Business briefs

YSU EXPORT PROGRAM SEEKS PEOPLE: Businesses looking to improve their export initiatives or to export for the first time are invited to participate in Youngstown State University’s Ohio Export Internship Program this summer.

Created by the Ohio Development of Development, the program matches YSU students who have taken export-focused coursework to work as interns with companies interested in incorporating exporting into their businesses. The state offers participating small- to medium-sized businesses a 50 percent reimbursement for interns’ wages, up to $4,080. Students work 40 hours a week for 12 weeks over the summer.

Student interns are trained in global marketing, trade finance, supply-chain management and global business management, and have experience in international business planning, emerging market analysis, global market research, export compliance and documentation, logistics global competition analysis and identifying new customers or distributors.

For more information, contact Mousa Kassis, Export Assistance Network director with the Ohio Small Business Development Center at YSU, at 330-941-2415 or mhkassis @ysu.edu.

CITYSCAPE PROGRAM ANNOUNCED: Youngstown CityScape, the community development corporation that has been revitalizing the greater downtown area through beautification, preservation and education for 26 years, will host its 13th annual Grass Roots Gala on March 16 at Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Social Hall in Youngstown.

This year, CityScape will honor Jim Kinnick and Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, where he serves as executive director. CityScape and Eastgate share a vision of downtown revitalization. Alignment between the two organizations can be seen in projects, location, focus and partnerships all over the city.

Since 2010, Youngstown CityScape has awarded the David & Pat “Sweet Grass Roots Award” to an individual or group making significant personal and professional commitment to the organization’s mission of revitalizing downtown.

BUDGET WORKSHOP OFFERED: Credit Union of Ohio will host a free virtual session on the topic of Building a Better Budget at noon Wednesday.

The session will help attendees learn how to establish financial priorities and use tools to track expenses, while reducing debt and building savings. Attendees will be invited to schedule a free, one-on-one session with a credit union financial coach after the workshop to stay accountable to their budget goals and get individual help uncovering ways to cut their monthly expenses.

The workshop is open to the public but registration is required. View the full schedule and get registered at cuofohio.org.

WCBA OPEN HOUSE: High school graduates interested in careers in business, communication, economics, journalism or telecommunications can attend the Williamson College of Business Administration’s open house 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday on the YSU campus.

The event includes information about academic majors, leadership activities, career opportunities and professional development experiences, as well as tours of technology-enhanced classrooms, Financial Services Lab, Professional Sales and Business Communication Lab, television studio, audio production facilities and podcasting studio.

Lunch will be provided. Register at ysu.edu/william son-college-business-administration under the Plan Your Visit tab. Call 330-941-2376 for more information.

CHAMBER EVENT PLANNED: The Youngstown / Warren Regional Chamber will host its Family-Owned Business Recognition Dinner 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 24 at The Lake Club in Poland.

The chamber, in collaboration with Sapientia Ventures, Huntington, HBK and Brouse McDowell, will honor 20 family-owned businesses at the dinner.

Christopher Allegretti, managing principal and CEO at HBK, will be keynote speaker at the event. The cost is $60 per member and $70 per nonmember.

The dinner is a continuation of the Family-Owned Business Program, an informative panel series that launched that was designed to help family businesses of all sizes and industries with succession planning.

NEW BUSINESS FILINGS DOWN: Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose recently announced 179,636 new business filings in 2022, down 18,374 filings from the all-time record-setting year in 2021, and the second highest in state history.

December 2022 saw 13,012 new business filings, 496 more filings than December 2021. For the year, Ohio averaged 14,969 per month.

New business filings are classified as forms filed with the secretary of state that declare the formation of a business entity. Filing as a business in Ohio does not guarantee the company will begin operations, be profitable or create jobs.

New businesses

BLUE WOLF OWNERS OPEN GARDEN KETTLE: Blue Wolf owners Stacey and Joe Rzonsa have opened Garden Kettle, a new restaurant in Boardman that specializes in sandwiches, wraps, soups and salads.

Garden Kettle offers catering, delivery, dine-in and fast-paced pick-up options.

Garden Kettle is located at 8049 Market St., Suite 1, in the old Eat’n Park building.

People on the move

FARMERS GROWS LENDING DIVISION: Canfield-based Farmers National Bank has added Amanda Stewart to its commercial lending team as assistant vice president, small business lender.

She has more than 15 years of experience developing client relationships and referral networks. In her role at Farmers, Stewart will help small businesses reach their financial goals through the wealth of business banking and loan services that Farmers offers.

She is a graduate of Kent State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in economics.

MAYO WELCOMES TWO TO FIRM: Mayo Realtors has brought on Greg Woodard and Amy Walp to its team of Realtors.

Woodard was the former assistant golf professional at Tippecanoe Country Club and is a member of the Northern Ohio Section of the PGA. A native of Ohio, he lived in Houston, Savannah, Ga., and Nashville, Tenn., before planting roots in the Mahoning Valley with his wife.

Walp has been working at Mayo Realtors as office administrator for three years and she has moved up in the ranks to become an agent. She is a wife and mother of two.

PREMIER PROMOTES: Premier Bank recently promoted Steven Weeden to branch manager of the bank’s Canfield office, 29 N. Broad St.

He joined Premier Bank in November 2020 as a relationship banker at the Newport Glen office. He transferred to the Columbiana office and was promoted to a relationship banker 2.

In the role of branch manager, Weeden will lead his team to deliver an exceptional customer experience, ensuring a focus on driving growth and developing key business and community relationships.

iSYNERGY ADDS TO ROSTER: iSynergy, a Mahoning Valley-based digital marketing agency, has added Ashley Fox as a copywriter.

In the role, clients from iSynergy and its sister company, Lift Marketing, benefit from her professional writing abilities. Prior to joining iSynergy, Fox served as a content specialist in the marketing industry and worked for the Tribune Chronicle and The Vindicator newspapers.

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

AWARDS GIVEN: At it recent holiday party at the Avalon Grand Resort in Howland, More Options Realty handed out awards to staff for top volume, highest average sale price and most transactions. The winners were:

• Top volume: Sally Demidovich, first; Nicole Tackett, second; and Veronica Campbell, third.

• Highest average sale price: Kay M Schaffer, first; Sally Demidovich, second; and Jeremiah T. Pitoscia, third.

• Most transactions: Sally Demidovich, first; Nicole Tackett, second; and Veronica Campbell, third.

MONEY RAISED TO BENEFIT JA: Junior Achievement of Eastern Ohio, based in Girard, raised more than $80,000 through two designer bag bingo events in December.

The funds raised will benefit financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and career-readiness programming Junior Achievement provides for K-12 students in Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties.

CPA FIRMS MERGE: HD Davis CPAs & White Glove Payroll in Liberty has acquired Warren-based Sforza & Walker CPAs

Sforza & Walker CPAs will remain in downtown Warren in the same location and retain all of its employees. The acquisition gives the firm immediate access to better technology and more specialized training and support.

HD Davis CPAs, owned by CPAs Tim Petrey and Joe Kilgore, has more than 50 employees in the Mahoning Valley. White Glove Payroll is the CPA firm’s sister company. It is co-owned by Petrey, Kilgore and Marcy Angelo, who is responsible for the day-to-day operations and management of her team of more than 10 people.

HUNTINGTOWN BANK, BRITE TEAM UP: Huntington Bank recently donated $10,000 to BRITE Energy Innovators to support startups through its mentorship program. BRITE provides individualized one-on-one guidance from industry experts to assist new energy technology companies.

The donation will allow assistance to a cohort of startups, which in turn will result in $250,000 in leveraged near-term public and private investment for solving today’s greatest sustainability and resiliency challenges.

BRITE in downtown Warren is Ohio’s only energy startup incubator.

PREMIER PROVIDES COMMUNITY SUPPORT: As part of their Powered By (kind) People. Fueled By You.” movement, Premier Bank awarded more than $421,000 in community support to 122 organizations in the Mahoning Valley in 2022.

The support went to groups that include Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley for the emergency department expansion project, Ballet Western Reserve to sponsor the Nutcracker, Brightside Project for the Empowerment Bus, Golden String to sponsor the Gabba Camp Golf Outing, Potential Development to sponsor of Trivia With a Twist and the Pizza Cookoff, Youngstown Area Jewish Federation for inclusion programming and Youngstown CityScape to sponsor Sparkle Youngstown.

NEW BUSINESS FILINGS: There were 13,420 new business filings in November, down 93 filings from November 2021 and down 617 filings from September, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

Through November, there were 165,624 new businesses for an average 15,056 per month. Through the 11-month period in 2021, there were 184,494 created, according to the office.

New business filings are classified as forms filed with the secretary of state that declare the formation of a business entity, including for-profit, nonprofit and professional corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships. Filing as a business in Ohio does not guarantee the company will begin operations, be profitable or create jobs.

TREATMENT CENTER OPENS IN NILES: Pinnacle Treatment Centers, one of the largest methadone providers in the U.S., has opened a new treatment center in Niles. The center is Pinnacle’s 20th location in Ohio.

Niles Treatment Services, 336 Vienna Ave., will provide medication-assisted treatment through methadone and Suboxone as part of a treatment program that includes individual, group and family counseling. Patients will have access to other wrap around services like peer support and targeted case management.

Niles Treatment Services accepts Medicaid, commercial insurance and offers reasonable self-pay rates. The center is open 5:30 a.m. to 7p.m. Monday to Friday and 5 to 10 a.m. Saturday.

Pinnacle also has a treatment center in Youngstown.

FREE ESTATE PLANNING WORKSHOP AVAILABLE: Credit Union of Ohio will offer a free virtual workshop noon and 7 p.m. Thursday on the topic of estate planning.

Financial coach Cindy Walker will be joined by special guest Jackie Collins of Collins & Kruse Law Office to give attendees an overview of ways to protect their assets as well as financial options to consider when nearing retirement, including an overview of Medicaid and long-term care options.

Membership is not required to attend this free workshop but advanced registration is required. View Credit Union of Ohio’s full workshop schedule and get registered at cuofohio.org.

New businesses

COFFEE SHOP OPEN: Specialty coffee and gift shop Cafe Rose is open at 4491 Mahoning Ave., Austintown.

The shop features coffee from regional and local roasters and well as crafts and other items from local entrepreneurs. Its Mahoning Valley partners include Branch Street Coffee Roasters in Boardman and Voyager Specialty Coffee & Teas in Youngstown.

The shop is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday and noon to 4 p.m. on weekends.

NEW CHIPOTLE IN LIBERTY: Chipotle Mexican Grill has opened a new restaurant on Belmont Avenue less than two miles from Liberty High School.

The location is the second in the Youngstown area to have a Chipotlane, a drive-thru pickup lane that allows customers to pick up digital orders.

It is at 4100 Belmont Ave. and is open 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

People on the move

FORMER YOUNGSTOWN RESIDENT JOINS FIRM: Former Youngstown resident Brian Wolf has joined McMichael Insurance, an independent insurance and risk management firm in Streetsboro, business insurance advisor.

In the role, he will work with business owners to ensure they have the right coverage at a competitive price.

Wolf, who has more than 25 years of experience, has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Youngstown State University.

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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