Featured News

Hardin County Commissioners to award CARES Act Grants for Small Business Application period is October 21, 2020 - November 24, 2020

The Hardin County Commissioners in partnership with the Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance have developed a Small Business Relief Program to provide Hardin County small businesses with some monetary relief of the business interruption costs caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic in the form of grants of CARES Act funding. 

 

The application process will begin at 8:00am on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. The grants are first come first serve and it is the recommendation of the Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance to promptly apply for grant dollars. 

 

Grants will begin to be awarded on November 24, 2020 and end on December 18, 2020. 

 

The Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance have been engaged to assist in administration of the program and are willing to assist businesses with the application process. The Alliance recommends downloading and filling in the application and then either emailing directly to clerk@co.hardin.oh.us or hunderwood@hccba.com or dropping off applications directly to the Hardin County Commissioners Office (1 Courthouse Square, #100) or the Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance Office (225 South Detroit Street). Mailing in the application to either addresses is not recommended. 

 

Any further questions, please call the Hardin County Commissioners office at 419.674.2205 or Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance at 419.673.4131. 

 

 

 

Click HERE for application.


October 27, 2020

A new program will award small businesses with up to $10,000, and will begin accepting applications on Monday, November 2nd.

 

The Small Business Relief Grant ("SBRG") is designed to provide necessary relief to Ohio businesses that have been negatively impacted by the effects of COVID-19.  Governor Mike DeWine has designated up to $125,000,000 of federal CARES Act funding to provide $10,000 grants to small businesses.  $500,000 will be allocated to eligible businesses in each of Ohio’s 88 counties on a first-come, first-served basis. If each county does not use it's allocated $500,000 by November 23rd, the remainder of funding available will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis regardless of the business’ location in Ohio.  Click here for the SBRG application and more information.

 

Other relief programs for Bars, Nonprofits, Arts, Healthcare, and Education were designated by the Governor last Friday.

More information on all of these programs below can be found HERE.

  • $50 million for individuals behind on rent, mortgage, water, sewer, and/or utility bills.
  • $37.5 million for $2,500 grants to establishments that have valid liquor licenses for on-premises consumption.
  • $62 million for rural and 25-bed critical access hospitals.
  • $100 million for colleges and universities, primarily to support Covid-19 testing and mental health counseling.
  • $25 million for nonprofits.
  • $20 million for arts organizations.

Welcome Walter 5

Join us in celebrating the addition of our newest business to the Kenton Historical Courthouse District. Congratuatulations, Walter 5 located at 124 West Columbus Street.

 

 


Did you miss the meeting? Check out our resources!

Planning Forward- 30/60/90 Days

 

Tax Credit Infograph-Click HERE

 

Tax Relief for Businesses-Click HERE

 

Employment Law:

FFCRA - 103 Frequently asked questions

 

CDC Guidance: Click HERE

 

Contact Information for Presenters

 

Mindi Wells, Esq.

Wells Law

info@WellsLawLLC.com

Contact us button at:  www.WellsLawLLC.com

 

Rebecca Noblit

Senior Vice President Chief Credit Officer

Liberty National Bank

RNoblit@myliberty.bank

 

Joy Bischoff, MSN, RN, NE-BC

Chief Nursing Officer

OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital

419-673-0761

 

Katrina Hughes-Collins, CPA

katwomancpa@gmail.com


September 25 | 11AM-2PM | 116 East Franklin Street


(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today the launch of Ohio’s Top Jobs List. The list combines Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs and newly created Critical Jobs into one list of prioritized job sectors.

Governor DeWine Announces Launch of Top Jobs List

 

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today the launch of Ohio’s Top Jobs List. The list combines Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs and newly created Critical Jobs into one list of prioritized job sectors.

 

The update aims to prioritize current economic needs with the health and well-being of Ohioans through Ohio’s Top Jobs List. This resource includes both In-Demand Jobs and Critical Jobs. 

 

“Ohio’s Top Jobs are critical to the long-term health and well-being of our state, our communities, and our families. These are also positions that are available now. We’re looking for Ohioans who want to serve their communities as early childhood educators, first responders, and health care providers,” said Governor Mike DeWine.

 

Critical Jobs ensure that the state’s workforce supports the health and well-being of Ohioans, their families, and their communities. Governor DeWine made developing the workforce in critical job areas a priority because of their impact on the lives of Ohioans at every stage of life.

 

“Ohio is full of opportunity for anyone looking to expand their skills and break into a new career,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted, who serves as Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation. “Ohio’s Top Jobs List is a resource to help young people and those exploring their career options sort through growing industries that need to fill new, open positions as well as critical occupations.”

 

Critical Jobs are identified through the help of experts and stakeholders in eight career clusters. Critical Jobs were created in collaboration with the Governor’s Children’s Initiative, RecoveryOhio, and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation.

 

The eight career clusters include:

  • Children & Community Health
  • Early Childhood Education
  • First Responders
  • Lead Abatement
  • Mental & Behavioral Health
  • Nursing
  • Physicians
  • Wellness Research & Technology

In addition to creating the Top Jobs List, today Governor DeWine announced the new career pathways feature on TopJobs.Ohio.gov. Career pathways illustrate the progress Ohioans can make within the career clusters in which Critical Jobs are organized.

 

Whereas the Top Jobs List showcases details on the progress one can have within a position, such as the growth from a starting wage to a median wage; the new career pathways feature provides information on the skills and education needed for Ohioans to advance to the next level of their chosen career pathway.

 

In 2019, Lt. Governor Husted announced the launch of TopJobs.Ohio.gov, Ohio’s new tool that transitioned the once static In-Demand Jobs List into an interactive tool to help guide the educational choices of students, educators, and workers.

 

Ohio’s Top Jobs List plays an important function as it directs 85 percent of federal job training funds offered through OhioMeansJobs Centers.

 

Both the list and the career pathway feature are available at TopJobs.Ohio.gov.


Welcome INKED Custom Printing

Congratulations!

INKED Custom Printing-Sterling Buildings-Wilson's Knives and Candles

366 West Espy Street, Kenton


Join us in welcoming our newest members!

To become a member of the Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance, click HERE!


Take time to celebrate our history!

The Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance’s Tourism Committee is encouraging county residents to conduct driving tours to visit historical markers and veterans banners in the county.

Committee member Stephanie Temple (left) holds brochures identifying the locations of the historical markers throughout the county and Sheena Striker holds a pamphlet which leads families to the locations of the individual veterans banners. The material will be available in the vestibule of the Alliance on South Detroit Street in Kenton throughout the weekend.

 

 

Roger Crowe, organizer of the veterans banner project, holds one of the banners which are displayed in Kenton and Dunkirk. There are 391 located in Kenton and about 25 in Dunkirk this year, he said.

A map identifying the location of the banners is available on the group’s Facebook page at hardincountyvetsbanners.com.

 

Story is provided by Dan Robinson, Kenton Times


Alliance Announces New Members


These are the resources needed for those businesses opening on May 4 or May 12.

Responsible Restart Ohio

 

Guiding Priciples: coronasvirus.ohio.gov

  • Protect the health of employees, customers, and their families.
  • Support community efforts to control the spread of the virus.
  • Lead in responsibly to get Ohio back to work.

Responsible Protocols: coronasvirus.ohio.gov

  • No mask, no work, no service, no exception. 
  • Conduct daily health assessments.
  • Maintain good hygiene at all times.
  • Clean and sanitize.
  • Limit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines.

Continued Business Closures: coronasvirus.ohio.gov

  • Schools (K-12 and daycares)
  • Older Adult Day Care Services and Senior Centers
  • Adult Day Support or Vocational Habilitation Services in Group Settings
  • Entertainment, Recreation, and Gyms (follow the above link for the full listing of closures)

Manufacturing, Distribution & Construction: follow the link for very specific guidelines

Consumer, Retail & Services:  follow the link for very specific guidelines

General Office Environments: 

Personal Care Services

Restaurants and Bars


We've put together a list of resources for businesses including useful information, relief assistance and more.

Resources for Businesses and Employers


coronavirus.ohio.gov


Ohio Manufacturer's Association

"Safety Guidance & Resources for Manufacturers During the COVID-19 Emergency."  Click Here.


Small Business Administration

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

  • This page includes a link to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, info on Paycheck Protection Program, info on Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Loan Advance, SBA Debt Relief, SBA Express Bridge Loans and more.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has been signed into law.  This Act provides additional assistance for small business owners, including the opportunity to receive up to a $10,000 Advance (which does not have to be repaid) on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for emergency capital.  The Small Business Administration (SBA) is updating its system to implement this provision so small businesses can request an EIDL advance when they apply for the loan.

CLICK HERE to download the Small Business Guide to the Cares Act.

CLICK HERE to download CARES Act Eligibility Details.


Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.

CLICK HERE for the US Chamber Coronavirus Paid Leave Programs Employer Guide.


Ohio Department of Job and Family Services


COVID-19 Resources from the US Chamber


Northwest Ohio COVID-19 Resources

Resources compiled by the BGSU Center for Regional Development.


Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority

Economic Resources including loans and bonds.


Ohio Chamber of Commerce

Visit this page for up to date resources: ohiochamber.com/coronavirus-business-resources that: 

  • lists all current executive orders from Governor DeWine and his administration currently affecting businesses; 
  • any actionable programs or resources businesses can utilize immediately; 
  • any legislation pending or passed at the federal or state level that affects businesses or provides additional resources to help offset the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

These are the resources needed for those businesses opening on May 4 or May 12.

Responsible Restart Ohio

 

Guiding Priciples


Child Care Provided for Health Care Workers

Emergency Child Care

Hardin County YMCA

918 West Franklin Street, Kenton

Enrollment opens Thursday, March 26th 2020

This will stay open until pandemic restrictions are lifted.

 

Operating Hours

Monday - Friday from 6AM-6PM

For children ages 4 to 12 years old

Cost is $35 per day or $150 per week

Financial Assistance may be available to those who qualify.

 

Registration is a first come first serve basis, children must be pre-registered before attending the program. 

 

For registration and more information: email Kaylee at KAYLEEKING.HCYMCA.GMAIL.COM

 

 


NOW HIRING! GRAPHIC PACKAGING, KROGER, WALMART

 

Hardin County employers are providing essential resources to their customers and they need help keeping up with demand at this critical time.


Graphic Packaging

 

Seeking Forklift Drivers & Machine Operators
Graphic Packaging International in Kenton has immediate direct hire opportunities for forklift drivers and machine operators. Forklift drivers start at $15.65/hr with pay increases every 3 mths to top pay of $18.00/hr.  Operators start at $18.00/hr with pay increases every 3 mths to $19.75/hr.  (Previous experience is required.)

On top of great pay, all new hires receive paid vacation time and paid holidays upon hire!        

To learn more and apply online visit www.graphicpkg.com or give us a call at 419-673-0711 x1637.

GPI is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer of Minorites, Women, Veterans, Disabled


Kroger

Kroger is looking for employees in e-commerce, retail clerk and pharmacy technician.

Apply here: kroger.com


Walmart

Walmart has openings in various positions. 

Apply here: walmart.com


OhioMeansJobs

Check out OhioMeansJobs for all the opportunities in Hardin County.

Apply here: ohiomeansjobs.com

 

 

 

 


Shepherd Herbs opens new location.

Times photo/Dan Robinson

Shepherd Herbs opened its new location and announced new services during an open house last weekend. Owners (from left) Alicia Cook, Sandra Shepherd and Kellie Lautenschlager offer the public a large variety of health supplements including sea salts, apple cider vinegar, organic teas, Sesel products and Essential Oils. The center also offers foot detox services, Zyto health screenings, compass readings and iridology screenings. Shepherd Herbs is located at 12730 CR 75 and is open Tuesday – Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. More information is available by calling 419-674-4470.


Alliance announces Annual Award Winners

By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer
ADA — The Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance selected Sue Bailey as its 2019 Citizen of the Year at a banquet Thursday night at McIntosh Center on the campus of Ohio Northern University.
“This year’s recipient, Susan Bailey, can be found in the community answering to many titles,” said Roger Crowe in his introduction.
A pharmacist at the OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital in Kenton, Bailey and her husband, Matt, are also co-owners of Skinny’s Tavern, also in Kenton.
But, continued Crowe, Bailey is also known for her devotion to activities in the community.
Bailey has dedicated many hours at the YMCA, where she has organized a cupcake war fundraiser, assisted with the father-daughter dance and established a summer swim team.
“She is passionate in supporting the Kenton Historical Courthouse District, where she helps organize volunteers to water the downtown flowers each spring and summer,” noted . “She also is instrumental in the annual Mistletoe Ball that raises funds for Hardin Memorial Hospital and takes on the responsibility of decorating the hospital during the holiday season. Those are just a few of the things that contribute to Sue receiving the Citizen of the Year Award.”
“I am humbled and honored to be in this company,” she said of the previous Citizen of the Year winners. “I am lucky my parents believed in volunteering in the community and instilled in me how to give back.”
Wilson Football Factory was named the Alliance’s Business of the Year winner.
For 65 years, said Rodney Hensel, the company has made Ada and Hardin County its home. It produces 700,000 footballs each year with a handmade process that relies on “a talented work force of men and women.”
The company has provided footballs for major NFL events for several years.
“Every point scored by in the NFL has been with a Wilson football, creating the longest official game ball relationship in American sports history,” said Hensel. “Wilson Football Factory’s continued investment in Hardin County’s workforce has given them the ability to provide superior products and this in turn has created the type of legacy that lives on for generations and we are grateful.”
“I love working in Ada,” said Wilson Manager Andy Wentling as he accepted the award. “This is a great honor and a great company.”
The Outstanding Small Business of 2019 is Golden Graphics of Kenton.
Established in 1983 with a $500 cash advance on a Mastercard, owners Tim and Robin Carrig have grown their business to seven employees at two locations, performing an average of 150 jobs per day. Their work is shipped to customers as far away as Wyoming and the employee list includes Honda of America and the Ohio State University.
Golden Graphics’ “true skill is solving each of their customers issues and giving them the best service using state-of-the-art equipment,” said Chad Spencer.
“The staff at Golden Graphics have served on various committees and boards throughout the years,” said Spencer. “They give back where they can and feel strongly about supporting their local organizations.”
Standing with Tim Carrig in accepting the award were many of Golden Graphics’ employees.
“They are more like family than employees,” said Carrig. The group represented a combined 180 years of employment at the business. “We have watched each other’s children grow up and now graduate.”
He thanked his staff and the Golden Graphics customers for their support.
This year’s Community Service Award was presented to ONU HealthWise Health Clinic of Ada.
Established ten years ago, the clinic was established when ONU saw a need to provide “interdisciplinary, quality medical care to all residents of Hardin County,” noted Stephanie Temple.
In 2015, HealthWise was established to address the rural community suffering from “poverty and lack of access to care.” A grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration paid for a 38-foot bus which was developed into a mobile medical center at no charge to the community. HealthWise has established partnerships with health providers throughout the area.
“The concept of offering a mobile clinic serves a dual purpose,” said Temple, “benefiting patients with exceptional care and providing students with an experiential learning opportunity they could not have gained in a classroom setting.”
“Hardin County is our classroom and the community is our professors,” said Dr. Michael Rush. “We are so grateful to be a part of this community and we are looking forward to many, many partnerships ahead.”
Julie Crowe was named the 2019 Women LEAD Professional Excellence Award winner at Thursday’s banquet.
A founding member of both the Society Singers and the Hardin County Players, Crowe has “given many years of dedication volunteering and enhancing the non-profits in her community through finding opportunities for funding and grants,” said Jen McMurray.
She is supportive of Heartbeat of Hardin County and the GEM program, continued McMurray.
Crowe retired after 26 years of service at the Hardin County YMCA. She is also a long-term member of the Kenton Elks Lodge, where she has served in various offices including Exalted Ruler and officer of the year.
When she was growing up, Crowe told the guests, she had dreams of becoming famous, but she later realized “Kenton and Hardin County was where I was destined to be.”
She decided to “bloom” in her own community and get involved with what was happening here.
“I am not special,” said Crowe. “There are hundreds of people in Hardin County who see the need to bloom where they are planted and the need to work where they see a need.”
Shannon Barnes is known in the community “for her ability to manage multiple roles with grace and excellence,” said Brian Sprang in his introduction of the Young Professional Leadership Award winner for 2019.
Barnes has specialized in human resource management and finance at Robinson Fin Machines for 22 years and is also the general manager of Hometown Media and radio station WKTN.
“I am humbled to receive this award,” said Barnes. “I have been blessed with the best mentors, great co-workers, lots of good friends and the support of my family.”
The 2019 Ambassador of the Year is Kolt Buchenroth of Kenton.
“Kolt Buchenroth is perhaps the youngest recipient of the Hardin County Ambassador Award,” noted Julie Jordan. “Kolt is known throughout the community for his dedication to helping whenever he is needed with kindness and excellence.”
But the Ohio State University student is recognized for his work behind the scenes to “provide solutions for critical tasks for the Alliance.”
“He is quick to deliver and modest in accepting praise,” said Jordan.
“My great-grandmother used to say ‘You can’t say thank-you too many times,’” Buchenroth told the guests.
He followed that advice by thanking his parents and the staff at the Alliance, but gave special praise to Matt Jennings and Jon Cross for their guidance.
The Emerging Business of the Year honors went to Ada’s Crimson Lane Venue. This was the first year for the award.
Owners Mike and Jodi Willeke offer a business which has become one of the area’s “most sought after wedding venues,” said Tim Striker.
Established in early 2019, Crimson Lane has 85 weddings slated at this point through 2021, said Striker.
“This is a family owned and operated business that was built on 130 acres of farmland and woods along with a nine-acre lake,” continued Striker.
“We are thankful for the support of the community,” said Jodi Willeke.
Harco Industries was recognized as the Non-Profit of the Year for 2019.
“Harco Industries is a county staple that has provided resources to special needs individuals and their families for years,” said Derek Snider. “Harco Industries is also the parent organization of KudoStudio, which provides an artistic outlet to individuals with disabilities.”
“This is the greatest job I have ever had in my life,” said Manager David Schaub, a former teacher. “It is a privilege to work with people with disabilities. Harco is the happiest place you could ever be.”


Women LEAD to offer Generations Coffee Club to connect the generations.

By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer
Women LEAD is an organization which brings women together at various ages to support and encourage each other to face life’s challenges.
Many women find themselves alone following the death of a husband, said Women LEAD member Stephanie Temple. Often their families have moved out of the community and the women are faced with loneliness.
“They feel forgotten in a way,” she said. “They are still vibrant, but they have no contact with each other.”
But the organization is hoping to reduce the that solitude with the establishment of the Generations Coffee Club.
Some women have social or church groups or fellow retired workers to bond with, said Temple, but many don’t have that to fall back on. The Coffee Club is designed to bring them together to meet each other, learn about the issues they face as a group, but most importantly to have fun, she said.
“We don’t want this to be a sad experience. We hope they will forge a family with each other,” agreed fellow LEAD member Jesse Purcell.
Starting in March, the group will meet at a rotating list of area businesses. The meetings will begin with coffee and donuts, feature a guest speaker and then break into discussion groups, card games or just time to chat.
“We also want to show the ladies what the community has to offer them,” said Temple.
A specific date and place have yet to be set for the initial meeting. More information will be available in the upcoming weeks at the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance, 419-673-4131.
For example, if the meeting is held at a gym, the women could learn yoga or chair exercises.
“Things they could do besides pump iron,” said Temple.
A gathering at the museum would be a good place for a “senior show-and-tell,” she continued, where the members could bring in items they recall using that are not commonly identified today. There could be discussions on home security, baking, credit card scams, beauty suggestions or technology.
One program expected to be offered this summer, Temple said, is to encourage the women to visit the county library and read to young people to help them retain their learning habits once school is out.
“This won’t be based on need,” she said. “It would be open to everyone.”
There are also plans for a senior-senior project in which the senior ladies would pair up with high school senior girls to join forces to solve problems and learn from each other.
There also will be cooking instructions, said Temple.
“Often you hear one of the women say they make something to eat they like, but they don’t want to eat it seven times because they live by themselves,” she said. “We can talk about preparing smaller meals … We hope once we get started, the ladies will come up with ideas of their own that we haven’t even thought of.”
The goal of Women LEAD is to move all women forward, said Purcell. The organization is in its fifth year and recently met to reorganize and re-energize its membership, she said.
“We want to do things which inform us as women and business professionals to lift each other up while helping the community,” she said.
That includes young women who are looking for guidance in planning their future. Purcell said LEAD members are planning to meet with sixth grade girls throughout the end of the school year to influence them and encourage them to continue to strive to meet their goals.
“It is important for girls to learn skills and have faith in themselves,” agreed Temple.
The group is planning its fourth Empowering Conference for March 31 at the Ohio Northern campus. The plan is to expand to a wider number of high school women and offer them programs guidance in leadership skills.
“We want to show women of all ages what is available to them and enrich their lives. That is a benefit to everybody.” said Purcell.


Alliance Announces Annual Award Winners in a night of celebration.

By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer
ADA — The Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance selected Sue Bailey as its 2019 Citizen of the Year at a banquet Thursday night at McIntosh Center on the campus of Ohio Northern University.
“This year’s recipient, Susan Bailey, can be found in the community answering to many titles,” said Roger Crowe in his introduction.
A pharmacist at the OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital in Kenton, Bailey and her husband, Matt, are also co-owners of Skinny’s Tavern, also in Kenton.
But, continued Crowe, Bailey is also known for her devotion to activities in the community.
Bailey has dedicated many hours at the YMCA, where she has organized a cupcake war fundraiser, assisted with the father-daughter dance and established a summer swim team.
“She is passionate in supporting the Kenton Historical Courthouse District, where she helps organize volunteers to water the downtown flowers each spring and summer,” noted . “She also is instrumental in the annual Mistletoe Ball that raises funds for Hardin Memorial Hospital and takes on the responsibility of decorating the hospital during the holiday season. Those are just a few of the things that contribute to Sue receiving the Citizen of the Year Award.”
“I am humbled and honored to be in this company,” she said of the previous Citizen of the Year winners. “I am lucky my parents believed in volunteering in the community and instilled in me how to give back.”
Wilson Football Factory was named the Alliance’s Business of the Year winner.
For 65 years, said Rodney Hensel, the company has made Ada and Hardin County its home. It produces 700,000 footballs each year with a handmade process that relies on “a talented work force of men and women.”
The company has provided footballs for major NFL events for several years.
“Every point scored by in the NFL has been with a Wilson football, creating the longest official game ball relationship in American sports history,” said Hensel. “Wilson Football Factory’s continued investment in Hardin County’s workforce has given them the ability to provide superior products and this in turn has created the type of legacy that lives on for generations and we are grateful.”
“I love working in Ada,” said Wilson Manager Andy Wentling as he accepted the award. “This is a great honor and a great company.”
The Outstanding Small Business of 2019 is Golden Graphics of Kenton.
Established in 1983 with a $500 cash advance on a Mastercard, owners Tim and Robin Carrig have grown their business to seven employees at two locations, performing an average of 150 jobs per day. Their work is shipped to customers as far away as Wyoming and the employee list includes Honda of America and the Ohio State University.
Golden Graphics’ “true skill is solving each of their customers issues and giving them the best service using state-of-the-art equipment,” said Chad Spencer.
“The staff at Golden Graphics have served on various committees and boards throughout the years,” said Spencer. “They give back where they can and feel strongly about supporting their local organizations.”
Standing with Tim Carrig in accepting the award were many of Golden Graphics’ employees.
“They are more like family than employees,” said Carrig. The group represented a combined 180 years of employment at the business. “We have watched each other’s children grow up and now graduate.”
He thanked his staff and the Golden Graphics customers for their support.
This year’s Community Service Award was presented to ONU HealthWise Health Clinic of Ada.
Established ten years ago, the clinic was established when ONU saw a need to provide “interdisciplinary, quality medical care to all residents of Hardin County,” noted Stephanie Temple.
In 2015, HealthWise was established to address the rural community suffering from “poverty and lack of access to care.” A grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration paid for a 38-foot bus which was developed into a mobile medical center at no charge to the community. HealthWise has established partnerships with health providers throughout the area.
“The concept of offering a mobile clinic serves a dual purpose,” said Temple, “benefiting patients with exceptional care and providing students with an experiential learning opportunity they could not have gained in a classroom setting.”
“Hardin County is our classroom and the community is our professors,” said Dr. Michael Rush. “We are so grateful to be a part of this community and we are looking forward to many, many partnerships ahead.”
Julie Crowe was named the 2019 Women LEAD Professional Excellence Award winner at Thursday’s banquet.
A founding member of both the Society Singers and the Hardin County Players, Crowe has “given many years of dedication volunteering and enhancing the non-profits in her community through finding opportunities for funding and grants,” said Jen McMurray.
She is supportive of Heartbeat of Hardin County and the GEM program, continued McMurray.
Crowe retired after 26 years of service at the Hardin County YMCA. She is also a long-term member of the Kenton Elks Lodge, where she has served in various offices including Exalted Ruler and officer of the year.
When she was growing up, Crowe told the guests, she had dreams of becoming famous, but she later realized “Kenton and Hardin County was where I was destined to be.”
She decided to “bloom” in her own community and get involved with what was happening here.
“I am not special,” said Crowe. “There are hundreds of people in Hardin County who see the need to bloom where they are planted and the need to work where they see a need.”
Shannon Barnes is known in the community “for her ability to manage multiple roles with grace and excellence,” said Brian Sprang in his introduction of the Young Professional Leadership Award winner for 2019.
Barnes has specialized in human resource management and finance at Robinson Fin Machines for 22 years and is also the general manager of Hometown Media and radio station WKTN.
“I am humbled to receive this award,” said Barnes. “I have been blessed with the best mentors, great co-workers, lots of good friends and the support of my family.”
The 2019 Ambassador of the Year is Kolt Buchenroth of Kenton.
“Kolt Buchenroth is perhaps the youngest recipient of the Hardin County Ambassador Award,” noted Julie Jordan. “Kolt is known throughout the community for his dedication to helping whenever he is needed with kindness and excellence.”
But the Ohio State University student is recognized for his work behind the scenes to “provide solutions for critical tasks for the Alliance.”
“He is quick to deliver and modest in accepting praise,” said Jordan.
“My great-grandmother used to say ‘You can’t say thank-you too many times,’” Buchenroth told the guests.
He followed that advice by thanking his parents and the staff at the Alliance, but gave special praise to Matt Jennings and Jon Cross for their guidance.
The Emerging Business of the Year honors went to Ada’s Crimson Lane Venue. This was the first year for the award.
Owners Mike and Jodi Willeke offer a business which has become one of the area’s “most sought after wedding venues,” said Tim Striker.
Established in early 2019, Crimson Lane has 85 weddings slated at this point through 2021, said Striker.
“This is a family owned and operated business that was built on 130 acres of farmland and woods along with a nine-acre lake,” continued Striker.
“We are thankful for the support of the community,” said Jodi Willeke.
Harco Industries was recognized as the Non-Profit of the Year for 2019.
“Harco Industries is a county staple that has provided resources to special needs individuals and their families for years,” said Derek Snider. “Harco Industries is also the parent organization of KudoStudio, which provides an artistic outlet to individuals with disabilities.”
“This is the greatest job I have ever had in my life,” said Manager David Schaub, a former teacher. “It is a privilege to work with people with disabilities. Harco is the happiest place you could ever be.”


The Amazing Giants were a popular part of the annual Kenton Lions Club Christmas Parade. The stilted performers greeted the young people along the parade route and then stopped to pose for pictures at the newly-lighted courthouse during Tuesday’s parade.

The Amazing Giants were a popular part of the annual Kenton Lions Club Christmas Parade. The stilted performers greeted the
young people along the parade route and then stopped to pose for pictures at the newly-lighted courthouse during Tuesday’s parade.

Chairman of the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance board Brandt Miller (left) introduces Holli Underwood as the organization’s new CEO and Director of Economic Development. Underwood replaces Jon Cross, who is stepping down to devote more time to being a state legislator.

By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer

The Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance board announced Friday morning it has named Holli Underwood as its new CEO and Director of Economic Development.

The two positions opened when Jon Cross announced his resignation from them in order to spend more time as a state legislator. Cross will assist Underwood during a transition period.

“This is an exciting time,” Underwood said of her new job.

She said her first job will be to meet with board members and community leaders to develop a better understanding of what their hopes and expectations are from the Alliance.

“I want to uncover what works here and keep things positive in Hardin County so we can look for ways to improve and grow,” Underwood said.

She also plans to begin work on a new five-year strategic plan for the Alliance, she said.

Alliance board president Brandt Miller called Underwood an outstanding individual to step into the CEO and economic development jobs. A life-long resident of the county, Underwood has “expert communication skills and is passionate about Hardin County,” he said.

A graduate of Ridgemont High School and Ohio Northern University, Underwood has spent 13 years as the general manager of Allmax Software and is a partner in Underwood Stock Farms.

Her professional and personal background gives her experience in agriculture, technology, marketing, tourism, sales and leadership, said Miller.

The new Alliance leader is married to Assistant Hardin County Engineer Luke Underwood and they are the parents of two children, Allison and Lane, who are students at Ridgemont High School.

It also was announced Friday that Jacqualine Fitzgerald will continue in her role as community development director and will represent the Alliance on the Kenton Historical Courthouse District as the city continues with its revitalization plans. Jesse Purcell will remain the director of Chamber and Tourism and Chris Barker will continue as the office’s administration assistant.


The Kenton Historical Courthouse District prepares for another year of Window Wonderland and the Lion's Christmas Parade.

A group of volunteers decorated windows of Kenton storefronts Monday in preparation for the annual Window Wonderland displays. The Yuletide scenes will be revealed to
the public during the Kenton Lions Club’s annual Christmas Parade on Nov. 26. Pictured are (from left) Taylor Klinger, Charlotte Hamm, Cindy Martino, Jacqualine Fitzgerald, Judy Cross, Jason Winegardner, Robin Jones and Kenton mayor-elect Lynn Webb.

When the Kenton Lions Club Christmas Parade steps off at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, it promises to be the biggest yet.

By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer
When the Kenton Lions Club Christmas Parade steps off at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, it promises to be the biggest yet.
Jacqualine Fitzgerald, Director of Community Development at the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance, said more than 3,000 people are expected to make their way to Kenton for the holiday event.
They won’t be disappointed as the number of floats expected will be more than 40 and additional Disney characters and other attractions have been added to the holiday fun, Fitzgerald said.
The Amazing Giants will return to this year’s parade, she continued, and they will be joined by six Disney princesses and nine Disney characters, plus a special holiday train ride which will be available to children after the parade.
Christmas music will be played from speakers throughout the square starting at about 4:30 p.m., Fitzgerald said. The lighting of the display around the courthouse will take place with State Rep. Jon Cross leading the countdown.
Santa will be available after the parade to hear the wish lists of young people.
People from throughout the area have found the Kenton Christmas Parade to be a holiday destination for the entire family, said Fitzgerald.
After enjoying the parade, many take in the 16 Christmas displays in the storefronts around the square, she said, and then stop by one of the Kenton restaurants for dinner before returning home.
“The parade really helps our local businesses,” said Fitzgerald. “It’s a pretty magical night.”


Kenton Parks and Recreation Board member Jesse Purcell reported to the Kenton Rotary Club on the board’s five-year strategic plan prioritizing Pioneer Park as a top priority for revitalization.

Kenton Parks and Recreation Board member Jesse Purcell reported to the Kenton Rotary Club on the board’s five-year strategic plan prioritizing Pioneer Park as a top priority for revitalization.

It was selected because of its strategic location as being a welcoming attraction on Franklin Street. Work has been completed by the Hardin County Young Professionals to improve the visual appearance of the park and donations are being taken to purchase new playground equipment.

Many generous businesses and organizations supported the effort of revitalizing Pioneer Park before Memorial Day including U.S. Bank, Modern Woodman Fraternal Financial, Hardin County Community Foundation, Stillwater Metal, Hardin County Young Professionals, Ken, Deb, Chase, and Courtney Doll, Liberty National Bank, sbhpp, Quest Federal Credit Union, Root Lumber, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, and Nelson Insurance Agency

Purcell said anyone who would like to donate to the purchase of new equipment can send checks to the Hardin County Young Professionals in care of the Pioneer Park Project, 225 S. Detroit Street, Kenton.


John Metcalf, CEO of Mid-Ohio Energy, presents a check for $10,000 to Hardin County Economic Development Director Jacqualine Fitzgerald. The funding is to be used to develop strategic plans for each village in the county and the city of Kenton, said Fitzgerald. OHM Advisors of Columbus is being contracted to conduct the studies which are expected to give each community direction for development, she said. “I am excited to see what comes out of this,” said Metcalf. With them are Hardin County Commissioners (from left) Tim Striker, Randy Rogers and Roger Crowe.

John Metcalf, CEO of Mid-Ohio Energy, presents a check for $10,000 to Hardin County Economic Development Director Jacqualine Fitzgerald.

The funding is to be used to develop strategic plans for each village in the county and the city of Kenton, said Fitzgerald.

OHM Advisors of Columbus is being contracted to conduct the studies which are expected to give each community direction for development, she said.

“I am excited to see what comes out of this,” said Metcalf.

With them are Hardin County Commissioners (from left) Tim Striker, Randy Rogers and Roger Crowe.