Annual Meeting

Beth Schweitzer receives TSEP President’s Award

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

TSEP President and CEO David Zak presents Beth Schweitzer with the President’s Award during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 30, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have honored Beth Schweitzer with the President’s Award during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

Schweitzer led the Seneca County General Health District, beginning May 1, 2014, and retired April 30. As Health Commissioner, she saw Seneca County through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When an elected official or elected leader takes office, you always think about the different disasters you’re going to have to deal with. I don’t think any of us, especially our health commissioner, though that we would deal with a worldwide pandemic,” said Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz.

“I think the important thing about Beth, is that she was able to walk the line between protecting the public health interest and protecting the economic interests of the businesses so that it would be safe, but also that it would get started and up and running as soon as it was prudent to do so,” said David Zak, President and CEO of Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership.

As well as working with elected officials and community leaders, Schweitzer helped to explain the situation in the county during regular updates using social media and by answering phone calls with leaders and small businesses.

“Coming onboard as the Executive Director of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce in the middle of a pandemic, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. So many small businesses were asking me questions about the number of visitors they could have in their shops, about the number of attendees they could have at events – a lot of small business had a lot of questions. When I didn’t know the answer, I always went to Beth,” said Bryce Riggs, Executive Director of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services.

“She was the right person at the right time. We were never hesitant to take Beth’s advice,” said Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Mike Kerschner.

Montz said he was especially grateful to Schweitzer for her willingness to work with the State of Ohio to obtain a waiver to allow businesses to stay open by appointment only, which he credited as saving a lot of retailers, especially in Downtown Tiffin.

“Beth was so willing to go above and beyond and figure out a way to make things work in a safe and effective manner,” Montz said.

Schweitzer was replaced by Anne Goon, who served as health commissioner in other locations and has consulted with Ohio State University and with health departments helping them through the accreditation process.

Dan Barbee, President Mercy Health Rural Division Hospitals, including Tiffin, Willard and Defiance, was only able to work with Schweitzer for about a year, but he said he knew they would hit it off, both coming from a nursing background. Barbee said he will miss her in the role locally.

“You were wonderful to work with, with myself and my crew, and we wish you the very best in retirement,” he said.

The statements of congratulations were echoed by other members of the community.

“From the mayor’s office and everyone at City Hall, congratulations on the President’s Award. We are really going to miss your presence at the health department,” Montz said.

“Beth, you deserve the award because you are one of the reasons we were able to achieve really strong economic development success, nationally-leading economic development success, and on behalf of the board and the team of TSEP and the entire community, thank you,” Zak said.

To view video of the award winner, click here.

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.

John and Linda Detwiler receive TSEP Special Recognition Award

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 25, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have honored John and Linda Detwiler with the Special Recognition Award during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

After 11 years of service, Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services President and CEO John announced his retirement from the position in March 2020. Born and raised in Tiffin, Detwiler left the community in his late teens and worked in sales and marketing. In 2009, he and Linda returned to the community where he took the job of president and CEO of the Tiffin Area Chamber of Commerce and she became a professor in the Communication Department at Heidelberg University.

“The work that they put in over a decade really elevated the Chamber to a major player in making this community a great place to live, work, play, visit and study,” said David Zak, President and CEO of Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership.

Since joining the Chamber, John has been instrumental in the revitalization of Tiffin, including being involved with Tiffin Tomorrow, a citizen-led group with the goal of promoting and encouraging economic development in downtown Tiffin, and helping to unveil the Downtown Strategic Survey in 2010. John also championed and implemented successful events for the Chamber, especially the Seneca County Farmers Market in Downtown Tiffin. Starting in 2010, John and Linda had been organizing and working the event for two Saturdays a month for much of the year. By laying that groundwork, the Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market now is under the direction of the non-profit organization Seneca County Common Ground.

“Whenever there was a farmers market downtown, you could always find John and Linda in the same spot, watching everything and everybody from start to finish,” said Linda Burns, co-owner of Burns Electric.

“Without John and Linda Detwiler, the farmers market wouldn’t have started, it wouldn’t have been sustained, and look what we have today – we have an independent 501c3, we have a professional market manager, we have a $2.6 million community kitchen project that’s underway, raising money because of what they did. That’s going to be a lasting legacy,” Zak said.

Under his leadership, John brought the county’s visitor services under the direction of the Chamber, renaming the organization the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services and creating a separate organization in Destination Seneca County under the umbrella of the Chamber.

“Coming on board as the next director of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce, I want to thank you for the groundwork you put in to support our members, tourism and this community,” said Bryce Riggs, Executive Director of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“Thank you for everything you’ve done for our members, you’ve done for our community. We wish you well,” he added.

The Detwilers also brought the business community together, with the Chamber’s Annual Meeting, Casino Royale, Golf Outing and ribbon cuttings.

“Congratulations, John and Linda on your special recognition award. What a worthy couple in everything you’ve done in Tiffin,” said Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz.

Montz added that one of his favorite things he does each year is being invited to speak to Linda’s Heidelberg classes about civic engagement.

“I would just like to say to you, John, how much I appreciate the way you led the Chamber. And to you, Linda, over the 13 years that you’ve been a communications professor here at Heidelberg, I really admire the focus and the fire you brought to the classroom for our students,” said Heidelberg University President Rob Huntington.

“Together as a wonderful couple in this community, you helped strengthen our economy, educate our students, and for that, I say ‘congratulations, you really deserve the TSEP 2021 Special Recognition Award,” he added.

To view video of the award winners, click here.

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.

PHOTO CAPTION

TSEP Chair Dean Keller (left), president of First National Bank of Sycamore, presents Linda and John Detwiler with the TSEP Special Recognition Award during the 2021 TSEP Annual Meeting.

Heidelberg and Tiffin universities receive 2021 Lifetime Achievement Awards

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

Heidelberg University President Rob Huntington (left) and Tiffin University President Lillian Schumacher stand with award presenter Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, member of the TSEP Executive Board.

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 25, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have named Heidelberg University and Tiffin University as the winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

Heidelberg College was founded in 1850 by members of the German Reformed Church who named it after the Heidelberg Catechism of 1563. The school was as a co-ed campus from the beginning, which was unusual for its time. Heidelberg’s American Junior Year program at Heidelberg University in Heidelberg, Germany, is the oldest exchange program between an American university and a German university. In 2009, Heidelberg College became Heidelberg University, to reflect more appropriately the academic offerings of the school. Heidelberg offers 36 undergraduate courses of study, four graduate programs, 16 minors, and 13 pre-professional programs.

“We’ve always been a welcoming community, a welcoming campus, and we’ve embraced faculty, staff, to come together to help lift students up from all backgrounds that come to Heidelberg University,” said Heidelberg President Rob Huntington.

Tiffin University was founded in 1888 after Heidelberg decided its commercial management division didn’t align with its mission. The school was founded as Tiffin Business College, first located in Downtown Tiffin and then moved to Miami Street to a former school building, which today serves as the Main Classroom Building. Over the years, TU has successfully transitioned from traditional seated students to a mixture of seated and online students, from across the country and around the world. Today, TU offers more than 25 majors through on-campus and online learning that result in real advantages for its students.

“Over our history, we’ve really grown, not only in terms of our student growth, but also in terms of our campus. If you look around our campus today, it looks very different than it even did 15 years ago, 25 years ago, and definitely 30 and 40 years ago,” said TU President Lillian Schumacher.

Having started as an institution that was one, and then going their separate ways, today the administrations at Heidelberg and TU often seek out opportunities to collaborate, such as the annual Around the Town event.

“Tiffin University and Heidelberg collaborate in many, many ways – and it wasn’t always like that,” Schumacher said. “Our institutions today work really well together, and I think we’re both very proud of the fact that we are part of the education community of Tiffin, Ohio.”

“We share, as I think all people should share, this common goal which is that we want to attract people from outside the area to come to Tiffin and Seneca County, initially through the educational experience at the college and university level, and then we would like them to stay, to build lives here, which I think is great for the entire Tiffin and Seneca County community,” Huntington said.

“These institutions have had a profound effect on our economy, our community, and, for some of us, professionally and personally,” said Lisa Hohman, TSEP board member. Hohman, CEO of Concordance Healthcare Solutions, is a Heidelberg graduate and TU Board Member.

The Covid-19 global pandemic created challenges for the universities, but both managed to adapt during difficult times.

“This school has worked its way through and survived,” Huntington said. “Going all the way through to the global flu epidemic of 1918 to the global covid pandemic of 2019. We’re leaning into it to work our way through this Covid Pandemic.”

“It has been a long almost 13 months now, and higher education, as well as in education in general, not to mention our world, so many of us have had to adapt and adjust due to the pandemic,” Schumacher said. “It was seamless for the most part, but of course, when you go through disruption like this, you grow and adjust along the way.

“Our students are amazing – the college students today, they are some of the most resilient,” she added.

Schumacher thanked TSEP and its members for recognizing both Heidelberg University and Tiffin University for the Lifetime Achievement Award, which Huntington echoed.

“It is so fitting and so appropriate that we would each and together win this award together at the same time, in the same year,” he said.

To view video, click here.

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.

Ameriwood Industries receives 2021 Economic Development Award

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

Roy Glodowski, plant manager at Tiffin’s Ameriwood Industries facility, poses for a picture after receiving the Economic Development Award from Andy Felter, TSEP Executive Board Member and President of Webster Industries at the 2021 TSEP Annual Meeting.

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 8, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have named Dorel/Ameriwood Industries as the 2021 Economic Development Award winner during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

Ameriwood Industries has operated in Tiffin since 1954, and has been under the ownership of Dorel Industries Inc. since 1998. Locally, the plant employs 218 people.

Dorel Industries Inc., based in Montreal, Quebec, is a global organization, operating three distinct businesses in juvenile products, bicycles and home products. Dorel’s strength lies in the diversity, innovation and quality of its products as well as the superiority of its brands. Dorel Juvenile’s powerfully branded products include global brands Maxi-Cosi, Quinny and Tiny Love, complemented by regional brands such as Safety 1st, Bébé Confort, Cosco and Infanti. Dorel Sports brands include Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, Mongoose, Caloi and IronHorse.

Dorel Home, with its comprehensive e-commerce platform, markets a wide assortment of domestically produced and imported furniture. Dorel has annual sales of $2.6 billion with products sold in more than 100 countries, and employs approximately 10,000 people in facilities located in 25 countries worldwide.

In 2020, Dorel Home, a segment of Dorel Industries, announced that it would invest $3.27 million at its Ameriwood Home facility in Tiffin for machinery and equipment and hire an additional 87 employees at the plant over the next four years. The investment in Tiffin includes $2.57 million in new machinery and equipment and $700,000 in updates to the facility.

At the time, Norman Braunstein, President and CEO for Dorel Home, said, “We are excited to announce that we will be expanding in our facility in Tiffin. Tiffin has been an important partner in Dorel’s business model and will continue to rely on it as the company grows.”

Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership and Regional Growth Partnership in Northwest Ohio (RGP) worked with Dorel Home and consultant MarksNelson to bring this project to Ohio. Local incentives include a City of Tiffin’s New Jobs Program and OhioMeansJobs-Seneca County is offering up to $387,000 in potential workforce development grants. At the state level, RGP secured a Jobs Creation Tax Credit, Training Grant and Economic Development Grant through JobsOhio.

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, Seneca CARES participants receive 2021 Partnership in Development Award

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

Audrey Flood, TSEP Development Director (center), presents awards to (from left) Julie Vogel, Eden Township Fiscal Officer; Jim Distel, Clinton Township Trustee; Aaron Montz, Mayor of the City of Tiffin; and Tyler Shuff, Seneca County Commissioner.

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 23, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have named City of Tiffin; Seneca County; the villages of Bettsville and Green Springs; and Bloom, Clinton, Eden, Hopewell and Pleasant and townships for their contributions to the Tiffin and Seneca County CARES programs as the winners of the Partnership in Development Award during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

In September 2020, The City of Tiffin announced and opened applications for the Tiffin CARES Small Business Relief Program, and Seneca County started its program, Seneca County CARES Small Business Relief Program, in late October. The programs made up to $10,000 in grant funding available to for- profit businesses and non-profit organizations in Tiffin and rural Seneca County and had the goal of providing financial relief from loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They took some of their funds that they got from the government to address the coronavirus epidemic and said, ‘We want to help small businesses,’” said David Zak, President and CEO of Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership.

Altogether, The City of Tiffin; Seneca County; the villages of Bettsville and Green Springs; and Bloom, Clinton, Eden, Hopewell and Pleasant and townships contributed $1.2 million in CARES Act funding to 186 businesses by the end of 2020.

“So often we talk about collaboration, but in the case of Seneca County, especially when it came to CARES Act money, so many people came together and acted so quickly, we had to make decisions quickly,” said Mike Kerschner, President of the Seneca County Board of Commissioners.

In total, the City of Tiffin contributed $574,000, and Seneca County contributed $390,000, with an additional $205,000 provided by Bloom, Clinton, Eden, Hopewell and Pleasant townships and the villages of Bettsville and Green Springs. Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership administered the programs on behalf of the City of Tiffin and Seneca County Board of Commissioners. The Fostoria Economic Development Corporation had an additional program for Fostoria businesses funded by Seneca County, and Tiffin-Seneca United Way and Great Lakes Community Action Partnership also helped get the word out to businesses about the program.

“They all did their specific jobs when it came to getting needed money to those folks who were affected adversely by the pandemic,” Kerschner said.

TSEP reported that of the businesses that received funding, 81 businesses are in Tiffin and 105 are in rural Seneca County. Participating businesses reported an average of 45 percent decline in revenue when comparing a three-month or longer period from 2019 to 2020. Significantly, more than 700 people are employed at these small businesses.

“Business obviously lost money last year, they lost a lot of revenue because of the shutdown early in the year, but also because of decreased seating capacities or just the general nature of the pandemic, and people not doing as much shopping or dining out,” said Aaron Montz, Mayor of the City of Tiffin.

“Every dollar of this went to help local businesses here in the Tiffin community, the villages of Seneca County and out in the townships” Montz continued.

“We felt that it was important to try to keep that money in the township businesses, in the township community,” said Jim Distel, Clinton Township Trustee.

Zak said the program was successful in sustaining those businesses struggling to keep their doors open, even when they weren’t able to allow customers in.

“This is the longest I’ve not had an audience in front of me in 30 years,” said Michael Strong, Executive Director of the Ritz Theatre.

“The Ritz Theatre was very fortunate that the Seneca County Commissioners decided to disperse the CARES money the way they did to non-profits and businesses in Seneca County,” he added. “They gave us a little hope where we didn’t think we’d have any.”

Kristy Buskirk, owner of Clay Hill Organic, said that pandemic almost completely shut down some of her main sources of businesses, such as farmers markets.

“One of our largest markets went from a 22-week season to just eight weeks,” she said. “Now I feel like we’re set up very well for this 2021 season, to meet new demand and be able to give our local customers here the products that they are now asking of us and that we’re excited to be able to offer, and meet up with all this renewed energy in our local economy and local agriculture.

“I want to congratulate all of them for their ability to act so collaboratively, so quickly, to come together to satisfy the need of those folks who were affected,” Kerschner said.

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.

Buffalo Wild Wings receives 2021 Outstanding Business Award

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

Dr. Lillian Schumacher (center), TSEP Vice Chair and President of Tiffin University, presents Mike and Lori Mastro, owners of Tiffin Buffalo Wild Wings, with the Outstanding Business Award at the June 3, 2021, Annual Meeting.

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 18, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have named Buffalo Wild Wings as a 2021 Outstanding Business Award winner during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

Mike and Lori Mastro of The Mastro Group, started looking at Tiffin in 2008 and 2009 as a potential location for a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise.

“I’m from this area and knew it, and thought with the colleges, it would be great idea to look at this town,” said Lori, regional manager for Buffalo Wild Wings.

In 2014, it was announced that the Mastro Group had received approval from BW3 corporate to move forward on development of a new store in Tiffin. After consideration of various site options, construction began in early 2016 at 100 S. Shaffer Park Drive.

“We’ve never done a stand-alone unit like this one. This is a unique store. We walk in here, and it’s like being at home. And we hope that people feel that same way when they come in here,” said Mike, President & CEO of The Mastro Group.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mastros made it a point to keep the business operational and keep staff paid.

“I think you’ve seen a lot of restaurants that totally shut down. The thing about this restaurant, and Lori did this, she said, ‘We’re not shutting Tiffin down, we’re not going to close that for one second. We’re going to shift to carry-out and we’re going to do everything we can to keep that thing banging on all eight cylindars,’” Mike said.

“We just wanted to keep as many people employed during this as we could. The community stayed loyal with the takeout and really helped us,” Lori said. “If it wasn’t for our guests, we probably wouldn’t still be here.”

“We survived it, and actually, I think, we’re a much stronger, more humble company than we’ve ever been,” Mike said.

The Mastros said they have a lot of love for the Tiffin community and this particular store.

“I couldn’t do this without (Mike), and I couldn’t do this without the team and I couldn’t do this without the community,” Lori said.

One of the things they most enjoy is being able to support the community, through fundraisers, such as the Eat Wings, Raise Funds program, which donates a portion of ticket sales to community groups, and Monday Night Sports Talk, a partnership with WTTF that has allowed BW3 to give about $50,000 to area high school sports programs over the past few years.

Mike and Lori thanked their staff and the customers who have supported BW3 to make it a success in Tiffin.

“We truly appreciate every single one of you in making this a success, not only for Tiffin and Seneca County, but for our entire staff,” Mike said.

To view video of the award winner, click here. Buffalo Wild Wings is at 100 S. Shaffer Park Drive. For more information, visit www.buffalowildwings.com or call (419) 937-9464 to reach the Tiffin store..

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.

MST Pub receives 2021 Outstanding Business Award

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

Nevin Martin (left), TSEP Executive Board Member and chair of TSEP’s Downtown Development Board, presents the Outstanding Business Award to Chris Chase, Owner of MST Pub.

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 15, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have named MST Pub as a 2021 Outstanding Business Award winner during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

Owner Chris Chase started working at MST Pub, then Madison Street Tavern, in 2004 when he was getting his Master’s Degree at Tiffin University.

“What I found was just a really great community, and that’s basically why I chose to stay,” he said.

A year after he started working there, he became a manager and then purchased the business in 2009.

One of Chase’s goals was to take the business from a college bar to a full-service restaurant. Since he took ownership, Chase has invested in updating the busienss’s interior and exterior, including adding permanent tables, and creating a whole different atmosphere.

“It was really a matter of trying to clean it up and give Tiffin something that I think they needed, which is a different eating option, which is how I progressed to it being a restaurant from just a bar,” Chase said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, MST was forced to close for a few weeks, but quickly pivoted to carry-out and curb-side pick-up.

“The community really supported us, in buying gift cards and showing us a lot of love with the to-go food. My staff was great, making the transition seamlessly,” Chase said. “Taking phone calls, running food out to the curb, making sure we’re sanitizing everything. It was very difficult in the beginning, but I think we transitioned well, and without the love from the community and all the support we got from them, it wouldn’t be as good for us.”

MST has a tradition of supporting the community, by providing food and gift cards for the high schools and local sports teams when asked. Chase was especially proud to have supported the Front Line Proud initiative by selling T-shirts at the restaurant, as well as making donations so that the group could provide lunches for hospital staff and other front-line workers during the pandemic. The mission of that group is to generate funds to recognize and support frontline workers while promoting unity and supporting our essential workforce through diverse and distinct actions.

“We don’t say ‘No’ too often. If we can help somebody out, we definitely try,” Chase said.

Chase thanked his family, his wife and their two children for supporting him and his staff, and the community for helping to make the business a success.

“That’s why we do all this, for the community. We really appreciate all the support they’ve given us through the years,” Chase said.

To view video of the award winner, click here. MST Pub is at 92 Madison St. For more information, visit www.mstpubtiffin.com or call (419) 448-9670.

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 launches new Downtown Business Enhancement Survey

Online survey asks public about downtown shopping and dining

QR Code for Survey.
Available at tiffinsurvey.com

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 14, 2021 – Tiffin Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) announced today the first new public survey about shopping and dining preferences in downtown Tiffin and the surrounding area since the study contained in the Housing Opportunities Analysis in 2019. Any resident, visitor, employee and student can fill out the survey, which is available at www.tiffinsurvey.com and will be open until July 15, 2021. Participants will be entered into a gift card drawing.

Information from the confidential, short survey will be used to help the Downtown Business Enhancement Committee (DBEC) and TSEP Staff strategically target new businesses to attract to the downtown. The goal will be to do the survey annually or biannually to continually have current, accurate information on the public’s shopping habits and preferences for Downtown Tiffin.

In 2019, the Housing Opportunity Analysis listed a bakery, an indoor farmer’s market, family recreation, a clothing store, and a grocery as the top five businesses. It also listed steakhouse, American traditional, steak & seafood, BBQ, and Breakfast/Brunch as the top five menu types sought for downtown. The new data will provide a way to compare trends over time.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz praised the effort, saying, “Efforts like this are one of the hundreds of things we do to continue our downtown momentum and the number of new businesses starting up and thriving in our center city. I encourage everyone to fill it out.”

Bill Jones, Downtown Business Enhancement Committee Chair, commented “Our intention is to encourage local entrepreneurs and to target the most highly sought business types within a 60-mile radius and ask if they would like to open a new branch.”

Questions should be directed to Amy Reinhart, the Director of Downtown Revitalization, at 419.767.0328 or by email at reinhart@tiffinseneca.org.

About Downtown Tiffin

The revitalization of downtown Tiffin began in 2011, when a group of community members came together to for “Tiffin Tomorrow”, with the goal of promoting and encouraging economic development in downtown Tiffin, and creating plans, programs and actions to ensure long-term vitality and prosperity. In 2014, the city of Tiffin contracted with SIEDC to act as the downtown organization and “Tiffin Tomorrow” came under the SIEDC umbrella as the “Downtown Development Committee,” which serves as the governing board of the downtown organization. In 2015, Tiffin joined Heritage Ohio’s Ohio Main Street Program. For more information, click here.

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.

Bill and Kelli Jones receive 2020 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

Scott Kromer, TSEP Board Treasurer and member of the Executive Board Member, presents Bill Jones with the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award at the 2021 TSEP Annual Meeting.

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 11, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have named Bill and Kelli Jones as recipients of the 2021 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

Bill and Kelli started working in real estate shortly after Bill became a licensed auctioneer, and found that it was a natural fit to get in the realty market.

“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset. I’ve always kind of wanted to drive my own ship and control my own destiny,” Bill said.

“It allows us that flexibility to raise our family the way we want to raise our family and also be part of a great Town,” Kelli said.

In 2016, RE/MAX Unlimited Results Realty moved to Downtown Tiffin, first at 99 E. Perry St., and then into their current office at in the historic Laird Building.

In 2020, Bill and Kelli brought Motto Mortgage Unlimited to Tiffin, an innovative mortgage brokerage franchise focused on transparency and compliance, has a new office in Ohio. Motto Mortgage Unlimited, is Tiffin’s only locally owned and operated mortgage brokerage and serves all markets throughout Ohio.

“With Motto Mortgage, we thought if we bought that back to Tiffin, that would be something else that would better our community,” Kelli said.

Kelli said one of the things she likes best about working with Motto Mortgage is that they are connected with Mission Against Hunger, and they hope to begin working on raising funds for that organization this year.

In other charitable ventures, through RE/MAX, Bill and Kelli have raised more than $70,000 for Children’s Miracle Network.

“We’re thankful we can help the community and do those things,” Kelli.

Bill said he likes that he and Kelli can maintain their independence while getting the support from respected companies that he works with.

“At the end of the day, we’re a locally owned and operated business,” Bill said. “Our agents, us, our employees, we’re all local to the community, most of us were born and raised here, so being part of the big national brands, we have all the tools and resources – with RE/MAX, with Motto Mortgage – but with that small town, local service.

Bill and Kelli thanked their family, friends, employees, agents and the clients and customers who have given them support throughout the years.

“We’re so proud to be part of the Tiffin Community, Seneca County community, and we’re going to continue to be here.” Bill said.

“Thank you for the continued support, we couldn’t do it without you.” Kelli said.

The store is located in the Laird Building at 108 S. Washington St., Tiffin, and for more information, find RE/MAX Unlimited Results Realty on Facebook or visit www.419homesearch.com.

To view the award video, visit https://youtu.be/Kf-kFHHfIg8 or find a link to it at www.tiffinseneca.org.

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.

Handshoe Cakes and Cookies receives 2020 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

  • View the award video here (also at bottom of article.)
Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bryce Riggs presents the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award to Beverly Hemmerly on Lisa Handshoe’s behalf at the 2021 TSEP Annual Meeting.

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 8, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have named Handshoe Cakes and Cookies as one of the 2020 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award recipients during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

Owner Lisa Handshoe started the company in August 1999, after a lifelong love of baking. The store offers a variety of baked goods, including custom cakes, sugar cookies, and holiday items and gluten-free and sugar-free desserts.

“I just really enjoy baking. Baking is my therapy, it’s just what I like to do,” she said.

Since opening in 1999, the business has grown from baking 2-3 cakes a week to more than 18 cakes a day during graduation season and 500 dozen cut out cookies during the holiday season. Handshoe continues to make time to set up at Tiffin Y-Wives, Seneca County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and Seneca East local schools. Additionally, Handshoe has had to take on employees to keep up with the demand.

In July 2017, Handshoe started Project Cookies from Home, in which she sends boxes with 45-54 cookies, with letters and pictures from area youth and other items to local men and women stationed overseas with the U.S. Armed Forces. To date, she has sent 724 boxes, totaling 40,000 cookies.

“It’s really awesome to see the feedback from the military members, and how appreciative they are,” Handshoe said. “They absolutely love the cookies, but I think they appreciate the drawings and letters from the kids, from the youth, as much as the cookies, just to know that there are people supporting them at home.”

In October 2020, the company invested $25,000 to open a new storefront in Handshoe’s garage, which has allowed her to expand her products and gave space to offer items from local vendors.

The expansion coincided with the Covid-19 global pandemic. Despite initially worrying that she would not be able to keep the business going, Handshoe the community stepped up to support her, and she gained many new customers, making 2020 her best sales year ever.

“I’m so honored and thankful for being able to receive this award,” she said. “There’s just so many people who’ve helped me get to where I’m at, and I’m just thankful.”

The store is located at 6085 E. SR 18, near Republic, and for more information, find Handshoe Cakes and Cookies on Facebook or visit www.handshoecakesandcookies.com.

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.