Annual Meeting 2021

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.

TSEP publishes its annual report for 2020

Success Report surveys last year’s activities and development results for 2020

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 10, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) announces the publication of the largest annual report in its history, which is being made free and available to the public. The report can immediately be viewed in flipbook format online at www.tsepreport.com and a hard copy can be obtained at the TSEP offices at 96 S. Washington St. free of charge beginning next week. The 2020 Success Report was pre-released at TSEP’s annual meeting on June 3.

Like previous years, the Success Report covers industrial, commercial, downtown, workforce, entrepreneurship, community, and rural development. In 2020, there was $92 million in new investment and 459 new jobs announced.

For the first time ever, the report also provides a deeper dive into the non-profit economic development organization’s activities and strategy, including how they facilitate projects, manage programs, build capacity, support local businesses, and market the community. In addition, it discusses how TSEP assisted businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. It also highlights the 70 members and supporters of the organization.

“This really serves as a marketing piece for the community,” said Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, who also serves on TSEP’s Board of Trustees and Executive Committee. “It clearly communicates that during one of the most challenging years on record, we were able to lead the nation and state in economic and downtown development. Something special is happening here.”

Seneca County Commissioner and TSEP Board and Executive Committee member Mike Kerschner agreed, “The report shows that our culture of working together to move the community forward is seeing great results – even in very difficult times. It also lays out our innovative, comprehensive, and strategic approach to development.”

The report can be viewed at www.tsepreport.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.

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.

Projects announced, award winners named at TSEP annual meeting

459 new jobs, $92 million in new investment announced in 2020

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 3, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership held its Annual Meeting June 3, 2021, at Heidelberg University’s Seiberling Gymnasium. The event celebrated the successes of 2020 in the areas of Commercial and Industrial Development, Downtown Tiffin, Workforce Development, Rural Development, Entrepreneurship and Community Development.

There were many projects from 2020 highlighted at the event. In 2020, there was $92 million in announced investment and 459 new jobs to be created.

Economic Development Manager Nick Dutro announced Sonoco Products Inc. has broken ground on a new expansion of its facility at 60 Heritage Drive. Clouse Construction, the design build general contractor for the project, is adding 46,600 square feet to the building, including a new office and conference room and a warehouse. This is now the third expansion for the company, which has 90 employees in Tiffin.

Downtown Main Street Manager Amy Reinhart announced a new survey that opened to help educate, inform and to better the Downtown Tiffin Revitalization Program to strategically target new businesses. Find the survey at http://tiffinsurvey.com/. Those who respond can be entered into a drawing for a gift certificate from 22 MRKT or the Renaissance of Tiffin.

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 2020 annual meeting include:
• Partnership in Development Award – Tiffin and Seneca CARES Act Small Business Relief Grant – City of Tiffin, Seneca County, Village of Bettsville, Village of Green Springs, Bloom Township, Clinton Township Eden Township, Hopewell Township and Pleasant Township
• Economic Development Award – Dorel – Ameriwood
• Entrepreneurial Spirit Award – Handshoe Cakes and Cookies
• Entrepreneurial Spirit Award – Bill & Kelli Jones
• Outstanding Business – MST Pub
• Outstanding Business – Buffalo Wild Wings
• Lifetime Achievement Award – Heidelberg University and Tiffin University
• Special Recognition – John & Linda Detwiler
• President’s Award – Beth Schweitzer

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 http://www.tiffinseneca.org.

Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership to hold free annual meeting on East Green

Economic development organization kicks off month long celebration on June 3

TIFFIN, OHIO – May 5, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) announced today that it will be holding its annual meeting at the Frost-Kalnow Amphitheatre on the East Green on June 3, 2021. For the first time ever, this event will be held outdoors and be free and open to the public. Throughout the month of June TSEP will be highlighting the projects, the partners, and the people that help drive the economy forward.

The event is outdoors, and and attendees are asked to follow all CDC guidelines. Hand sanitizer will be available.

No dinner will be provided. Attendees are welcome to bring Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) drinks to the venue and vendors will be on site to purchase food. Seating will start at 5 p.m., with the event starting at 6 p.m. and finishing by 8 p.m. To RSVP and secure your seating, visit tsep2021.com (or click here).

TSEP President & CEO David Zak said, “This past year has been historic in so many ways, and we have been so inspired by our local businesses, government, and private. We want to recognize their efforts, while at the same time dreaming big for that future. This year, we’re inviting the entire community to dream with us.”

The event will feature several speakers in five-to-ten-minute segments:

  • Austin Brooks, Executive Director at the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship (Effingham, IL)
  • Craig Gossman, Owner of the Gossman Group and Board Member of Heritage Ohio (Cincinnati, OH)
  • Dean Monske, President & CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership (Toledo, Ohio)
  • The TSEP Team (Carol Owen, Audrey Flood, Nick Dutro, Amy Reinhart, David Zak)

Topics will include the incredible challenges of the coronavirus; the best year ever for economic development; recognition and transformation for downtown Tiffin; innovation in entrepreneurship and workforce development found nowhere else in Ohio; community development engaging the public like never before.

Throughout the evening, TSEP will recognize and honor several businesses, organizations, and partners with the following awards:

  • Partnership in Development Award
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
  • Economic Development Award
  • Outstanding Business of the Year Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Special Recognition Award
  • President’s Award

TSEP Chair of the Board of Trustees Dean Keller echoed Zak’s sentiment: “Although 2020 was one of the most difficult years in recent memory, the resilience, commitment, and strength of our community came shining through. The annual meeting is a place to highlight our achievements and talk about how we’re planning to move our community and its economy forward.”

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.