Ohio Pride

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The Business of Ohio is pleased (not to mention all sorts of excited) to announce its latest venture – Ohio Pride.

Ohio Pride, to be released early 2014, is a statewide LGBT publication designed to act as a resource on LGBT issues for everyone from professional businesspeople, to students, to stay-at-home parents – there’s something for everyone.

So what can you find in Ohio Pride? Almost anything and everything! A few of the many subjects we cover include, but are not limited to:

Education
History
Entertainment
Health and Wellness
Military and Veteran
and more!

Our website is forthcoming, but in the meantime, find us on Facebook and Twitter!

We are currently looking for sponsors, writers, etc. If you’re interested in being a part of Ohio Pride please contact:

Writers:
Laura Graving
laurag@thebusinessofohio.com
937-610-2665 ext. 201

Sponsors:
Eve Georgiou
eveg@thebusinessofohio.com
937-610-2665 ext. 210

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I <3 Darke County

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Eat, stay, and play in Darke County

 
Your response to that statement might be something along the lines of, “Why?” “Where’s Darke County?” or “Why would I live in a county that’s dark? I’m a diurnal creature. I enjoy sunlight.” To which I would respond, “I’m so glad you asked, Reader! Let me tell you all about Darke County (which is named for William Darke, an officer in the American Revolution – not the adjective).”  
 
Let’s start with eating (because, let’s be real, everyone loves food). Do you love baking, cooking, or anything to do with creating scrumptious food? Then my question to you  is – why aren’t you living in Darke County? Greenville, the county seat, is home to the production of the KitchenAid stand mixer (which, for the record, is a pretty awesome mixer. It wonderfully assists my family in the creation of weekly, homemade buttermilk waffles. Thanks, Greenville – I owe you one). You can tour the factory, and see the pride and perfection that goes into making each mixer. From there, you can head to downtown Greenville, and check out the The KitchenAid Experience Retail Center, where – if you weren’t before – you will be inspired to become the next Iron Chef. Purchase state-of-the-art equipment to assist you in your own waffle-making, or view cooking demonstrations to get ideas for your own concoctions. The staff at the KitchenAid Experience Retail Center are there to help you with any culinary project you want to take on!
 
So the KitchenAid factory is enough to convince to you visit Darke County? Awesome! But where will you stay during your visit? Luckily, Darke County has a number of cozy bed and breakfasts you can reside in during your get-away, such as the farmhouse turned B&B, Art Junction, or the quaint and comfortable Wayman’s Corner. Or, you can stay at The Inn at Versailles – an elegant and charming inn with a Victorian Era style. But maybe cozy and quaint isn’t your style. Maybe you’re the outdoorsy type. If that’s the case, then you’ll fit right in at one of Darke County’s numerous campgrounds. Choose from a campground that has just enough amenities to make your outdoor stay comfortable, such as the Darke County Fairgrounds, or something more rugged such as Adventure Lakes & Camping – featuring 140 acres of rolling hills and fields and 20 acres of lakes.
 
Okay, you’re in Darke County, you’ve got your food laboratory (or what some people like to call “a kitchen”) decked out, and you’re ready to get your fun on. What’s there to do? I’m glad you asked, dear Reader! Let me tell you.
 
If speed, intensity, and a sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat race is your idea of a good time, then speed over to New Weston, Ohio to the Eldora Speedway. This 1/2 mile track, owned by NASCAR legend Tony Stewart, is home to World 100, The Dream, and Kings Royal. Dedicated fans are welcomed to camp out – you can reserve a space for a small fee, or camp out for free on a first come first serve basis. Or, if racecars aren’t your thing, head over to Greenville and check out the Annie Oakley Center at the Garst Museum. Learn about Annie Oakley’s life – her husband, where she grew up, and how she became one of the best shooters around. After you’ve become an expert on the life and legend of Annie Oakley, complete your trip to Darke County with  a walk through one of the many nature parks, such as the peaceful Alice Bish Walkway, or the beautiful Coppess Nature Sanctuary.
 
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, and I’ll say it a million more times – Ohio is home to some of the nation’s best-kept secrets, and Darke County is far from the exception. Of course, you can eat, stay, and play anywhere, but the question isn’t “Where should we eat, stay, and play?” the question is “Why wouldn’t we eat, stay, and play in Darke County?” (hint: there’s no answer. You should be in Darke County.)

Eve Georgiou Mercury Award Recipient

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On June 5th, Eve Georgiou – president of The Business of Ohio, publisher, editor, and all around A+ person – received a Mercury Award for Best Magazine Rep in the Dayton area. The Mercury Awards are hosted by the American Advertising Federation Dayton and honors advertising professionals and support professions. Only members of AAF-Dayton may nominate, but those nominated do not have to be members. Ballots are sent to members, and the nominee who receives the most votes in their category is honored with the Mercury Award.

 
Ms. Georgiou, prior to publishing, worked radio. In 2004, she bought Discover the Dayton Region with Steven Feaster and began The Business of Ohio – a publishing company dedicated to promoting Ohio as a leader in a number of industries and a place of innovation and success. The 10th edition of Discover the Dayton Region will be released August 2013.

Lima, Ohio: Far from “the middle of nowhere”

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Unless you’re a fan of Glee (that high school’s fictional, by the way), or regularly traverse the I-75 valley, you probably have no idea where Lima, Ohio is. And if you read “Lima, Ohio” you might think, “I thought Lima was the capital of Peru? What’s it doing in Ohio?” (To which I have to say – no. That Lima is pronounced “lee-ma.” The one in Ohio is pronounced “lie-ma”).

 
But, like the rest of Ohio, Lima is just another well-kept secret. Unfortunately, many cities in northwest Ohio do not get their due, and Lima is no exception. The city has a “middle of nowhere” reputation it doesn’t deserve. Considering its leaders, rich history, manufacturing success, and the art and creativity you can find anywhere in the city, it’s a surprise that Lima isn’t larger than it is.
 
Let’s start with the arts. Lima has produced several notable musicians and artists over the years – including jazz legend, Joe Henderson; founding member of The Beach Boys, Al Jardine; and renowned actress and comedienne, Phyllis Diller. Small towns are never acknowledged for the intimate environment they offer artists, musicians and other creatives. In a small town, it’s easy to collaborate, make connections, and influence others in a innovative and inventive way. So when you walk the streets of downtown Lima, it’s no surprise that art colors the streets and injects the city with energy. Gaze at the work of local and regional artists in ArtSpace on Town Square; wander through Children’s Garden, which combines plants, art, and history for an eye-pleasing, interactive adventure for all ages; or spend a night at the Lima Symphony Orchestra, established in 1953 and has grown from 50 volunteer musicians to 75 paid musicians since then. With all this, and more, it’s clear Lima and art breathe life into each other.
 
But art isn’t all Lima has to offer. The city’s two hospitals, St. Rita’s Medical Center and Lima Memorial Health system, serve 10 counties in the northwest and west central Ohio area. St. Rita’s, a level two trauma center, ranks as Allen County’s largest employer (nearly 4,000 employees as of 2006), with Lima Memorial coming in at number three. In 2005, St. Rita’s embarked on a $150 million expansion that would provide 500 new jobs and top-of-the-line, cutting-edge patient care. This expansion opened in 2007 and was deemed “The Medical Center of the Future.” When you look at the leaps and bounds Lima is making in the medical field, there’s no doubt it will be the next Medical Center of the Future.
 
We would be remiss if we did not mention Lima’s history and important role in the railroad industry. For more than 70 years, Lima acted as a railroad hub for the midwest – the industry carried the city’s name internationally for decades. Many firsts for the locomotive industry happened in Lima – the first locomotive (christened The Lima) appeared in Allen County in 1854; a design that enabled locomotives to use steam at a higher power enabled Lima to capture 20% of the national locomotive market; and the Cheasapeak and Ohio Railway 2-6-6-6 produced in Lima was one of the largest locomotives ever built. In 1906 a freight train, on average, would pass through Lima every ten minutes. Additionally, on average, a passenger train (steam and electric) stopped in Lima every 20 minutes. However, the Great Depression saw the decline of the locomotive industry in Lima, with a slight increase during WWII, only to decline again in the ’50s. The last passenger train to stop in Lima was the Broadway Limited, owned by Amtrak, on November 11, 1990.  A handful of freights still pass through Lima, but we cannot deny the role Lima played in making the railroad industry what it is today.
 
Though the locomotive industry and the manufacturing of locomotives in Lima saw a decline, manufacturing as a whole did not. In fact, the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC) has been producing tanks since 1942, and equipment for the United States Marine Corps since 2004. While there are plans to end tank production from 2015-2017 due to a lack of demand by the army, there are no plans to permanently close the center. JSMC will continue to produce other products, and while there is discussion of a layaway of the plant, it is far from ceasing to contribute to the Lima area’s economy.
 
With everything discussed so far, and considering the determination, dedication, and success of Mayor David J. Berger, you would have to have suffered a head injury to think Lima’s not a swiftly growing city. In 2009, Mayor Berger was re-elected for an unprecedented sixth term, and has overseen many successful projects. Despite the recession and reduced resources, the Berger Administration has maintained the quality of services in Lima. Securing almost $20 million in federal stimulus money, the City has executed numerous projects – such as the Vine Street underpass (completed late 2011) which enables traffic to move around trains, and the new Williams reservoir (completed fall 2011) which adds over 5 billion gallons of storage capacity to the city’s water system. Mayor Berger and the Berger administration are a team that understands what Lima needs, and does not fail to deliver.
 
Though Lima is a small city, it’s a booming city. And as it grows, there’s no doubt it will continue to be a booming city. With its history of success, a rich and flourishing arts community, a dedicated and committed team of leaders, and high quality healthcare and medical research, it’s obvious Lima is a city to invest in – not a city to brush off as “the middle of nowhere.”

I <3 Toledo: "You will do better in Toledo"

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“I ❤ Toledo” posts are the first in a series aimed to give credit where credit is due – to highlight cities and areas in Ohio that don’t get the praise they deserve. In this series, you’ll learn what makes Toledo so great, and why its residents love the growing city so much.

Our first interviewee is Renee Granados, who grew up in Toledo, went to Ohio University to study graphic design, and now runs, along with two other young women, SWAP*TOLEDO – a clothing exchange event (take a look at their blog, or find them on Facebook).

The Business of Ohio: Tell us about yourself – where did you grow up? When did you move to Toledo? What did you study? What do you do now?
Renee Granados: I was born and raised in Toledo. I grew up in South Toledo, where I went to Beverly Elementary and Byrnedale Junior High, followed by Notre Dame Academy for high school. For a brief stint, I left Toledo for Athens to study graphic design at Ohio University, returning four years later to try and break into the field…which brings me to today.

TBOO: How did you come to live in Toledo?
RG: It’s home! BUT….

TBOO: If you initially did not want to move to Toledo, what made you stay?
RG: My initial reaction was to move far away from here after college. Big city dreams, etc. I spent the summer going to art walks put on by The Arts Commission and other community events and reconnecting with friends who’d been away at college. Things were going so well I decided to stay here. Turns out Toledo isn’t as lame as we all thought it was.

What I like most about Toledo is that it’s just small enough for almost anyone to start something on his or her own. Things aren’t big-city expensive and connections can be easily made.

TBOO: How long have you lived in Toledo? How has it changed?
RG: I used to tell people that Toledo is a great place to grow up and as you get older, you can just hope to find some good friends and a basement or living room to hang out in. While all that remains true, it seems like the people of Toledo are really working to make exciting things happen here. Maybe it’s because I’m older now, and have more access to certain networks and people, but I like to think that things in Toledo are on the up.

TBOO: Is it a good environment for the field you work in? If not, do you see that changing?
RG: Yes and no. As far as graphic design goes, I’ve been having a tough time breaking into the field, but that’s because Toledo only has a few really great design firms, in my opinion. There are plenty of careers working in-house for companies, but those seem harder to find. However, as someone who is also very interested in art in general, I love that the arts scene in Toledo is really growing. The Arts Commission gives artists many opportunities to put art in the community (for example, a project that puts local artists’ work on digital billboards around the city, or one that allows artists to design unique bike racks for the downtown area). Events like Maker’s Mart give local artisans and crafters an opportunity to sell their goods. Maker’s Mart was especially exciting for me because I didn’t even realize people were making such amazing crafts locally.  I’m so excited for the next one, happening at Artomatic 419!, which is the largest non-juried art show in Northwest Ohio. From what I’ve heard they’re expecting to have over 300 artists exhibiting over the event’s three weekends. So exciting!

TBOO: What do you want people to know about the different opportunities Toledo has to offer (especially people who are thinking of moving to Toledo)?
RG: I want to say again that Toledo is a place where anyone can make a splash. As a shameless plug for my own organization, I’ll use it as an example. Two other Toledo women and I started a group called SWAP*TOLEDO as a way to plan large-scale clothing swaps for the people of Toledo and donate clothing or money to local charities. It started in a living room and grew to an event attended by about 100 people. I’m not really what you’d call a “go-getter” (well, my colleagues are), but it gave me faith that it’s possible to get things moving in Toledo. It is possible to make a difference and change things up. There’s a sign in a bar downtown with the locally popular slogan “YOU WILL DO BETTER IN TOLEDO” and it’s true, but you have to want it.

“Living Your Small Farm Dream”

Small Farm

In Ohio, we know what we’re doing when it comes to agriculture – it’s our number one industry, contributing billions to the economy annually. When people hear “Ohio” and “agriculture” in the same sentence, the word “innovation” comes to mind. It’s no surprise then, that our resources – schools, conferences, lectures, etc. – are rich with useful, creative, and valuable information. Which is why you should take advantage of knowledge we provide, such as the “Living Your Small Farm Dream” conference, March 23 in Zanesville, Ohio.

The conference, hosted by OSU Extension at the Muskingum Convention and Welcome Center (205 North Fifth Street), will cover topics such as soil basics, beekeeping, livestock nutrition, legal issues, financing/loans, and more. Anyone from a new farmer, just starting out, to the knowledgeable, more experienced farmer is welcome to attend. The deadline to register is March 18th.&

For more information, contact:

Mark Mechling
740.454.0144
mechling.1@osu.edu

Or go to:
http://muskingum.osu.edu

The Ultimate Craft Beer Extravaganza

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The Ultimate Craft Beer Extravaganza will take place March 8-9th at the Dayton Convention Center in downtown Dayton, Ohio. Attendees will receive unlimited, 1 oz samples of numerous craft beers as well as a meal voucher. Each session lasts roughly 2.5 hours and tickets are expected to sell out quickly. Two other Ultimate Craft Beer Extravaganzas will take place in Ohio – May 24-25 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Mason and September 20-22 in Cincinnati (venue TBD).

 

The buzz surrounding craft beer in Ohio will only increase over time – since the state passed a law in 2011 that allows breweries to open a tasting room without a second, costly license, breweries have popped up throughout the region. The growth of the craft beer industry in Ohio is evident in events such as the Ultimate Craft Beer Extravaganza. Look for more information about the beer industry, breweries, and distilleries in our July 2013 issue of The Business of Ohio: Agriculture