AbbyLynn Photography, which opened at 32 E. Main St. in 2015, officially moved the business to 319 Brunswick Drive in Huron. Sunday, however, neighbor Daniel’s Hobbies was quick to act, seeking to expand its shop into the neighboring space as soon as the owners heard of the possibility. Tuesday marked the hobby shop’s first day of work in the building.
Daniel’s Hobbies plans to use the former photography studio as a racing track and event space.
“She just moved out Sunday. I found out she was leaving by accident,” co-owner Rob Gornek said. “We were actively looking for a place to put a track in. ... We wanted to let (the owner) know we were interested right away.”
The track will cater to several areas of the racing hobby.
“We’re just basically going to put in an indoor carpet track, what they call a short course,” he said. “It’ll be one-tenth scale on down to 1/12th scale.
“Basically what I want to do is put in the carpet track, then be able to rearrange the track for whatever kind of race we’re doing. If we want a carpet track, short course we can do that. If we want to do the 1/12th scale on-the-road cars, we can do that. Just mix it up so we can have several different types of tracks in one. We also plan to put a rock wall in up in the front of the store.”
The second shop space will double as birthday parties and event space for rent as well, Gornek said, adding the track would be included for the group’s use.
Gornek said it’s important to Daniel’s Hobbies to provide for the community what can’t be found anywhere in the area.
“It should be nice. There’s nothing like that around here,” he said. “You can cover 100 miles in between shops. There’s so many people that don’t have any place to run, especially the carpet cars. That’s a real big end of the hobby still and there’s place to enjoy it. Basically we just want to offer a place for people to run.”
To get the space ready, Gornek said doors will be cut out of the wall separating the two sides of the shop, allowing customers to walk between the show room and track room easily. Gornek said he hopes the whole construction project is complete and ready to open within two weeks.
The shop hopes the space will not only be an asset to local hobbyists, but also the community in general, being available for the local schools or fundraiser events if needed.
Gornek said overall, the move signifies a positive move for the business.
“I’m not going to say we’re killing it by any means, but it’s growing fast,” he said. “We’re still evolving and there’s still more we want to do.”
ACE Hardware a top performer
Ace Hardware Corp. announced the Norwalk Ace Hardware achieved the designation as a “Pinnacle Performance Retailing” store for its outstanding performance.
Developed as part of Ace’s long-term retail growth strategy, 20/20 Vision, Pinnacle Performance Retailing is focused on Ace’s customers, helping to ensure that Ace stores deliver on its brand promise.
With more than 4,800 stores in more than 60 countries, the team at Norwalk Ace Hardware is one of only a few hundred Ace retailers to achieve this prestigious status, which it did by completing a number of key performance drivers that will help them provide a better overall shopping experience in their local community.
One example of a proven performance driver is “helpful certification,” the foundational element of Ace’s “certified Ace helpful” retail training curriculum. To become certified, Ace Hardware associates complete courses such as Helpful 101 and 201 and the store conducts a week-long team-based certification event.
“The team at Norwalk Ace Hardware is incredibly pleased to have earned the status as a Pinnacle Performance Retailing store for the fourth year in a row,” co-owner Lisa Bleile said.
“What this means for our customers is that we are more committed than ever to providing our loyal shoppers with the best possible retail experience; from customer service to product offerings and more, we’re taking ‘Ace helpful’ to a new level. We could not have achieved Pinnacle status without the support of our community — thank you.”
CertainTeed Corp. adds $37 million expansion
AVERY — CertainTeed Corp., the leading North American manufacturer of building materials has partnered with several Erie County-based economic and community development groups to expand its 55-acre roofing shingle manufacturing factory in Milan.
The facility expansion, slated for completion by year-end 2020, will support materials processing, logistics and vertical integration of CertainTeed’s existing operations. The project will result in the addition of ten new jobs, allow for the retention of 196 current positions and significantly add to Erie County’s tax base.
“The CertainTeed Roofing Products Group and all employees at the local plant in Milan are extremely pleased with the support that the local business community has provided throughout this planning phase of the project,” said Troy Fronzaglio, regional manufacturing manager. “Over the last 50 years our employees have worked to safely produce high quality roofing shingles to our Lake Central-area regional customers. This expansion project further secures our plant’s future in a very competitive market.”
The expansion is a group effort.
An economic development team — including the Erie County Economic Development Corp., Milan Township trustees, JobsOhio and Team NEO — worked with CertainTeed to provide support and coordination with various government agencies, utilities and rail companies to ensure smooth progression of the project. Entities involved included Erie County, Columbia Gas, TransCanada, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Norfolk Southern, the Ohio Rail Development Commission and the Ohio Department of Transportation.
“CertainTeed Corp. has contributed greatly to our regional economy over the last forty years through employment, capital investment and innovation,” said Abbey Bemis, Erie County Economic Development Corp. executive director. “We are pleased to be a part of their continued advancement and success.”
IT&T acquired by ES Consulting
ES Consulting Inc. of Ontario announced its acquisition of Information Technology and Training (IT&T) of Norwalk.
ES Consulting has been in business since 2001 offering the best of information technology (IT) services to clients all throughout the United States. Their primary business focus is bringing enterprise-level technology solutions to the small and medium-sized businesses in Ohio.
This acquisition isn’t only beneficial for the expansion of ES Consulting, it also allows them to better serve businesses in the Northern Ohio region with highest quality IT security and support services. The acquisition was finalized April 1.
IT&T, which was Advanced Business Technologies when they originally opened in 2000, served the Northern Ohio region with IT support ranging from remote help desk to on-site Support services, and also handled various technology related projects.
“We feel this will allow us to better serve all of our existing clients and allow us to offer even more beneficial services to those businesses,” IT&T CEO Ben Boss said.
“We were looking for a way to expand our offerings to our clients, and working with ES Consulting was a perfect match to allow this to happen. It was very important for us to find a culture and company that match what we currently have so that we could focus on what is best for our clients.”
Boss said he felt ES Consulting, which was rated in the Inc. Best Workplaces for 2017, was a natural fit.
“With their product development, it is like taking a technology business and moving it 10 years into the future” he added.
“We have been growing rapidly and are very excited to bring in IT&T. They have done an excellent job serving the businesses in their community and will even be able to help us develop our training offerings for our clients” said Dennis Fox, president and CEO of ES Consulting.
With the acquisition, no jobs will be lost and ES Consulting will continue to serve existing clients and develop even further in the Norwalk and Northern Ohio regions.
Rutter joins Ashley Group
The Ashley Group welcomed local industry expert Sherri Rutter to the group benefits division as an employee benefits advisor in Maumee.
Rutter has been in the health insurance industry for 20 years. Most recently, she worked as account executive for Paramount Health Care for over 17 years where her responsibilities paired her with brokers and consultants to provide health insurance to employer groups in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.
“The Ashley Group serves a number of employer groups in Huron County, half of which are actually located in Norwalk,” agency development manager Stephanie Oblander said. “We are actively seeking to grow our presence in that area even further.”
As employee benefits advisor at The Ashley Group, Rutter’s primary focus will be to continue to help employers offer an employee benefits package that helps them attract and retain talent while meeting the company’s financial goals.
Tractor Supply raises $67,000 for 4-H
Ohio 4-H youth will have opportunities to learn valuable leadership skills thanks to $67,209 donated by Ohio Tractor Supply customers through Paper Clover, a biannual fundraising campaign held in partnership with National 4-H Council.
“Our loyal customers and dedicated team members continue to support 4-H through Paper Clover because they see the value in supporting the future of agriculture within their own communities and across the country,” said Christi Korzekwa, senior vice president of marketing at Tractor Supply Co.
“4-H programs, camps and conferences help develop today’s youth into tomorrow’s leaders, and the goal of Paper Clover is to expose more youth to those growth opportunities.”
Earlier this month, Ohio Tractor Supply customers participated in Paper Clover by purchasing paper clovers — the emblem of 4-H — for a monetary donation of their choice at checkout in stores and online. 2018 marks the ninth consecutive year of Tractor Supply’s Paper Clover campaign. The company’s biannual fundraiser has collectively generated more than $13.9 million in essential funding over its history.
The Paper Clover campaign will return to Ohio Tractor Supply stores this fall, from Oct. 3 to Oct. 14. Identical to the spring, customers can participate in the 2018 Fall Paper Clover campaign by purchasing paper clovers during checkout in stores and online at www.TractorSupply.com.
For more information on the program, visit www.TractorSupply.com/4H.
Tramec Sloan named Partner of the Year
SHELBY — Tramec Sloan was named the 2018 Ralph Phillips Business Partner of the Year at the 13th annual awards dinner at Pioneer Career & Technology Center in Shelby on March 14.
This prestigious award is given to an area business that has demonstrated support for Pioneer and its programs, students and alumni. It was renamed in 2010 in honor of the late Ralph Phillips, president and owner of Phillips Manufacturing and Tower Co., the first recipient of the award. The criteria for this award around the attributes most admired in Phillips.
Tramec Sloan, located in Galion, supports the precision machining lab through the advisory committee, tours for students and hiring Pioneer graduates. They help make sure the precision machining lab has what it needs to be successful.
The Galion facility processes over 9 million pounds of brass each year for fittings. These fittings are then used in hose assemblies that are also made in Galion. For over 35 years, Tramec Sloan has been an American-based manufacturer and supplier of air, electric, fittings and mechanical components for commercial vehicles and industrial applications.
In other health business...
High Hep. C risk among baby boomers
Local baby boomers are at high risk for a potentially deadly virus and may not even know it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging men and women born between 1945 and 1965 to get tested throughout the month of May, Hepatitis C Awareness Month.
Hep C is a blood-borne virus that causes inflammation of the liver. It is curable when detected, but Hep C symptoms rarely surface before the virus turns into a chronic – even fatal liver disease.
Throughout the month of May, Any Lab Test Now, an area clinic, is offering a test to detect Hep C and you do not need to go to your doctor first. No appointment is needed, and the test is only $49.
Baby boomers are five times more likely to have Hep C than any other adults according to the CDC. Health officials say people in this age group could have picked up the virus years ago during a previous medical procedure or blood transfusion when health regulations to screen blood supplies were much more lax.
The CDC lists intravenous drug use or “sharing needles” as a common way to spread Hep C and a study shows a spike in Hep C infections linked to the opioid epidemic. Researchers uncovered startling numbers of people hooked on opioids who eventually turned to injecting the drugs.
The Willows honored for customer service
WILLARD — As residents and their family members of Trilogy’s senior living communities know, the Willows at Willard is serious about customer service.
Exceeding their customers’ expectations is the company’s utmost goal and those that go above and beyond in pursuit of this goal are recognized and rewarded. Recently, at Trilogy’s annual spring meeting, which took place April 17 to 19 in Louisville, Ky., The Willows at Willard discovered that they had received the top award in Customer Service.
This award, dubbed the “Sweet Nebraska!” award by Trilogy President and CEO Randall Bufford, first came into existence last year in order to recognize campuses who scored over 9.75 out of 10 on its customer satisfaction surveys, based on feedback from residents and family members. In 2017, three Trilogy senior living communities earned this honor. In 2018, 12 made the list.
The Willows at Willard scored a 9.80 out of 10.
“Everything we do at The Willows is for the benefit of those we serve,” executive director Danielle Phillips said.
“The needs and desires of our residents and family members shape the services we offer at our campus. Their feedback on our customer satisfaction surveys is a great indicator of the quality of care that we provide, and we are honored to receive such high recognition. I am proud to be a member of a team who is always willing to go the extra mile for our customers.”
If you have an item for the business roundup column, send the information to the Norwalk Reflector in care of Zoe Greszler, 61 E. Monroe St., Norwalk, Ohio 44857, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.