awards

Ohio Economic Development Association recognizes Tiffin, Seneca CARES programs

TSEP receives Excellence in Innovation Award

Nick Dutro, TSEP Economic Development Manager, accepts the OEDA 2021 Excellence in Innovation Award for the Tiffin CARES Small Business Relief Program and Seneca County CARES Small Business Relief Program

DUBLIN, OHIO – October 28, 2021 – The Ohio Economic Development Association (OEDA) presented its Annual Excellence Awards at its 2021 Annual Summit, held at The Exchange at Bridge Park October 26-27 in Dublin, Ohio. During the meeting, Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership was the recipient of the Excellence in Innovation Award on behalf of the City of Tiffin and Seneca County for the Tiffin CARES Small Business Relief Program and Seneca County CARES Small Business Relief Program.

The Ohio Economic Development Association’s Annual Excellence Awards program recognizes the achievements of individuals and organizations throughout Ohio in the areas of economic and workforce development.

“The Annual Excellence Awards showcase the best of the best in economic development and gives members of the profession the opportunity to come together and collectively celebrate the success of the economic development profession,” Jennifer Price, OEDA Executive Director, said.

The Excellence in Innovation award recognizes unique approaches to any aspect of economic development and recognizes a person or organization that has developed innovative practices and programs. The 2021 Excellence in Innovation award further focused on new ideas, partnerships, strategies, and tactics that came out of the COVID-19 pandemic the past 18 months.

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.

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. 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 also had an additional program for Fostoria businesses funded by Seneca County.

  • View video about the program here.

TSEP President and CEO David Zak was excited by the news of the recognition: “It was amazing to see the collaboration among the many local jurisdictions and their commitment to help small businesses in their hour of greatest need. TSEP was honored to develop and implement the grant program modeling the best practices of many other programs around the state. Altogether, we were able to aid almost 200 small businesses that provide jobs for 700 people in Seneca County. Thank you to OEDA for this recognition of the program, and I thank the City of Tiffin, Seneca County, and the other units of local government for their trust in us to make this program a reality.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said, “When I saw that the City of Tiffin was going to be receiving funds through the CARES Act, I knew that we needed to take some of that funding and help those small businesses that give so much to our community. I’m excited to see OEDA recognize our part in supporting the small business owners of the City of Tiffin.” Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner commented, “I’m proud that the Seneca County Commissioners were able to make money available to our small businesses and non-profits throughout the county. Thank you to OEDA for this award recognizing that support.”

Annual Excellence Award Recognition was presented to the following winners. (View videos to highlight the award winning project entries linked below):

This award recognizes outstanding and innovative projects (retention, attraction, redevelopment (brownfield or historic), greenfield infrastructure, Main Street) in economic and business development that retain or generate jobs and capital investment. This can be anything from a retention project to new facility construction, redevelopment (brownfield or otherwise) or an historic project. The award determination is not dependent on the number of jobs created or retained, size of site, or the amount of total investment. Rather, this award will showcase a unique approach to the project, which can include a public-private partnership, local collaboration, innovative financing and/or incentives, overcoming historic barriers or obstacles, or been a catalyst for economic development in the community.

This award recognizes successful economic development marketing projects or marketing campaigns. Examples include target market studies, branding, websites, direct mail, consultant events, public relations campaigns, social media campaigns and advertising.

This award recognizes unique approaches to any aspect of workforce development and recognizes a person or organization that has developed innovative practices and programs. The strategy(ies) should provide direction, guidance, and motivation to Ohio’s workforce and business community and demonstrate an impact in meeting the workforce needs or overcoming the challenges in a specific community/region, industry, population or the state as a whole.

The Economic Development Professional of the Year award is to recognize an individual who has been an economic development professional in Ohio for at least the past year. The purpose of the award is to identify someone who has assisted in making a significant impact in their organization/community through their efforts as an economic developer. The Economic Development Professional of the Year award encourages, recognizes, and celebrates one the individual who has met the challenges of providing economic development and, who demonstrates the ability and commitment to positively impact their community’s and/or the state’s economic growth, and contributed to the advancement of the economic development profession in Ohio.

This award recognizes an individual who has been an economic development professional in Ohio for less than two years. The purpose of the award is to identify someone who has “hit the ground running” and made extraordinary contributions to local or state workforce and economic development in his/her career. The Rookie of the Year award encourages, recognizes, and celebrates one who has met the challenges of providing economic development early in their career and who demonstrates the ability and commitment to positively impact the state’s economic growth.

Additionally, OEDA recognized TSEP Economic Development Manager Nick Dutro as one of 16 professionals from around the state for achieving the Ohio “Best in Class” Economic Developer credential (OhioCED) in 2021.

About OEDA

The Ohio Economic Development Association is the professional association for economic developers. The association’s mission is to increase economic prosperity in the State of Ohio by working together, on a non-partisan basis, with state, regional, and local development partners to advance Ohio’s economy through professional development, advocacy, and networking. For more information about OEDA, please visit www.ohioeda.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.

Laminate Technologies receives two supplier of the year awards

Recognized by largest kitchen cabinet manufacturers in U.S.

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

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

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

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

About Laminate Technologies

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

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.com.

SkillsUSA Names 24 Schools as National Models of Excellence

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

Press release provided by Vanguard Sentinel Career & Technology Centers

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Vanguard Sentinel Career & Technology Centers

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

About SkillsUSA

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

Downtown Tiffin wins three state awards

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Downtown Tiffin was presented with three awards by Heritage Ohio at their Annual Preservation and Revitalization Awards Ceremony held Tuesday night at the historic Allen Theater in downtown Cleveland Tuesday, October 23, 2018.

 

Best Public/Private Partnership – Tiffin Facade Enhancement Grant Program

20181023_184818.jpgTiffin building owners have a new reason to love their city, the Facade Enhancement Program. Through this program, the city reimburses 50% of the costs of a project related to the facade of a building within the Architectural Board of Review district, up to $10,000. In its first four years, more than 60 buildings have utilized the program. The Facade Enhancement Grant Program has seen more than $2.2 million reinvested in downtown Tiffin.

The Best Public/Private Partnership Award was created to recognize partnerships between organizations and government, which leverage resources to create a positive lasting impact.

From Joyce Barrett, the executive director of Heritage Ohio: “Tiffin’s grant program shows how a little investment will pay back even greater dividends.”

Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership Downtown Main Street Manager Amy Reinhart and Tiffin City Councilman Tyler Shuff accepted the award.

 

Young Preservation Leaders – Suzie Reineke and Weston Reinbolt

20181023_190542.jpgSuzie Reineke and Weston Reinbolt have purchased and rehabilitated four historic buildings, which now house 12 lofts and six storefronts in downtown Tiffin. Reineke and Reinbolt prioritize working with local businesses and contractors to further stimulate the local economy.

The Young Preservation Leader Award was created to recognize individuals under 40 that have shown outstanding leadership in revitalizing and preserving Ohio communities. Heritage Ohio’s independent award selection committee was quick to recognize Reineke and Reinbolt.

From Joyce Barrett, the executive director of Heritage Ohio: “Suzie and Weston stood out, because of their accomplishments you might think they were working at this full time, but this is their hobby.”

Suzie’s father, Bill Reineke, accepted the award on Suzie and Westons’ behalf.

 

Main Street Director of the Year – Amy Reinhart

Amy initiated a relationship with Heritage Ohio as soon as she started working for the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation (now Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership) back in June of 2014, as she ushered the program through the process of becoming a certified Main Street in 2015. Trained as an architect taking on the implementation of Tiffin’s Facade Enhancement Program was a natural. Under her direction, Tiffin has seen 36 new businesses open in the downtown area. Amy began with eight dedicated volunteers, now more than 50 people have joined the downtown committees. She keeps the big picture in mind while implementing the vision of Tiffin’s strategic plans, while attending to the tiniest of details of their many events. Her contributions to the city of Tiffin have been invaluable.

The Main Street Director of the Year Award was created to celebrate Ohio Main Street executive directors who clearly excel in the services they provide their communities. Heritage Ohio’s independent award selection committee recognized Reinhart’s impact on the Tiffin community.

From Joyce Barrett, the executive director of Heritage Ohio: “Many individuals were considered. We were pleased to receive as many high-quality nominations.”

About Heritage Ohio
As Ohio’s official historic preservation and Main Street organization, Heritage Ohio fosters economic development and sustainability through preservation of historic buildings, revitalization of downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts, and promotion of local tourism. Learn more by visiting www.heritageohio.org.

2018 SIEDC Award winners

SIEDC AwardThe SIEDC Awards are presented each year at the SIEDC Annual Meeting to recognize businesses and individuals in the Tiffin and Seneca County community. Not every award is given each year, only when the Membership & Events Committee and/or the president or chairperson deem a company or individual deserving of the particular recognition.

This year, the following seven awards were presented. Click the links below for additional information and a video about each award winner.

2018 Special Recognition Award – Assistant City Engineer Matt Watson

The 2018 Special Recognition Award was presented to Assistant City Engineer Matt Watson for going above and beyond his job duties to create a welcoming environment for development in Tiffin.

For the award presentation, SIEDC asked for feedback from representatives of the NRP Group, the developers behind the 52-unit Tiffin Pointe housing development. Their team members praised Watson for his diligence, and named Tiffin the most efficient and professional community they have worked with.

Tiffin City Administrator Dale Thornton also vouched for Watson’s excellence in the workplace. “Matt is an extremely valuable asset to the city and its residents,” he said.

Watson is a 2004 graduate of Tiffin Columbian High School and a 2009 graduate of The Ohio State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering along with state accreditation to become a Professional Land Surveyor. Aside from his time at OSU, he has been a lifelong resident of Seneca County and active within the community.

 

About the Special Recognition Award
This award is given by the President or Chairman, at his or her discretion, to any person, business, or group whose service to the community is largely unknown.

2018 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award – Ralph’s Joy of Living

The 2018 recipient of SIEDC’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award was Ralph’s Joy of Living. Ralph’s is a family owned and operated business that has been in the community since 1950 and is currently run by Ralph (the original owner’s son) and Julie Smothers. Though Ralph took over the family business started by his father, he and Julie have made many changes to the business, making them true entrepreneurs in their own right.

Ralph’s Joy of Living began as Ralph’s Maytag, an appliance store, in 1950. When Ralph took over the business he added cabinetry to their offerings and Julie began teaching cooking classes. Then came the Joy of Living. Ralph and Julie expanded into a 6,000 square foot addition and became the only appliance store in the nation with a liquor license, selling all kinds of wine and specialty beer. Finally, in 2016 they added mattresses to the store.

“We are thankful for the community,” Ralph said. “We love Tiffin, we love our customers.”

 

About the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
This award is presented to an individual, business or organization that have exhibited the imagination, initiative, ability, and determination to mix capital and labor together to generate a business that provides employment opportunities and  new investment for the community.

2018 Partnership in Development Award – Suzie Reineke and Weston Reinbolt

The 2018 Partnership in Development Award was given to Suzie Reineke and Weston Reinbolt for their downtown building restoration projects. Not only do they preserve historic buildings, but also provide opportunities for business and downtown housing.

Suzie and Weston got into historic building renovation through their connection with Bill and Dan Reineke, who were already restoring a building of their own. “These are really cool buildings,” Weston said. Suzie added, “I never knew what was inside.”

Their first project was the “Beanstalk building,” which houses the Beanstalk on the first floor and three fully renovated apartments above. Those apartments are now full

The second project was The Renaissance. In early 2017, Suzie and Weston purchased the former DP’s building and brought in Dave and Angie Spridgeon of the Bourbon Affair in Findlay. The Renaissance of Tiffin opened later in 2017.

Their latest project is the building that house the Tiffin Glass Museum. They are completing the first of two phases in renovating seven upper level apartments.

The couple cited the collaboration in the community as a motivating factor in continuing these restoration projects. “It’s a team oriented project from start to finish,” Suzie said.

Suzie and Weston were both born and raised in Tiffin, left to pursue college and careers elsewhere, and are now living in Tiffin once again. “I love being back in Tiffin,” Weston said. “We’re enjoying the momentum and hope it continues.”

 

About the Partnership in Development Award
This award is presented to an individual, business, organization, or political entity that has provided support and means to promote economic development throughout Seneca County and have demonstrably, through their actions, furthered the mission of SIEDC.

2018 Outstanding Business Award – Zeis Companies

The 2018 Outstanding Business Award was presented to Zeis Companies for their business growth and exemplary community service.

Zeis Companies started in 1984, in the cabinet resurfacing business. The business grew into fire restoration services, and then sub-divisions and homes. Just this pass year, Zeis Companies was able to bring all of their operations under one roof in a new building N. SR 53. The building includes a showroom, a full shop for custom trim work and other pieces, as well as storage.

Zeis Companies is not just an asset to the community for the remodeling and restoration services they provide, but also for their community involvement and charitable works. Zeis was asked to assist in two Extreme Makeover: Home Edition builds, which inspired them to create the Extreme Build for Habitat for Humanity in 2011. Over the course of a day, volunteers are able to frame up and enclose an entire house. They have done four such builds since launching the program. They are also working with Habitat for Humanity to establish a ReStore, a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price.

Rich Zeis accepted the award on behalf of the company and all of its employees.

 

 

Outstanding Business Award criteria:
The business must be able to demonstrate leadership in their particular field. The business must be able to show the involvement of its owners, managers, or employees in community affairs. The business must be able to demonstrate generosity of time, talent, and money to local charities or non profit programs. The business must be able to show initiatives taken to improve the quality of life in the community. The business must be able to show activities that improve the community.