mouth-watering variety of grilled and cold deli sandwiches, as well as fresh, hand-cut, made-to-order fries, hand-squeezed lemonade made several times daily and chocolate chunk cookies baked fresh in the restaurant.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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

Laminate Technologies receives two supplier of the year awards

Recognized by largest kitchen cabinet manufacturers in U.S.

TIFFIN, OHIO – Earlier this spring, Laminate Technologies Inc. was recognized by the two largest kitchen cabinet manufacturers in the United States with awards for supplier of the year. American Woodmark (NASDAQ: AMWD) and MasterBrand (NYSE: FBHS) separately presented the awards to LamTech for supplying plywood to the companies. This was the first year that MasterBrand has recognized a company for the award.

American Woodmark and MasterBrand operate multiple brands and supply cabinets to chain stores including Lowe’s and Home Depot as well as regional and independent dealers across North America and the world.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by two of the world’s premier cabinet manufacturers, and we couldn’t have done it without our hard-working employees who everyday make it their mission to make the best product to serve our customers,” said Fred Zoeller, President of Laminate Technologies.

In December 2017, LamTech acquired the business assets of Lamination Technology Industries (LTI) based in White City, Oregon with an additional manufacturing facility in Spokane, Washington. LTI is a leader in manufacturing Laminated Panels, Fabricated Components, Hardwood Veneer Panels and Specialty Products.

About Laminate Technologies

Founded 1985, Laminate Technologies Inc. (LamTech), is a major supplier of laminated panel products, fabricated components and globally sourced products to the kitchen cabinet, residential furniture, office furniture and retail display markets. With corporate headquarters in Tiffin and manufacturing facilities in Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington, LamTech is the largest privately held producer of laminated panels to the kitchen cabinet, store fixture and  furniture Industry in North America.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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

DIY Workshop Studio Opening in Tiffin, OH

Rustic Flair & Brush; Flair 37 LLC.

Press release provided by Rustic Flair and Brush and Shuff Consulting.

TIFFIN, OHIO – May 31, 2019 – A DIY workshop studio, Rustic Flair & Brush; Flair 37 LLC opened this month at 113 Melmore Street, Tiffin, OH. The studio hours will be Tuesday-Thursday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and scheduled private events. Owner Jennifer Burns is of Tiffin, OH.

“Anything that is personally created or given is more sentimental.” This is Burns’ inspiration behind her company Flair 37, LLC. and the basis of her Rustic Flair & Brush do it yourself workshops and Snapliments® program.

In 2018, Rustic Flair & Brush (RF&B) was launched as a creative workshop where friends, groups and organizations can come together and create personalized decor with their own personal flair. From there she continued to grow with more bookings for groups and private parties. “I have always loved creating as long as I can remember. Being creative is an outlet that I thrive on and something I am passionate about. I love being able to give that experience to others,” said Burns.

Hosting a RF&B event is great for fundraisers, bachelorette and birthday parties, team building, work functions or for any group that wants to get together. Burns is planning an extensive class schedule for the upcoming spring & summer months including kids craft workshops, project based learning sessions, adult workshop classes and mommy & me classes. Most classes will be preregistration; however, there will be some drop-in kid craft sessions. Events are found on the website and Facebook page.

In 2015, Burns developed Snapliments®. The program offers educators, coaches, parents, groups and organizations an affordable way to recognize and motivate others for going above and beyond. The program is customized to individual needs and tailored to fit a classroom/group with personalized patent pending Snap-its, I Can Ribbons and Snap Cap products. Snap-its (a cross between a flair pin and snap) are given out for compliments, similar to how scouts earn badges and football players receive helmet stickers. The program can be found in local organizations in Seneca and surrounding counties. At the new studio location, you’ll be able to customize a program for your organization.

Burns has lived in Tiffin for 17 years after graduating from Otterbein College of Westerville, OH with a degree in Public Relations, Art and a Certified Journalism Educator accreditation from the Journalism Education Association. While teaching students graphic design, assisting with school publications and directing summer workshops, Burns saw additional needs in her schools and community: motivation and FUN fundraisers. Her occasional FreeLance opportunities And Independent Rep experiences was the birth of Flair 37, LLC. Today, Burns is looking to make an strong impact in our community and youth of today. In 2018, Flair 37, LLC donated over $3,500 to local organizations through her workshops.

SkillsUSA Names 24 Schools as National Models of Excellence

The Vanguard Tech Center Honored as America’s Top SkillsUSA Program for 2019

Press release provided by Vanguard Sentinel Career & Technology Centers

Fremont, Ohio: — SkillsUSA recently named 24 SkillsUSA chapters as Models of Excellence for 2019. At the top level of SkillsUSA’s Chapter Excellence Program, these schools are recognized for the exceptional integration and application of personal, workplace and technical skills in their SkillsUSA chapter activities. This is the highest award bestowed on chapters by SkillsUSA, which is one of the largest student organizations for career and technical education. Vanguard Sentinel Career & Technology Centers (VSCTC) is excited to announce their Fremont campus (The Vanguard Tech Center) earned Model of Excellence for workplace skills.

“The Models of Excellence program represents the very best in chapter achievement and community involvement,” said Timothy W. Lawrence, executive director of SkillsUSA. “These students represent our future workforce and reflect the future of their communities. This is a tremendous honor for each school and validates these outstanding SkillsUSA programs as some of the best in the nation.”

As an honoree, VSCTC will participate in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky., June 24-28. Activities include finalist interviews, an awards dinner at the Kentucky Derby Museum, and recognition at the SkillsUSA awards ceremony in front of more than 12,000 students, instructors and business leaders. The Chapter Excellence Program is provided in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor and Crescent Tools, a premier hand-tool brand from Apex Tool Group.

“We are honored to be part of this program,” said Curt Weber, senior director of brand management for Apex Tool Group. “These students possess the skills that every employer seeks, including leadership, initiative, communication, teamwork and problem solving. Their SkillsUSA instructors take the education of these students to the next level by elevating it from classroom instruction to successful application.” 

Other Ohio schools receiving the 2019 Models of Excellence award recognition include Buckeye Hills Career Center and Upper Valley Career Center.

The Chapter Excellence Program promotes the intentional learning of personal skills, workplace skills and technical skills grounded in academics, as outlined in the SkillsUSA Framework for student development. Specific characteristics defined within each skill area help ensure tangible benchmarks for student achievement and chapter programming. Achievement is measured by the effectiveness of students’ efforts in implementing essential workplace skills including personal responsibility, integrity, work ethic and organization in chapter activities. The hands-on approach of this program actualizes the SkillsUSA mission of empowering members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.

About Vanguard Sentinel Career & Technology Centers

Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers have been providing quality career technical education since 1968.  The district provides students with specific, marketable skills to begin a career, pursue further training or attend college.  For more information, visit  

About SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of education and industry to strengthen our nation’s skilled workforce. Driven by employer demand, SkillsUSA helps students develop necessary personal and workplace skills along with technical skills grounded in academics. This SkillsUSA Framework empowers every student to succeed at work and in life, while helping to close the “skills gap” in which millions of positions go unfilled. Through SkillsUSA’s championships program and curricula, employers have long ensured schools are teaching relevant technical skills, and with SkillsUSA’s new credentialing process, they can now assess how ready potential employees are for the job. SkillsUSA has more than 360,000 annual members nationwide in high schools, colleges and middle schools, covering over 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, and is recognized by the U.S. departments of Education and Labor as integral to career and technical education. For more information: