David Zak

County workforce plan is made public

workforce-picPublic-private collaboration to implement plan in 2017

View the complete plan here.

TIFFIN, OHIO – December 23, 2016 – After four months of collaborative effort, a group of more than fifty stakeholders announces they have completed a new strategic plan for workforce development in Seneca County. Six committees have been formed to work on the 18 identified strategies in 2017. The plan is available to the public at www.senecasuccess.com.

Facilitated by Terra State Community College, the planning process was started after a local study done by Heidelberg University student Mark Linsalata revealed that 70 percent of Seneca County companies could not find all of the workers they needed and that half of those companies were not able to expand because of that issue.

State Representative Bill Reineke, who serves on the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board, kicked off the event. “This is one of the most critical issues facing our economy and the businesses that make it run. I am passionate about workforce issues and am really pleased with the large-scale cooperation here among educators, businesses, and workforce and economic development.”

Seneca County Commissioner Holly Stacy also participated and looks forward to what the group can accomplish together. “I appreciate this initiative, and I believe we will make some real progress in addressing critical workforce issues for all of Seneca County.”

Representatives from the education sector include several area public and private K12 districts (Bridges, Calvert, Hopewell-Loudon, Old Fort, Seneca East, Tiffin), Vanguard-Sentinel, NCOESC, Heidelberg and Tiffin Universities. Participating businesses include Alvada Construction, American Fine Sinter, Arnold Machine, Autumnwood, Ballreich’s, Clouse Construction, Croghan Colonial Bank, Fifth-Third Bank, Mennel Milling, Mercy Health, ProMedica, Pyramid Recruiting, Quick Tab II, Roppe Corporation, St. Francis, Surge Staffing, Taiho Corporation, Toledo Molding & Die, US Bank, and Webster Industries. More people are being asked to participate and invited to the committees.

Old Fort Local Schools Superintendent Steve Anway, who is helping co-chair the Education Committee with Tiffin City Schools’ Pat Smith, praised the effort: “I am proud of the work we’ve done and the plan we’ve put together. I look forward to getting to work on the plan in January.” The group will be working on strengthening career awareness, job shadowing, financial and workplace literacy, as well as preparing students for careers.

Kerrie Carte, Planning & Development Coordinator for WSOS Community Action, is chairing the Training & Placement Committee, and is excited about next year. “Our key focus for 2017 will be working to better align adult training programs with the needs of the business community. We also hope to work on specialized job fairs and support for veterans.”

Ron Schumacher, Director of Facilities and Support Operations for Mercy Health in Tiffin, is co-chairing the Community Services Committee with Tiffin-Seneca United Way’s Pat DeMonte. “We hope to join the effort to make progress on some of the ‘big-picture’ challenges including combating the drug epidemic, addressing mental health issues, and getting the word out about available community services.”

The overall planning effort is co-led by the Seneca County Department of Job & Family Services, Terra State Community College, and SIEDC. The six committees will begin work in January, with a Workforce Summit–to celebrate the successes of the year and plan for the next–to take place on November 30, 2017.

If anyone in the public has interest in becoming involved, they may contact Carol Kern at Job & Family Services at (419) 447-5011 x322 or  Carol.Owen@jfs.ohio.gov, Beth Hannam at 419.559.2237 or bhannam@terra.edu, or David Zak with SIEDC at 419.912.1150 or zak@senecacounty.org.

David Zak takes position as SIEDC President & CEO

Zak resumes leadership of Seneca County development office

TIFFIN, OHIO – January 20, 2016 – After a four-month engagement at Tiffin University, David Zak will return to the helm of the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation tomorrow. Interviews for finalists were conducted in early January, and Zak’s appointment was approved by a majority vote of the SIEDC Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

SIEDC Chair and Heidelberg President Rob Huntington made the official announcement. “On behalf of the SIEDC Executive Committee and Board of Trustees, I am very pleased that David Zak is returning SIEDC to serve as our President and CEO. He did an excellent job previously and I am sure that he will contribute significantly to our community’s economic growth and well-being going forward again. I am especially excited knowing that David is rejoining our strong SIEDC staff team of Karen Bowers, Amy Reinhart, Katie Lang and Bryce Riggs who have been doing a great job over the past five months. We have tremendous momentum!”

Incoming Chair and President and CEO of Webster Industries Andrew Felter shared Huntington’s enthusiasm. “The leadership of David Zak along with an exceptional staff is absolutely the right team to continue the trajectory of success at SIEDC and develop bold improvement for our community. I am now even more optimistic about the positive transformational impact SIEDC can have for our future.”

Seneca County Commissioner Fred Zoeller, a SIEDC Executive Committee member and owner of Laminate Technologies, also expressed his approval. “I am extremely pleased that the Executive Board of SIEDC unanimously approved bringing the vote for David’s reemployment to the full board. This is a great day for the residents of Tiffin and Seneca County, to have David doing what he does best to move the county forward.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, also a member of the Executive Committee, praised the success of the SIEDC team’s recent work and voiced his expectations moving forward. “Just in the past year downtown Tiffin has achieved Main Street status through Heritage Ohio, 11 new businesses have opened downtown, more than 15 buildings have been approved for façade enhancement, Buffalo Wild Wings broke ground, Taiho announced a large expansion and AFS and Webster Industries completed theirs. The list goes on and on, and there’s even more in the pipeline,” Montz said. “I am very confident that David is the right leader to continue this pattern of success.”

Zak was excited about the vote and the opportunity to get back to his old position. “A unanimous vote means the world to me, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. Tiffin and Seneca County are the place my family and I call home, and I can’t wait to rejoin the SIEDC team and help this great community develop for years to come. I also feel that my time at Tiffin University gives me a better understanding of how a university works, and I look forward to using that experience to help TU, Heidelberg and the community grow together. I can’t wait to get started.”


Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) 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 at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

David Zak steps down as SIEDC President & CEO

David ZakLocal leader to join Tiffin University in new position

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 24, 2015 – The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) announced today that its President & CEO David Zak is resigning from the public-private partnership effective September 11, 2015 to join Tiffin University as its new Vice President for University Advancement and Economic Development (UAED).

Zak will start in his new role on September 14, and the search for a new leader for SIEDC will begin within the next week or two.

Heidelberg University President and SIEDC Chair Rob Huntington praised David for his accomplishments and wished him well: “It is remarkable what David has accomplished at SIEDC in only 20 months. I admire his economic development expertise, strong communication skills, and community leadership savvy. We will surely miss him at the helm. At the same time, I’m confident that we won’t lose any steam. In addition, David will intensify Tiffin University’s involvement in local economic, community, and downtown development, and Heidelberg will also have another strong ally at Tiffin University, which can’t but strengthen the universities’ relationship.”

Zak was quick to praise his team, the board, and members of his organization for the community’s recent economic resurgence. “I feel my biggest contribution was to help develop one of the strongest economic, downtown, and community development teams in the country. Karen, Amy, Katie, and Bryce are amazing individuals, and I will truly miss working with them on a daily basis. Add to that an incredibly committed board of trustees, committees, and volunteers, and it’s no wonder so much has gotten done.

I am also incredibly proud of the increased commitment and ongoing support for this organization public officials and private business members have made. They are responsible for the success we’ve been seeing. People here care deeply about the future and are willing to invest and sacrifice to make it better. It’s one of the things that make Tiffin and Seneca County great.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was surprised by the news but enthusiastic about the future. “During my time as Mayor, David and SIEDC have been an ideal partner, helping to supercharge downtown, retail, and industrial development. Tiffin is on the move, and more than 1,000 new jobs and $100 million over the last three years is the result. We’re the strongest we’ve ever been financially and the future is as bright as ever. I don’t believe we’re losing David; I believe we’re gaining an incredible partner who is going to help take Tiffin University to a whole new level – and our community will benefit immensely from that. Full speed ahead.”

Zak intends to represent Tiffin University and be active on SIEDC’s and other local boards engaged in economic development, ensure the transition is smooth, and promises to work as part of SIEDC’s board to recruit the best economic development talent out there to take his place. “Tiffin University and I will also strengthen our support for SIEDC, and I will do everything in my power to ensure the momentum continues,” Zak added.

Seneca County Commissioner and SIEDC Executive Committee member Fred Zoeller also praised Zak’s broad-based approach. “Zak built bridges and strengthened relationships not only in Tiffin, but also with Fostoria and businesses throughout the entire county. His efforts and the efforts of SIEDC have made Seneca County a stronger and better place. I’m glad he’s staying here, and I also look forward to recruiting a new leader.”

Zak will be heading up Tiffin University’s Office of University Advancement and Economic Development (UAED), which expands the development office to include not only the traditional functions of institutional advancement, public relations, alumni relations, government relations, and marketing with leadership in local, regional and national economic development. One new area for the university will be the creation of national centers of excellence in technology and entrepreneurship that will help spur research, company formation, capital attraction, and job creation.

SIEDC Vice Chair Andy Felter, President & CEO of Webster Industries and a Tiffin University alumnus commented, “I believe strongly in SIEDC, in Tiffin University and in David Zak. This move is a no-lose scenario for the community, and I’m truly pleased we get to keep his talents here in Tiffin and Seneca County working to make it a better place. I wish him and TU nothing but the best. It’s an inspired choice.”


Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) 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 at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.