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Summer 2012 Vol. 33

Area Development Foundation

Revolving Loan Fund: We’ve got money for YOU!

SabreCat BATS: Slides into home

Plus More!

Alliance Area Development Foundation P.O. Box 3421 Alliance, Ohio 44601


From the president . . . P

roviding resources for area businesses is what the AADF does best. It’s exciting working on projects whether it’s in business attraction, retention and expansion or entrepreneurial start ups. In this issue we have highlighted a couple of new exciting startups. Helping new businesses get started is very rewarding. It helps diversify the local economy, adds jobs and enhances the local tax base. This all happens because of the cooperation from our partners from the public and private sectors. Everyone is invited to attend our annual meeting in September. Please come celebrate with us and learn more of what is happening in our business community. It will be held at Robertson Heating & Supply Co. on Tuesday, September 25. The doors open at 5:00 p.m. We will have a brief business meeting from 5:45 to 6:00 p.m. followed by our program from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Our Mission . . . is to

positively impact the retention and expansion of businesses and manufacturing in the Greater Alliance Area, as well as attracting new companies by working with them, area governments and economic development organizations.

Contact Us . . .

visit our website at for development information, email us at, call us at 330-823-0700 or stop in the office located at 2490 West State Street. * Jennifer Barrett - Just Jen Designs, Newsletter Editor/Layout Design

On the cover E

AADF Staff

Tom Pukys, President Pam Richardson, Economic Development Coordinator


Dr. Richard Giese, Chair Mark Fedor, Vice Chair Doug Schwarz, Secretary Joe Gerzina, Treasurer At-Large Members Michael A. Conny G. Charles Dix II Scott Robertson William C. Shivers


• Executive Committee meets on the third Thursday of each month at 7:30 a.m.


• The annual dinner is Tuesday, September 25 at 5:00 p.m. at Robertson’s Heating Supply Company.

Thomas Pukys, President

2012 Board Members Mayor Alan Andreani** Bill Lavery Tom Ault Ralph Lober Peter Basil* Mark Locke** Greg Blasiman Vince Marion Jim Boughton Ray Martinez John Christian Gerard Mastroianni Harriet Clem* Peter Moore Gregory Colaner Mike Pauli Michael A. Conny Todd Pugh G. Charles Dix II Ron Rhoads Mayor Patricia Fallot** Cheri Rice Mark Fedor Jeff Rich Mike Furcolow Scott Robertson Joe Gerzina Joe Schatz Dr. Richard Giese Doug Schwarz* Sue Goris* William C. Shivers Robin Graber Will Tolerton Mike Jeffries *Community member Stan Jonas **Ex-officio Craig Laughlin non-voting member

dward Leslie Grant or “Harvard Eddie” - nicknamed for graduating from the University in Massachusetts - was an infielder who played for several teams during his career in Major League Baseball. He was one of the first men to enlist in World War I, achieved the rank of captain and was the first MLB player killed in action. One of the teams he played for was the Cincinnati Reds in Ohio (pictured batting for them on the cover) from 1911 to 1913. During this time, Harold “Harry” Matthew Betts (pictured to the right) - also known as “Chubby” or “Ginger” - joined the team as a pitcher. Betts was an Alliance, Ohio native born on June 19, 1881. He was first signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent in 1903 and then joined the Cincinnati Reds in 1913 - the last year either of the men played for the team. 2

lliance Area Development Foundation | Summer 2012

Revolving Loan Fund: We’ve got money for YOU!

The Alliance Area Development Foundation has been granted additional fund-

ing this year which affords them the opportunity to help more people with their business ventures. Besides the gap financing they offer, the AADF has received monies through RBEG (Rural Business Enterprise Grant) and IRP (Intermediary Relending Program). All totaled, they have about a half-million dollars available to them to lend out to clients. In addition, they also offer many services free of charge for those who have a dream of starting their own business, like Doug and Linda Wonner, owners of the new All-Pro RV & Storage at 1680 Freshley Avenue, who received advice and assistance from the AADF last year. Besides financing, the AADF offers work force development,

advocating for new business opportunities, business attraction and expansion assistance, as well as business plan development. Stop in or call for more information on how they can help YOU!

Every great company got its start some place. Most of

them had very humble beginnings. From its infancy, the United States has always been a country full of entrepreneurs and people willing to take risks for what they believe is a worthy idea. Besides the fact that they are now all world-famous entities, businesses like Amazon, Apple, Google, Harley Davidson, Hewlett-Packard, Mattel and the Yankee Candle Company all have one other thing in common. They were all started in the USA in a garage. SabreCat BATS’ beginning is no different. “Back in 2009, I received a trophy bat with my name on it commemorating my induction into the Malone Athletic Hall of Fame, “ said Rob Roberts, one of the owners of SabreCat BATS. “I thought it was one of the best things ever given to me.” That was all it took to start him on his journey. Now, three years later, the company that started out experimenting and turning out its first bat here in a garage has 10 independent professional players swinging their product across three different leagues. Among the ranks of their many other youth, high school, college teams and other customers are the Stark Terriers in the Great Lakes League, as well. “I cannot express enough gratitude to Tom Pukys and the AADF,” said Roberts. “In this economy, small business loans are hard to come by and without the AADF, I do not know how long it would have taken to get a loan to do what we are doing. They had faith in our idea and our passion to take this company to the next level.” Taking it to the next level involved buying some state-of-the-art equipment and moving to a more central location for him and his other partners - Jason Siegfried and Eric Thorne. The company moved from a garage to the Professional Baseball Academy in Alliance to 616 Enterprise Circle in Louisville. “With the move,” Roberts said, “we started talking with Tom Pukys and the AADF to help us buy a new CNC lathe - the same machine that most major bat companies use - and now we are experiencing a great deal of positive growth.” Their bats are made from Northern White Ash and Hard Maple. They pride themselves on the fact that their company only uses professional grade “A” wood. According to SabreCat, many companies use a lesser quality wood and still sell their product at a high price in many retail stores. Many of these baseball products also come from China, Vietnam or the Middle East. “Having a product that is made in the USA is big to us,” said Roberts. “That is why we included ‘Made in the USA’ in our trademark.” According to SabreCat, most baseball minds believe if you can hit with wood then you can hit with metal, but if you can hit with metal you may not be able to hit with wood since it is less forgiving and has a smaller “sweet spot”. Their company’s laser engraver is one of the largest in Stark County. Any one of their four employees can personalize your game or trophy bat by engraving any text, logo or picture as long as it is in a JPEG format. People can also find their company online at Enter AADF in the promo code box for 10 percent off your purchase.

lliance Area Development Foundation | Summer 2012


New Board Member Welcomed R

on Rhoads, president and owner of Burden Electric, has recently joined the Alliance Area Development Foundation’s Board of Directors. He feels that the AADF is beneficial to the entire community. “I want to help promote the future development of new business in Alliance,” Rhoads said. “The AADF is instrumental in helping all businesses in the Alliance area.” Rhoads purchased Burden Electric, located at 245 West Main Street, in 1985 from his uncle, Glenn Burden, who founded the company in 1940. Ron has been married to his wife, Sue, for 41 years. They have two sons, Mike and Matt, who are both electricians working with the company. Ron is involved in many other business, fraternal and social organizations, as well.

Alliance Stone & Cabinetry A

custom cabinets and countertops

lmost everyone has heard the saying about “sticks and stones” and what they can do, but placed in the right hands, sticks and stones can be turned into many beautiful things. Take it from Chuck Kesterke (pictured left), owner of the new business located at 6050 Union Avenue. “We are the only business in Alliance that actually fabricates granite and quartz counter tops,” Kesterke said. “I felt this would be a big asset for us to offer natural and engineered stone counters in an area where no one else has this capability.” Chuck is very familiar with the construction and remodeling industry. An Alliance native, he grew up working for his father in construction, before graduating from Wright State University and starting two other successful companies of his own. However, with the new housing market in decline over the past several years, Chuck has decided to narrow his focus on a more specified segment that he enjoys the most. “I started this business to offer customers a personal relationship with someone who can participate in every aspect of the job,” Kesterke said. “From design work, to renovation, to completion, we are capable of participating in the entire project - something no one else in this area can offer. Alliance Stone & Cabinetry is a customer-oriented business. We are not built around volume and sales numbers. We want to offer a friendly, honest work relationship with all of our clients. We are available for consultation from the beginning through the end of any project. Our knowledge and ability to perform the highest quality work is what sets us apart from anyone else.” Chuck credits the Alliance Area Development Foundation with helping him reach his goals. “The AADF has had a huge impact on my ability to hit the ground running with this business,” Kesterke said. “The ability to fabricate natural stone and quartz relies heavily on several pieces of equipment. Along with Consumers National Bank, the AADF has helped fund the necessary equipment. My ability to produce in-house will help me build a strong business and customer relationships. Not only has the AADF helped with the funding of my startup, they are a great community resource and offer a tremendous amount of knowledge about the Alliance area and its economic situation. From funding to growth, the AADF is a very valuable resource to businesses in our community.” Alliance Stone & Cabinetry offers a semi-custom and a fully-customizable line of cabinets that can be designed to exact specifications. Their primary focus is on residential projects, but they are capable of handling commercial jobs, as well. The products they offer come in an almost limitless range of possibilities including: cherry, hickory, alder, maple, beech, birch, oak, exotic veneers, MDF and melamine. They have styles to accommodate any taste from rustic to modern. Their counter tops can be made from granite, marble, quartz and other solid surfaces. The showroom is currently open by appointment. Check out their website at and their facebook page at You may also contact them by emailing at or calling 330-823-5522. 4

lliance Area Development Foundation | Summer 2012

AADF Summer 2012 Newsletter  

Newsletter for the Alliance Area Development Foundation in Alliance, Ohio.

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