Author: davidzak1

Seneca County Youth Entrepreneur Places in National Pitch Competition

This press release was issued from the Seneca County CEO program on 4/15/2022.

Madison Beard, high-school entrepreneur and National Pitch Competition honorable mention winner

A local youth entrepreneur was recently Honorable Mention in a National Pitch Competition, where she competed alongside over 260+ other high-school-aged entrepreneurs for a share of $4,000 in cash prizes.

Madison Beard from Seneca East and a participant of the Seneca County CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) program, made an official submission to the 2022 National Pitch Competition, alongside 5 other local Seneca CEO Students.

The other submissions from the Seneca County Program were made by CEO Participant(s), Shayden Heiser from Seneca East for his beef business Heiser Cattle Company, Ashton Hemminger from Calvert High School for her marketing consulting business AJ & Co., Natalie Johnson for her clothing business All Shapes ’N Sizes, Kaidan Mathias from Mohawk High School for her mental health non-profit Buddy Systems and Lauren Moyer from Mohawk High School for her dog walking business Leashes by Lauren.

Madison Beard has been working alongside her fellow CEO Participants all year to ideate and
create her business, Bars by Mads.

With this award, she receives $50 in cash prizes that can be invested back into her business concept, as well as a collection of resources to support them in their entrepreneurial journey.

The CEO program is an accredited entrepreneurship education course available to Seniors from all local Seneca County Schools. The class is never held in school, rather, participants meet five days a week for 90 minutes in local businesses.

Throughout the school year, the CEO program takes students out of the classroom and into
local businesses, allowing them to meet with community leaders, exposing them to dozens of
guest speakers, and providing them with mentors who coach them through the process of
starting and running a business.

Each student leaves the program having created two businesses – a class business, a
collaborative effort among all current participants which takes place in the first half of the year,
and an individual business, which participants focus on developing during the second semester
of the course.

In the 2022 National Pitch Competition, Madison Beard shared her business through a recorded, 30-second video, which was taken in one continuous shot and then uploaded to a secure platform for judging.

Submissions for the competition were reviewed by a community of over 70 CEO stakeholders from across the country comprised of CEO board members, CEO Alumni, local business owners, and mentors.

The top pitches were announced on a live webinar on April 13th, 2021, during which these highlevel judges awarded the winners and provided comments and expert advice to students on
pursuing their entrepreneurial path forward.

About CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities)

Midland Institute’s “CEO program” is entrepreneurship education that seeks to prepare people,
especially youth, to be responsible, enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurs or
entrepreneurial thinkers and contribute to economic development and sustainable communities.
The CEO program is much more than a textbook course. Rather, students are immersed in reallife learning experiences with the opportunity to take risks, manage the results, and learn from
the outcomes.

Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership opens national search for next President & CEO

Applications accepted until May 16

TIFFIN, OHIO – April 14, 2022 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) announced today that it has launched a national search to find its next leader, as current President & CEO David Zak resigned this week to assume a leadership position with the Crawford Partnership for Education and Economic Development. Position description and requirements can be found at tsepsearch.com. Resumes and cover letters will be accepted by email only to tsepsearch@tiffinseneca.org until 5 p.m. Monday, May 16, 2022.  

Lillian Schumacher, Chair of the TSEP Board of Trustees and President of Tiffin University, was excited about starting the next chapter for the award-winning organization that serves as the economic, downtown, and community development agent for the City of Tiffin and rural Seneca County. “We are one of the premier local economic development organizations in the country,” she said, “and we are looking for a strong, experienced, dynamic, and visionary leader to help us continue the success we have seen over the past decade.” She also stated, “I am grateful for David Zak’s leadership and wish him the best in his new position.”

Site Selection magazine has ranked the Tiffin-Seneca County micropolitan in the top 20 percent nationally in economic development for 11 straight years, and for five of the past six years, it has ranked among the top 10 of the 581 micropolitans in the United States. Since 2014, companies have invested half a billion dollars and created 2,800 new jobs here, and in 2021, the organization won the Ohio Economic Development Association award for Innovation in Economic Development for its small business relief grant program.

Dean Keller, head of the Search Committee, Immediate Past Chair and President of the First National Bank of Sycamore, said, “We have incredible collaboration here, and we believe you need a holistic approach to economic development. In addition to traditional industrial and commercial development, we also focus on downtown revitalization, community development, entrepreneurship and workforce development in order to be a community of choice where people want to live, work, invest, and run a business.”

Thanks in large part to TSEP’s efforts, Downtown Tiffin has received both state and national Main Street accreditation every year since 2016, as well as nine state awards for revitalization excellence. It has also recorded more than 70 new downtown businesses, $35 million of new investment, and 100 façade projects take place in the downtown. TSEP Director of Downtown Revitalization Amy Reinhart has been recognized as Ohio’s Main Street Manager of the Year, and more than 50 volunteers contribute 1,500 hours per year to the downtown efforts.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, a member of TSEP’s Executive Committee and Board of Trustees, described the importance of the search this way: “We continue to push for excellence in everything we do, and we aspire to continue becoming one of the best communities in the state and country. In order to get there, we need an experienced leader at TSEP to join our community and help us move forward with passion, dedication, and a high level of engagement.”

Rounding out the TSEP team are Development Coordinator Adam Gillmor, Seneca Job & Family Services Business Services Consultant Carol Owen Kern, and Operations Manager Corrina Haynes. Gillmor helps coordinate the Dream Big Tiffin! community development initiative, the Tiffin-Seneca Entrepreneurship Clearinghouse, and rural development. Owen Kern leads adult-based workforce development and the organization’s INSIGHT retention and expansion program. Haynes support the team, manages finances, and administers the Sandusky-Seneca-Tiffin Port Authority.

Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner, also a member of TSEP’s Executive Committee and Board of Trustees, strongly supports both the organization and the search. “It will be difficult to fill the shoes of David Zak, who is unfortunately moving on. We know, though, that TSEP has a great team in place and works extremely hard to promote our community, communicate with stakeholders, and drive economic growth. We think this is a great opportunity for the right person.” 

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. Tiffin and Seneca County consistently rank in the top two percent of communities nationally for economic development and has one of the most recognized and award-winning downtown Main Street programs in Ohio. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

Tiffin University launches Drone Academy

This is a press release from Tiffin University about a significant development for the institution, our community, region, state, and nation.

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 18, 2022

Contact:  Deborah Roszman, Executive Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications

Telephone:  419.448.3513       

Email: roszmandl@tiffin.edu

Tiffin University Launches Drone Academy

TIFFIN UNIVERSITY, Tiffin, OH — Tiffin University has announced the opening of its Drone Academy in response to the growing and expanding drone industry. The Academy has become a place of learning, research and achievement for the advancement of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones. Featuring academic classes, training seminars, community outreach programs, certification opportunities and recreational activities like Community Fly Days, the Drone Academy provides theoretical and applied learning for the technological and operational aspects of the industry.

According to Dr. Peter J. Holbrook, Tiffin University Provost and Chief Academic Officer, this development will be an advantage to students regardless of their chosen majors. “With almost every field of study offered at TU, drone technology is becoming central to the functions of various commercial industries, businesses, and governmental organizations. In short, drones are a transformative technology.”

The Academy has been designated to participate in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Collegiate Training Initiative (UAS-CTI) by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and allows the Academy and University to collaborate with the FAA, in order to provide aid to students pursuing a career in aviation. The designation also provides the opportunity to partner with industry professionals, local government officials, members of law enforcement and other organizations to provide enrolled students with the industry-skills needed to ensure success.

The University also has plans to establish a minor in UAS that will be available to all undergraduate seated students, regardless of their major. The minor will introduce UAS technology to students that can be utilized in many different professions. There will also be a new concentration in UAS for the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree that will offer students the ability to explore various UAS platforms and be able to master the concepts of programming for UAS Technologies.

Both the minor and concentration will introduce students to hands on drone flights in class as well as the knowledge to pass their Part 107 Remote Pilot License by the FAA. Students also will gain knowledge in python programming as well as advanced UAS flight platforms. Finally, students are taught the basics of videography and photography using drones.

Through the Drone Academy students can join the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) through the Tiffin University AMA University Model Aviation Student (UMASC) Chapter (in many cases at no charge to the student). This opportunity provides extensive resources, scholarships, grants and insurance for the students in Drone Academy.

The Academy is working with the Athletics Department to establish a Club Drone Racing Team, slated to be active in the fall 2022 semester.

“The Drone Academy will be a great addition to our programs at Tiffin University,” says Owen Fritz, Assistant Professor of Computer Science. “Current and potential students will gain a deeper knowledge of and appreciation for UAS technology. We are excited to have students enhance their credentials and pursue jobs in this line of work, as the industry will only expand in years to come. I am grateful to all of my colleagues who have helped make this a reality, but especially to Bruce Chambers and David Gierhart, two flight instructors who have proved instrumental in getting this project started. Additionally, I would like to thank Dr. Terry Sullivan, the academic dean at the helm of this project.”

The Drone Academy is to host the first Community Fly Day in May. The event will focus on teaching attendees the basics of drone operation before allowing them to experience piloting these aircrafts. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information email droneacademy@tiffin.edu.

Drone Industry Fast Facts:

  • 854,606 drones registered
  •  Businesses and the government have spent an estimated $13 billion on drones.
  • The drone industry is expected to grow at 15% CAGR (Continued Annual Growth Rate) over the next five years.
  • The number of jobs operating drones will reach 422,000 by the end of 2022.
  • Through the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Research Program, a recent research project completed for the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Ohio UAS Center by Crown Consulting Inc. concluded that Ohio could expect $13 billion economic impact over 25 years by investing in advanced autonomous aircraft sector.
  •  If Ohio acts to capture this emerging market, researchers concluded that Ohio could expect Advanced Air Mobility to contribute 15,000 new jobs, $2.5 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues and 1.6% GDP growth through 2045.
  • In the UAS industry there are several opportunities that exist. Employment opportunities for UAS that currently exist for students:
    • Public safety (fire/law/EMS)
      • Surveillance
      • Fire hot spots
      • Scene oversight
      • Search and rescue
    • Disaster relief
    • Order delivery and fulfillment
    • Commercial photography (real estate, weddings, etc.)
    • Commercial movie making
    • 3D Modeling (mapping, GIS, etc.)
    • Agriculture
    • Inspections (tower, bridges, power lines, windmills, cell phones, etc.)
    • Geological surveying
    • Wildlife monitoring

–TU–

About TIFFIN UNIVERSITY

Founded in 1888, Tiffin University is a premier university located in north-central Ohio. The 145-acre campus in Tiffin, Ohio, is a blend of traditional historic and modern buildings, creating a vibrant and warm home for a culturally diverse educational community. Students of Tiffin University are challenged to enhance their global competencies for success in a diverse world. The University offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees all of which are designed to assist students in achieving their full potential after graduation. TU offers classes at several locations in Ohio, online and in the country of Romanian. Some of TU’s top programs, many of which are nationally recognized, include accounting, criminal justice, management, exercise science, homeland security and forensic psychology, to name a few. Throughout its history, TU has maintained its dedication to providing a professionally focused, learning-centered education to prepare students for successful careers and for productive and satisfying lives of excellence, leadership, and service. Tiffin University’s faculty offers a unique combination of practical application with scholarly knowledge. The TU approach to learning and skill set development insists on connecting students to the workplace as soon, and as often, as possible during their college experience through internships.

Reineke RV continues regional expansion, opens Lima location

From a press release from Reineke RV and Reineke Family of Dealerships (3/2/2020).


LIMA, OHIO
 – Reineke RV, with dealerships in Tiffin and Toledo, has announced the opening of a third location in Lima, Ohio.  Located at 1280 North Cable Road, Reineke RV of Lima sells new and used folding trailers, expandable trailers, travel trailers, and fifth wheel trailers.  Genuine parts, installation, maintenance, and repair is available at their full-service facility.       

“We’ve been a part of the Lima community for years with our Ford, Lincoln, and Nissan dealerships and we look forward to serving customers in and around the community with a number of camping products and services,” said Tom Reineke, Reineke Family Dealerships. 

Reineke RV of Lima will be open Monday – Friday (9am – 5pm) and Saturday (9am – 3pm).  Other hours are available by appointment.  

“Our family has been in business since 1960 serving rv customers in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.  Since our partnership with the Reineke organization in 2018, we have continued our growth into new markets including, Tiffin, and most recently Lima, said James Chalfin, General Manager, Reineke RV.” 

Reineke RV of Lima will be open for business on March 1, 2022.  A spring open house is planned and a date will be announced in the future.   

Visit www.ReinekeRV.com for more information.   

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About Reineke RV 

Reineke RV operates in Tiffin, Toledo, and Lima, offering both new and used folding trailers, expandable trailers, travel trailers, and fifth wheel trailers from a variety of manufacturers including Dutchmen, Forest River, Keystone, and Starcraft.  Genuine parts, installation, maintenance, and repair is available at all facilities.   

About Reineke Family Dealerships  

Reineke Family Dealerships, founded in 1960 by William F. Reineke, Sr., is a family-owned dealership organization known for strong customer loyalty and high sales and service ratings.  Reineke Family Dealerships operates in Fostoria, Tiffin, Lima, Findlay, North Baltimore, and sells Ford, Lincoln, Nissan, Honda, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and RAM vehicles.  

Annual Address 2022: Where do we go from here?

The following is the speech delivered by David Zak, President and CEO of the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Membership on Thursday, February 24, 2022.

Good evening. I’m David Zak, I’m President & CEO of the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership. Tonight I want to say thank you, hit some highlights, and share some strategy.

1. Thank You

  • Crowd – I want to start by thanking you for coming out tonight, despite the weather and the snow.
  • Camden – I want to thank Adam Smith and Camden Falls for providing such a great venue.
  • City/County – I want to thank the City of Tiffin and Seneca County for allowing us to be your economic, downtown, and community development agent. We take that responsibility pretty seriously, and we’re super thankful for such a strong relationship over the years. We also appreciate the contract we have with the Port Authority.  
  • Members – I also want to thank our 57 members and our several other financial supporters. Our members are all listed on the on the back of the annual report that’s at everybody’s place. Every single year these organizations give us what we need to do our jobs, and we appreciate each and every one of you. We also listed when they started supporting organization. It’s amazing how long some of the support goes back. We people who’ve been supporting us for more than 30 years, and we appreciate the new members who’ve just joined this year.
  • Volunteers – Next, I also want to appreciate our hundreds of volunteers. We literally have hundreds of volunteers contributing thousands of hours to the cause. Whether it’s on our Board, Executive Committee, Finance or Membership Committees; downtown committees; economic, community, or entrepreneurship development committees; Northwest Career Ready or Seneca County CEO; or any other of the events we support or run. We know that you are the ones who make the success that we get to talk about happen. Thank you so much.
  • Partners – I also want to thank our many other partners that we work with, on sometimes a daily basis.  
    • We appreciate elected officials and staffs here tonight from the Auditor’s office, the Courts, JFS, Tiffin City Schools, townships, and non-profits like the Seneca Regional Chamber, SCAT, the Tiffin Community Foundation, the Tiffin Historic Trust, and the United Way.
    • At the regional level, we work a lot with the GLCAP, Regional Growth Partnership, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
    • At the state level, we appreciate JobsOhio, the Department of Development, Representative Gary Click, Bill Reineke, Robert Sprague, what we believe will be our new US representative Bob Latta, as well as US Senator Rob Portman.
  • Extended Team – I also want to take the opportunity to thank our team, including folks that support us in a very close way, like Lisa Young, Audrey Burkholder, Dead Shark Production, COACT, Spire, and now TRIAD.
  • Team Alumni – I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the contributions of Audrey Flood, Nick Dutro, and Chandler Grooms, who left us within the last year.
    • Audrey really helped get our rural, entrepreneurship, and community development off the ground.
    • Nick managed our economic development in such a way that we consistently ranked in the Top 10 nationally.
    • And Chandler helped launch Northwest Career Ready as a real thing BAC, implementing its marketing and plan.
  • Current Team – Last, but not least, I want to thank my existing team. I appreciate Adam and Corrina. Their impact is already being felt. We appreciate them for joining this crazy crew. And to Carol and Amy, I really don’t have enough time to tell you how much I appreciate you, as people, as professionals and colleagues, laboring in this thing for years with me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

2. Highlights

Highlights – So, you’ve heard from the team on a lot of the great things that happened last year. I also want to touch on some things they haven’t mentioned yet.

  • Communications & Marketing – First, communications and marketing. It was a really good year for us. We issued a record 95 press releases, which helped generate more than 200 stories online, in print, and even on TV. We also created 160 pages of content on our website, and we  got about 70,000 visitors and 100,000 views. Through the 4,000 posts on our social media platforms, we generated more than a million impressions.
  • Workforce/Youth – In the workforce arena, you heard Carol mention Northwest Career Ready, an effort to connect high school students with great local career opportunities. It’s a great partnership with Vanguard-Sentinel, Terra State, 13 high schools and districts, as well as a number of local employers. It involves five counties. We launched a new brand, a new website, a plan of work with 18 specific initiatives, of which six have already been accomplished already. We’re now working on finalizing the plan for finding a new manager to replace Chandler in 2022.
  • Entrepreneurship/Youth – In the entrepreneurship space, Seneca County CEO. It’s a youth-based entrepreneurship and workforce development initiative. We’re in partnership with a lot of organizations including North Central Electric, Terra State, and many others, and we successfully launched the first class of students. It’s a national program with 60 chapters around the country. We’re the first one in Ohio. Love being the innovator here. The students already did two class businesses and are working on their individual businesses. Recruitment is currently underway for next year’s class.
  • Real Estate Development – In real estate development, there was the work going on on Spec Building 4 to accommodate TH Plastics, expanding from 50,000 to more than 100,000 square feet. We also went through a Request For Proposals process and announced a new spec building, #5 in our history, similar kind of situation, 50,000 square feet expandable to 200,000 square feet. It’s going to be a $2 to $3 million investment, and we’re going after some grant funding right now to support the infrastructure there. We also working on expanding the amount of industrial ground available.
  • Economic Development – Economic development in general, it was a great year.  We had a fantastic year in economic development, with $76 million in new investment and almost 500 new jobs. Industrial and commercial businesses that announced projects last year included CentraComm, Copper Mare Ranch, Crossfit Tiffin, Custom Machine, F&F Sheet Metal, Grammer, Independent Pallet, Miller Investment Fund, Mohawk Nursery, QT2, Sonoco Products, Tiffin Foundry & Machine, Tiffin Farmers’ Co-Op, the VC, Webster Industries, WIN Waste Innovations, Your Legacy, and many others. We also received a national ranking of #4 in the country for large, private economic development projects for counties like ours (there are almost 600) from Site Selection magazine, and we also won the Excellence in Innovation award from the Ohio Economic Development Association for our work with the Tiffin and Seneca CARES small business relief grant program.
  • Ratings – And last, but not least, our members and stakeholders, including many in this room, gave us our highest ratings ever on our performance – 4.6 on a 5-point scale. We appreciate it, and we’re going to continue to work really hard to earn your trust and respect every year.

3. Strategic Shift

Vision – We Made It!

  • 10-Year Goals – So, let me now share some now about what we’re thinking strategically. You know, when I came in 2014, I shared a vision around expanding our communication, expanding our outreach, and expanding our economy. I shared 10-year goals of 1,000 jobs, 1,000 calls on businesses, and sharing 1,000 stories about why Tiffin and Seneca County were a great place to live and run a business.
  • 8-Year ResultsSo, the question is where do we stand today, eight years in? I’m happy to report that we are at 2,400 jobs, 1,600 calls on businesses, and 1,000 stories that we’ve shared on our website about why this is a great place. We have, so to speak, made it! As a result, the community has had over 800 development projects that have taken place, about a hundred a year, involving a half a billion dollars in new investment. For me, it’s incredible to think about and very satisfying and gratifying to have been a part of it.

Vision – Changing the Conversation

  • Amazement – And what we’ve seen happen, is the conversation about this place, both inside and outside the community, has completely changed. No longer is it why would you want to live there or start your business there; yes, it’s a nice, safe little community, but there’s not a whole lot going on. You have no …I think what we’re getting now, as people discover what we are, both people that live here and people that don’t, they have this sense of amazement. They’re amazed at our universities, our businesses, our internationalism, our growth and development, our downtown, our collaboration, and our quality of life. It’s super cool to see that that conversation is not why would you want to do it there to what the heck is going on there? Why are things so positive? Why is there so much growth?

Vision – Grow our Team, our Stakeholders, our Collaboration

  • Expansion to Growth – So, now that we’ve kind of made it, we’re thinking about what’s next. And as I and the team have thought about this, not only recently, but for more than a year, we’ve come to the conclusion that what we need to do is shift our strategic focus from expansion. From expanding communication, outreach, and economic development—which we need to continue to work on in the same way that we have—instead of expanding and increasing the numbers, we need to focus instead on growing our internal talent, on growing our external support, and on growing available resources for development.
  • Let me dive into those three topics a little bit.
  • Grow Talent – So, the first thing is, we need to answer the question, “How do we increase our organization’s ability to attract and develop talented people?”
    • The Reality – You see, we know that the reality is millennials and Gen Z employees, which are beginning to make up a majority of the workforce, average less than three years of employment at one place. This has happened to us twice now. The very talented Bryce Riggs and Katie Lang. They left at the end of 2017, and we brought on Audrey Flood and Nick Dutro, who left at the end of last year. And what we discovered is that we’re very good at growing talent. We let people own things. They shine. People get exposed to how good they are. And we want them to fly. We encourage that.
    • Great College Sports Programs – We need to become like a college sports team that’s very good at attracting, recruiting, hiring, onboarding, coaching, mentoring, developing, and growing talented people so that they have a great experience, do great things professionally, and then whenever they go off to wherever their next adventure is, that we’re ready to reload and do it quickly and efficiently. And, actually, as they leave and succeed, if they do, then that’s a compliment to us and our system.
    • TSEP Thrive – So, instead of trying to fight it, we realized we’re really good it it. We have an awesome work experience that we’ve now tried to brand as TSEP Thrive. 
    • Career Mixers – Some other new initiatives for 2022 include our new Career Mixer events we’re doing at Heidelberg, TU, and Terra State.
  • Grow Support – The second thing we want to do over the next several years is increase our organization’s ability to grow its base, its support, and that involves membership and the financial contributions we get from there. It involves volunteers, and the time and the talents that they contribute. We have hundreds of volunteers and how do we support them and grow that number. And our partners as well.  
    • Increase Value – So, how do we become an organization that increases value to those stakeholders and enhances the experience they have when they’re involved and engaged with us.
    • TSEP 101 – So, some of the new initiatives we’ve launched for this year include our TSEP 101 events, both in-person and virtually, where members, volunteers, elected officials, or interested people looking potentially at engaging can meet the entire team and get an overview of who we are and what we do and ask questions.
    • TSEP Connect – We also just started TSEP Connect events, where periodically stakeholders or people that are checking us out can meet with us, the TSEP Team, in a casual setting (lunch, coffee, drinks, whatever), but we’re trying to make ourselves more accessible.
    • Volunteer Support – We’re also in the beginning stages of developing a better volunteer onboarding, development and training system, to provide more volunteer support, as well as more volunteer and member recognition events. We’re doing some Volunteer and Member Receptions, which we’ve never done before. We’re excited about that.  
    • Fundraising – And then also, the last time we did an intentional fundraising drive was my first year in 2014. We need to do another one this year. You know we’ve had a 20% increase in inflation since that time, plus our increased activity scope, and to stay competitive in the marketplace, we need to launch a fundraising drive to be able to sustain what we’re doing. So, we’re excited about adding more members. We’ll also be launching some new member benefits this year, and we’re excited about that.
  • Grow Resources – Last, how do we increase our organization’s ability to grow the resources that companies need in order for more development to occur. We’re finding there are obstacles to that development occurring. That includes not enough workforce, so we got to be focusing on workforce development. We got to look at industrial and spec building development, capital development, broadband and infrastructure development, community development resource development, entrepreneurship initiatives and resources, and rural planning.  
    • Workforce Development – So, in the workforce development, we’re going to keep focusing on career marketing, apprenticeships, Northwest Career Ready, and we applied with GLCAP to develop a new regional workforce training system through the Good Jobs Challenge grant, and many other partnerships and initiatives.  
    • Real Estate Development – In real estate development, the new spec building is going to go up this year. We’re also going to be working on expanding the amount of industrial ground, we’re beginning to talk about within the entrepreneurship strategic planning effort about doing incubator space, some of which is already underway on the college campuses.
    • Rural Development – In rural development, we helped launch the selection of the consultants to do the rural broadband strategic plan that North Central Ohio Regional Council of Governments is going to be running. We’re planning on being active participants in that, and we’re planning on taking the Rural Broadband Task Force, and turning it into a Rural Development Committee, so that we can update, communicate, and begin to collaborate on how to do rural development better in rural Seneca County.
    • Entrepreneurship – Last, but not least, in entrepreneurship, we’re going to keep cranking on Seneca County CEO, pushing the Entrepreneurial Clearinghouse, and finish the Entrepreneurship Strategic Plan this year. 

So, to sum it all up, we want to continue the communication, the outreach and the economic growth, and we believe the best way to sustain the success we’ve had is to invest in our organization’s ability to grow talent, support, and resources available for development.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for your support. Looking forward to what the next eight to ten years will bring. It should be incredibly exciting.

Award winners named at TSEP annual meeting

535 new jobs, $76 million in new investment announced in 2021

TIFFIN, OHIO – February 24, 2022 – More than 320 attended the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership Thursday evening, February 24, 2022, at Camden Falls Reception & Conference Center in Tiffin. The event celebrated the successes of 2021 as Operations Manager Corrina Haynes, Development Coordinator Adam Gillmor, Business Services Consultant Carol Owen-Kern, Director of Downtown Revitalization Amy Reinhart, and President & CEO David Zak reviewed the community’s progress in economic, community, downtown, and workforce development.

There were many projects and initiatives from 2021 highlighted at the event. Last year, there was $76 million in announced investment and 535 new jobs to be created.

Since 2014, there have been 800 development projects involving half a billion dollars in new investment and 2,400 jobs, said Zak during his remarks. The ten-year goals of 1,000 jobs, 1,000 outreach calls to local businesses, and 1,000 stories to be shared about why Tiffin and Seneca County is a great place to live and run a business have been met. Growing talent, support and resources for area businesses will be the strategic focus for the next decade, he added.

Also, during the event, the TSEP Awards were presented 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 recognition.

Award winners at the 2021 annual meeting include:

  • Economic Development Award – TH Plastics
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit Award – Five Star Maintenance & Construction
  • Outstanding Business – Molyet’s Farm Markets
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Ewald Furniture
  • Partnership in Development Award – Terra State Community College

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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 www.tiffinseneca.org.

TSEP seeks to hire for economic development

Position open to all experience levels and backgrounds

TIFFIN, OHIO – February 2, 2022 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) announced today that beginning Friday, February 4, it will open a search for someone to learn, grow in, and manage economic development. The position will focus on helping businesses grow, expand, invest, and create jobs in Tiffin and rural Seneca County. The search will close on Friday, March 11. Videos and detailed information can be found explaining the career opportunity and how to apply at tseptalent.com.

“No direct experience is required, and everyone here we’ve hired learned on the job,” said President & CEO David Zak. “We are just looking for smart, positive, hard-working people with good people skills who care and get things done. We can teach the rest through our robust coaching, mentorship, and professional development program.” Zak first joined the organization in 2014.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was excited to see the announcement. “Over the last several years, we have been experiencing tremendous industrial and commercial growth, and TSEP is a big reason why. They do a great job of growing and developing people as well as the economy, and I look forward to welcoming the next person to the team.”

In addition to competitive salaries and benefits for its industry, TSEP offers a unique work experience they call “TSEP Thrive,” which is designed to provide better job satisfaction and work-life balance. It provides team members with a great purpose, coaching, flexibility, growth opportunities, and culture.

Amy Reinhart, Director of Downtown Revitalization and a Main Street Manager of the Year, joined TSEP in 2014. “I enjoy working at TSEP because of the range of work we do and results we see. We are a great community of collaboration and working together means we get so much accomplished. I love to see the growth and development because of our assistance with the projects.”

“TSEP provides me with the flexibility that I need to both have a full-time career and have a large family,” Reinhart said. She has a degree in architecture and previously led Leadership Seneca County. When she joined TSEP, she had no prior experience in downtown revitalization, and she is now one of Ohio’s most-respected leaders in the field.

The position’s title, as well as salary, will be determined by the successful applicant’s experience and qualifications. It could be Economic Development Specialist (little to no experience), Economic Development Coordinator (significant experience and/or education), or Economic Development Manager (substantial experience and can hit the ground running). There is even a college graduate hiring track, which would hire the student now, and then allow them to work part-time until graduation or finish up their studies and start following graduation.

Operations Manager Corrina Haynes graduated from Tiffin University and joined TSEP in June 2021. She had served as an intern, volunteer, and most recently a full-time administrator. “I love working here,” Haynes said. “We do amazing work, and we get to impact the lives of thousands of people every day. I’m always learning something new, and I’m excited to pursue a career here.” Haynes’s position was created last year to provide the team much needed additional support.

Development Coordinator Adam Gillmor is the most recent addition to the team, replacing Audrey Flood, who was recruited to join North Central Electric as a Key Accounts Manager. Gillmor works on community development, entrepreneurship, and rural development. Carol Owen Kern, Business Services Consultant at Seneca County Job & Family Services, is a 26-year veteran and a partner member of the team, leading many of the workforce development and business outreach initiatives.

For more information, please go to tseptalent.com, which provides a video overview and written profile of the career opportunity, as well as an introduction to TSEP, and other ways to connect and learn more about the organization.

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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. Tiffin and Seneca County consistently rank in the top one to two percent of communities nationally for economic development and has one of the most recognized and award-winning downtown Main Street programs in Ohio. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org or by reading its annual report at www.tsepreport.com.

New owner for T.J. Willie’s restaurant

The following is a story published in the Seneca News Daily today (Feb. 1, 2022). We appreciate the shout out for the Tiffin-Seneca Entrepreneurial Opportunity Clearinghouse and are thrilled to see more of our great businesses stay in our community in the hands of the next generation. To sign up for the Seneca News Daily, please go to https://senecanewsdaily.com/

As you know Doug Dunlap has been trying to sell T.J. Willie’s and retire for several years.  It wasn’t  a real estate listing or a mention in the Seneca News Daily that finally made it happen.  You might say it was fate.

Enter Jesse Short.  Jesse owns a commercial construction company, and travels the mid-west doing projects.  One of those projects brought him to Tiffin, Ohio.  He stayed at the Holiday Inn, and ate most evening meals at T.J. Willie’s.  He was around enough that he heard the restaurant was for sale, but he wasn’t interested at the stated price.

However, at the end of December Doug put out the opportunity anonymously on TSEP’s Tiffin-Seneca Entrepreneurial Opportunity Clearinghouse (tseoc.org) as Project Thunder. A lot of people expressed interest in the business, and as a result Jesse and Doug were able to come to terms and the deal was made..

Monday, January 31 was Doug Dunlap’s last day at the restaurant.  Jesse sends Doug best wishes on his retirement.

Changes at T.J.’s

Jesse and his team will be spending the next several months making changes to better accommodate their guests.  They would like to hear what things you like best about T.J.’s and what kind of changes you would like to see.  In short, they want to keep the best and fix the other to make it the best.

Nichole Lange is the Vice President of Operations and Jenna Hackenburg is the General Manager.  You can reach out to them with your feedback on the T.J. Willies Facebook page.

TSEP releases 2022 Dream Big Tiffin! Report

Priority ratings published for 14 community development projects

Read and download report here: 2022 DBT! Report.

TIFFIN, OHIO – January 21, 2022 – Today, the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership released the 2022 Dream Big Tiffin! Report officially capping off the six-month long community development process. Overseen by the Tiffin Community Development Committee (TCDC), Dream Big Tiffin! is a community-sourced and driven process to help guide and support community development in Tiffin. The report can be read and downloaded at dreambigtiffin.com.

This report is the culmination of an in-depth process to solicit, review, and categorize project proposals and ideas from Tiffin residents and key stakeholders. The second Dream Big Tiffin! initiative opened for project submissions on September 3, and over the next six weeks, seven new project proposals and sixteen new ideas were submitted. Additionally, the projects and ideas from the 2021 cycle carried over resulting in fourteen total project proposals and 44 total ideas for review.

Following the end of the submission period, the public was asked to weigh in on how important they felt each project was for the upcoming year. Using this community feedback, the proposals themselves, and interviews with project sponsors, the TCDC assessed each project to determine its priority ranking for 2022: “Priority” for impactful projects that are ready to go and have significant support; “Recommended” for impactful projects that have outstanding questions, need more support, or aren’t immediately ready to go; and “Reviewed” for projects that qualify for the other two categories at this time.

It’s important to note that receiving a “Priority” ranking does not mean a project will happen or happen in the near term; they are dependent on funding, capacity, and a host of other factors. It does, though, provide additional support to those projects, increasing the likelihood of their realization.

This year, nine projects were ranked as a “Priority,” two as “Recommended,” and three as “Reviewed.” Below is a listing and short description of the “Priority” projects:

  • Bunky Bike Tree: $5,000 sculpture of a tree made from recycled bicycle parts to honor the life and legacy of Mark “Bunky” Roehrig.
  • Court Street Alley Improvement Project: a $407,000 project that seeks to transform Court Street into a destination space like Cherry Alley including lighting, seating, and other amenities.
  • South River Road Trail Improvements: $200,000 for the development and beautification of a recently closed street area as a portion of trail along the Sandusky River, increasing safety.
  • Holiday Lighting: $31,000 to produce and hang 61 branded snowflakes on the South Washington Street light poles to make downtown brighter, prevent vandalism, and increase visibility of community branding.
  • Downtown Parking Lot Improvements Design: $101,342 to repave and restripe the eight downtown public-use parking lots and the installation of additional high-quality lighting, landscaping, signage, and other amenities. 
  • Community Gardens: $2,732.86 to build and support a model garden in the heart of Tiffin to serve community members who struggle financially to obtain a balanced, healthy diet, and who may lack the knowledge needed to grow their own food.
  • Cycling Without Age: a $70,000 program to provide free bicycle rides for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
  • Tiffin Community Kitchen: $2.7 million community kitchen space where people can connect around local food, service, cooking, eating, and growing.
  • Transformational Life Center: $100,000 to develop a comprehensive center that will provide housing, clothing, food, and services for those in need.

Jodie Reinbolt, Executive Director of the Tiffin Community Foundation, was pleased with the announcement. “This report is further evidence that the community is working together and thinking strategically about how to improve and accelerate projects that improve the quality of life for our community. Two projects were completed last year, and we are excited to support more projects moving forward.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented, “The Dream Big Tiffin! process is unique in Northwest Ohio. It is a long-term strategy designed to help create a culture of community development and fuel more projects getting the funding they need and moving forward. Although it’s not a silver bullet, it is one more tool we’re using to move our community forward.”

About Dream Big Tiffin!

Starting in 2020, Dream Big Tiffin! is the process used by the Tiffin Community Develop Committee in partnership with TSEP to generate community development project proposals and ideas. Dream Big Tiffin! was created to ensure that residents and stakeholders had a clear and straight-forward avenue to make their needs, wants, and opinions known in the development process.

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 www.tiffinseneca.org.

Tiffin University to Dedicate New Center for Science and Technology

Press Release from Tiffin University (Jan. 20, 2022)

TIFFIN UNIVERSITY, Tiffin, OH — The Dragon Community is pleased to announce the new Center for Science and Technology’s upcoming dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony. The event is set to take place February 3, 2022 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at 201 Miami St., in the Center’s Mercy Health-Tiffin Hospital Atrium. The community is encouraged to attend and to stay after the ceremony’s conclusion for light refreshments and the chance to socialize with other TU stakeholders including trustees, faculty, staff and students alike. 

“We are very excited for students and community members to utilize our newest building,” said TU’s President, Dr. Lilian Schumacher. “The space’s versatility is one of its greatest strengths. State-of-the-art classrooms and labs provide every tool necessary for the highest quality of academic instruction and research. Moreover, this will all be achieved in a setting designed with comfort in mind, as the Center is also home to several lounges and places to mingle.”

“The Center for Science and Technology will have a significant impact on our University, the students we serve and the surrounding community,” said Mitchell Blonde, Vice President of Institutional Advancement & Public Affairs. “We hope to see increased enrollment with new and expanded academic programming, and this new facility will aid our dedicated faculty and staff in doing what they do best – teaching, mentoring and advising in ways that are truly life-changing. We’re so grateful to all of our alumni and friends who have invested into our capital projects – their philanthropic support is making a real impact.”

For additional information about the dedication and to RSVP, please contact Audrey Heslet, Assistant Director of Advancement Services at hesletad@tiffin.edu or call 419.448.3282.

To learn more about the Center for Science & Technology or any degree concentration housed within, please reach out to Dr. Joyce Hall-Yates, Vice Provost and Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences at hallyatesjc@tiffin.edu

About TIFFIN UNIVERSITY

Founded in 1888, Tiffin University is a premier university located in north-central Ohio. The 145-acre campus in Tiffin, Ohio, is a blend of traditional historic and modern buildings, creating a vibrant and warm home for a culturally diverse educational community. Students of Tiffin University are challenged to enhance their global competencies for success in a diverse world. The University offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees all of which are designed to assist students in achieving their full potential after graduation. TU offers classes at several locations in Ohio, online and in the country of Romanian. Some of TU’s top programs, many of which are nationally recognized, include Accounting, Criminal Justice, Management, Exercise Science, Homeland Security and Forensic Psychology, to name a few. Throughout its history, TU has maintained its dedication to providing a professionally focused, learning-centered education to prepare students for successful careers and for productive and satisfying lives of excellence, leadership, and service. Tiffin University’s faculty offers a unique combination of practical application with scholarly knowledge. The TU approach to learning and skill set development insists on connecting students to the workplace as soon, and as often, as possible during their college experience through internships. tiffin.edu