Business briefs and People on the Move

CALLING YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS: Junior Achievement of Eastern Ohio, in partnership with the Eastwood Mall, on Nov. 5 will host a Youth Market Day noon to 3 p.m. during the mall’s Family Fun Day in Center Court.

The event will feature young entrepreneurs who will offer their original and innovative products and services for sale to the public. The mall will encourage shoppers to visit the student’s tables and vote on their favorite businesses. The young entrepreneurs will be responsible for their table setup, signage, product sales and customer interactions. Judging and prizes will be awarded at the end of the event.

The awards are People’s Choice, Best of Show-Most Creative and Best Product-Most Original. All participants will receive a certificate for participation.

To register or for additional information about upcoming JA Start My Business Workshops and Youth Market Day, please contact the Junior Achievement office at 330-539-5268 or


Youth Market Day is free for participating students thanks to a grant from the Cafaro Foundation and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

CYBER THREAT EVENT SET: The next installment of the Youngstown / Warren Regional Chamber’s Lunch and Learn series is on cyber threats 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at Vallourec, 2669 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Youngstown.

The event, “Cyber Threats: What you should know,” will feature Andy Jones, CEO of Fortress Security Risk Management; Milan R. Kosanovich and Michael P. Brian of the FBI; and Margaret Ludwig, president and Northern Ohio Property and Casualty Practice Leader of USI Insurance Services.

The discussion will be moderated by Shea MacMillan, vice president of economic development for the chamber.

The cost is $15. Register at regionalchamber.com under the Events tab.

ARMSTRONG AVENGES HUNGER: Internet and cable provider Armstrong has completed its fifth annual Avenge Hunger Month by providing resources to more than 200 community feeding programs.

During September, Armstrong customers, employees and community partners raised more than 3,500 pounds of food and more than $2,000 that will be provided to Second Harvest Food Bank and Youngstown Gleaners Food Bank.

The event has collected more than 135,000 pounds of food and $73,000 in donations to share with community feeding programs over the past five years. Avenge Hunger Month also helps to increase awareness of Armstrong’s Breaking Bread initiative to stock local food pantries and soup kitchens for their busy fall and winter seasons.

Breaking Bread is a year-round initiative. Donations of food or money can be dropped off at Armstrong’s office in North Lima at 9328 Woodworth Road to benefit those who are struggling with hunger and food insecurity.

LOCAL MEN PRESENT AT CONFERENCE: Two employees of VEC, Inc., a Girard-based electrical and general contracting provider, spoke recently at the NECA 2022 Convention & Trade Show.

Michael Reiser, vice president of industrial, and Bruno Frate, vice president of the civil and infrastructure division, spoke on the topic of investing additional training into apprentices to create a pool of future field leaders.

The talk also included details on how to utilize the time an apprentice spends with a company during his / her rotation as a marketing and recruitment tool to attract the individual to want to work for the company after Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee program completion.

People on the move

AGENT LIST GROWS: Burgan Real Estate has brought on Martin Dunham to its team.

Born in Tasmania, Dunham came to the U.S. by Lake Ozark, Missouri, in his 20s, attending school to be a missionary where he planned to be stationed in Papua, New Guinea. His career transitioned to training and preparing others to learn and translate unwritten tribal languages. His wife of 30 years is from Beaver Falls, Pa., which led them to move to the Mahoning Valley.

Dunham held several leadership positions in sales before entering real estate.

Business briefs and People on the Move

CAREER INITIATIVE WINS AWARD: Ohio To Work Mahoning Valley has been awarded the Ohio Economic Development Association’s 2022 Excellence in Workforce Development Award. The award recognizes unique approaches and innovative practices and programs in the category of workforce development.

Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Association and Youngstown / Warren Regional Chamber representatives accepted the award at a luncheon near Columbus. The two local organizations lead the region’s implementation of the statewide Ohio To Work initiative, a workforce development program funded by JobsOhio.

Ohio To Work launched in six regions in 2021 with an objective to help job-seeking Ohioans find career resources to find work or to move into long-term careers with local employers. It leverages state resources and forms connections with local partners in order to recruit, train and place workers in in-demand health care, manufacturing and technology jobs.

Local partners that were instrumental in the success of Ohio To Work Mahoning Valley include OhioMeansJobs of Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties, National Center for Urban Solutions, United Returning Citizens, Flying High and dozens of employers who committed to hiring jobseekers identified through this initiative.

NOMINATIONS SOUGHT: The Cleveland District office of the U.S. Small Business Administration is accepting nominations for the 2023 National Small Business Week Awards for businesses and organizations across northern Ohio.

Go to sba.gov/nsbw to download forms, criteria and guidelines for submitting a national nomination. The SBA Awards given in celebration of National and District Small Business Week include Small Business Person of the Year (national and district) and Small Business Exporter (national and district).

The Cleveland office must receive nominations by electronic submission to the District’s BOX account at www.sba.gov/nsbw by 3 p.m. Dec. 8.

INFLATION WORKSHOP OFFERED: Credit Union of Ohio will host a free virtual workshop at noon Wednesday to provide helpful tools to consumers who are struggling with the rising cost of goods and services.

The Inflation-Proof Your Budget and Spending Workshop will help attendees set short- and long-term goals to deal with inflation and keep their spending on track.

Registration is required at cuofohio.org.

Interested attendees can visit Credit Union of Ohio’s Facebook page through Wednesday to ask questions or share tips that will be addressed during the virtual workshop.

DOMINION DONATES: The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation has awarded $1.2 million in philanthropic grants to 185 nonprofit organizations across eight states, including $180,000 for 32 organizations in Ohio.

Locally, five organizations received funding help. They are:

• Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, $5,000;

• United Way of Trumbull County, $8,500;

• United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, $2,500;

• Veterans Outreach, $5,000; and

• Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp., $10,000.

The grants will support essential human services, including housing, health care and food security. This is the seventh year the company has donated more than $1 million to meet critical community needs.

ORGANIZATION RECEIVES FOUNDATION AWARD: Junior Achievement of Eastern Ohio, the former Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley, was given a $100,000 grant from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation to support the local group’s entrepreneurship programming over the next two years.

Junior Achievement programs help local youth in grades kindergarten to 12 learn financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship skills.

FIRST RESPONDER TRAINING AVAILABLE: Registration is open for the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program’s (OOGEEP) GOSAFER training for first responders. The training provides education and experience to more than 1,600 firefighters and first responders on the natural gas and oil industry.

Part one of the training is virtual learning modules Nov. 4 to 18. Part two is in-person and hands-on training Nov. 20 at the Wayne County Fire and Rescue Regional Training Facility in Apple Creek.

For more information and registration, go to www.oogeep.org/firefighters.

BUSINESS MARKS MILESTONE: Mr. Darby’s Emporium, 8574 Market St., Boardman, is celebrating 10 years in business.

The store, operated by Robert Neapolitan and his wife, Karen, offers, in part, collectibles, antiques, primitives, glassware, furniture, advertising, coins and toys.

CONTRACT RENEWED: Rydar Group, LLC has signed a three-year agreement with Mill Creek MetroParks to keep Inspired Catering by Kravitz and the Garden Cafe by Kravitz at Fellows Riverside Gardens.

The contract also includes three one-year extensions. Kravtiz was awarded the food contract in 2016.

MEDICAL PRACTICE MOVING: Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center will move into a new location today at 2223 Niles Cortland Road SE.

The Howland team is led by Dr. Mariel Bird, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in medical and cosmetic dermatology. Bird and Tatum Marucci, FNP-C, DCNP, provide dermatology services to treat a broad range of conditions and diseases, including skin cancer, eczema, acne and psoriasis.

In addition to general dermatology, Bird, Tatum and cosmetic nurse Hannah Chapple will offer cosmetic treatments, including neurotoxin injections and fillers, microneedling, chemical peels and new services such as CoolSculpting, HALO, Hybrid Fractional Laser and Forever Young BBL.

STATE TO RECEIVE FUNDING: The Ohio Department of Development has announced that up to $182 million soon will be available to support small businesses in Ohio.

The funds are being awarded as part of the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). Ohio will initially receive $52.4 million to support socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, very small businesses and early-stage, technology-based companies. The remaining funds will be made available through multiple allocations as the state meets expected performance targets.

The department of development will administer the program through the Minority Business Development Division and the Ohio Third Frontier, splitting the funding among four programs. They are:

• The Community Development Financial Institutions Loan Participation Program will provide loans to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, very small businesses and businesses located in CDFI tracts.

• The Ohio Collateral Enhancement Program will provide collateral on small business loans made by financial institutions to allow small businesses to access loans that otherwise would have been denied.

• The Ohio Venture Fund will provide capital to investment funds to invest in early-stage, tech-based companies.

• The Early-Stage Focus Fund will complement the existing Ohio Third Frontier Pre-Seed Fund to support funds that target investments to early-stage, tech-based companies in underserved communities and populations.

UPCOMING CHAMBER EVENTS: The Youngstown / Warren Regional Chamber will host Good Morning, Niles! 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Friday at the Eastwood Event Centre, 5555 Youngstown Warren Road, Niles.

The cost is $25 per member and $35 per nonmember.

Scheduled to speak are Niles Mayor Steve Mientkiewicz, Mahoning Valley Scrappers General Manager Jordan Taylor and representatives from sponsors Akron Children’s Hospital and On Demand Occupational Medicine.

Also, the city and Avenue & Main will present their Business Pride and Community Spirit awards, to Wm. Kramer & Sons, Inc. and Cadence Care Network, respectively.

On Nov. 3, the chamber will host the annual Economic Forecast Breakfast at Eastwood Event Centre. The cost is $40 per member and $50 per nonmember. The breakfast is 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Nick Kupensky, Masury native and associate professor of Russian at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, is the keynote speaker. Kupensky has studied and lived in both countries and will offer up his thoughts on the differences between the two, including their cultures, histories and traditions.

Also, David Valentiner, director of interest rate management for First National Bank, will discuss some of the implications of that war on the energy industry, as he forecasts the regional and national economies.

New businesses

LOAN COMPANY OPENS: Lendmark Financial Services, a provider of household credit and consumer loan solutions, has opened a new branch in Boardman at 926 Boardman Poland Road, Suite 3.

The branch marks Lendmark’s 31st location in Ohio. Lendmark anticipates serving between 500 and 600 customers in the branch in its first year.

Jon Fowler was hired as branch manager.

The company services consumers, retailers and independent auto dealerships.

People on the move

TEAM AT BRITE GROWS: BRITE Energy Innovators in Warren has brought on several new employees to the organization, the only energy startup incubator in Ohio.

Britt Corsi has been named project manager. In the role, she will spearhead the next phase of growth for entrepreneur programs and member engagement.

Nick Frank has been named entrepreneur services program manager. He is responsible for making sure member companies have the resources they need to succeed.

Lucas King is startup experience specialist. In that role, he is responsible for ensuring early-stage energy technology companies are prepared to move forward with creating long-term sustainable businesses.

In addition, Beth Barbush joined BRITE as office specialist. She aids operations, sales, community events, and tours of BRITE’s headquarters as well as serving as an administrative resource to the team.

BURGAN ADDS STAFF: Benjamin Bates has joined Burgan Real Estate.

Bates is originally from Cabot, Ark., and graduated from Columbia College of Missouri with a degree in business administration. He also served in the U.S. Navy.

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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