Business briefs

CAFARO COMPANY WINS AWARD: PETA has awarded Niles-based Cafaro Company the organization’s Compassionate Business Award for installing warning signs at its shopping centers alerting people to the dangers of leaving animals or children in parked cars.

Cafaro Company, owner / operator of the Eastwood Mall, decided to design and place the signs at its dozens of properties in 10 states (and on social media) following discussions with PETA.

The company is one of the nation’s largest privately held shopping center developers.

ELLWOOD ACHIEVES CERTIFICATION: Ellwood Aluminum, a large diameter aluminum ingot and billet, rectangular slab, and cast plate manufacturer in Hubbard, has earned AS9100:2016 Certification.

The certification is the newest aerospace standard and is based on the ISO 9001:2015 quality system requirements. AS9100 series is the industry-recognized set of standards for quality assurance and risk management. The standards were developed for organizations that work within the design, development, production, installation, and servicing in the Aviation, Space and Defense sector.

The AS9100 Certification asserts that Ellwood Aluminum provides the highest quality aluminum alloys.

AKRON CHILDREN’S TAPS NEW CEO: Christopher A. Gessner has been selected to succeed the retiring Grace Wakulchik as president and CEO of Akron Children’s Hospital, effective Oct. 18.

Gessner, 54, has been president and CEO of UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital since 2019 and spent nearly two decades in administrative roles at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, part of the UPMC Health System, including serving as president from 2008 to 2019.

Wakulchik, president and CEO of Akron Children’s since 2018, had earlier shared her plans to retire at the end of 2021, following a 40-year career in health care.

In his position now, Gessner, a native of Ligonier, Pa., is the executive in charge of four hospitals, as well as additional surgery centers, clinics and free-standing ERs in the metro Denver area. He oversees 11,000 employees, 2,684 providers, 877 total hospital beds, and a $2.7 billion operating budget.

SHARKS IN THE WATER: The Youngstown Business Incubator on Oct. 28 will host it second “Shark Tank” event for budding entrepreneurs at Waypoint 4180 in Canfield.

The event is a chance for early stage companies to win up to $10,000 as well as the potential for investment by the “Sharks.” The 2019 winner, Lindsay Watson, founder of Augment Therapy, secured more than $350,000 as a result of the event.

The event starts at 5 p.m.

The sharks are Terrill Vidale, president and CEO, 2Deep Entertainment; Patrick McKenna, partner, Comeback Capital; Ellen Tressel, philanthropist; Len Fisher, CEO, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt; Timothy Wolf Starr, CEO, Atlas Partners; and John Masternick, CEO of Windsor House Inc.

They will select a top three and audience members will vote to advance three more contestants to the final round.

The sharks have the final say in who takes home the cash prizes.

YSU STUDENTS WIN AWARDS: Five Youngstown State University math students presented research at the annual national MathFest, and four took home awards for excellence.

MathFest is the summer meeting of the Mathematical Association of America and Pi Mu Epsilon. YSU students receiving the Pi Mu Epsilon Best Talk Award include:

Nicholas Adduci of Hubbard, “Visual and Geometric Representation of Primes”; Luke Hetzel of Boardman, “Prisoner’s Dilemma and Cooperation” and Chase Reiter of Lisbon, “Trigonometry and Spirographs.”

Also presenting at the conference was Alyssa Leone of Hubbard, “Rittenhouse’s Sum of Sines.”

New businesses

BOUTIQUE OPENS: The Beauty Boutique at 4845 Market St., Boardman, grew into the space from selling women’s clothing on Facebook from the basement of a Canfield Township home.

The grand opening was Friday and Saturday. The store, co-owned by Nicci Farris, and her sister-in-law Kelli Catullo, is open two days per week while the online store remains open.

People on the Move

FIRM ADDS AGENT: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Stouffer Realty recently welcomed new sales associate Mindy Smalley to its Salem sales office.

While new to the real estate industry, Smalley has more than 20 years of customer service experience in the restaurant industry. She has lived in Salem for more than 35 years.

She is a Salem High School graduate as well as a Kent State graduate with a bachelor’s degree in K-3 education. She has worked with AmeriCorps as an Ohio Math Corps intervention tutor in a local elementary school.

COMPANY NAMES PRESIDENT: Alan Ricks recently was named president of UCR Advisors, the commercial brokerage affiliate of the UCR Group of Companies with offices in Cleveland, Columbus and now in the Youngstown area.

Ricks, a licensed real estate broker, has more than 26 years of experience in the real estate business, including commercial brokerage, site selection, tenant representation, project management and development.

He was most recently affiliated with Platz Realty Group of Canfield.

Submit items for Business briefs, New Businesses and People on the Move to business@tribtoday.com, fax to 330-841-1717 or online at www.tribtoday.com. The deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday.

Business briefs

AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED: The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber has announced the organization’s Salute to Business award recipients. They will be honored at the chamber’s annual Salute to Business breakfast 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Sept. 2 at the Eastwood Event Centre, Niles.

Tickets for the event are $40 for chamber members and $50 for nonmembers.

The winners are:

Business Advocate of the Year — Dean Harris, executive director, Western Reserve Transit Authority;

Nonprofit Professional of the Year — Dr. Ronald Dwinnells, chief executive officer, ONE Health Ohio;

Entrepreneurs of the Year — Holly and Jeff Swartz, owners, Personal Protected;

Small Business Person of the Year — Fred Moran, owner / partner, Window World; and

Salute to Labor Achievement — Jim Burgham, business manager, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 64.

Keynote speaker for the breakfast is Barry Zekelman, CEO of Zekelman Industries, the largest independent steel tube manufacturer in North America. Part of his company is Wheatland Tube in Howland.

LOCAL FIRM RECOGNIZED: HD Davis CPAs in Liberty recently was named by Accounting Today as one of the best accounting firms to work for in 2021. Accounting Today is a nationally recognized accounting publication that sends daily news updates and information to more than 325,000 professionals.

Accounting Today holds an annual competition among accounting firms across the U.S. Information about those companies are gathered through surveys sent to the employees of participating firms. Company policies, procedures and diversity also are reviewed. Accounting Today uses the information to recognize the top 100 companies, three of which are located in Ohio, including HD Davis CPAs.

More than 250 firms applied for the 2021 award.

SHERMAN MARKS 25 YEARS: Sherman Creative, a promotional product distributor based in Youngstown, is celebrating 25 years of business.

To mark the occasion, the firm hosted an online pop-up style shop with proceeds going to the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.

The company was founded in 1996 by Bruce and Carol Sherman.

AKRON CHILDREN’S NAMED TOP COMPANY: LinkedIn, an online professional networking and career development service, has recognized Akron Children’s Hospital as one of the 25 top companies in the greater Cleveland-Akron-Canton area.

The rankings are based on LinkedIn’s analysis of company data focusing on seven pillars that have been shown to lead to career progression: ability to advance, skills growth, company stability, external opportunity, company affinity (supportive culture), gender diversity and educational background.

People on the move

MONACO JOINS BANK BOARD: Canfield-based Farmers National Banc Corp. has added Frank J. Monaco to its board of directors as a class three director with a term expiring in 2022.

Monaco serves as a senior partner at 415 Group, a certified public accounting, business consulting and IT services firm in Canton. In this role, he leads the consulting division of the firm, which includes business and estate planning, business valuations and merger support. Monaco has been with 415 Group for 27 years and previously served as managing partner from 2003-2019.

He also holds accreditations of certified public accountant and is certified in financial forensics, along with being accredited in business valuation and part of the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts.

DAVIS JOINS PREMIER BANK: Premier Bank has hired Jehmall Davis as community mortgage lender serving the Mahoning Valley.

Davis, who has 12 years of mortgage lending experience, recently served as a senior mortgage originator at a nationwide mortgage lender headquartered in Brecksville.

In his new role, Davis will work to develop new retail mortgage business designed to create homeownership opportunities for targeted borrowers and develop relationships with brokers, Realtors, community development and faith-based organizations, developers / builders and community housing counseling agencies.

Business briefs

DOMINION DONATES: Dominion Energy has given $10,000 in Community Impact Awards to Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) and Economic Action Group, Youngstown.

YNDC received $10,000 for its YNDC Roof Replacement Project. A 2019 citywide housing condition analysis identified more than 700 owner-occupied homes that needed roof replacements. YNDC committed additional resources to double its annual roof replacement work. As a result, between July 2019 and November 2020, YNDC replaced roofs for more than 148 low-income homeowners through the city, representing more than $1.1 million in housing reinvestment.

Economic Action Group, Youngstown, received $10,000 for its Mahoning Valley Main Street project, established to help area small businesses recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic dislocations. Since the program’s inception, Mahoning Valley Main Street has provided information, resources and technical assistance to more than 2,000 area businesses.

CONSUMERS ACQUISITION FINISHED: Consumers National Bank has completed its acquisition of two branches from CFBank, National Association in Calcutta and Wellsville. The agreement includes land, buildings and other associated assets of the two branches, approximately $100 million in deposits and certain loans and other interest-earning assets.

Staff of both branches were retained as employees of Consumers.

With the acquisition, Consumers total assets are approximately $930 million, and its total deposits are approximately $827 million. The bank’s five Columbiana County offices will hold $259 million in deposits, approximately 14 percent of the $1.8 billion deposit market as reported in the June 2020 FDIC Summary of Deposits.

YBI / YSU FORM PROGRAM: The Youngstown Business Incubator and Youngstown State University have developed a formalized fellowship program to help build interest in entrepreneurship and STEM programming.

YBI will work with its portfolio companies to identify specific projects for the interns to work on each semester. Additionally, the interns also would work on YBI-related projects and sit in meetings with their entrepreneurship team. Students are eligible to work for as many as three semesters. For undergraduate students, juniors and seniors are preferred. YSU and Eastern Gateway Community College students are eligible.

The Bacon Family STEM Fellowship is for students attending a Mahoning Valley Higher Education Institution studying a STEM Field. Accepted students are placed with a YBI Portfolio Company to use their knowledge to complete projects and create solutions to real-life problems within a growing startup company.

FIRM MARKS 25 YEARS: Canfield-based Cassidy Advertising & Consulting LLC is marking its 25th year in business.

Cassidy Advertising has served as outsourced marketing directors for local, national and international businesses since 1996. Their area of expertise focuses on building their clients’ name awareness through a formulated marketing plan then facilitating it for each client.

The company was founded by its president, Laura Berena.

TECH SERVICE RECEIVES GRANT: Family Tech Connect, a technology coaching service for senior citizens in Boardman, has received a $10,000 grant from Direction Home of Eastern Ohio to provide free tech services to senior citizens in Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties.

The funds come from federal dollars dedicated to reducing senior isolation, a problem that became acute during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The services covered under the grant include personalized, in-home coaching sessions as well as device curation services. Services are available immediately, by appointment on a first-come, first-served basis until the grant is exhausted.

Covered services are for seniors 60 years or older living in the four-county area.

SWEENEY NAMED AMONG TOP GM DEALERS: Sweeney Chevrolet and Sweeney Buick GMC have been honored by General Motors with the 2020 Mark of Excellence award, the automaker’s top recognition for dealerships.

The Mark of Excellence award is presented to top U.S. Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealerships that meet or exceed objectives in the categories of retail sales, dealer maintenance, essential brand elements and customer satisfaction. Less than 10 percent of GM dealers nationwide earn the Mark of Excellence

The awards were presented July 22.

SBA CENTER TO HAVE SPEAKER: The Ohio Small Business Development Center at Youngstown State University is partnering with Curt Anderson, eCommerce consultant, to discuss the value of LinkedIn strategies and how to build a successful online community 11 a.m. to noon Aug. 10.

Register for the webinar at eventbrite.com.

Topics that will be discussed include the value of posting videos on LinkedIn, maximizing LinkedIn Live, building a community and how to make connections to grow your business.

STUFF THE BUS: To help local students and educators prepare for the upcoming school year, Southern Park Mall will host a Stuff the Bus Supply Drive starting Aug. 9 through Sept. 6.

Guests are encouraged to drop off a variety of school supply items at the town center to benefit the school districts within the community. Guests can find the Stuff the Bus activation at Center Court.

People on the move

REALTOR JOINS FIRM: Kayla Peterson recently joined More Options Realty as a new agent. Peterson, who originally is from Madison, now lives in Youngstown and will work out of the agency’s Boardman office to serve the Mahoning Valley.

AGENT JOINS PROPERTY GROUP: Coldwell Banker EvenBay Real Estate recently added realtor Kayla Spring to its team.

Spring received her real estate license in 2021 after attending real estate courses through Hondros College. She will be providing real estate services in Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties and surrounding areas.

717 ADDS MANAGER: Michelle Herron recently joined 717 Credit Union as the training and recruiting manager.

In her role, she will be responsible for talent acquisition initiatives and establishing a vision, strategy and action plan for all organizational learning.

PACE JOINS PREMIER: Premier Bank recently brought on Eric Pace as treasurer.

Pace, who has more than 14 years of experience in the banking industry, most recently served as executive director for consumer and business banking for a national bank headquartered in Manhattan.

In his new role, Pace will manage Premier’s investment portfolio and treasury function, including identifying new investment and funding opportunities, as well as managing the bank’s interest rate and liquidity risk processes and developing strategies to optimize the Premier’s balance sheet and capital position.

Submit items for Business briefs, New Businesses and People on the Move to business@tribtoday.com, fax to 330-841-1717 or online at www.tribtoday.com. The deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday.


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