This year’s OCIC Business & Industry Awards event, the OCIC recognized achievements of our business and community leaders and looked at economic projections for the 2020 year. This years’ award categories included entrepreneur of the year, economic development partner of the year, business of the year, Bill Mack business leader, and volunteer of the year.
To kick off the event, OCIC welcomed Guhan Venkatu, Group Vice President in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, who presented the 2020 Economic Forecast. Mr. Venkatu discussed labor market developments at the state and national level, the outlook for household and business spending, financial markets, trade tensions, and fiscal and federal policy. He concluded his presentation on GDP growth forecasts and the outlook for business investment in 2020. Special thanks to Dean Miller, President of First National Bank and OCIC Trustee, who assisted OCIC in securing Mr. Venkatu for the event.
After the economic forecast presentation, members of the OCIC Executive Board presented this year’s awards. The Entrepreneur of the Year award was presented to Twin Oast Brewing, located in Catawba Island Township. Twin Oast opened its doors in May 2018 with a 15-barrel brewhouse and 30-barrel fermenters. Twin Oast features stone fruit orchards, a scenic grotto complete with a waterfall, two replica Oast Houses and built a new Pergola this past summer. The brewery offers five year-round beers, as well as a variety of seasonal beers. Twin Oast has found success with their summer festival series; this includes Apricot Fest, Quinstock, and Oastoberfest. Justin Moore, OCIC Treasurer, presented the award to Cory Smith. But the good news didn’t stop there. During his acceptance speech, Cory was very excited to announce that Twin Oast just found out that had also received three medals and one award from the New York International Bee Competition: Bronze Medal in the “Strong Pale Ale” category for their Legitimate Swells IPA, Bronze Medal in the “Brown Porter” category for Ship Burner, Gold Medal in the “Marzen” category for Proast, and were named Ohio’s German-Style Brewery of the Year.
OCIC’s Economic Development Partner award was presented to the Ottawa County Community Foundation. The Ottawa County Community Foundation was established in 1999 as a public Charitable organization under the Toledo Community Foundation. The group annually supports a variety of charitable programs and projects designed to address current and emerging needs of students. The Foundation’s support to continue to move the Business Advisory Council initiatives forward has helped fund a handful of activities including the first ever Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy. Dr. Guy Parmigian, OCIC At-Large member, presented the award to Joy Roth and John Madison.
The Business of the Year Award was presented to the Davis Besse Nuclear Power Station. Davis Besse, Ottawa County’s largest employer, was at risk of closing but thanks to all of the employees and community leaders who advocated to keep the plant open, House Bill 6 passed in July 2019. The US Dept. of Education awarded a $9 million federal research grant to create a pilot program that will allow Davis Besse to produce hydrogen, which will make the plant economically competitive for the long-term. Davis Besse has been actively involved in the Business Advisory Council’s initiatives and held its third annual Cruisin Nuclear Car Show and Community Day. Keith Smith, OCIC Vice-President, presented the award to Doug Huey.
The Bill Mack Business Leader Award recognizes an individual business leader for their work and support of the community. This year, the OCIC recognized Todd Almendinger. Todd is the President and CEO of Magruder Hospital. Being part of the hospital’s senior leadership team since 2006, Todd has overseen multiple projects at the hospital including a new campus walking trail, the implementation of a flagship collaborative play-place, and a $3.9million surgery expansion and renovation project. Todd was named as one of the ‘Top 71 Critical Access Hospitals CEO’s to Know’ in 2018 by Becker’s Healthcare. Todd serves as Chairman of the Port Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce and is an OCIC Trustee Member. Craig Trick, OCIC Past President, presented the award to Todd.
The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented two individuals: Ken and Kim Harsanje. As former Mayor and First Lady of Genoa, Ken and Kim worked with the village to clean-up the downtown area in an effort to keep Genoa and Ottawa County on the map. This included the removal of run-down homes, junk cars, and the installation of flowerpots and benches. They both helped organize community events including the Genoa Homecoming and the annual Genoa Festival of Lights. Ken and Kim both serve as mentors for the TNT Mentoring Program and have participated in the Career Showcase as Event Guides. OCIC’s Business & Workforce Development Manager, Gaye Winterfield and Program & Office Coordinator, Jessica Grzechowiak presented the award to Ken and Kim. Unfortunately, Kim was unable to attend the event so their grandchildren, Ty and Kallie, accompanied Ken to accept the award.
Each award winner received a commendation from Governor Mike DeWine and State Senator Theresa Gavarone. The OCIC’s 2020 Business & Industry Awards event was held on Wednesday, March 4th at the Camp Perry Conference Center in Port Clinton. Catering was provided by the Catawba Island Club and dessert was provided by Brown Dog Gelato. For more information on the OCIC, visit www.ocic.biz or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.