Each year, the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation (OCIC) recognizes outstanding companies and individuals that have demonstrated success in business and have contributed to the growth and vitality of Ottawa County. Awards are given in categories for small business (1 to 25 employees), medium business (26 to 100 employees) and large business (101 plus employees), business of the year, Bill Mack business leader, economic development partner, entrepreneur of the year, and volunteer of the year. A committee of OCIC Trustees reviews nominations and determines the award winners.
This year’s small business nominees were Imprint Logo (Marblehead) and Greer Automotive (Oak Harbor). The award was presented to Imprint Logo in the small business category. Imprint Logo is family owned and operated by Craig Stephens and his wife, Kellye, who have been running ImprintLogo.com and MiniThrowballs.com since 1999 and have been involved in the promotional industry for more than 25 years. Imprint Logo has an on-site art department to help clients design custom orders. The company allows their customers to customize their logo or message on anything from can coolers and custom apparel to tote bags and backpacks.
Medium business nominees were The Watering Hole (Port Clinton) and Art Van Furniture (Genoa). The medium business award went to Art Van Furniture. Art Van Furniture, formally known as Samsen Furniture, has an abundance of furniture sets, home accents and mattress selections, and features fast delivery service. Art Van Furniture has expanded the customer base of shoppers and continues to draw clientele into the Genoa area from the surrounding region.
Nominees in the large business category were Northern Manufacturing (Oak Harbor) and Genoa Retirement Village (Genoa). The large business category award was presented to Genoa Retirement Village. Genoa Retirement Village has served the Genoa area for several years and is an inviting atmosphere that makes their residents feel right at home. Genoa Retirement Village, operated by Trilogy Health Services, holds special events for their residents and their families as well as hosts a wellness week in June to raise awareness for heart health. In addition, the facility actively participates in and supports Genoa area events and businesses.
The OCIC Entrepreneur Award was presented this year to Elite Team Supply in Port Clinton. Antony Sharples, owner of Elite Team Supply, founded the company in 2012 with just one heat press and a handful of clients. Since then, the company has become Northwest Ohio’s only award-winning print shop after placing first place for True Process Printing at the ISS Awards in Fort Worth, Texas in 2016. Last year, the company moved from Curtice into their retail location in Port Clinton and has expanded their customer market to a national presence with clients ranging from the private sector to high schools and collegiate sports teams.
The Bill Mack Business Leader Award recognizes business leaders for their work and support of the community. This year, the OCIC recognized Dave and Cheryl Grosjean, owners of Genoa Custom Interiors and Genoa Floor Coverings, who have been members of the Genoa business community for many years. Dave and Cheryl are founding members of the Genoa Merchants Group, a group made up of more than 62 local businesses, to advocate and elevate the marketing and outreach of businesses located in the downtown Genoa Business District.
OCIC’s Economic Development Partner award was presented to the Marblehead Merchants Group. The Marblehead Merchants Group is a 100% volunteer group of dedicated local business owners, operators, and not-for-profit organizations working together to make their fantastic coastal town the place to be. The group was launched in 2014 and grew from a small number of committed community leaders to its current membership base of 39. Moving forward, the Merchants Group is planning to get more involved in beautification projects for the village such as planters, decorative flags, and other initiatives to make the community more inviting. Upcoming fundraising events will help provide the resources needed for these projects.
The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Keith Smith with Materion. Keith Smith has held several leadership roles within the OCIC and has most recently served as its Treasurer. Under Keith’s leadership, the OCIC has received two Ohio Auditor of State awards and he has helped with the organization’s growth and expansion into operating the OhioMeansJobs location for Ottawa County and growing OCIC’s work with the Business Advisory Council effort.
The Business of the Year Award was presented to Northern Manufacturing. Northern Manufacturing is a sheet metal fabrication company specializing in stainless steel fabrication. The company’s 185,000 square feet of fabrication space includes a dedicated 40,000 sq. ft. stainless steel fabrication operation. Their expertise include laser welding, 3D laser cutting, automated laser cutting, robotic welding, complex CNC forming, material optimization, and a whole-shop floor computer system. In 2015, Northern Manufacturing moved from its North Locust Street plant to the Lakewinds Industrial Park. The company constructed a 45,000 SF addition to its existing facility at a cost of $1.2 million to expand warehousing and assembly operations. The new expansion also helped to fulfill new business orders from an existing customer as well as position Northern to acquire new customers. Additionally, Northern Manufacturing has worked together with rvi, Inc. in Oak Harbor for several years on quality and product finishing work.
The OCIC Business & Industry Awards were held on Wednesday, March 14th at the Camp Perry Conference Center in Port Clinton. For more information on the OCIC, visit www.ocic.biz or find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.