WE LAUNCH TO LAUNCH: The next cohort of WE Launch, phase two of the WE Accelerator Program, begins June 9 and includes 10 weeks of classes focused on the fundamentals of owning and operating a business.
The primary goal of WE Launch is to assist women who have started their own business but need assistance in launching their product into the market.
To qualify for WE Launch, your business must be woman-owned, be registered with the state and have an existing business plan.
The virtual meetings will be 6 to 8 p.m. June 9, 16, 23 and 30, July 7, 14, 21 and 28 and Aug. 4.
Go to ybi.org, the website for the Youngstown Business Incubator, to learn more.
WCBA GROUP FINISHES 2ND: The Student Investment Fund in the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University placed second for the second consecutive year in the Undergraduate Growth Portfolio Competition.
The fund’s portfolio is benchmarked against the S&P 500 Index and has outperformed the index 10 out of the last 11 years. In 2020, the fund’s portfolio yielded a total return of 30.4 percent compared with the S&P 500, which grew 18.4 percent.
The fund started in 2008 with $250,000 provided by the YSU Foundation’s endowment fund. From 2008 to 2013, the fund received an additional $50,000 each year from the YSU Foundation to invest. The students meet regularly to research and invest in specific stocks, learn from investment professionals, and track their investments. The portfolio has grown significantly over the years. As of April, the group was managing a portfolio worth $2.4 million.
The competition was sponsored by the Global Asset Management Education Forum and hosted by Quinnipiac University of Hamden, Conn., in March.
HUNTINGTON AWARDED: Huntington Bank has claimed the highest ranking in customer satisfaction with consumer banking in the North Central Region of the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study. The achievement is the sixth time in nine years for the bank.
The study is based on responses from 94,784 consumer banking customers of the largest banks in the United States about their experiences with their consumer bank. It was conducted from April 2020 through February 2021. Regional banks are those with $55 billion to $259 billion in domestic deposits. The study measures customer satisfaction with banks in 15 geographic regions.
It measured account opening, communication and advice, channel activities, convenience, problem resolution and products and fees.
FARMERS TO OPEN BRANCH: Canfield-based Farmers National Bank is opening its second Lab Branch concept later this year in Canton.
Located near the Belden Village Mall, the branch will house all of the bank’s emerging technology and customer service initiatives, including Interactive Teller Machines (ITM) in the lobby and drive-thru. ITM’s allow customers to speak to a specialized banking associate via video conferencing. The bank has a similar type branch already in Canfield.
BURY RECOGNIZED: Bury Financial Group in Boardman has been named to the 2021 Ohio School Boards Association Business Honor Roll. The Poland school board nominated the firm for its continued support and service to Poland Local Schools.
Todd Bury, president, and Brian Laraway, partner, were presented with a certificate of recognition from OSBA and Dr. Edwin Holland, interim superintendent of Poland Local School District, at the local school board’s April 26th meeting.
LOCAL RETAILER SUPPORTS MOVEMENT: In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Shelby’s Sugar Shop at Southern Park Mall is supporting the On Our Sleeves campaign to share important mental health resources with families and children, while encouraging broader conversations about children’s mental health.
In May, the store will partner with Nationwide Children’s Hospital by donating 15 percent of total net sales to the On Our Sleeves program.
The hospital’s On Our Sleeves is a movement to transform children’s mental health through education, advocacy and research.
CHAMBER ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP: The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber has partnered with Optimally Business Performance to offer members a program to help reduce their operating expenses.
Some of the overarching expense categories the Optimally team looks at are telecom / software, human resources, treasury, insurance, utilities, waste, advertising, supplies and transportation.
Optimally will provide chamber members a free analysis.
CONTINUED GROWTH AT AIM: Girard-based Aim Integrated Logistics, a division of Aim Transportation Solutions, more than doubled its business development staff, most recently bringing on industry expert Bryan Bilchik to help identify and adopt new opportunities in the southern region of the United States.
Bilchik has a background in transportation and software.
In addition to internal growth, Aim Integrated has recently moved up from the 2020 position of 23rd to the 2021 position of 22nd in Transport Topic’s 50 Top Dedicated Contract Carriers list. This list is widely regarded as the most comprehensive rating system in the transportation industry within the United States.
RV CENTER MOVES: Homestead RV Center, a recreational vehicle dealer and service center, moved into its new location, 6700 Belmont Ave., Girard, on April 12. It features a larger service facility, more service techs, a larger parts store and better parking.
The previous location in Hubbard closed on April 16.
People on the move
GRAPHIC DESIGNER HIRED: Digital marketing firm PALO Creative has hired graphic designer Angie McQuistion, the sixth new team member that PALO has added since the fall of 2020.
McQuistion previously worked as a marketing coordinator and graphic designer for several businesses in the Mahoning Valley. In her role as graphic designer, she brings experience in both print and web design.
Originally from New Waterford, the
Youngstown State University graduate lives in Columbiana.
POLAND MAN JOINS GEM INC.: Mark Turnbull of Poland has joined GEM Inc.’s Piping Group as an account manager at the Rudolph Libbe Group’s northeast Ohio office in North Ridgeville.
Turnbull has worked in the construction industry for 35 years. He is a member of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 396 and studied business administration at Mercyhurst University and Youngstown State University.
The Rudolph Libbe Group provides construction and facility services. It is comprised of Rudolph Libbe Inc., GEM Inc., GEM Energy, Lehman Daman and Rudolph Libbe Properties.
LEVY GARDENS BRINGS DIRECTOR: Nicholas Hargate joined the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation as director of Levy Gardens Assisted Living in April.
Hargate brings 10 years of health care experience to the position.
He earned a degree in long-term care administration from Youngstown State University. His last position was community relations manager for Canfield Place.
Levy Gardens is a residential center of the federation that offers services through Heritage Manor Rehabilitation & Retirement Center, as well as supportive programs through Jewish Family Services and the Jewish Community Center.
NEW HIRE, PROMOTION AT 717: Paul Bush recently joined 717 Credit Union as the collections and recovery manager.
In his new position, Bush, who comes from BFG Federal Credit Union, will oversee collection of delinquent accounts while minimizing losses to the credit union.
Submit items for Business Briefs, New Businesses and People on the Move to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax to 330-841-1717 or online at www.tribtoday.com. The deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday.
FREE HOME BUYING SEMINAR OFFERED: Cortland Bank will host a free homebuyer education seminar 6 p.m. May 20 at the Georgeanna Parker Activity Center at Boardman Township Park, 375 Boardman Poland Road.
The 90-minute educational session is designed to educate and empower prospective home buyers so they can make smart financial decisions and effectively compete in one of the most competitive housing markets in recent history.
The seminar will cover mortgage loans and how to qualify, the loan process and what to expect, the value of good credit and what impacts it, down payment requirements, and the need for preapproval. Also on the agenda are the various down-payment assistance programs and how home buyers can qualify.
Preregistration is not required but is recommended. To register, call 330-282-4139, email email@example.com or visit www.cortlandbank.com/register.
COVID-19 protocols will be in place.
SHARON REGIONAL RECEIVES HIGH MARK: Sharon Regional Medical Center, a Steward family hospital, received an “A” grade in the spring 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction recognizing the hospital’s achievements protecting patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections.
The Leapfrog Group is an independent national watchdog organization committed to health care quality and safety. The hospital safety grade assigns an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “F” grade to all general hospitals across the country and is updated every six months. It is the only hospital ratings program based exclusively on hospitals’ prevention of medical errors and other harms to patients in their care.
STUDENTS GRADUATE: The Professional Development Center, a division of Flying HIGH Inc., recently held its spring graduation with 42 people earning credentials in several vocational tracks, including chemical dependency counselor assistants, state tested nurse aides, welders and CDL truck drivers.
At the ceremony, William “Guy” Burney, executive director of Youngstown’s Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) received the first Eagle Award, which recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary efforts to provide opportunities for people to make their lives better and to help community members work together.
The center has offered vocational training since 2011. Last month, it opened a new job placement welcome center where local residents can walk in and have access to immediate job opportunities. The welcome center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
RIBBON CUTTING: Innovation Exhibits Inc. in Boardman, a maker of trade show displays, portable exhibit booths, banner stands and custom fabricator, recently held a grand reopening to highlight new services, personnel and website.
The company, founded in 1994, has added a print shop and graphic capabilities, including vehicle graphics and graphic design.
The family-owned company is led by co-owners Steve and Monica Gable; Vice President of Sales and Marketing Alexis Santangelo; and Vice President of Operations Justin Gable.
DOMINION OFFERING GRANTS: Dominion Energy is inviting nonprofit organizations in Ohio to apply for grants of up to $25,000 to meet critical needs in communities. For the sixth consecutive year, the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation has pledged $1 million to help meet urgent human needs such as housing and shelter, access to medicine and medical services, and food security.
For this year’s grants, eligible organizations in targeted areas of Connecticut, Idaho, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming and other areas within Dominion Energy’s service area can apply. Online applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. May 31.
For more complete details or to apply, go to www.dominionenergy.com/communityneedsgrants.
ROBOTICS SEMINAR PLANNED: The Ohio Small Business Development Center at Youngstown State University is partnering with the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University to discuss how robotics and artificial intelligence can provide opportunities for your business.
The Robotics & Artificial Intelligence webinar is 10 a.m. Wednesday and the Drive Business Success Via Robots webinar for manufacturers is 10 a.m. Thursday.
Register for Wednesday’s seminar at https://tinyurl.com/ykxcss5f and for Thursday’s event, register at https://tinyurl.com/pyv9d7cv.
DAPRILE NAMED AMONG TOP FINANCIAL ADVISERS: Victor L. Daprile, an independent LPL Financial adviser at Daprile Financial in Canfield, was recently included in LPL’s Freedom’s Club. With more than 17,000 LPL-affiliated advisers nationwide, LPL awards select advisers with this distinction based on an adviser’s business success.
Daprile is affiliated with LPL Financial, the nation’s largest independent broker / dealer.
PNC COMMITS $88B: PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. is committing $88 billion in loans, investments and other financial support to bolster economic opportunity for low- and moderate-income individuals and communities, people and communities of color, and other underserved individuals and communities over a four-year period starting in January 2022
The Community Benefits Plan expects to originate at least $47 billion in residential mortgage and home equity loans, originate at least $26.5 billion in loans to small businesses provide at least $14.5 billion in community development loans and investments across all markets and increase to at least $500 million PNC’s charitable giving, including sponsorships and philanthropic grants.
People on the move
PASCARELLA NAMED EVENTS MANAGER: Chelsea Pascarella recently was named events manager for the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber.
Pascarella, who joined the chamber in 2018 as events coordinator, is pursuing certification as an international corporate event planning professional, and for the past year, has been overseeing all events and aspects of the department on her own.
Before joining the chamber, she was the assistant marketing director at the Eastwood Mall Complex and had also worked as the assistant manager at a local bridal shop.
GRIFFITH AGENCY ADDS TO TEAM: The Griffith Agency in Girard has expanded its team by hiring Angel Ezzo as its newest insurance agent.
Born and raised in Girard, Ezzo returns to her hometown after living in Arizona. She earned her associate degree from Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz.
The agency, founded in 1910, is an auto, home, life and business agency.
COLDWELL BANKER EVENBAY ADDS REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL: Katie Hionas has joined the real estate team at Coldwell Banker Evenbay Real Estate.
Hionas recently returned to the Mahoning Valley from California and came back to selling real estate with Coldwell Banker EvenBay, where she was a Realtor before moving west.
She will provide real estate services in Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties and surrounding areas.
DOCTOR JOINS PEDIATRIC STAFF: Dr. Allison Burke has joined Akron Children’s Hospital as a child and adolescent psychologist in the NeuroDevelopmental Science Center.
Previous, Burke was a psychologist at Mercy Kids Autism Center and Knights of Columbus Developmental Center, both in St. Louis.
She is a native of Canton.