Experience Greater Akron 2017/2018

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OPENING FALL 2017 2017




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540 S Main Street | Akron, OH | Canal Place







4 99 Reasons We Love Greater Akron

16 Web Primer

17 Food & Drink

20 Shopping

23 Family Outings

25 Family-Friendly Sports

27 Venues for Victory

29 Parks

32 Arts

38 Business Focus

44 The Entrepreneurial Spirit

49 Young Professionals

51 Philanthropy & Volunteerism

55 Education

67 Healthcare

73 Transportation

74 Landmarks

75 Communities


ood news, everyone! Greater Akron is flourishing. Our businesses are excelling, our culture is vibrant and our community is prosperous. We have exceptional healthcare and top-notch educational resources, making our region one of the most highly regarded in the state. With our unique blend of big-city life coupled with a small-town feel, Greater Akron has the potential to make anyone feel right at home. Our area’s leaders continue to be committed to advancing Greater Akron’s economy by placing it on an international level, extending both its reach and opportunities by continual efforts to improve and expand Greater Akron as a whole and through supporting our renowned attractions, the Metro Parks and our ever-growing downtown district (just to name a few). In this relocation guide filled with fun facts, useful information and a touch of local pride, you’ll find an entertaining collection of reasons to love our region. You are guaranteed to learn and admire why we are so passionate about our community. Whether you’re moving to Greater Akron with your family, starting your business or you’ve been living here your whole life, the Chamber is here to help. Together, we can celebrate and secure the promise and unstoppable potential of one of our state’s most vital and unique regions. There has never been a better time to be in Greater Akron, for it is continuing to be just that: Greater and Greater.

Published for the Greater Akron Chamber by Live Publishing Company Publisher: John Schambach Project Manager/Editorial Supervisor: Gail Kerzner Project Director: Jeff Ritter Senior Writer: Connie Swenson Art Direction & Designer: Ben Small Production Manager: Gail Smith Operations Manager: M. Melinda Myer Operations Assistant: Beth Koblitz Principal Photography: Bruce Ford, except where noted. Copyright ©2017 by Live Publishing Company. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any form or means without written permission from Live Publishing Company. Greater Akron Chamber Senior Vice President: Rebecca Guzy Woodford Greater Akron Chamber Manager of Publications: Tammy Grimmett Greater Akron Chamber 1 Cascade Plaza, 17th Floor Akron, Ohio 44308-1192 phone: (330) 376-5550, fax: (330) 379-3164 greaterakronchamber.org While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information and listings contained herein, Live Publishing Company and the Greater Akron Chamber assume no liability for errors or omissions. 2

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e’ve always known what we love about the Greater Akron region: world-class healthcare and universities, easy access to major cities, great independent restaurants, family sports venues, affordable housing and shopping that meets every need. Now we’re getting the national acclaim we always knew was true. In August 2017, Vogue magazine published an article on Akron, saying, “If there were a contest for the Ohio city with the most unexpected history, Akron would win.” The article went on to tell us what we already knew: Best hamburgers, NBA stars, the small charm of the communities, the Tow Path, music legends such as Chrissie Hynde, Devo and The Black Keys. In 2017, Business Insider listed Akron in their top ten cities of “where the smartest people live.” We knew that, too. Here are more reasons why we love Greater Akron.



Because we love our homegrown rock stars: Among many, Chrissie Hynde, Mark Mothersbaugh (cofounder of Devo, and creator of many of your kids’ favorite movie and TV themes, from Rugrats to Super Mario World), and don’t forget the multi-Grammy-winning Black Keys. Frontman Dan Auerbach released his second solo album in 2017.


Because LeBron James is “just a kid from Akron.” Okay, so the Cavs lost Game 5 of the NBA Finals this year, but as LeBron says, “I treat each loss as a lesson.” No matter what, LeBron is Akron’s ambassador and has continued to create and support local charities over the last year focusing on Akron and Northeast Ohio. After years of motivating more than 1,000 kids to stay on track, get an education and dream big, The LeBron James Family Foundation partnered with Akron Public Schools in Spring 2017 to create a new I PROMISE School. Eligible students will be selected through a lottery system for the elementary school, which will start with first grade.


Because Greater Akron has been named one of the top 2017 “Overlooked Dream Cities” by Goodcall.com, which analyzes cities with fewer than 300,000 people and ranks them based on walkability, crime rate, cost of living and amenities such as restaurants and entertainment.


Because we’re still a gateway to everywhere. Greater Akron is within 500 miles of 42 major U.S. cities. You may want to leave occasionally, if only to remind yourself how good you have it in Greater Akron, and you have many easy road trip choices. And businesses can get employees and products from here to there with speed and ease.


Because we love the ease and accessibility of the Akron-Canton Airport. The airport completed a $2.7 million renovation and expansion for non-stop flights in 2016, and in 2017 brought in Spirit Airlines and added covered, accessible parking. 20 1 7-20 1 8

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Because we love to fly. The Akron-Fulton Airport, located within four miles of Akron’s central business district, was dedicated in 1929 and is home to the original Goodyear Airdock and the All-American Soap Box Derby.


Because we love 91.3 The Summit WAPS-FM. The successful and awardwinning radio station and additional community service channels use the power of music to support tweens (KIDJAM! Radio), people in recovery from addiction, trauma and mental health disruptions (Rock and Recovery™), regional musicians and artists (The 330) and the unique hand-picked music on The Summit.


Because we love the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which provides a unique travel experience to Cuyahoga Valley National Park visitors, year-round. The train presents an excellent view of the natural scenery and wildlife of the park, as well as monthly excursions tailored to kids and adults. You can also board your bike and ride the trails when you get off.


Because Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens has been a treasured Akron landmark for more than 100 years. Built as the residence for the family of F.A. Seiberling, cofounder of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, this national historic landmark includes the 65-room Manor House, historic gardens on 70 acres and a 5,000-square-foot Playgarden. Claims to fame:


n Best Historic Home Tour in America—USA Today n  Best Historic Estate in the Midwest—American Bus Association n One of America’s Castles n  One of America’s most significant historic estates because of its size and the collection’s authenticity n Sixth largest historic estate open to the public in America n One of the largest wedding sites in Northeast Ohio n  Gate Lodge was the site of the first conversation, leading to the formation of AA n  One of the best examples of Tudor Revival architecture n  Deck the Hall—Top 100 Events in America—American Bus Association n  Deck the Hall—one of the largest holiday light experiences in Ohio


Because we have the largest family-friendly New Year’s Eve night in the region. First Night Akron, a celebration of the arts on New Year’s Eve, brings the community together for families. It features indoor and outdoor entertainment, including the region’s best visual and interactive arts, music, dance and theater.

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Because we love our national park. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is 33,000 acres of natural magic just minutes from downtown Akron. The park receives 2.2 million recreational visits each year, making it one of the most-visited national parks in the United States.


Because we love our historic inns. The Inn at Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, was named one of the Top 10 in the nation in 2016 by CNN. Built in 1848, Brandywine Falls is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been renovated in a modern style.


Because we love Kent, Ohio. The “Tree City” is the largest city in Portage County and headquarters of The Davey Tree Expert Company. Horticulturist John Davey planted hundreds of trees around town in the 19th century. Also home to Kent State University, Kent is a college town, with many unique restaurants, bookstores and coffee shops.


Because we want to see THE Blimp. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has flown its iconic blimps over Ohio for more than 90 years. Goodyear currently operates three airships: Spirit of Innovation was christened in 2006; Wingfoot One and Wingfoot Two are actually semi-rigid airships.

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Because we love those blimps: Goodyear and the Cleveland Cavaliers engaged in a multiyear sponsorship agreement for Goodyear’s iconic Wingfoot logo to appear on Cavs players’ uniforms beginning in the 2017-18 season.


Because we love the Akron Racers, the oldest fastpitch softball team in the nation. In May 2017, Burn the Ships debuted. The movie follows the 2015 season, telling the story of women’s professional softball.


Because we celebrate our female softball heroes. In 2017, Racers outfielder A.J. Andrews was the first woman to earn a Rawlings Gold Glove Award. And she is a featured athlete in ESPN’s annual Body Issue.


Because we honor tradition but embrace the future. Every July, families and their children from all over come to the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby at Derby Downs to race in the world championship.


Because our Akron Zoo is among the top 10 percent of all zoos and aquariums in the United States. In 2017, the Zoo opened a new exhibit called “Curious Creatures,” showcasing animals that are odd or have unique adaptations.


Because the Zoo cares about guests. In summer 2017, it became the second zoo in the U.S. to be designated sensory inclusive. The zoo partnered with KultureCity, a nonprofit that works to help places create acceptance and inclusion for individuals of all unique abilities. The staff has been trained to assist guests who may be sensitive to loud noises and crowds.



Because Sand Run Parkway in the Summit County Metro Parks is just a weird and wonderful roadway. It’s a semi-major artery from northwest Akron into Fairlawn, but it winds through some of the most amazing scenery around.


Because we invented the hamburger. Brothers Charles and Frank Menches created the hamburger at the Erie Agricultural Fair in Hamburg, NY in 1885. A couple of other cities make this claim too, but the annual National Hamburger Festival in August is a chance to make peace and patties with our competitors— all over one of the largest assortment of burgers ever assembled in one place.



Because we have the best burgers. Swensons’ Galley Boy burger was voted No.1 in a 2016 Ohio poll by Business Insider. The restaurant chain also unveiled a food truck in 2017, ready to roll to special events and parties. Other burger joints that we love include Smoke the Burger Joint, Fisher’s Cafe and Pub and Hodge’s Café.


Because we love food trucks. In Akron, on summer Wednesdays, Cascade Plaza becomes Cascade Cucina on the Plaza; on Fridays, hungry philanthropists chow down to benefit Child Guidance & Family Solutions in their parking lot.


Because we cherish tradition. The International Rubber Science Hall of Fame recognizes the careers of notable professionals in rubber technology at The University of Akron. The Goodyear Polymer Center at The University of Akron houses the Hall of Fame’s portrait gallery.


Because we love our hometown classical musicians. The Akron Symphony Orchestra began in 1949 when Mabel Lamborn Graham received $500 as seed money from the publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal with the instruction to begin raising money for a professional union orchestra.



Because we treasure world-acclaimed musical artists. The Tuesday Musical Association (TMA), founded in 1887, presents a premier series of international groups and performers like the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. TMA also provides educational and scholarship programs for children.

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Because we want to keep artists here. Akron Soul Train is a new residential village for creative souls and their keepers, groupies and fanatics. The village consists of refurbished passenger rail cars and shipping containers, transforming them into gallery/studio spaces for artists. Akron Soul Train provides housing, along with gallery and studio space to qualifying artists. Artists can apply for fellowships, which are awarded for one, three, and six-month stints.


Because we love Akronist.com to stay informed and help us spread the word. The Akronist is a multi-media community news and entertainment website about Greater Akron. Residents can create stories, videos and photos. The news organization opened the Akron Digital Media Center in 2017 at the Akron-Summit County Public Library main branch in downtown Akron to enhance coverage of community news and information.


Because of the 20-minute rule. No, it’s not guaranteed, but you can go just about anywhere in Greater Akron in 20 minutes or less. Akron to Kent? Wadsworth to downtown Akron? Yep, 20 minutes.




Because more than 30 institutions of higher education are within a 50-mile radius of Greater Akron. The University of Akron and Kent State University have combined enrollments of close to 53,000 on their two main campuses and tens of thousands more on their satellite campuses.


Because we have the best long-term investment of any Northeast Ohio public university—The University of Akron. Payscale.com released its ranking of Best Value Colleges in 2016. The ranking looks at the cost of attendance and earning potential and then determines which universities and colleges offer the best return.




Because we’re helping to address the shortage of primary care physicians well beyond Greater Akron. Northeast Ohio Medical University’s Education for Service scholarship program provides funds for students to finance their education in exchange for a commitment to serve the community and create a more diverse healthcare workforce that cares for underserved populations. Each year, NEOMED graduates more than 200 healthcare professionals with the majority returning to Northeast Ohio.


Because we’re a model of outstanding and innovative, team-based, patient-centered care. NEOMED has long recognized the importance of interprofessional education in healthcare. They develop their medicine and pharmacy students to work with other health professionals and to provide the best team-based care to patients. It truly takes a village to treat the whole patient and not just focus on their current symptoms.


Because Stark State is expanding into Summit County. The new building in Akron will provide affordable, quality associate degrees and certificates that lead to jobs in high-growth, high-demand fields.


Because we love The Blue Line. In September 2017, the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay celebrated its 15th year with over 15,000 participants, 3,000 volunteers, 120,000 spectators and lots of community support.


Because we entice the world’s greatest golfers here each August with the chance to play the formidable course at Firestone Country Club in south Akron. The World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational is a PGA Toursanctioned event that welcomes a field of about 60 male golfers from around the world and dozens of corporations who host the event.


Because Thomas Edison, the king of electricity, married Akronite Mina Miller in February 1886 in the home of her father, inventor Lewis Miller. The house, called Oak Place, still stands and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Because we love being called the City of Invention. Among others, Greater Akron is the birthplace of:

n Grade levels in schools n U.S. space suits n Synthetic rubber tires n  The first liquid crystal display (LCD) screens used in watches n Wound golf balls n Police patrol wagons n Ready-to-eat breakfast cereal n U.S.-built dirigibles (blimps) n The trucking industry n The first toy company (S.C. Dyke clay marbles)


n Electric railway lines n Alcoholics Anonymous, founded in 1935


Because the Akron Art Museum’s unwavering focus on art from 1850 onward has allowed it to develop one of the finest collections of the period. In summer 2016, the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden opened to the public. The museum also offers innovative events like seasonal beer tasting events, the annual Mother’s Day Tea and Downtown@Dusk Summer Concert Series.


Because we love Akron Children’s Museum. A pop-up museum until 2016, the museum now has permanent roots next to Lock 3 on S. Main St. Families rave about the hands-on exhibits in an inspiring space.


Because we’re light and flexible. More than 40 years ago, Kent State University researchers invented the liquid crystal display that quickly became ubiquitous in consumer electronics. Research is now focused on the production of lightweight, flexible and strong materials to replace heavier, rigid and breakable devices of the current generation.


Because Greater Akron companies provide the world with some of its bestknown, useful products:

n Goodyear tires n Purell® hand sanitizer (GOJO) SHANE WYNN

n Rust-Oleum® (RPM) n DayGlo® paint (RPM)


n A.I. Root Candles (a favorite among celebs) n Audio-Technica (microphones and headphones) n Twinkle Polish® (Malco) n The Cozy Coupe® (Little Tikes) n The Frog Sandbox® (Step2) n Bil-Jac dog food and treats® n EcoSmartTM and DuraBright® CFL light bulbs (TCP) n Main Street Gourmet muffin batter


Because everyone needs to take a break from modern-day technology. Hale Farm & Village in Bath is the perfect place to escape. Spend the afternoon exploring historic buildings, experiencing a working farm or period crafts such as candlemaking, blacksmithing, pottery, glassblowing, spinning and weaving.

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Because NORKA soda (or pop, as we say here) is back. NORKA is, of course, Akron spelled backward. Signature flavors cherry-strawberry, root beer, ginger ale and orange can be found at Giant Eagle, Acme Fresh Market and some independent stores, cafes and restaurants. Summer 2017 celebrated the new lemon-lime flavor, NORKA’s first zero calorie, zero sugar, 100% all natural sparkling beverage!


Because we love our firefighters. The Fire Museum, run by the Hudson Fire Department Association, opened in summer 2016 at the Hudson Town Hall, housed in the same location as the first Hudson Fire House. The museum is filled with memorabilia, including the 1859 hand pumper and the 1928 Seagrave fire truck. The Seagrave will be switched out every so often to display the 1948 Old Number 1 Mack fire truck.



Because we are fashionistas. Kent State University’s Fashion School, consistently rated among the top in the world, received a $2.5 million gift from the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation of Hudson in 2017 to fund a school Chair and a study-away program for students.


Because we love fashion so much, we even have Kent State University Museum’s collection of more than 40,000 pieces. Delight in the apparel from the 18th-20th centuries, or plan to view upcoming diverse exhibits like Fringe Elements (through July 1, 2018) and Katharine Hepburn, Dressed for Stage and Screen (coming February 2018).


Because we love to Rock the Lock. The Lock 3 open-air music venue in downtown Akron hosts concerts from May through September, specializing in extraordinary cover bands and classic artists. Lock 3 is also the scene of large community events and the City of Akron’s official 4th of July fireworks. And you can ice skate there in the winter. Lock 4, home to the Lock Bottom Blues & Jazz Club, draws the funky set on Wednesday nights.



Because we love to “Play Ball!” The Akron RubberDucks, Double-A Affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, play from spring to fall at Canal Park. And families enjoy “home-run” games, food, fireworks and even movie nights. Hey, where else can you buy $7 game tickets with professional players and a world-class stadium for a family night out? And everyone loves mascots Webster, Rubberta, Homer and Orbit.


Because Akron-Summit County Public Library is special, and even the government says so. 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of the library’s designation as a Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC), a nationwide network of libraries connected to the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C. It is one of only 80 such libraries in the country. But visitors to the library know it as an astounding resource for any lover of literature, science, art and life. And entrepreneurs can even enjoy co-op space in the new Microbusiness Center.



Because Akron has won the Oscar of municipal life—the All-America City Award—three times. Citing Akron as one of the most successful cities between the eastern seaboard and Chicago, the Brookings Institution called Akron an economic recovery model for other cities to follow.


Because we love our winter sports in Northeast Ohio. Boston Mills and Brandywine ski resorts, both located in Peninsula, are among the largest in the region, offering lessons, rentals and every level of skiing/snowboarding/tubing hills.

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Because the Northside District is a destination of its own. Located on the north edge of downtown Akron, the area has undergone a huge revitalization as a residential and entertainment district. Just steps away from the sophisticated Northside Lofts are Luigi’s and Dante Boccuzzi restaurants, Jilly’s Music Room, and the Northside Speakeasy, a prohibition-era themed craft cocktail bar located inside the Courtyard Marriott. Shoppers love Zeber-Martel Gallery and Clay Studio. Akron Bike Center and Dirty River Bicycle Works help cyclists hop on the Towpath (just 100 yards away) with style and safety. The Northside Market, with over 20 local businesses including culinary and retail options, opens late summer 2017.


Because Ohio’s largest manufacturing sector industry is polymers and advanced materials. The majority of Ohio’s 130,000 polymer fabrication workers are concentrated in Northeast Ohio, according to the Ohio Polymer Strategy Council. Only California—with a population three times ours—has more polymer-related employees.

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Because The University of Akron’s polymer science and engineering programs are consistently ranked among the top in the world.

Because we’re still putting the world on wheels. Bridgestone Americas, Inc. has the state-of-the-art Americas Technical Center in Akron. The $100 million facility’s employees develop innovative and advanced tire technologies for the company.



Because we’re the birthplace of some awesome sports stars:

n  NBA star LeBron James (We’ll always love him because he always does good for our city.) n  NBA star Stephen Curry (We’re not fans right now, especially after the 2017 defeat, but we can’t deny his talent.) n Football coaches Ara Parseghian and Bo Schembechler n Yankees Catcher Thurman Munson n  Many NFL players including Bob Golic, Dante Booker, Dave Brown, Jarrod Cooper, Kris Haines, Dave Hampton, Thomas Lewis, Les Olsson, Matt Simon and Chris Wells. (The list goes on) n Carol Heiss, Olympic skater


Because we’re also the birthplace of many other incredible people:

n Astronaut Judith Resnik n Singer James Ingram n Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove n  Tom Batiuk, creator of comic strips Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft n  Rock stars Chrissie Hynde, Mark Mothersbaugh, Dan Auerbach, among others


n  Paul Tazewell, Tony Award winner for Hamilton’s Best Costume Design n Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch n Actress Melina Kanakaredes n Jani Lane, from the glam band Warrant n Actress Lola Albright n E.T. Barnette, founder of Fairbanks, Alaska


Because compassionate caretakers take care of you. Akron Children’s Hospital is one of the largest pediatric hospitals in the U.S. and ranked among the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. They handle nearly 800,000 patient visits a year through two hospital campuses and a large network of locations offering primary and specialty care to children at 90 locations. Cleveland Clinic Akron General and Summa Health serve more than one million patients annually. 20 1 7-20 1 8

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Because we love to enjoy cult, indie and foreign films. The Nightlight Cinema in downtown Akron was opened in 2014 by its nonprofit parent, Akron Film+Pixel. The 50-seat digital projection venue is just a short walk from the High Street parking deck.


Because some of the most renovated housing in Akron has Goodyear written all over it. In summer 2015, the Residences at the East End—luxury loft apartments located in the historic Goodyear Hall—welcomed its first tenants. The East End is now a 1.4 million square foot mixed-use redevelopment complex with a community-like environment, including a Hilton Garden Hotel. Goodyear opened its new $160 million world headquarters on part of its existing campus.


Because we love world-class summer music. Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls is the summer home of The Cleveland Orchestra, which presents its 100th Concert Season in 2017-18. Blossom is considered one of the most beautiful and acoustically admired outdoor music venues in the United States. And lawn seats for kids under 18 are free. Blossom also hosts Live Nation concerts by pop artists like Green Day, The Grateful Dead and Florida Georgia Line.

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Because we have the incredible Goodyear Airdock. Constructed in 1929 by the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation, later Goodyear Aerospace, the Airdock was designed for blimp manufacturing. The floor space is larger than eight football fields. On occasion, condensation creates rain in the Airdock even if it’s sunny outside. It’s still used for blimp manufacturing.


Because if you get lost, just find your way to the Indian Signal Tree. Everyone in Greater Akron knows the Signal Tree is in the Chuckery area of the Cascade Valley Metro Park. The 300-year-old burr oak, with its strange threepronged structure, was used by Native Americans as a signpost between the Cuyahoga River and the portage path to the Tuscarawas River to the south. The tree even had its own festival in July 2017 at Lock 3, which celebrated all things Akron—food, music and culture.


Because we have double vision. Twinsburg in northern Summit County is the site of the annual Twins Days Festival, the largest gathering of multiples on the planet. More than 2,500 sets of twins—from newborn to 90—gather each August in a town that was founded by twins. The festival is a happy laboratory for researchers who study twins for a variety of scientific purposes, including life-saving treatments.



Because we help those in need of special services. Through the County of Summit Developmental Disabilities Board and United Disability Services, we provide employment and other support for the differently-abled, helping them with work and life skills and providing support for their families and the employers who hire them.


Because we have charming Main Streets USA. The downtowns of Ravenna and Kent in Portage County and Medina Square in Medina County are authentic quaint town centers with buildings that date to the Western Reserve’s earliest days. During the summer months, residents gather in the squares for ice cream socials, band concerts and plays.



Because Kent has street fairs, live music, sidewalk cinema and festivals throughout the year: Art in the Park, Kent Heritage Festival, Kent Blues Fest and Kent Ghost Walk—just to name a few. There’s always something fun to do.


Because we’re full of hot air. In September, Ravenna’s annual Balloon A-Fair celebrates one of the city’s earliest industries—toy balloons made by the Oak Rubber Co. The organization also holds events throughout the year, including a lighted Christmas parade.


Because we have a taste for the absurd. Every March, from time immemorial, turkey vultures (buzzards) have returned to roost in Medina County’s Hinckley Township. And since 1957, buzzard lovers—clad in crazy vulture-themed paraphernalia—gather in the pre-dawn hours in March to await the return of the carrion-gnawing critters.

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Because at Lock 15, the Mustill Store and House—an 1850s-era general store and residence—have been restored and opened to the public, thanks to the Cascade Locks Park Association. The park encompasses the area between Locks 10 and 16 and will be developed completely as a heritage and educational site.


Because we have the Rubber City Rollergirls, Akron’s own women’s roller derby league. The women come from all walks of life, but when they roll, they’re all made for hard hits and speed. You can see them at the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron for ‘70s hairstyles and ‘70s ticket prices of $5 to $10.



Because we have TubaChristmas and TubaSummer led by a retired University of Akron professor named—no kidding—Tucker Jolly. The annual Christmas concert began about 30 years ago and proved so popular that fans soon demanded a warm-weather version.


Because we have a voice. The Akron Sound Museum is looking for a permanent space. It is dedicated to preserving 100 years of Akron’s diverse music, performance and spoken word heritage. Top of mind? DEVO, Chrissie Hynde, Tin Huey, the Bizarros, The Rubber City Rebels and Black Keys.


Because we still have some hippie in us. Back in the ’60s, a group of ambitious Kent State University students celebrated the folk music revival with a concert on campus. The songs, the spirit and the Kent State Folk Festival, newly re-named the ’Round Town Music Festival, have been with us every autumn since.


Because front porch rockin’ means something entirely different here. On a sunny weekend in the summer, dozens of bands play on porches of homes in Highland Square during the Porch Rokr Festival.


Because foodies drive for miles for:

n  West Point Market “Killer” brownies (Death by Chocolate; bring it on.)


n  Strickland’s frozen custard (Nothing better on a hot summer day.) n  A Luigi’s cheese-smothered salad (Get your dairy for the month in one sitting.) n Skyway’s SkyHi burger (Filling and delicious.) n  Sauerkraut balls (No one is quite sure of the origin of these little deep-fried beauties, but no Akron area party is complete without them.) n  Barberton Chicken (Juicy, greasy, with piles of fries and hot rice.) n  Akron Honey (Don’t miss the September batch, Keeper’s Mark.) n Not Yo Daddy’s hot sauce. (Mexican style; Akron made.)


n  Frosted sugar cookies from Sweet Mary’s Bakery (Custom-decorated.)


Because we love our neighborhoods. Akron2Akron’s informal walking tours led by Akron residents are the most fun way to learn about unique people, places and plans.


Because we love Rosie, Akron’s massive tunnel boring machine. Rosie arrived in August 2017, and it will bore through about 5-1/2 feet of earth per hour to create the 6,300-foot-long Ohio Canal Interceptor Tunnel underneath downtown Akron, which at $184 million, is the centerpiece of Akron’s $1.4 billion sewer program, known as Akron Waterways Renewed! Go Rosie!


Because we love eco-friendly startups that evolve. The Akron Sustainer, located in the Cascade Lofts, is a project involving an 8x20-foot shipping container acting as an educational hub for residents of Akron, promoting sustainability and green living. The Sustainer incorporates eco-friendly materials such as a solar panel, vegetative roof, rainwater catchment system and a living wall. Workshops, hands-on experiments and displays are provided through the programming of the project to educate, engage and empower residents on various sustainability topics.

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Because our public murals make our lives more colorful. The Art Bomb Brigade, run by The University of Akron Myers School of Art, has created four drop-dead funky murals that have enlivened the facades of Downtown Akron Laundromat, Echogen Power Systems, Chill Ice Cream and the Akron Sustainer.


Because we’re bubbling with excitement about our beers. Check out Thirsty Dog, Hoppin’ Frog, Headtrip Brewery, R. Shea Brewing, High St. Hop House, and up-and-coming Akronym Brewing. In 2017, the Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau even launched the Summit Brew Path and handed out 10,000 passports. Catch the foam at Hop Tree Brewing, Headtrip Brewery and The Brew Kettle in the Hudson/Stow area; MadCap Brew Company in Kent; Lager Heads Brewing Co. & Tap Room in Medina; and Craft Beer Bar in Cuyahoga Falls.


Because we love comedy, tragedy and everything in between. The “curtain goes up” at Weathervane Playhouse, None Too Fragile Theater, Coach House Theatre, Rubber City Shakespeare (now Rubber City Theatre) and the EJ Thomas Hall Broadway Series. Audiences also applaud for Magical Theatre Company, Theatre 8:15 in Green, Kent Stage, Porthouse Theatre, Western Reserve Playhouse and The Illusion Factory.




Because we have loved our landmark theater for over 70 years. Our Akron Civic Theatre has long been recognized among the community’s cultural landmarks, and it just got brighter and more colorful. A number of the striking chandeliers and decorative lighting fixtures in the historic theater’s Grand Lobby were recently refurbished, and new lighting was added in a project to update the lobby’s electrical system, thanks to a $530,000 state grant. The Civic is one of America’s few surviving theaters with twinkling stars and clouds moving across its atmospheric ceiling.


Because we bring together artists, art education and arts organizations. Summit Artspace community art center is committed to building public awareness of the value of arts and culture to the quality of life and the local economy. Summit Artspace houses the Summit Artspace Gallery, artist studios, administrative offices and The Box Gallery, and is the site of several art organizations as well as performance space workshop areas and meeting rooms.


Because we’re jazzy. Blu Jazz+ presents local, national and international jazz in an upbeat club famous for live music and signature cocktails. The new Blu Plate, above Blu Jazz+ (streetside), offers a “Southern-inspired menu,” featuring po’ boys, gumbo, barbecue and more. A piano bar provides a prelude to the full performances downstairs. The Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival also brings music to downtown Akron during the late summer months every year, thanks to West Akronite pianist Theron Brown. In 2016, Brown portrayed Herbie Hancock in Miles Ahead, which focused on Miles Davis.



Because we love award-winning journalism. Our Akron Beacon Journal received two Best of Ohio first-place awards and 10 first-places in other categories at the 2017 All Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards sponsored by the Press Club of Cleveland. The Akron Beacon Journal was also recognized as Ohio’s second-best newspaper, and Ohio.com was named the third-best website in the state.


Because we’re beautiful. Keep Akron Beautiful received the 2016 Keep America Beautiful President’s Circle Award. This award recognizes exemplary performance made by certified affiliates of the national nonprofit in creating clean, green and beautiful communities to help transform public spaces into beautiful places.


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Because “I’m out” doesn’t mean “we’re out.” After Akron-based Peaceful Fruits was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank in early 2017, it was flooded with more than $75,000 in orders, even though it received no investment offers from any of the Sharks. The company harvests fruits for its snacks from partnerships with local communities in the Amazon Rainforest and employs people with disabilities in Akron (at full wages) to produce the snacks.

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Because there’s more to Akron than meets the eye. The Devil Strip, an online and print alternative media source, focuses on topics about Akron’s creative community—from artists and musicians to small businesses and the emerging tech sector—that have been overlooked. The name comes from that strip of land known elsewhere as a “tree lawn,” but in Akron known as a “devil’s strip.”


Because we love to bang a drum. The University of Akron (UA) Steel Drum Band, founded in 1980, is known as one of oldest collegiate panoramic style steel bands. Is it a coincidence that Akron-based Panyard, Inc., founded in 1990, has become a world specialist in selling steel drums, accessories and sheet music for the steel drum industry? We don’t think so. Owner Ron Kerns and former partner Shelly Irvine fell in love with the steel drums while they were drummers at UA.


Because three out of four Summit County residents say this area is an excellent or good place to live, according to The Summit Poll 2017 conducted by the Center for Marketing and Opinion Research. By the way, Akron comes from the Greek word for “high place.” We’re not going anywhere but up.



Because who doesn’t love the nostalgia of seeing a movie under the stars at a classic drive-in? We love the Blue Sky Drive-In in Wadsworth or Magic City Drive-In in Barberton. Pack your car for a one-carload price.


Because we don’t just have craft shows, we have the Crafty Mart, the Rubber City’s longest-running indie handmade marketplace. There’s the big Crafty Mart in downtown Akron twice a year and several “pop up” Crafty Marts during the year elsewhere, including inside Summit Artspace. In 2015, Crafty Mart was honored with a Zenith Award by the Akron/Summit Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.


Because if your taste runs more to the fruit of the vine, we have your wine. The Grape and Granary in east Akron lets patrons make their own wine and design the labels. The Winery at Wolf Creek, which overlooks an idyllic reservoir in Norton, offers handcrafted wines and appetizers in addition to the beautiful view. Sarah’s Vineyard, in the heart of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, has been cultivated on land that was reclaimed by the park for farming. Nauti Vine Winery on the Portage Lakes’s Tuscan atmosphere is perfect. ThornCreek Winery & Gardens in Aurora combines fine wine, food and seven acres of heavenly viewing. Medina’s High & Low features seating in the vineyards, on the deck and patio and a walk-up wine bar.



Because all those trees in Kent could be the reason the 10 black squirrels imported from Canada and let loose on the Kent State campus in 1961 decided to stay around and procreate. (Or they just like it here.) Their abundant presence inspired the creation of the Black Squirrel Festival held on campus every September as well as Black Squirrel Brewing Company, Black Squirrel Radio and Black Squirrel Books, an imprint of Kent State University Press.


Because Goodrich rubber was even used to make fountain pens. Joseph Betzler and Wesley Wilson (former B. F. Goodrich employees) used the rubber to make the barrel of the holder in their Akron pens in the late 20th century. Their pens were sold at the A. Polsky Co., the M. O’Neil Co., Day Drugs, Dales Jewelry, Robinson’s Book Store and other Akron businesses. The company’s premium product was a $3.50 pen made of solid 14k gold, pointed with iridium.



And then there’s Oddmall: The Emporium of the Weird in Akron. Oddmall takes place in May and November at the John S. Knight Center. It is part art fair, part craft show, part comic-con, part gaming festival, part cosplay extravaganza, part toy show, part antique show, part vintage fashion show, part geeksplosion, part music fest, part magic show and part various undefinable othernesses. That’s how they describe it. The one big rule: No judgment. And it’s free!

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GET TO KNOW GREATER AKRON . . . 365 ExperienceGreaterAkron


SOCIAL MEDIA FANS Plug in and discover the best of Greater Akron.  Hidden gems  Can’t-miss events  People and businesses making a difference

Building Communities Makes Business Sense

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING Experience Greater Akron (EGA)’s social media component enhances the print and electronic magazines and engages target audiences all year. Tap into thousands of EGA’s fans and followers throughout the year with EGA social media.  Drive immediate traffic  Promote timely events  Reach an even bigger audience To get involved, contact Gail Kerzner at Live Publishing Company (330) 882-8100 gkerzner@livepub.com

Business and community—building programs at the Greater Akron Chamber brings more wealth and opportunity to everyone in the region. Opportunity. One more way the Chamber makes a difference.

Be a part of the

Leading Businesses. Leading Communities.TM Call (330) 376-5550 or log onto www.greaterakronchamber.org

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The Greater Akron Chamber’s website promotes the strengths of the region and is an important resource—a place that people come back to again and again for all the information they need about Greater Akron and the Chamber. It contains information about the Chamber, member resources, economic development, business advocacy, visiting and living and so much more. Check it out at greaterakronchamber.org. We hope you visit often. g r e a t e r a k r o n c h a m b e r. o r g


Ken Stewart’s Grille

FOOD FOR ALL TASTES Diversity abounds, as Greater Akron offers cuisine to please all palates.


scar Wilde said, “After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” From elegant grills to down-home diners and drive-ins, our local eateries, lounges, wineries and breweries are just waiting to satisfy your every craving. Here are just a few highlights: Rave reviews for music and dining include the new Blu Plate which offers low country-inspired flavors and dishes, from Cajun to Creole to all-American BBQ. Blu Plate is the new addition to Blu Jazz+, a stunning jazz club presenting local and national musicians. If you want to eat where the locals frequent, try the legendary Luigi’s. The restaurant, complete with photos of Hollywood stars, is famous for magnificent old-world pizza. Crave, in downtown Akron, gets great reviews; Crave Cantina, in Cuyahoga Falls, opened in summer 2017. Ken Stewart’s Grille, on W. Market St. in 20 1 7-20 1 8

Akron, and Ken Stewart’s Lodge, in Bath, have been constant favorites among locals for over two decades. For those diehard red meat lovers, Akron’s Diamond Grille is all about the steak. The downtown fixture is known for attracting the world’s top PGA golfers when they’re in town to play the famed South Course of Firestone Country Club. Downtown Akron offers many ethnic flavors from restaurants such as Pad Thai an Asian fusion restaurant that opened on E. Market St. in 2017, and El Gato Taqueria, which serves Mexican street food at its best. If you enjoy watching your food being cooked in front of you, try Cuyahoga Falls’ Raj Mahal or Hibachi Japan Steak House, which was featured on usatoday.com’s list of places to eat in Cuyahoga Falls. Akron’s Saffron Patch will also be happy to oblige. For more casual fare (some so casual that you don’t even get out of your car), check out Swensons Drive In, whose

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cheeseburgers were named best in the country in Gourmet magazine. Swensons has a longtime friendly rivalry with Skyway Drive In, and both operations—which feature carhops and old-fashioned shakes—have their loyal fans. Cafes in the Akron area include Hamad’s on Main, Stray Dog Café and Chameleon Café. Buckeye sports fans go to cheer on Ohio State at Woody’s Bar. Bars and dance clubs rule the downtown nightlife. Lux Nightclub is a great place to hang for a drink and some dancing. Lock 4 features hot jazz and cool blues. Barley House is a popular sports-themed restaurant and bar that has a giant garage door that opens to the street. Jilly’s Music Room is a combination eatery and bar that serves up tapas fare and the hottest bands in the region. Musica offers a wide range of drink specials and live music. Check out classic craft cocktails at Northside’s Speakeasy, which seats about 30 and is located on the ground floor of the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Akron’s Northside District. Kent’s food and nightlife are as diverse as its residents. The Venice

Cafe, an icon in the storied history of Kent entertainment, stands at the corner of Erie St. and Franklin Ave. where it opened in 1941. The cafe recently came under new ownership and incorporated the menu of another favorite spot, Taco Tontos, into its offerings. The original Taco Tontos, known for its baked burritos since it opened in 1972, is alive and well on Franklin Ave.; the café is a hybrid satellite spot. It now offers live music and is home to Kent’s first nanobrewery. Bar 145 is a casual gastropub, offering build-your-own burgers, a roster of bourbons and live music several times a week. If you’re looking for a simple burger and beer, try the popular Ray’s Place in Kent and now open in Fairlawn. For something more upscale in Kent, try the Franklin Hotel Bar, nestled in the lower level of the Franklin Hotel. The plush bar features classic cocktails, craft beers, fine wines and

Ride with us.

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Blu Jazz+

small plates. It’s a perfect spot for an intimate evening out, happy hour with colleagues or before and after a show at the Kent Stage. Grazers, also in Kent, was born out of the need for an affordable restaurant that serves healthy, fresh foods with simple, identifiable ingredients. You can create your own meal from their meat, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options. In fall 2017, a second location opened in the HUB at Kent State University. Downtown 140 is a fine dining restaurant in Hudson. The executive chef and owner came from the famed Johnny’s in Cleveland and brought along an enchanting atmosphere and gourmet approach to food. Northeast Ohioans have been venturing to Luchita’s Mexican Grill & Tequila Bar for more than 30 years. Other popular Hudson options for dining include The Malted Meeple (family-friendly) and newly-opened The Fork & Knife (fresh lunches and dinners for take-out). If you’re hankering for a good steak or lobster, try Timber Lodge in Medina. And the lovely Gervasi Vineyard and Italian Bistro in Canton is certainly worth the drive.

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More Restaurants, Wineries and Breweries *Bomba Tacos and Rum 3900 Medina Rd., Akron (234) 466-7180

*Natalie’s Akron 50 S. Main St. #122, Akron (234) 334-4166

*Bricco—Akron 1 W. Exchange St., Ste. 100, Akron (330) 475-1600

*Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar 54 E. Mill St., Akron (330) 762-8000

*Bricco Prime 4315 Manchester Rd., Akron (330) 644-2230

Ohio Brewing Company 804 W. Market St., Akron (234) 208-6797

*Brick House Tavern & Tap 581 Howe Ave., Cuyahoga Falls (330) 920-6244

*Old Carolina Barbecue & Catering Co. 620 Ridgewood Crossings Dr., Akron (330) 665-4222

*Cappabianca’s Natural Food Market 4946 Darrow Rd., Stow (330) 650-1588

Pad Thai 12 E. Exchange St., Akron (330) 434-1888

Portage County

*CASA D’Angelo Restaurant 893 E. Aurora Rd., Macedonia (330) 467-9699

*Pandora’s Cupcakes 3571 Brookwall Dr., Akron (330) 665-2253

*Arnie’s Westbranch Steakhouse 5343 State Route 14, Ravenna (330) 297-1717

*Corner Cup Coffeehouse 3019 Graham Rd., Stow (330) 608-2462

*Panera Bread/Medina Road 3895A Medina Rd., Akron (330) 670-9347

*Bricco—Kent 210 S. Depeyster St., Ste. 100, Kent (330) 677-1335

*Diamond Deli 378 S. Main St., Akron (330) 762-5877

*Pizza Fire 22 E. Exchange St., Akron (330) 535-4545

*Kent Cheesemonger 155. E. Erie St., Kent (330) 593-5619

El Gato Taqueria 209 Main St., Akron (330) 253-4323

*The Rail 3265. W. Market St., Fairlawn/Montrose (330) 864-7245

*Mazzulo’s Market 302 Aurora Commons Cir., Aurora (330) 562-3200

*Frank’s Place on Market 549 W. Market St., Akron (330) 376-8307

Stricklands Frozen Custard Inc. 419 Heathrow Dr., Cuyahoga Falls (330) 620-4400

*Ray’s Place 135 Franklin Ave., Kent (330) 673-2233

*Grape and Granary 915 Home Ave., Akron (330) 633-7223

*Swensons Drive In Restaurants 680 E. Cuyahoga Falls Ave., Akron (330) 928-3797

Stark County

*Hyde Park Prime Steak House 4073 Medina Rd., Akron (330) 670-6303

*The Tangier 532 W. Market St., Akron (330) 376-7171

*Jerzee’s Sports Grille 1019 E. Turkeyfoot Lake Rd., Akron (330) 896-9464

*Tavern of Richfield 3960 Broadview Rd., Richfield (330) 659-0610

*Jilly’s Music Room 111 N. Main St., Akron (330) 576-5960

*Thirsty Dog Brewing Company 529 Grant St., Akron (330) 252-2739

*Kingfish 115 Montrose West Ave., Copley (330) 777-2005

*Totally Cooked Inc./ Catering*Market*Bakery 2730 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls (330) 923-9964

Medina County *A Cupcake a Day 115 W. Liberty St., Medina (330) 389-1247 Fireside Restaurant at Rustic Hills 5399 River Styx Rd., Medina (330) 725-4281 High & Low Winery 588 Medina Rd., Medina (844) 466-4456 Jilbert Winery 1496 Columbia Rd., Valley City (216) 781-4120 *Miss Molly’s Tea Room & Gift Shop 140 W. Washington St. #6, Medina (330) 725-6830

*Driftwood Restaurant at Embassy Suites by Hilton Akron-Canton Airport 7883 Freedom Ave., NW, North Canton (330) 305-0500 *Gervasi Vineyard and Italian Bistro 1700 55th St., NE, Canton (330) 497-1000 *Twisted Olive 5430 Massillion Rd., North Canton (330) 899-0550

Summit County Akron Coffee Roasters 30 N. High St., Akron (330) 318-8018 *Akron Family Restaurant 250 W. Market St., Akron (330) 376-0600 *Barley House 222 S. Main St., Akron (330) 374-0925 *The Basement 255 E. Waterloo Rd., Akron (330) 724-0477

*Luigi’s 105 N. Main St., Akron (330) 253-2999 *Montrose Bar and Grill 4073 Medina Rd., Akron (330) 666-4131 *Mustard Seed Market & Café 867 W. Market St., Akron (330) 434-7333 3885 W. Market St., Akron (330) 666-7333

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Totally Cooked to Go 388 S. Main St. (Inside AES Bldg.), Akron (330) 294-1102 *West Side Bakery—Akron 2303 W. Market St., Akron (330) 836-4101 *Greater Akron Chamber member

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RETAIL THERAPY The Greater Akron area offers even the pickiest shoppers options to meet every need—from antiques, to boutiques to locally grown food.

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reater Akron has every shopping option anyone could desire—ranging from traditional malls (Summit Mall and Chapel Hill Mall in Akron and Belden Village Mall on the north side of Canton) to neighborhood boutiques and resale shops in almost every neighborhood. Shoppers come from all over Northeast Ohio to peruse gems such as Mustard Seed Market & Café (in Montrose and Highland Square), Don Drumm Studios & Gallery and Rubber City Clothing, among others. The historic town of Hudson is home to First and Main, 43 Village Way, a collection of national, regional and local merchants charmingly placed amid village greens and brick streets. Gracylane, a locally owned boutique, carries both highly popular and unique gifts and collectibles. (There’s another Gracylane at 100 E. Erie St. in Kent.) New retailers in Hudson include Suburban Sit, a furniture and fine interiors retailer, Gwendolyn Elizabeth,

which sells handmade soaps and spa products and Scout & Molly’s, an upscale women’s apparel store that opened in 2016. On Hudson’s oldfashioned N. Main St., The Learned Owl has been a destination spot for true bibliophiles since 1968 and is one of the last independent booksellers of its kind. In the Village of Peninsula, a collection of artists’ galleries and gift shops caters to the many visitors who come through on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad or by bike on the Towpath Trail. Terry Lumber & Supply Co. relocated from Boston, Ohio in 1986. It’s far more than a place to pick up a few two-by-fours (although it has those, plus fine wood finishes, molding and hardware). Specialty items such as Radio Flyer wagons, Lodge cast iron cookware and handmade birdfeeders draw shoppers looking for a trip to simpler times. Century Cycles, which also has stores in Medina and suburban Cleveland, has a mind-bending, legg r e a t e r a k r o n c h a m b e r. o r g

stretching selection of cycles from the top names in the biking world, including Raleigh, Giant Defy and Surlys. Whether your passion is granite or gravel or even snow, Century Cycles has exactly the right ride to fit your plans and your physique. The store also rents bicycles by the hour, day or week. Drive or take the train to Peninsula, rent a bike at Century and see the sights around the lovely village and along the Towpath Trail. Century Cycles also sponsors night rides along the Towpath and bike challenges for kids. Kent’s downtown offers unique options for everyone of every age. Acorn Alley, part of the city’s spectacular downtown revitalization, offers one-of-a kind shops such as The Fashion School Store, featuring items designed and crafted by Kent State University Fashion School students. These are glad rags you won’t find anywhere else—or on anyone else. Carnaby Street Style offers London-inspired clothing, shoes and accessories. On Water St., you’ll find Smithers-Oasis, which sells the most recent trends in floral and horticultural products.

Woodsy’s music-audio-video store on S. Water St. is a magnet for both the musically inclined and the passionate, from school band members to charttopping rockers. In 1972, Woodsy’s opened as an instrument repair shop in a tiny storefront. Today, 44 years and several thousand square feet later, Woodsy’s is Northeast Ohio’s largest independent, family-owned and operated music store. It’s the kind of store musicians love to discover because of its selection of gear, prices matching the chain stores and overall atmosphere of cool camaraderie. Experienced musicians are available for consultations or on-the-spot jamming. Kent Central Gateway Footwear opened in spring 2015 in the new multimodal transportation complex (called Kent Central Gateway) at 201 E. Erie St. It has an enormous selection of high-end, hip shoes such as Doc Martens, Born, Tom’s One for One and Merrell. Kent Central Gateway Footwear is a sister store to the popular Wild Earth Outfitters at 175 E. Erie St., which specializes, as one might expect, in gear and clothing suitable for conquering the wilderness. The store

carries coats, backpacks, sleeping bags and hiking boots by top names in outdoor gear, including Patagonia, The North Face and Lowe. If water is your primary vehicle, look for kayaks by Native and Hurricane (paddles too, of course). Main Street Medina has nearly 200 retail and antique shops, restaurants and several fitness centers. Fabric Obsession sells everything you need for quilting. The Gardener’s Cottage offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor gifts and specialty items. La Placa Jewelers will custom make almost anything you desire. Medina is known for its antique shopping. Destinations for those in the know include Medina Antique Mall, Brothers Antique Mall, Medina Depot Antiques and This-N-That Antiques and Collectibles. The City of Akron itself has a superb mix of malls, centers and neighborhood enclaves. Akron’s artsy Highland Square is home to hip boutiques and vintage shops. Revival carries the work of indie and local artists, but it is also a consignment, secondhand and vintage store where you just may find that perfect


LISA BALL PONDER Henry B. Ball West, President & Fourth Generation Owner Moved from Orlando, FL to Akron in 2015.


part from having one of the top national park systems in the country, Akron is a place I am proud to call home because of its culture and community. It is a great place to raise a family, with so many family-friendly things to do in all seasons from the weekend markets and corn maze at Szalay’s Farm to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad themed train adventures! In the spring, we enjoy planting community flowerbeds as part of the Keep Akron Beautiful program. The summer is for Portage Lakes, the Akron Zoo and downtown Akron Lock 3 music festivals.The fall marks the start of the Akron Symphony season, turning of the leaves, pumpkin patches and apple picking. My personal favorite— winter—is just magical! When the snow falls and the holiday lights go up, a festive tradition shows itself all over town. I am proud to raise my children in a region full of love, tradition and community.” 20 1 7-20 1 8

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1950s-era dinette as well as 1970s Gucci goods. It also carries hip Akron souvenirs, such as tire magnets and t-shirts with insider slogans. Goodwill’s new boutique store, blue, opened on S. Main St. in 2015, offering vintage shopping in a more upscale venue. When downtown, make sure to visit Rubber City Clothing at 21 Furnace St., where you can find apparel and accessories that promote Akron in funky, fun ways, including lots of new LeBron gear. NOTO (76 S. Main St.) brings city style to Akron, offering locally, USAmade contemporary women’s fashion. A must for shoppers is the Don Drumm Studios & Gallery at 437 Crouse St., near The University of Akron campus, featuring the work of North American artists, including that of the locally legendary Drumm himself. You’ll see Drumm’s work, from sculptures to decorative freeway sound walls, all around Greater Akron. Drumm set up his studio near UA in 1960. In 1971, together with his wife, Lisa Drumm, he expanded the studio to incorporate a one-room gallery. Since then, the enterprise has grown extensively and now embraces eight buildings, providing gallery facilities for over 500 artists and studio space for three resident artists.


Rubber City Clothing

goods. The second-floor café offers elegant meals and juice drinks created from the market’s offerings, and the outdoor patio is hip for both work and relaxing. All stores have an extensive wine and beer selection in both the market and the café. The family-owned Mustard Seed, founded in 1981, is the largest locally owned natural and organic retailer in Ohio. It also provides education and information on food issues and the environment. West Point Market, an internationally honored gourmet retailer, closed its landmark Akron location in 2016, but fans of its legendary Killer Brownies had no need to fear. The grocer re-opened in Fairlawn in 2016, at 33 Shiawassee Ave., just two miles west of its old Akron store. Akron-based Acme Fresh Markets have been feeding Greater Akron families for more than 120 years. The stores carry gourmet and homemade items along with everyday necessities. Buehler’s was founded in 1929 and has 13 stores in Northeast Ohio, including Massillon, Medina, Wadsworth and

Portage Lakes. It prides itself on selling sustainable, locally grown products, gluten-free options and alternative fuel sources. Cleveland-based, familyowned Heinen’s has locations in Aurora and Hudson.

FARMERS’ MARKETS If you’re looking for fresh, Ohiogrown groceries, the Akron region has many farmers’ markets to choose from. The Medina Farmers Market is open from May through October on the historic Medina Square. Hudson Farmers Market on Darrow Rd. is open on Saturdays from June through October. In Akron, try Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow, Countryside Farmers’ Market at Old Trail School or Shaffers Farm Market, which specializes in Amish goods. If Kent is more convenient, Haymakers Farmers’ Market is open on Saturdays throughout the summer months. In the winter, Kent Winter Market on Temple Ave. is open on Saturdays.


Mustard Seed Market & Café (867 W. Market St., Highland Square) is the grocer’s newest store. The store is the third Mustard Seed location. The flagship store is in Greater Akron’s Montrose area, 3885 Medina Rd. The Highland Square location offers healthy, fresh and organic foods as well as vitamins and assorted home



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Akron Zoo



reater Akron is a wonderful place to raise a family. There are enough activities to keep everyone happy. These are some of the best ideas, but we’ve included more throughout the magazine.

The Greater Akron area offers families with children many options for a day out. Check out the Akron Zoo, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and Soap Box Derby for starters.

AKRON ZOO The Akron Zoo is a nonprofit world conservation zoo with over 700 animals from around the world. It is growing more popular every year, surpassing its record attendance level last year. While the snow leopard cubs— Layan, Attai and Asha—born in 2016, are still the zoo’s most popular exhibit, in June 2017 a new exhibit called Curious Creatures was unveiled. It includes animals that are unusual or have unique adaptations. Located just west of downtown Akron, the zoo strives to provide a dynamic, financially responsible, guest-centered animal experience that is energized by innovation and fun. 20 1 7-20 1 8

The Akron Zoo is open daily and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

THE CUYAHOGA VALLEY SCENIC RAILROAD This one-of-a-kind railway winds its way alongside an historic canal through the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area. You can enjoy stops for shopping, eating, biking, hiking or sightseeing. You can board your bike and ride one way to one of the Towpath Trail stops for only $3 or sign up for a longer adventure including wine and beer tastings, a murder mystery tour and various theme dinners. Special events for children and families include the Polar Express tour held every winter. The train follows the route of the popular movie with the same name.

MORE TRAINS Travel back in time at the Northern Ohio Railway Museum, which opened

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FAMILY OUTINGS in 2017 in Seville. The museum is pursuing its mission to collect, preserve, restore, display and operate streetcars, interurbans and other rolling stock. Most of the equipment either is or will be restored for operation. The museum is open to the public for walking tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, mid-May through October. Admission is free.

High streets. The museum also uses the garden as a studio for artists to work.

and information about fair trade products and a farmers’ market.





Each July, hundreds of boys and girls from nearly every state and several countries converge at Akron’s Derby Downs to compete in the Derby. For 82 years, the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby has made Akron its permanent world headquarters. Before you start building your car, check the official website soapboxderby.org for official rules. The track is also open year-round for luge practice, corporate events and other non-Derby festivities.

Every September, the Global Village Festival of Greater Akron celebrates the ethnic heritage and international diversity of Greater Akron at Lock 3 in downtown Akron. Local cultural societies, councils and micro-community groups are invited to communicate their traditions and values. The event boasts of beautiful traditional wardrobes, performances and interactive activities including fitness exploration (e.g. Zumba, Bokwa, Tai Chi, Yoga, hooping, belly dance) for enthusiastic festival attendees. The festival also hosts forums to discuss misconceptions about immigration, race and religion. Other attractions include food, merchandise, sales of

AKRON ART MUSEUM GARDEN The Bud and Susie Rogers Garden has been open to the public since July 2016. The garden is located on an acre of green space between Broadway and

The Akron Children’s Museum opened a permanent location at Lock 3 in 2016. For an easy entry price of $5, kids and adults can experience handson play through a wide variety of exploratory experiences.

The City of Akron sponsors free concerts by area bands in the summer throughout the city at neighborhood parks including Hardesty Park, Firestone Park, Shadyside Park, Cascade Plaza, the Akron Art Museum, Goodyear Heights Metro Park and Lock 3 and Lock 4. Many parks include playgrounds where kids can burn off some energy while parents listen to the tunes. There’s also the Heinz Poll Ballet in the Parks modern dance series and outdoor movie nights in all kinds of places, including Akron’s historic Glendale Cemetery. Head to North Canton (about 15 minutes south) for a tour of the Harry London Candies Inc. Chocolate Factory. Its 45-minute tours let you view the production floor and wind up in the largest chocolate store in the midwest, with more than 500 types of gourmet chocolates and candies, so you will have ample opportunity to satisfy your sweet tooth. Reservations are required.


Where can you fin d more th an

and have

Have an Adventure YOU’VE NEVER BEEN THIS CLOSE! akronzoo.org

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Make amazing memories with your family and friends as you get nose-to-nose with more than 700 exotic and endangered animals at the Akron Zoo. Go to akronzoo.org to plan your visit!


The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad runs its annual Polar Express trips from November through December. The trains depart from Independence and Akron. Tickets go on sale in the fall and sell out quickly. Santa kicks off the holiday season in November each year in the Welcome Santa Parade. Come watch the floats and bands as they march down Main St. in this traditional downtown Akron event. The John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron hosts the annual Holiday Tree Festival. More than 150 donated decorated trees and wreaths are on display each year, attracting more than 200,000 visitors to this free event. Purchase of the trees and other holiday items benefit Akron Children’s Hospital. First Night Akron is a family-friendly, alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration that attracts visitors from all over. Children can create art, watch jugglers and other performers, see science demonstrations, ice skate and witness fireworks. The fun runs from 6 p.m. to midnight, with fireworks displays at 8:30 p.m. and midnight. Admission is free for children 10 and under. g r e a t e r a k r o n c h a m b e r. o r g



Lock 3 Ice Skating

GET YOUR GAME ON From Skiing to Yoga, the Greater Akron area offers options for the athlete in everyone


hether you are looking for daily exercise or a true athletic experience, the Akron area has something for you.

SWIMMING Options abound. There are six Akronarea YMCAs, from Green to Cuyahoga Falls, which offer Olympic-size pools, coffee bars, libraries and modern fitness equipment. Membership at one Y allows you to visit all the others in the region (including seven in Stark County) at any time. Reciprocal facilities vary, so call first. Water Works Family Aquatic Center in Cuyahoga Falls is a great spot to cool down in the summer. Open from May through August, it offers a half million gallons of fun where guests can float on a lazy river, shoot down the drop or flume slides, swim laps or just sit back and enjoy the beautiful zerodepth pool and landscaping. Poolside cabanas can be rented for the day. The 20 1 7-20 1 8

park is open to all, but Cuyahoga Falls residents get discounted admission. If you’re into swimming with nature, try Munroe Falls Metro Park or Silver Creek Park in Norton. They offer lake swimming (dogpaddling, but no dogs allowed in lake), picnic areas, pedal boat rentals and play areas. Admission is charged for entrance to both parks each summer. Lifeguards are on duty, and a first-aid station and snack stand are available at both. Monroe Falls also offers soccer as well as basketball, volleyball and tennis courts. Membership to the Shaw Jewish Community Center in west Akron is open to people of all walks of life and features indoor and outdoor pools, fitness facilities and more. Medina County Recreation Center, a complete fitness facility, has a leisure pool with geysers and a 129-foot slide. Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium has pools for serious swimming, a therapy pool, an indoor water park, various

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FAMILY-FRIENDLY SPORTS aerobic classes and weight and training equipment, plus areas for just relaxing. The three Wellness Centers run by Cleveland Clinic Akron General have spacious pools, workout rooms and fitness classes. Family memberships are available at a discount.

offers a range of classes, including Reiki with aroma and sound therapy. In the summer, take advantage of outdoor classes, including the Summit Metro Parks’ Vinyasa Yoga in the Parks in July. The Akron Art Museum offers outdoor Yoga, Zumba and Tai Chi.



The Shaw JCC and The National Basketball Academy offer yearround programs. The University of Akron runs a basketball clinic for children during the off-season in July. Northwest Akron Youth Basketball Association also offers clinics for children.

The Kiraly Fencing Academy near downtown Akron offers classes in Japanese and European fencing and martial arts. It holds special classes for children 12 and under and teen and adult classes. Its home is an old building on N. Howard St. that has been renovated to look like a 15th century castle. Kent State University also has a fencing club open to the public.

Ice skating fans will find many free outdoor rinks in the area in the winter, including one at Lock 3 in downtown Akron. For indoor skating, Kent State University’s rink is open to the public all year for skating and hockey, as is Center Ice Sports Complex near the Akron-Canton Airport in Canton. If you have a skateboarder in the family, visit the Akron Skate Park near Derby Downs on the east side of town. It was designed with the help of skateboarders ages 8-18. It comprises 19,000 square feet of fiberglassreinforced concrete and includes bowls, a pyramid, spines and quarter pipes. A BMX track for stunt and bike racing is adjacent to the skate park. Both are free and open to all.



YOGA Dozens of programs in Greater Akron offer single classes or a longer-term membership. In the Akron area, Yoga Bliss offers unlimited monthly classes for $50 a month, Release Yoga has won many awards for its programs and Blue Hen Yoga holds Sunday morning classes. Hudson’s Yoga Lounge appeals to those who prefer no judgment, no expectations. One Love Yoga Boutique, a yoga studio and retail boutique, opened in downtown Kent in 2017. Among many studios in Medina is Half Moon Yoga, which

Greater Akron has riding academies and farms that offer stables and horseback riding lessons (many provide horses, but call ahead), including Bath Equestrian Center in Akron and White Horse Equestrian in Streetsboro. Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s seven bridle trails vary in length and difficulty, from less than a mile to nearly five miles.


There are dozens of public golf courses in the Greater Akron area—from Loyal Oak in Norton to Turkeyfoot in New Franklin. Mud Run Golf Course is a City of Akronowned and operated public facility and home of The First Tee of Akron. This 9-hole, par 34 golf course boasts a state-of-the-art practice driving range, chipping and pitching green and 9-hole putting green. In addition, the property has a spacious clubhouse and outdoor covered picnic area. The First Tee program provides affordable golf facilities for those with no or little previous exposure to the game.

SKIING, TUBING, SLEDDING Boston Mills/Brandywine in Peninsula is the biggest ski resort in Ohio, with more than 15 trails with quad and triple chairlifts and surface lifts. There is also a ski school and daily lessons available for beginners or those wanting to sharpen their skills. Trails range in difficulty from beginner to expert. All-day, morning, half-day, evening and late-night skiing are available. The resort also features snow tubing at Polar Blast, with up to 20 tubing lanes to plummet down. Nearby and on the mountain, you can find lodging, shops, services, bars and restaurants. The area also includes sledding hills like favorites at Monroe Falls Metro Park and Goodyear Metro Park in Akron.

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InfoCision Stadium—Summa Field

WINNING WAYS Competition is the name of the game.


irestone Country Club is home to the World Golf ChampionshipBridgestone Invitational. The city also hosts the Indians Double-A affiliate, the Akron RubberDucks and the All-American Soap Box Derby. And in a short drive, you can catch a Browns, Cavaliers or Indians game in Cleveland.

FIRESTONE STADIUM Firestone Stadium is the home of the Akron Racers, the first National Pro Fastpitch women’s softball team. The stadium was built in 1924 and dedicated on July 25, 1925, by Harvey S. Firestone Sr., founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. The stadium in Akron’s Firestone Park neighborhood hosts local, regional, state and national events and draws thousands of visitors to the city. The 80-by-160-foot indoor practice facility permits players to train year-round without worrying about the Northeast Ohio weather.

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INFOCISION STADIUM-SUMMA FIELD The University of Akron’s $70 million football stadium stands at the heart of the UA campus and opened in 2009. The stadium seats 33,000 fans with room for an 11,000-seat future expansion. It includes 522 club seats, 38 loges, 17 suites and a presidential suite for 52. It also features state-of-theart locker rooms and sports medicine facilities. The venue hosts many of the men’s and women’s UA teams.

CUB CADET FIELD AT FIRSTENERGY STADIUM If you like soccer, Akron is a fan paradise. Since 2007, The University of Akron Division I men’s soccer program has posted a winning record. Completely revamped in 2010, the soccer stadium and field at UA is home to both the men’s and women’s teams. A two-tiered grandstand with chair-back and bleacher-back seats and team meeting rooms surrounds the field.

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The Akron RubberDucks, the Double-A Affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, play at beautiful Canal Park in downtown Akron. Canal Park has 25 luxury suites; The Game Grill + Bar is a full-service restaurant open on game days. The Duck Club by Firestone, is a private event space. Attendees can also enjoy two premium picnic areas: McDonalds Family Territory in left field and the Tiki Terrace in right field. Nightly promotions throughout the 71 home games each season provide family-friendly entertainment, including Fireworks Friday, Giveaway Saturday and Sunday Family FUNdays with kids allowed to play catch on the field before the game and run the bases after the game. Many of the players are just a step away from making their break in the MLB with the Indians, while many Cleveland Indians players come to Akron to get back in shape after an injury. Visit akronrubberducks.com for promotions and schedule.

Located on the outskirts of Akron, Firestone Country Club has the finest 54 holes of golf of any private club in the country. The country club’s water tower is a familiar sight to fans that associate it with some of the best professional golf in the game’s history. Firestone’s renowned South Course is an 18-hole championship course redesigned by the famed Robert Trent Jones in 1960. Over the years, it has hosted numerous pro tournaments, including several PGA championships. Each summer, Firestone hosts the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational, which features top-ranked PGA players. Bridgestone has extended its title sponsorship of the World Golf Championships event that will keep the $8.75 million tournament in Akron through 2018.

MEMORIAL ATHLETIC AND CONVOCATION CENTER (KENT STATE UNIVERSITY) The MAC Center opened in 1952 as the Kent State Memorial Gymnasium in honor of the brave Kent State Students and alumni who fought in World War II. It hosts winning NCAA Golden Flashes basketball, gymnastics, volleyball and wrestling events, as well as convocation and select entertainment events. The facility underwent a major facelift in the ‘90s, with interior renovations including team rooms, galleries, trophy rooms, and the addition of an inviting façade to welcome Kent State students, alumni and fans.

DERBY DOWNS Derby Downs in east Akron has been the home of the All-American Soap Box Derby since 1936. Each July, hundreds of children from across the United States and several countries meet for a week of fun and competition at the original gravity games. National Geographic and USA Today called it an “icon” of Americana and a great stop on any family vacation. FirstEnergy Corp. became the Derby’s title sponsor in 2012. The Derby’s Education Program uses the tools and values of Soap Box Derby® racing to introduce science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to students in an engaging way. The education program began in 2010 and has rapidly grown; more than 350 classrooms in the United States use the program. It includes the Gravity Racing Challenge®

Canal Park

STEM Team Competition, the Soap Box Derby Mini-Car Program and Soap Box Derby STEM Summer Camps. The Derby’s track is now open for corporate events and other outside activities. Reserve through the Derby office.

AKRON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AKRON MARATHON RACE SERIES The Akron Marathon celebrated its 15th year in 2017 with more than 20,000 participants, 4,000 volunteers and 120,000 spectators. Events include an 8K & 1 Mile, Half Marathon & 10K, the FirstEnergy Marathon, Half Marathon, Team Relay, the Kids Fun Run and the Health & Fitness Expo. For more information on running the Blue Line, check out www.akronmarathon.org.

FIRSTENERGY STADIUM The home of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, the stadium opened in 1999 on the site of the old Municipal Stadium on Lake Erie’s shore. To keep traditions going, the new playing field runs east to west, just like the old one, and the infamous “Dawg Pound” can still be found on the east side of the stadium.

PROGRESSIVE FIELD Home of the American League’s Cleveland Indians, this world-class facility was created expressly for baseball and designed specifically for Cleveland. The urban ballpark and Cleveland landmark offers a fan-friendly facility with an intimate environment. 35,225 seats are angled toward home plate, and bullpens are raised above the field so fans can watch the pitchers warm up. Go Tribe!

QUICKEN LOANS ARENA This high-tech arena is the home of the NBA’s World Champion Cleveland Cavaliers, the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters, and the AFL’s Cleveland Gladiators and host to the best entertainment in the region. The “Q” welcomes nearly 1.5 million fans to 200-plus events each year, including world-class concerts and family shows. 28 E x p e r i e n c e

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Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail

EXPERIENCE THE OUTDOORS Visitors come from all over the region to visit Greater Akron’s parks and recreation areas.


reater Akron’s parks are a getaway. Outdoor exercise suddenly becomes seamless for anyone, from biking on the 34-mile Bike & Hike Trail, part of Summit Metro Parks, to the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, a destination for bikers, joggers—or for those who just want to stroll on the paved, shaded path that follows the route of the canal. Our Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP), the only national park in Ohio, is among the top 10 most visited national parks and was voted among the top nationally to visit by CNN in 2016. CVNP receives more than 2.2 million recreational visits each year, as many visitors each year as Yosemite 20 1 7-20 1 8

National Park and many more than the White House. The national park is accessible from several highways, including I-77, I-271, I-80 and State Route 8. The winding Cuyahoga River forms the backbone of this park of nearly 33,000 acres. Some 250 historic structures, including residences and farms, are located in the park, in addition to the nationally significant Ohio & Erie Canal and the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway. Brandywine Falls is a favorite spot of park visitors. The 60-foot falls were carved by Brandywine Creek, and a boardwalk lets one see the waterfall head-on. Also visit the smaller, quieter Buttermilk Falls and Blue Hen Falls when you’re in a more contemplative mood. In addition to the CVNP, there are dozens of other spectacular parks in the region. We’re sure you’ll enjoy discovering your own special spot. Your happy place is closer than you think.

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Cuyahoga Valley National Park

SUMMIT COUNTY Summit Metro Parks, founded in 1921, manages 14,300 acres devoted to natural resources and recreation. The system maintains 16 developed parks and 125 miles of trails, including the 34-mile Bike & Hike Trail and 22.4 miles of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. District-wide attendance in 2016 was nearly 5 million visits. Annually, an estimated 50,000 people enjoy the park’s Fall Hiking Spree. The park system also coordinates the awardwinning Spree For All, a hiking series for people of all abilities, as well as the Summer Biking Spree, a go-at-yourpace pedaling tour of sections of the multi-purpose trails. In the summer of 2015, the system launched its Running Spree, a program similar to its Hiking Spree and a reflection of its position as official training partner of the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Series (which ends with the Akron Marathon). The county parks have always been a popular location for runners and walkers. And, on average, more than 30,000 visitors enjoy programs and hikes led by naturalists each year. In July 2015, Summit Metro Parks took over the 811-acre Nimisila Reservoir in southern Summit County and 200 acres of 30 E x p e r i e n c e

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surrounding parkland from the state. Camping here is available from May 1 to October 31. One of the most popular parks in Summit County is F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm (1828 Smith Rd., Akron). The 104-acre Nature Realm is managed by Summit Metro Parks and features a 10,000-square-foot visitor center that includes interactive exhibits of animals and plants native to our region. It’s a great outdoor classroom for kids. There are also several gardens, observation decks, hiking trails, two ponds and a tall-grass prairie. Dogs are not permitted at the Nature Realm. Adjacent to the Nature Realm is Sand Run Metro Park (1350 Sand Run Pkwy., Akron), which features a soccer field, several hiking and jogging trails and areas for sledding and ice skating. There’s even a parcourse trail that guides visitors through a workout. One pavilion and one open-air shelter can be reserved. The Old Portage Shelter is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Hampton Hills Metro Park (2092 Theiss Rd., Akron), which opened in 2016, is the first mountain bike trail in Summit Metro Parks, nearly seven miles long. As the expansion continues beyond 2017, the Hampton Hills

Mountain Bike Area will have up to 16 miles of trails to explore by bike. The area is for mountain bikes only, and helmets are required. Pedestrians and pets are prohibited. Combined with the expanding East Rim Trail in CVNP, which will eventually reach 10 miles long, Akron is set to become a regional destination for the sport. Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park (5779 Riverview Rd., Peninsula) includes a picnic area, fishing access to the Cuyahoga River and access to the Towpath Trail. The 1.2-mile Quarry Trail takes visitors through the forest to the old quarry. Historic millstones are scattered along the way. The 34-mile Bike & Hike Trail (various trailheads in Stow and surrounding areas) is the longest trail managed by the Summit Metro Parks. This paved trail follows the course of the old Akron, Bedford & Cleveland Railroad, which was the longest electric railroad of its kind when it was built in 1895. Silver Creek Metro Park (5000 Hometown Rd., Norton) offers lake swimming, hiking and bridle trails, pedal boat rental, fishing docks and the Pheasant Run Shelter. Admission is charged for entrance to the summer g r e a t e r a k r o n c h a m b e r. o r g

swimming area, and the shelter must be reserved. The bathhouse includes restrooms, changing areas and lockers. Lifeguards are on duty, and a first-aid station and snack stand are available. The park includes picnic sites adjacent to the beach, a children’s play structure and a pathway for wheelchair access to the water’s edge. Fishing is permitted within designated areas along the lakeshore. Liberty Park (9999 Liberty Rd., Twinsburg), in the northeast corner of Summit County, is a 3,000-squaremile joint venture of Summit Metro Parks and the City of Twinsburg. Together they purchased woodlands, pastures, wetlands and pristine walls of sandstone that are more than 80 feet tall in some places. A six-foot-tall black bear statue greets visitors to the new Liberty Park Nature Center. The bear’s tracks are found in the concrete walkway that leads to the $3 million facility. The building includes 3,900 square feet of space. Nearby is a picnic shelter, an outdoor amphitheater, a campfire area, a plaza surrounded by ponds and two new hiking trails. A Nature Play area was also added in 2017. Silver Springs Park (5070 Stow Rd., Stow) is home to Bow Wow Beach, an off-leash dog park. It includes more than seven acres of enclosed land with grassy hills and a sandy beach that surround a threeacre lake with a jumping dock just for Fido. The beach area is closed in the winter, but dogs can still run around all year or try the agility course that was built by volunteers. Portage Lakes State Park (5031 Manchester Rd., Akron). Eight lakes encompass 2,034 acres at Portage Lakes State Park in south Akron. Boating, swimming and fishing are popular. The park’s wetlands attract waterfowl and shorebirds. Sixty-eight non-electric and six electric campsites are available. Two tepees are available from May through October. Canoes and pontoon boats can be rented at nearby businesses, or you can bring your own. Virginia Kendall State Park (Trowel Rd., Peninsula). Home to the Ritchie Ledges and the Happy Days Visitor Center, Virginia Kendall has long drawn visitors to its towering sandstone walls, which were the prehistoric edge of Lake Erie. The

park was developed for visitors during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps, which built four shelters designed to harmonize with the surrounding natural patterns. The City of Akron Recreation Bureau provides dozens of facilities throughout the city, from community parks to recreation centers, sledding hills, a skating rink, soccer and softball fields, a dog park and swimming pools (akronohio.gov/cms/recreationbureau).


Portage Parks manages 1,300 acres and 14 miles of hike and bike trails, connecting communities across Portage County with other regional trail systems. As of 2017, the Portage Park District is finalizing a comprehensive strategic Parks Master Plan project to improve its park system throughout Portage County over the next 10 years. The plan will examine parks, programs and community needs for projects and improvements. The county MEDINA COUNTY currently has 10 parks that provide Medina County Park District, year-round recreational opportunities formed in 1965, maintains more than (portageparkdistrict.org). 20 parks. It holds programs all year, Towner’s Woods Park (2296 ranging from yoga to cycling to fishing. Ravenna Rd., Franklin Township) is a Its Wolf Creek Environmental Center naturally diverse 175-acre park that is (6100 Ridge Rd., Sharon Center) is the site of a 2,000-year-old Hopewell a 104-acre wildlife habitat park with Indian mound. It has hiking trails, picnic meadows, forests, deep-water ponds, shelters, sledding hills and a nationally known cross-country ski trail. Havre’s Woods Park (5555 New Milford Rd., Ravenna) provides 33 acres of woodland and recreational grounds including soccer and softball fields, playgrounds, picnic facilities, a shelter and a Vita Course with fitness stations. Fred Fuller Park (off Middlebury Rd., Kent) is made up of 56 acres that border and traverse the Cuyahoga River. It has a ball field complex, a shelter, a playground area, restrooms and a concession F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm stand. A nature trail along the edge of the river stretches the entire length of the park and a pine plantation and wetlands. connects to the John Brown Tannery Medina City Parks and Recreation Park on Stow St. Department maintains numerous West Branch State Park (5708 parks in the city. Memorial Park (E. Esworthy Rd., Ravenna) has picnic Homestead Dr.) has a pool, pavilion, areas and shelters, hiking trails, play structure, nine-hole disc golf fishing and hunting areas, trails for course and dog park on its 10.5 acres. snowmobiling and cross-country skiing, Fred Greenwood Park (W. Sturbridge a boat ramp, docks, a campground and Dr.) has 38 acres and includes a splash a swimming beach. pad that is open Memorial Day through Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Labor Day (medinaoh.org/government/ Park (State Route 282, Garrettsville) departments/parks). provides an outdoor experience to Wadsworth has an extensive park visitors with its rugged cliffs and system, including 14 neighborhood diverse plant life typical of a more parks and the spectacular Wadsworth northern climate. A day-use park, the Memorial Park. The Memorial Park ledges are popular with seasoned includes a fishing pond, paved hikers and picnic lovers who just like a walkways and shelters. A softball spectacular view. field, two tennis courts and a sand Tinker’s Creek State Park volleyball court are located near the (10303 Aurora-Hudson Rd., Kaleidoscope community playground. Streetsboro) has cross-country skiing Brunswick City Parks offers softball, areas, hiking trails, a picnic shelter and tennis, playgrounds and picnic areas. a lake for ice fishing. 20 1 7-20 1 8

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Akron Civic Theatre

STATE OF THE ARTS From outside, inside, virtual to visual, you can find almost any form of art in the Greater Akron region.


e cover it all—from theater, to a nationally acclaimed art museum, to free, innovative outdoor art. Our art museum, which boasts a stunning collection of modern and contemporary art, unites an historic U.S. post office with a European “roof cloud,” a cantilevers steel armature that extends over the new and old architecture. We have Shakespeare in the garden and poetry slams in the park. You get the idea. Here’s a sampling of the creative arts the Greater Akron region offers.

ARTSNOW ArtsNow (artsnow.org) was created as a result of the Summit County Arts and Culture Initiative, under the guidance of the GAR Foundation and the Knight Foundation. The funders came together to get a clear understanding of the artistic and cultural landscape in Summit County. They learned that consumers had to 32 E x p e r i e n c e

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work too hard to find arts and culture offerings and that business valued a vibrant arts and culture sector as a key tool for talent attraction and retention— yet business had felt disconnected from the arts. The three organizations discovered a central connector was needed for people to engage and connect with arts and culture. ArtsNow, created in 2015, strengthens Summit County by advancing its arts and culture assets and by building connections between arts and culture and the broad community. The organization provides residents of Summit County access to information about the diverse arts and culture offerings available in Summit County. It also owns and operates SummitLive365.com, a website providing a comprehensive arts, culture and entertainment calendar as well as a free portal for artists to showcase their talents. As of 2017, ArtsNow has 130 artist g r e a t e r a k r o n c h a m b e r. o r g

profiles, 256 venues, 342 organizations, 88 commissions and job opportunities currently open, and more than 1,000 events currently scheduled in Summit County. The website regularly draws more than 2,500 unique visitors every month and is generating new art consumers throughout the county.

VIEW IT OUTSIDE It’s hard to go far in Akron without “seeing” art, whether it’s sound, sense or visual. The University of Akron’s Art Bomb Brigade is breathing new life into Akron neighborhoods through public art. The brigade is a community arts program created by students of the Myers School of Art. In 2017, the fourth mural went up at Echogen Power Systems at 365 Water St. in Akron. The murals incorporate a representation of Greater Akron industry and community life. Sidewalks with Soul tune up downtown Akron city sidewalks, thanks to two Akron residents who received a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to turn unused phone booths into pieces of art, equipped with speakers that stream The Summit 91.3 music. On the first Saturday of each month, the Downtown Akron Artwalk features 24 destinations for art appreciation, shopping, dining and entertainment with offerings that fit every budget. Participating artists and galleries feature one-of-a-kind art and collectibles available for purchase as well as art openings, gallery shows, demonstrations and interactive art. Galleries are located in the Northside District on N. High St., E. and W. Market Sts. and Main St. Exhibitions, food and entertainment all change monthly. The City of Akron’s free trolley service runs the entire route, making shopping and parking convenient.

Trolley service runs from 5 through 10 p.m., and destinations open their doors between 5 and 6 p.m. Our “art“ walls have received national attention. People arriving in downtown Akron from the south are greeted with the colorful work of artist Nathan Mayfield, thanks to the Emerging Leaders group of the Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP). Mayfield’s geometric shapes and steel panels decorate an otherwise drab barrier on Broadway near the METRO Transit Center. Other art walls in Greater Akron include a mural by Jessica Lofthus on the Cascade Parking Garage/PNC Building; the funky, ginormous-like tattoo on the outside of Angel Falls Coffee Company in Highland Square; and the FDR/World War II-style mural on the Linda Theatre in Goodyear Heights. In Portage County’s Kent, two supports of the Greer Bridge over Haymaker Parkway were painted with a mural in 2012, marking the area beneath the bridge as the official home of the 40-year-old Haymaker Farmers’ Market.

THE MUSIC SCENE Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, the summer home of the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra, presents classical music most weekends in July and August. It also hosts numerous popular concerts each summer. You can buy seats in the pavilion or sit on a blanket on the grassy hill facing the stage. Picnics are encouraged either way! The restored and renovated Goodyear Theater and the adjacent Goodyear Hall re-opened in 2016 and offer a variety of year-round concerts. Jilly’s Music Room in Akron’s historic Northside District, offers a sophisticated atmosphere, a light, eclectic menu, craft cocktails and more

than 100 beers, but the highlight of the place is the mostly free live music from Wednesdays through Saturdays—the best blues, R&B, rock, indie, pop and alt-country bands. Blu Jazz+ on E. Market St. in Akron’s Historic Arts District offers one of the area’s few live jazz venues along with a photography exhibit and new dining options (Blu Plate) as of summer 2017. The piano bar at Blu Plate showcases some of Northeast Ohio’s finest pianists while you enjoy Southern-inspired food. It is open Wednesday through Saturday. Musica, which showcases local bands in an old garage in downtown Akron, recently underwent a makeover to transform it into a downtown dance club hot spot. Park for free across the street at the Akron-Summit County Public Library. Outside, the Akron Art Museum features jazz concerts in its courtyard on Thursday evenings in its Downtown@Dusk series. Lock 3 Live on Main St. in downtown Akron, features something for everyone from tribute bands to local rockers. We definitely know how to “Rock the Lock.” Its eight acres of green space provide plenty of room for getting your

Events • Tours Exhibits • Family Fun Home of F.A. Seiberling, Goodyear Co-founder 6th Largest Historic Home in the Nation 70 Acres of Historic Gardens and Grounds Free to Shop and Dine 714 N. Portage Path Akron, OH 44303 330.836.5533

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GREATER AKRON ARTS groove on. Adjacent to Lock 3 is the Lock 4 Lock Bottom Blues & Jazz Club, a free venue where you can catch popular local acts on Wednesday nights. Sunday evenings at Lock 4 feature the best of gospel music. Lock 4 is strictly BYOLC (bring your own lawn chair). Mapleside Farms in Brunswick holds “Concerts Over the Valley” on Friday nights all summer. The concerts feature tribute and retro bands. Admission is $5 for most concerts. Kent is Ohio’s own music city. It hosts several festivals every year: BeatleFest in February (free admission), the Blues Fest in July (also free), the ’Round Town Music Festival in September featuring folk music and Reggae Jam in the spring. The Kent Stage, which began as a vaudeville theater in 1927, is one of the most popular small venues for touring musicians. Many Rock and Roll Hall of Famers passed through the Kent Stage on their way to international fame. Water Street Tavern is a longtime hotspot for live music and food. Firefly Hookah Bar on Water St. is highly rated with dozens of varieties

of Hookah and live music, if that’s your thing. You can’t mention music in Kent without hearing the name Woodsy’s, the largest independent, family-owned music store in Ohio. (Woodsy’s also has a Medina location.) Stop in, and you just might see one of the touring musicians trying out some new equipment. The Kent/Blossom Music Festival is an institute for professional music training operated by Kent State University in cooperation with The Cleveland Orchestra and Blossom Music Center, presenting public performances by distinguished artist faculty and talented young musicians. They hold concerts throughout the year, primarily at KSU’s Center for the Performing Arts. Many of Greater Akron’s communities feature “gazebo” concerts from jazz to pop in the summer. The City of Akron also sponsors concerts in its parks on weekday evenings during the summer. Enjoy everything from funk to country. On four Sundays in midsummer, the parks play host to the Akron Symphony Orchestra. All city park concerts are free. The Cuyahoga

Valley National Park hosts concerts in a range of styles, including country, jazz and swing. The gazebo in the middle of Medina Square hosts family-friendly musicians in a setting almost too quaint to believe. Most performances are free. Thirsty Cowboy in Medina features country bands and line dancing, so get those boots on. Akron Symphony Orchestra, Akron Youth Orchestras and Akron Symphony Chorus have proudly served the community for more than 60 years. Maestro Christopher Wilkins is the music director. All these groups regularly perform at The University of Akron’s EJ Thomas Performing Arts Hall, which seats 3,000. EJ Thomas also presents their Broadway Series, including such hits as Kinky Boots and Jersey Boys, and hosts Tuesday Musical Association (TMA). Founded in 1897, TMA presents a premier series of international groups and performers like the Escher String Quartet and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. TMA also provides educational and scholarship programs for children.

We’re a site to see!

Come visit our

two buildings & garden courtyards

filled with works by

500+ artists

Don Drumm studios & gallery 437 CROUSE ST. AKRON 330.253.6268


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Akron Art Museum g r e a t e r a k r o n c h a m b e r. o r g


WENDY TURNER WKSU 89.7, Executive Director and General Manager Moved from Chicago to Akron in October 2016.


am totally captivated by the Akron area. And I am overjoyed to be part of a community that is so civically engaged, supportive of the arts and introspective about its attributes and its challenges. I am grateful for the community’s strong established institutions, and I am thrilled to discover Akron has a quirky, artistic and deeply independent streak. I love that Akron is a city of distinctive neighborhoods, and I look forward to exploring them all.”

VIBRANT THEATER Akron Civic Theatre, long recognized among the community’s cultural landmarks, is a restored 1920s Loew’s theater complete with a dazzling ceiling of ever-changing stars and clouds. One of only five atmospheric theaters in the country, it was built in 1929 by Marcus Loew and designed by famed theater architect, John Eberson. The interior structure was fashioned after a Moorish castle featuring Mediterranean decor, including medieval carvings and Italian alabaster sculptures. The Civic’s shows include stand-up comedy, musical productions and movie festivals. Greater Akron is also blessed with a plethora of smaller theaters. Weathervane Playhouse offers 12 productions annually, representing contemporary and classic genres. Theatre 8:15, a community theater in Green, is dedicated to nurturing and showcasing area talent of all ages by presenting eclectic productions. Historic Coach House Theatre, soon to celebrate its 90th anniversary, provides an intimate venue. Actor’s Summit at Greystone Hall offers professional equity dramas. In 2017, Rubber City Shakespeare Co. marked its fifth anniversary, and took on a new name, Rubber City Theatre. It has added new programs, plays and summer theater camps. The Rialto Theatre in Akron’s Kenmore neighborhood, restored in 2015, features two recording studios and a room with stage available for live music

concerts, comedy clubs, little theater and receptions. Those who prefer the edgy approach love the None Too Fragile Theatre, which presents relevant, bold and modern plays, often including lively dialogue between audiences and actors. Also check out Kent’s summer Porthouse Theatre Company in Cuyahoga Falls for outdoor musicals and dramas on the grounds of Blossom Music Center. Children and families are the focus of two unique organizations. Barberton’s Magical Theatre Company is the only professional resident and touring theatre for young audiences in Northeast Ohio. In 2015, Magical Theatre Company completed a $2 million renovation to its home, the Park Theater, which was built in 1919. Akron’s The Illusion Company was created specifically as a touring company designed to bring the best of theater directly into the area’s schools. It also holds residency workshops, Saturday classes and a summer theater camp.

VISUAL ARTS Downtown Akron’s Summit Artspace community art center is committed to building public awareness of the value of arts and culture to the quality of life and the local economy. It houses artists’ studios, administrative offices and the Gallery which showcases the work of local artists. There are also performance space workshop areas and meeting rooms. 20 1 7-20 1 8

The Akron Art Museum, dedicated to enriching lives through modern and contemporary art, showcases regional, national and international art created since 1850. The museum’s collection is presented in a spectacular facility designed by Viennese architectural firm Coop Himmelb(l)au and dedicated in 2007. The museum collection includes more than 5,000 works of art, with a focus on contemporary painting, sculpture and photography. Nearly a dozen exhibitions each year present prominent artists in various media including painting, sculpture, photography, video, design and glass. In addition to its ever-changing collection and exhibitions, the Museum offers many opportunities for visitors of all ages to “Live Creative” through education programs, films and video, lectures, workshops, tours, concerts and public art projects. The Akron Art Museum’s Bud and Susie Rogers Garden, a one-acre civic commons in downtown Akron along the museum’s south side, was dedicated in July 2016. Designed by OLIN Partners, the garden is a flexible green space that accommodates museum programming, temporary and permanent art experiences, performances, events and visitor-generated outdoor experiences ranging from family picnics and relaxation to Yoga practice. Because the Akron Art Museum plays a vital role in the continuing renaissance of downtown Akron, the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden is a key component and a beacon illuminating the path of

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GREATER AKRON ARTS the ongoing reimagining of downtown Akron. The City of Akron sponsors the Arts Expo at Hardesty Park each summer. This celebration of creativity is a juried exhibition of artists and crafters who gather each July to sell their wares. Kent State University Museum specializes in fashion design and textiles and has a permanent costume collection of 40,000 pieces encompassing American and European high fashion from the 18th century to the present. Upcoming exhibits include Fringe Elements and Katharine Hepburn, Dressed for Stage and Screen (coming February 2018). Cuyahoga Valley Art Center, a nonprofit organization, promotes appreciation of fine and applied arts through exhibits, programs and classes. Downtown Kent has unique art galleries that show both professional and Kent State University student work. The Nightlight Cinema at 30 N. High St. in downtown Akron is the city’s indie film theater. It currently seats only 50 but is sold out at almost every showing—twice a day, six days

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a week. It recently received a grant to expand its seating by 80 percent. The concessions are Greater Akron-centric from truffles and cakes to local beers.

DANCE Ballet Theatre of Ohio was founded in 1993 and is currently the largest classical ballet company in Northeast Ohio. For the past 21 years, the theater has presented professional quality fulllength classical ballets at the historic Akron Civic Theatre in downtown Akron. Ballet Excel Ohio (formerly Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet) was founded in 1975 by Nan Klinger. The organization has brought professionalquality, original children’s ballets to young audiences throughout Northeast Ohio. Auditions for children ages 7-16 are held every year. For four weekends each summer, the City of Akron holds the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival, which offers free public dance performances by respected national dance companies. RED Company (real.edge.dance) is a professional modern dance company serving Greater Akron. It was formed exclusively for the development of

RED Company

artistic and creative modern dance and to promote arts awareness and dance education for Greater Akron residents of all ages. It encourages professional and pre-professional dance and musical collaborations. RED holds formal dance performances for the public as well as classes, outreach performances and training.

LITERATURE AND MORE Akron-Summit County Public Library has a modern downtown Akron location (with free parking as of 2017) and 17 convenient branches. It was voted one of America’s best public libraries, according to Library Journal. The library has a noted author speaker series and free or low-cost programs from Yoga classes to web design. It has extensive programming for children and teens. The library is a Patent and Trademark Depository Library and, as such, offers access to resources from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in several formats, including full images of patents granted since 1790. The library is part of the SearchOhio consortium, which allows customers to borrow materials from 17 library systems in Ohio. It also houses a core collection of materials on grant proposal writing, foundations and fundraising and holds classes on these subjects. The library is e-reader and audiophile friendly, too. Download and return. In 2016, the Microbusiness Center was launched, which provides accessible business training, educational resources and individualized direction to entrepreneurs, students and business owners. The Akron Digital Media Center news organization also calls the library home.

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“The Cleveland Orchestra exemplifies the finest kind of effortless virtuosity.” —New York Times


“The Cleveland Orchestra is one of the greatest in the world. The playing is perfection.” —London Guardian

Experience the world’s best . . . at home in . Northeast Ohio! Great music performed by the best orchestra, with world-famous artists. A full season of performances year-round — at Severance Hall in Cleveland and during each summer’s Blossom Festival (close to Akron in Cuyahoga Valley National Park). Explore your musical interests with the very best. From symphonic masterpieces to family concerts, today’s pop artists, and more! For tickets and more information visit:

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Downtown Akron

INNOVATION FUELS OUR FUTURE Local industry has transformed the Tire Capital to a magnet for global high-tech innovative companies.


y leveraging our expertise in material science, high-end research and production, we have ignited innovation and collaboration to attract and retain some of the biggest and brightest.

ADVANCED MATERIALS Our knowledge of materials is deep, but it’s also broad. From the days of clay sewer pipe manufacturing through the tire era to today’s spectrum of high-technology materials, Greater Akron has had a knack for making the basics better and creating the new. With the new Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company World Headquarters in East Akron, along with the Bridgestone Americas Technical Center in South 38 E x p e r i e n c e

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Akron and recent investments by international tire companies such as Continental in Fairlawn, Hankook in Green and Nexen in Richfield, tires remain part of both our past and our future. Current production includes both Goodyear, the official tires of NASCAR, and Firestone, the tires used in IndyCar racing. Brainpower is replacing brawn as our primary driving force. Labs with hightech equipment have replaced factory floors. We still like rubber and plastics called polymers, which are strings of molecules that go into everything from gum to more sophisticated adhesives used in industries like aeronautics. Our research into advanced materials has profound ramifications at every level, literally, from a single human cell to the well-being of the planet. From nanotechnology-based adhesives to liquid crystal biosensors, we’re changing our region and the world one innovation at a time. g r e a t e r a k r o n c h a m b e r. o r g

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS Akron is also inspiring international businesses to make the area their home. The city’s collaboration resources, tax incentives and other support systems make Akron and its outlying areas an attractive place to relocate. Timocco, an Israeli software company that develops therapeutic interactive games for children with autism, cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities, located its North American headquarters in the BOUNCE Innovation Hub in 2015. Ravizza Packaging, an Italian manufacturer of industrial bagging machines, also recently established its North American headquarters in the BOUNCE Innovation Hub. The City of Akron and Greater Akron Chamber first met with Ravizza Packaging at a trade show in Dusseldorf, Germany in 2012 as part of the “Akron, USA” international marketing initiative.

ADVANCED MANUFACTURING AND TECHNOLOGY Nearly 40,000 workers are employed in Akron manufacturing jobs, according to figures published by the Federal Reserve as of mid-2016. Greater Akron has a long history of manufacturing and maintains a great respect for and

interest in industries that make things. More than 600 metalworking, electronics, machining and polymerlinked manufacturing companies currently call the area home, producing everything from artificial joints to everyday household products. Our skilled labor pool, research centers, universities, strong leadership and natural resources provide our companies with a unique combination of ingredients for success.

BIOMEDICINE Akron’s healthcare industry accounts for more than 17 percent of Greater Akron’s employment. Over the past decade, Akron Children’s Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Akron General, Summa Health and Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) have announced investments approaching $1 billion to strengthen and support our important health care cluster. The City of Akron’s Biomedical Corridor was created to attract, assist and house biomedical companies devoted to product research, development and manufacturing. Anchored by the area’s three major hospital systems in conjunction with the biomedical, liquid crystal and polymer engineering research programs at The University of Akron, Kent

State University and NEOMED, the corridor has created fertile ground for breakthroughs in healthcare materials, applications and production. For instance, NicheVision, a graduate of the BOUNCE Innovation Hub, is a recognized leader for human identity software development used by forensics and post-bone marrow transplant monitoring labs. It is only one of more than a dozen companies that have found a home and support in the corridor.

RENEWABLE ENERGY Several companies in Greater Akron are dedicated to creating and harnessing new and renewable forms of energy crucial to our nation’s future. Many of the companies are just a few years old but hold promise for new jobs in Greater Akron and innovations for the world. In 2016, Vadxx Energy opened a $20 million plant on E. Waterloo Rd. in Akron where waste plastic is turned into EcoFuels. It is the first commercial plant of its kind in the nation. At Vadxx, 60 tons of plastic a day are creating 300 barrels per day of diesel and naptha, which is used as a fuel, continued on page 41


ROGERIO BARBOSA The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Head of Americas Plant Optimization Moved from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Akron in 2016.


fter four moves during the last 10 years, we know the Akron area couldn’t be better for our family. The people are friendly and have been supportive since the day we arrived. We love nature, sports, entertainment and gastronomy, and here we can find qualitative and diverse activities. We love biking in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and appreciate the many opportunities for kayaking. Our energetic kids enjoy all physical activities from soccer and karate to ballet and tap dance. And one of our favorite family outings is the Akron Zoo. To relax, there’s nothing better than enjoying a dinner or drink on the bank of Cuyahoga River. We never run out of great restaurant options. We’ve also discovered that experiencing the local wineries is a must-do family and friends weekend. To completely fulfill our lives, we love to give back. Volunteering at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is really unique!”

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JASON FORMAN The Huntington National Bank, Retail Area Manager Moved from Dallas to Akron in 2015.


oving to the Greater Akron Area has been a very pleasant and welcoming experience. Being relocated from Dallas to a smaller city that I am unfamiliar with naturally caused some concern that there would be less to do, especially in the winter months. To our surprise, it’s been quite the opposite. My wife and daughters immediately began making friends and have been on the go since we arrived. When I get home from work, my daughters always share their fun-filled activities like play dates at the various parks, museums, the Akron Zoo and Blossom, to name a few. I realized quickly after the move how family oriented Greater Akron is. This has been an important factor for me and a key reason that I’m proud to call Akron my home.”



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continued from page 39 metal cleaner or solvent. That’s about three truck trailer loads worth of plastic that will be recycled instead of dumped in a landfill. Vadxx was hatched about seven years ago in the BOUNCE Innovation Hub (formerly known as Akron Global Business Accelerator). Rockwell Automation, which has developed plastic-to-energy plants in the United Kingdom, designed the plant and oversaw its construction. RES Polyflow of Akron uses mixed dirty plastic and rubber waste to create gasoline, diesel fuel and, most importantly, monomers and solvents used to make polymers that are usually made from crude oil and natural gas. Polyflow believes that adoption of its patented process nationwide could reduce our dependence on foreign oil by 3.5 percent per year and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent overall. Echogen Power Systems, in the heart of downtown Akron, is a private company that commercializes waste heat for use by industry and other large consumers. Echogen has developed and is now demonstrating a 10-MW electricity production unit with waste heat as the “fuel.” Through the exhaust of a 25-MW gas turbine generator, the power output is significantly enhanced (by up to 10-MW) with no additional fossil fuels (heat only) and zero greenhouse gas emissions. Echogen is also a graduate of the BOUNCE Innovation Hub. In 2015, members of the public and Akron city officials came together to dedicate the new Akron Renewable Energy Facility. The facility converts bio-solids into electricity and heat and uses what remains after the process to produce pelletized organic fertilizer. The City of Akron has been a leader in the area of bio-solid-to-electricity recycling since 2007. That year, in partnership with KB Compost Services Inc. (now KB BioEnergy), the city installed bio-digesters that turned bodily waste into enough electricity to power the wastewater treatment plant. After five years of success, the city renewed its contract with KB BioEnergy to develop a larger bio-digester facility that could accommodate 100 percent of the city’s bio-solid stream. KB BioEnergy invested $32 million for the upgrade and expansion. Now, bio-solids will be generating roughly enough electricity to power approximately 1,600 homes. The power will initially be used to run municipal operations, which will cut

Collaboration is key in the City of Akron. Companies of all sizes have access to all of the resources they need, while also tapping into Akron’s unique and supportive infrastructure. Many international industry clusters have developed and continue to thrive in our highly collaborative environment.

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Medical Health Care Services


Kent State University


Higher Education


Cleveland Clinic Akron General


Medical Health Care Services


Akron Children’s Hospital


Medical Health Care Services


The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company


Tire Manufacturing


Summit County




Signet Jewelers Inc.


Jewelry Stores


Akron Public Schools


Elementary and Secondary Schools


The University of Akron


Higher Education


FirstEnergy Corp.



2,500 Source: Greater Akron Chamber, 2017 Greater Akron Book of Facts

down on energy costs for the city while generating additional revenue through the sale of fertilizer.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY The information technology (IT) industry—especially that segment devoted to healthcare—has grown rapidly in Greater Akron in the last few years. One example, OEC, headquartered in Richfield, develops software utilized by GM, Ford and Chrysler to track logistics regarding original equipment parts. The company announced a major expansion/ investment in early 2017, and its employment is steadily increasing.

DISTRIBUTION, WAREHOUSE AND TRUCKING Greater Akron began as a crucial stop on the Ohio & Erie Canal. Its National Road carried pioneers westward, and in the 20th century, it became the birthplace of the long-haul trucking industry. Today, the Akron-

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Canton Airport is one of the fastest growing in the United States. Greater Akron remains vital to the transportation industry, and it’s not hard to figure out why. We’re the gateway to everywhere. The region is within 500 miles of 42 major U.S. cities, making it a natural hub. More than half of the nation’s retail outlets are within a day’s drive of Greater Akron, which explains, in part, why the area is home to more than 150 trucking companies as well as major warehouses and distribution centers.

CONSTRUCTION In the last few years, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company built a 632,000-square-foot headquarters building, a mixed-use development is rising around it, and most of the Akron Public Schools have undergone reconstruction or remodeling. And more than $30 million in federal stimulus money has gone into infrastructure projects in the city.

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Daniel Horrigan, Mayor Daniel Horrigan, Mayor

Daniel Horrigan, Mayor

Stage Stage



Daniel Horrigan, Daniel Horrigan, Mayor Mayor

Daniel Horrigan, Mayor


AKRON AKRON ART ART MUSEUM MUSEUM AKRON ART MUSEUM Free Gallery Free Gallery Admission Admission EveryEvery Thursday, Thursday, generously generously sponsored sponsored by by

photo: Joe Levack/Studio Akron

photo: photo: Joe Levack/Studio Joe Levack/Studio Akron Akron


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Heather Roszczyk facilitates a panel of Greater Akron entrepreneurs: Cristina González Alcalá (Not Yo Daddy’s Mexican Hot Sauce), Keeven White (Whitespace Creative) and Joel Testa (Testa Companies).

EMBRACING COLLABORATION It’s not just about what you know, but who you know. The area offers a wealth of collaborative resources for startups and young companies.

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he Greater Akron spirit that boosted many entrepreneurial companies into worldwide industries is supported by a vast, formal network made up of national, state, regional and local agencies, programs and foundations. The networks are often known as “entrepreneurial ecosystems,” and Northeast Ohio has one of America’s best, according to a report from Entrepreneurial Engagement, a statewide initiative to provide entrepreneurial technology education in schools. Greater Akron is a wonderful place to start a business, says Heather Roszczyk of Fund for Our Economic

Future. “There are a tremendous number of programs and organizations that provide support to startups and small businesses.” she says. For example, ArtsNow and CraftyMart support artists, Launch League and the BOUNCE Innovation Hub give assistance to tech startups. Akron’s Small Business Development Center is another valuable resource, as well as University of Akron’s I-Corps, a public-private partnership program that teaches grantees to identify product opportunities from academic research and offers entrepreneurship training to student participants. Beyond those resources, Akron is exceptional because of its community support. Akronites take pride in supporting the businesses that call their city home, whether it’s a large corporation like Goodyear or a small storefront like Square Records in Highland Square. Akron is a city on the upswing. g r e a t e r a k r o n c h a m b e r. o r g


It’s impossible to outline the region’s entire entrepreneurial ecosystem in a few paragraphs, but some recent major developments have fired up area startups as never before. On August 10, 2017, Mayor Horrigan announced the reimagining of the region’s innovation and entrepreneurship activities with the launch of BOUNCE, Akron’s Innovation Hub. This project will bring together businesses, entrepreneurs, universities and creatives to develop an open innovation center in downtown Akron. The City of Akron opened its incubator in 1983, and has one of the longest operating business incubators in the country. Today, more than 350 people work there. BOUNCE offers several programs designed to help entrepreneurs in various stages of developing their companies. The Technology Company Acceleration Program provides young technology companies with a suite of services, including coaching from entrepreneurs-inresidence, equity funding, mentoring and grant assistance, and 250,000 square feet of office, lab and light manufacturing space. The Bit Factory, a structured, intensive program for those

entrepreneurs developing products for computers, gaming and mobile devices, operates within BOUNCE to support early-stage software and internet-based companies. The first floor of the former B.F. Goodrich plant building will receive a major overhaul with a grand opening of the new facility in July 2018. More than $2 million in funding has been secured for the center, which will include hightech equipment such as 3-D printers and co-working office and collaborative spaces to spark innovation by putting like-minded people together. Entrepreneurs and companies interested in learning more or applying for one of these programs can visit akronusa.org. One of the partners in BOUNCE, The Launch League, is a newly formed nonprofit organization that helps startups find talent, funding and mentoring. Its SPARK AK event brings budding entrepreneurs into a co-working space for an intensive two days of startup brainstorming. For more information, visit launchleague.org. The Greater Akron Chamber’s Small Business Council promotes and represents the interests of businesses with 250 or fewer employees within the tri-county area of Medina, Portage and Summit Counties, both within the

Greater Akron Chamber and in the general community. Akron is for Entrepreneurs is an effort funded by The Fund for Our Economic Future. The Fund is an alliance of funders—foundations, corporations, universities, healthcare systems, business and civic associations, government entities, and individuals—who pool their resources to advance economic growth in Northeast Ohio. Akron is for Entrepreneurs offers an easy-to-use online guide to help startups and growing businesses find the resources they need. Go to akronisforentrepreneurs.org to get started online through a three-step process, or to schedule a personal meeting. The Greater Akron Chamber’s KNOW (Knowledgeable Network of Women) is a personal and professional development program for businesswomen in the Greater Akron Region. Established in 2004, KNOW’s mission is to cultivate talent by reaching out to today’s women executives and tomorrow’s leaders by providing a niche networking opportunity in a supportive environment for women to discuss emerging issues. Visit greaterakronchamber.org.


RICHELLE M. WARDELL & CRISTINA GONZÁLEZ ALCALÁ Mango & The Prickly Cactus, LLC (Makers of Not Yo’ Daddy’s Mexican Hot Sauce), Co-owners Day jobs: Richelle is Director, Education at United Way of Summit County; Cristina is Research Associate at Summit Education Initiative. Isadora Gonzalez Wardell, 4 months Cristina moved from Louisville, KY (originally from Durango, Mexico) to Akron in 2008.


he positivity and collaborative spirit are among the top reasons I love living, working and playing in Greater Akron. No matter how crazy of an idea you might have, the community rallies behind you to see it thrive. That’s how Not Yo’ Daddy’s Mexican Hot Sauce started; after hearing my desire to start a hot sauce business, Kaley Foster (Urban Buzz) connected us with someone to learn about starting a food business. Her and Nicole Mullet, (ArtsNow) invited us to sample at an event at the Akron Art Museum. Reynaldo Guijosa & Marisol Garcilazo (Taqueria El Paso) let us use their kitchen to get started. Tina Ughrin (Smile Minded Smartworks) & Maria Mancinelli (IIA) secured a space for us at the Akron Better Block. Akron Honey Company invited us to Market Day. Charly Murphy (Stray Dog Cart, Café & Condiments) coached us through the layers of state food regulations. Sweet Mary’s Bakery lets us borrow her kitchen to make our hot sauce. See what I mean? Purely, out of the goodness of their heart, the community embraced us and elevated us to make our journey a successful story.” 20 1 7-20 1 8

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National Builder At Home in Akron

by Dave Lieberth

hen Don Taylor makes the drive from his home in Green, up Interstate 77 to his office in Fairlawn, he knows how fortunate he’s been to grow one of Northeast Ohio’s largest construction companies in his own hometown. “I have everything I need,” he says. “Young talent, seasoned workers, professional advisors—and outstanding golf courses!” Not that Taylor, 56, president and CEO of Welty Building Company has much time to spend on the links. Since acquiring Welty from its founding family in 1999, the company has doubled in size—six times. That’s due to the focus that Taylor brings to his business. “The sun sends a billion watts of energy to the earth every day,” Taylor says. “A few hundred concentrated watts in a laser beam can cut steel. Staying focused and being specific about goals makes the difference in business.” Taylor was raised in the City of Green, not far from Firestone Country Club. His father worked at Firestone Tire & Rubber Company for 48 years. He credits his blue-collar upbringing with the work ethic that tugs at him every day. Taylor attended Springfield High School, where many families had roots in Appalachia. One of his best friends had a particularly engaging sister, Mary Capan, whom he eventually married. Following a successful career as a CPA, Mary Taylor entered local politics, and today is the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Ohio. Taylor’s grandfather worked for a large construction company and encouraged his grandson to be an engineer. An ambitious kid, he eagerly accepted a summer job with a masonry company. Laying bricks and setting blocks was great for the summer, but when work slowed, Taylor started his own company doing odd-job concrete work, including building a brick patio for a prominent surgeon who befriended him. The next winter, when he was removing the back seat of his car looking for loose change, he found the physician’s phone number. He called the physician, who hooked him up with a job as a night orderly at Akron City Hospital. Through four years of college, Taylor worked the night shift, 46 E x p e r i e n c e

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Don Taylor onsite at Akron Children’s Hospital

while returning to construction jobs in summers. After working for several large construction firms in Northeast Ohio, Taylor received a phone call from Jerry Welty one particularly bad day on the job. “If I had received that call a day earlier or a day later, I wouldn’t have accepted his offer,” he says. And what an opportunity it was. Welty had been hired to construct one of Akron’s most transformational and complicated projects in decades: the National Inventors Hall of Fame in downtown Akron. “Akron was the Silicon Valley of the country for a hundred years,” Taylor says. “The Inventors Hall of Fame symbolized the new Akron—where we could honor innovations of the past and encourage young people to see their future.” Today, the building that was Taylor’s first project houses the Akron schools’ STEM middle school. His more recent projects have included the $100 million Kay Jewelers Pavilion at Akron Children’s Hospital, which embraced lean construction methods designed to maximize customer value and alleviate waste. That laser-like focus on creative and sustainable solutions that his company brings to clients “saved the hospital millions of dollars,” Taylor says. Other Welty projects include The University of Akron’s Infocision Stadium and the Akron Art Museum’s stunning

exhibit wing coddled by a “Roof Cloud,” a 327-foot-long cantilevered steel and aluminum armature that embraces the old post office building for its offices. When The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company needed new global headquarters, Welty partnered with Industrial Realty Group to create a campus in East Akron for the company’s 3,000 Akron workers. Today, the most ambitious project ever attempted by the 72-year-old company is underway in Canton. Welty is the construction manager for the $700 million Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Future 50 Expansion and the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, to be completed by 2020. As chairman of the Greater Akron Chamber, Taylor has launched a new look at the community without regard to geographical boundaries. “Business doesn’t see jurisdiction lines,” Taylor says. “We’re putting the right people in the room to look at the Greater Akron economy in the next 30 years and how we position ourselves for the future.” “I’m here because I was born here,” Taylor says. “But the fact is that business can be done anywhere, and we need to support new startups cropping up every year. Akron is a great place to do business because within 48 hours you can be in front of anybody you want to see. It’s a connected community, where speed matters.”

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BUSINESS CONNECTIONS Akron Cleveland Association of REALTORSÂŽ 9100 S. Hills Blvd., Ste. 150 Broadview Heights 44147 (216) 901-0130 akronclevelandrealtors.com Akron Biomedical Corridor 166 S. High St., Ste. 202 Akron 44308 (330) 375-2471 akronbiomedicalcorridor.com Akron-Canton Airport 5400 Lauby Rd., NW North Canton 44720 (330) 896-2376 akroncantonairport.com Akron Development Fund, Ltd. 1 Cascade Plaza, 17th Fl. Akron 44308 (330) 376-5550 Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA) 47 N. Main St. Akron 44308 (330) 572-7544 abiakron.org City of Akron, Economic Development Department 166 S. High St., Ste. 202 Akron 44308 (330) 375-2133 akronohio.gov BOUNCE Innovation Hub 526 S. Main St., Ste. 129 Akron 44311 (330) 375-2173 akronaccelerator.com ARCHAngels (Akron Regional Change Angels) Network 411 Wolf Ledges Pkwy., Ste. 105 Akron 44311 (330) 972-6015 akronarchangels.com Akron/Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau 77 E. Mill St. Akron 44308 (330) 374-7560 visitakron-summit.org Akron Urban League 440 Vernon Odom Blvd. Akron 44307 (330) 434-3101 akronurbanleague.org BioEnterprise Corp. 11000 Cedar Ave. Cleveland 44106 (216) 658-3999 bioenterprise.com

Cascade Capital Corp. 1 Cascade Plaza, 7th Fl. Akron 44308 (330) 379-3160 cascadecapital.org

JumpStart, Inc. Cleveland—6701 Carnegie Ave., Ste. 100, Cleveland 44103 (216) 363-3400 jumpstartinc.org

Central Portage County Visitor & Convention Bureau P.O. Box 391 Kent 44240 (330) 697-6350 centralportage.org

City of Kent, Economic Development Department 930 Overholt Rd. P.O. Box 5192 Kent 44240 (330) 676-7582 kentohio.org

Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) 1 Cascade Plaza, 17th Fl. Akron 44308 (330) 376-5550 greaterakronchamber.org ConxusNEO 277 E. Mill St. Akron 44308 (330) 630-9969 conxusneo.jobs Development Finance Authority of Summit County 47 N. Main St., Ste. 407 Akron 44308 (330) 762-4776 developmentfinanceauthority.org Downtown Akron Partnership 103 S. High St. Greystone Hall, 4th Fl. Akron 44308 (330) 374-7676 downtownakron.com Greater Akron Chamber 1 Cascade Plaza, 17th Fl. Akron 44308 (330) 376-5550 greaterakronchamber.org Greater Akron Chamber Young Professionals Network 1 Cascade Plaza, 17th Fl. Akron 44308 (330) 376-5550 greaterakronypn.com The Home Builders Association 799 White Pond Dr., Ste. E Akron 44320 (330) 869-6800 akronhba.com JobsOhio 41 S. High St., Ste. 1500 Columbus 43215 (614) 224-6446 jobs-ohio.com

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Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET) 1768 E. 25th St. Cleveland 44114 (216) 391-7002 manufacturingsuccess.org Medina County Convention & Visitors Bureau 32 Public Square Medina 44256 (330) 722-5502 visitmedinacounty.com Medina County Economic Development Corp. 144 N. Broadway St. Medina 44256 (330) 722-9215 medinacounty.org City of Medina, Economic Development Department 132 N. Elmwood Ave. Medina 44256 (330) 764-3319 medinaoh.org Northeast Ohio Trade & Economic Consortium (NEOTEC) Kent State University Administrative Services Bldg. P.O. Box 5190 Kent 44242 (330) 672-4080 neotec.org Ohio Eastern Regional Office of Governor John Kasich 161 S. High St., Rm. 404 Akron 44308 (330) 643-3392 development.ohio.gov Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC) Kent State University 113 McGilvrey Hall Kent 44242 (330) 672-3028 oeockent.org

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BUSINESS CONNECTIONS Ohio Means Jobs—Medina County 3721 Pearl Rd. Medina 44256 (330) 723-9675 medinacountyworks.com

Portage Development Board 217 S. Chestnut St. Ravenna 44266 (330) 297-3470 portagedevbd.org Rubber Division—American Chemical Society (ACS) 411 Wolf Ledges Pkwy., Ste. 201 Akron 44311 (330) 595-5531 rubber.org

Ohio Means Jobs—Summit County 1040 E. Tallmadge Ave. Akron 44310 (330) 633-1050 summitomj.org

SCORE 175 S. Main St., Ste. 204 Akron 44308 (330) 379-3163 akron.score.org

Ohio Small Business Development Center/Summit Medina Business Alliance 526 S. Main St., Ste. 813 Akron 44311 (330) 375-2111 akronsbdc.org

Summit County Department of Community and Economic Development Office 175 S. Main St., 2nd Fl. Akron 44308 (330) 643-2893 co.summit.oh.us

PolymerOhio 60 Collegeview Rd. Ste. 104 Westerville 43081 (614) 776-5720 polymerohio.org

Team NEO 1111 Superior Ave., Ste. 1600 Cleveland 44114 (216) 363-5400 teamneo.org


Ohio Means Jobs—Portage County 235 S. Chestnut St. Ravenna 44266 (330) 296-2841 co.portage.oh.us

Downtown Akron

The University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF) Goodyear Polymer Center 170 University Circle, Ste. 312 Akron 44325 (330) 972-7840 uakron.edu/uarf If you would like to be included in this list in the future, please contact Tammy Grimmett at (330) 237-1246 or grimmett@greaterakronchamber.org.

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Steve Spinelli, Realtor

2006 Akron Realtor of the Year 2005 AABOR President Top 5% of Realtors nationally Certified Residential Specialist, CRS Accredited Buyer’s Representative, ABR

“Let ME do YOUR home work!”

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Website: Stevespinelli.YourKWagent.com Email: Stevespinelli@kw.com g r e a t e r a k r o n c h a m b e r. o r g


30 for the Future 2017 award recipients

YPs CONNECT The area’s young professional organizations work together to connect and empower the next generation of leaders.


reater Akron Young Professionals (YP) have many resources. The challenge comes from choosing from so many vibrant organizations. Although each organization has its own unique mission, all are ultimately out to accomplish the same thing—to connect and retain the Greater Akron young professional community.


The Chamber’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) is an outlet for our next generation of leaders to enhance their potential so they may reach their life goals in this community. Membership in YPN helps young professionals

develop new skills, meet with business leaders, provides access to volunteer opportunities and offers discounts to YPN events. Membership is $35 a year and is typically geared for ages 21 to 39, but if you’re passionate about business and learning, age does not really matter! The mission of the YPN is to attract and retain talent to the Greater Akron region by connecting the next generation of leaders to each other and to the community. For more information, access ypn@greaterakronchamber.org.

30 FOR THE FUTURE AWARDS For 11 years, the 30 for the Future program has recognized stellar individuals ages 25-39 for their professional and community accomplishments in the Greater

S. Theresa Carter (OMNOVA Solutions Foundation) and Teresa LeGrair (Akron Community Foundation) supporting 30 for the Future. 20 1 7-20 1 8

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YOUNG PROFESSIONALS Akron region. Nominees submit comprehensive leadership documents, which are thoroughly reviewed by a selection committee. The recipients are honored at an event each fall, during which the audience is introduced to these talented young professionals through video interviews.

Congratulations to our 2017 30 for the Future recipients!


CASON BRUNT, Kent State University

LAURA ALLIO, Bober Markey Fedorovich CRISTA BARTOLOMUCCI, Apple Growth Partners THERON BROWN, YSU, KSU and CCC-Metro

The Young Professionals of Akron (YPA) organization is an inclusive group open to anyone “young” and growing in their careers. YPA is focused on connecting young professionals to each other and to the city through community and social events. Their bottom line: The more young professionals who are invested in Akron, the more likely they are to stay in the area and call Akron home. For more information, access ypaakron.org.

KAREN CHEUNG, Alliance Petroleum Corporation



TRICIA CRAIG, Cuyahoga Falls City Schools BRYSON DAVIS, South Street Ministries & Generation Akron KEVIN DENEE, Eyedeal Graphics KALEY FOSTER, Urban Buzz & Buckeye Reserve Title Agency

JAIME KOLLIGIAN, Kastner Westman & Wilkins, LLC JON KOZESKY, Green Area Chamber of Commerce JARON LEGRAIR, Jaron M. LeGrair Studio ZADA LINES, CBRE Inc. WILLIE MCGEE, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School DAVID P. MILLER, ADP, LLC PAT O’NEILL, The O’Neill Group


Torchbearers Akron was established in 2003 to strengthen the connection between Akron area nonprofits and young people and to further efforts to attract and retain young people to Greater Akron. Torchbearers’ mission is to enhance Greater Akron by identifying, developing and connecting young leaders who possess a passion to serve their community. For more information, access torchbearersakron.com.

KAT PESTIAN, Amp Strategy ALICIA ROBINSON, Limitless Ambition, Inc. HEATHER ROSZCZYK, Fund for Our Economic Future KEVIN SMITH, The University of Akron CHARLIE SOLLEY, Akron Children’s Hospital CHRISTOPHER TEODOSIO, Brouse McDowell ANOO VYAS, The University of Akron


n  United Way Young Leaders Society: uwsummit.org/young-leaders-society n  Young Black Professionals Coalition: ybpc.weebly.com n  Mahoning Valley Young Professionals: mvypclub.com n  ystark!—Canton Young Professionals: ystark.org

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TREVOR CHUNA, Sequoia Financial Group

MICHAEL KAVULIC, Kent State University

Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) Emerging Leaders was established in 2010 to retain young professionals and enhance the Partnership’s mission of building and promoting a vibrant, valuable downtown. DAP includes members 35 years of age and younger from a variety of businesses and organizations. For more information, access downtownakron.com/ emergingleaders.

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ELIZABETH WALTERS, Summit County Council DANA WOBSER, Myers Industries KRISTIN YANKO SUSICK, FirstEnergy Corp.

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GIVING OF YOURSELF Opportunities for engagement in Greater Akron’s communities are plentiful.


reater Akronites are generous— they give their hearts, their dollars and their time. Don’t you want to be part of a community that cares about those in need? Whether you’re moving across the globe, the country or just across town, you can match your passions with any number of causes. Our three-county region is bountiful with opportunities. You can help existing foundations such as the Akron office of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (established here), the GAR Foundation and the Medina County Community Fund or get involved in a plethora of service organizations, such as the AkronCanton Regional Foodbank, County of Summit’s Developmental Disabilities Board, Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio and United Way of Summit County. Here are just some of the many foundations and thriving volunteer groups that guide participants to help the community and to meet interesting new people: 
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 345 W. Cedar St., Akron 44307
 (330) 376-8522
 akroncf.org For 62 years, Akron Community Foundation has helped everyday citizens give back to their favorite causes and charities through a variety of charitable funds, like the popular donor-advised fund, an alternative to a private foundation. You can choose your favorite causes or nonprofits, and the community foundation will make sure your charitable gifts reach their targets, whatever they may be. They’ll even work with your advisors if you’d like. Akron Community Foundation will invest and grow your money, allowing you to make grants in your fund’s name now or in the future, here or across the country. The community foundation can also connect you to like-minded residents and local nonprofits in your area of charitable interest.

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LEADERSHIP AKRON + TORCHBEARERS Leadership Akron 54 E. Mill St., Ste. 201 Akron 44308 (330) 436-5291 leadershipakron.org Torchbearers PO Box 1443, Akron 44309
 torchbearersakron.com Leadership Akron (LA) is a comprehensive resource for jumpstarting a connection in Greater Akron by offering a variety of

programming to leaders of different ages and career levels. Insight: AKRON, a program designed to expedite the process of networking, learning and getting involved in the Akron community, helps relocated executives become involved. LA helps leaders see beyond their own spheres of influence to the broader needs of the community, empowering them to heighten their efforts to make Greater Akron even better. Each LA class takes on its own philanthropic project, funded by the United Way, to give them firsthand experience in project evaluation and grant making.

Empowering people of all


Torchbearers, an independent affiliate of LA, was founded to strengthen the connection between Akron area nonprofits and emerging leaders, and to further efforts to attract and retain young people to Greater Akron. Leadership Akron and Torchbearers continue to leverage their partnership to identify new ways to create win-wins for Leadership Akron, Torchbearers and, most importantly, for the Akron community.

UNITED WAY OF SUMMIT COUNTY 90 N. Prospect St., Akron 44304 (330) 762-7601 uwsummit.org United Way of Summit County takes on the issues that matter most to children and families in Greater Akron by focusing on achieving four Bold Goals for the community: n Raising third grade reading scores for Akron Public Schools students. n Raising four-year graduation rates among APS high-schoolers and increasing college and career readiness among graduates. n Financially empowering thousands of Summit County’s working poor families. continued on page 54

Connecting People with Disabilities to Supports that Fit Their Needs

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Summit DD believes that the strongest communities are built by the abilities of all people. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to connect children and adults with developmental disabilities to the resources they need to live their vision of a happy, healthy and engaged life. Whether it’s in the classroom, the workplace, or an everyday need, Summit DD is here to provide the guidance and support needed throughout a person’s lifetime.


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Together, let’s build a community that’s welcoming for people of all abilities.


We envision a thriving community free of hunger.


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Learn more on our website, akroncantonfoodbank.org.


Empower ad_Ann Marie_Greater Akron Chamber 4x7_2017 DRAFT.indd 1

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COURTNEY HOUGH United Way of Summit County, Manager, Corporate Engagement Moved from Wichita, KS to Akron in 2017.



s a Detroit native, I take pride in contributing to the upward mobility of the disenfranchised. Service has been instilled in me since my youth, and working within the United Way network has shown me that there is a high demand of compassion wherever you go. During my four months of being an Akronite, I’ve quickly fallen in love with the active community and the people. Sand Run Metro Park and Cuyahoga Valley National Park have uncovered new things for me to explore. I am only three hours away from my hometown, and I can reassure everyone back in Michigan that Ohio isn’t as bad as we thought! I am proud to call Akron home.”

We are YOUR

Summit County ReStore FREE donation pick-ups (3-5 day guarantee)

Extended shopping hours:

Thursday - Friday 8 AM - 6 PM Saturday 8 AM - 4 PM

OP THE EN TO 47,0 PUB 00 s LIC q . sure ft. of s!


Visit HFHSummitCounty.org/ReStore for a list of materials we accept.

Located at 2301 Romig Road in Akron 330-745-9098 | HFHSummitCounty.org/ReStore Donate. Shop. Volunteer.


When you shop and donate to Goodwill, you are helping people in our community find jobs. Offering in the area: • Retail Stores and Donation Centers

• Home Pickup Service

• Outlet Store in Akron

• Dell Reconnect Computer Equipment Recycling

• Boutiques in Akron and Kent

• Vehicle Donations

For more information, visit www.goodwillakron.org

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PHILANTHROPY & VOLUNTEERISM continued from page 52 n Fighting the opioid crisis by reducing ER visits due to drug overdoses. To achieve these Bold Goals, United Way relies on forward-thinking strategies, innovative programs and hands-on work in the community. With nearly 100 years of experience in Greater Akron, United Way can count on the support of partners from across the public, private and nonprofit sectors and thousands of volunteers eager to create lasting change. There’s a better future in store for Summit County, and the time is now to make it happen.

 4460 Rex Lake Dr., Akron 44319 (330) 664-4512 akronrotary.org The Rotary Club of Akron, which meets every Tuesday at noon at Portage Country Club, celebrated its centennial in 2014. The Club is part of Rotary International District 6630, which is comprised of over 50 Rotary Clubs in Northeast Ohio with over 2,000 district members. Both the Club and Foundation are dedicated to the health and education of Greater Akron’s

youth and special needs children as well as providing exchange student programs, youth scholarships and drug awareness seminars. The Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs, in cooperation with the Akron Area YMCA, offers children and adults with disabilities the opportunity to experience all the friendship, fun and excitement of camp. The Camp is accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA) and provides a nurturing and enriching atmosphere where children are able to participate in activities that help build self-esteem and physical endurance. Volunteers who work with the campers make a significant impact and create meaningful memories for themselves.

SUMMIT COUNTY DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES BOARD 89 E. Howe Rd., Tallmadge 44278 (330) 634-8000 SummitDD.org The Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board (Summit DD) connects people with developmental disabilities to the right supports they rely on to live their lives to the fullest. The levy-funded organization touches the lives of more than 4,700 children and adults each year, empowering

Offering Hope to Families & Persons Living with Mental Illness

We Specialize in Assisting Adults with Severe and Persistent Mental Illnesses

www.cssbh.org 330-253-9388

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them to achieve success throughout every stage of their lives.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF SUMMIT COUNTY 2301 Romig Rd., Akron 44320 (330) 745-7734 hfhsummitcounty.org Habitat for Humanity of Summit County’s (HFHSC) mission statement focuses on bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. They focus on shelter, advocate for affordable housing, promote dignity and hope and support sustainable and transformational development. Their goal is to serve more families through an expanded array of housing products. HFHSC has built over 190 homes and housed over 600 people in need of a safe, decent and affordable place to call home. Through their homeowners program, deconstruction projects, critical exterior repairs program and ReStore®, Habitat has become an organization that revitalizes neighborhoods and cares for the environment. Volunteers can help build homes, assist with office work and work in the ReStore®.

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF AKRON 207 E. Tallmadge Ave., Akron 44310 (330) 376-5105 iiakron.org The International Institute of Akron contributes to the well-being of the Greater Akron community by creating and implementing programs and services that assist the foreign-born in integrating into society, promote public awareness of the value of diversity and encourage international communication. Programs include ESL and citizenship classes, translation and interpreting, job readiness training, reception and placement of new refugees and more.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT SERVICES 150 Cross St., Akron 44311 (330) 996-9141 cssbh.org Community Support Services offers hope and healthcare to adults in Summit County living with mental illnesses. The agency offers caring mental health services to assist individuals to live the life they want to live. Services include: psychiatry, case management, counseling, residential treatment, primary care, supported employment and other supportive services to assist individuals.

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OPEN MINDS Innovative public and private schools help pre-college students succeed.

Akron Public Shools


kron Public Schools (APS) is the largest school system in the region, with more than 20,000 students in 48 schools covering more than 60 square miles throughout the city. APS features 34 newly constructed buildings made possible through the $800 million Imagine Akron building project that launched in 2003 to remodel and/or replace all district schools. The project, funded through a combination of local property taxes and state capital allocations, has culminated in the creation of schools called Community Learning Centers (CLCs). CLCs are located throughout the city’s many distinct neighborhoods and provide space for the schools to use during the day and for the community’s use during non-school hours. The district is dedicated to its diverse student body and works to help students succeed at all levels of their education, whatever their backgrounds, interests, talents and dreams. The district considers the needs of students’ families to help ensure that all students are able to get the most out of their education and provides many 20 1 7-20 1 8

support programs and services. Programs include: n  Free all-day kindergarten n  Free breakfast and lunch for all students n  Extensive special education opportunities n  Competitive sports at the middle and high school levels n  Foreign language instruction in multiple languages starting in middle school n  Translation services and supports for immigrant families n  Individual mental and behavioral health counseling in some buildings n  Structured mentoring APS offers customized educational opportunities designed to fit each student’s needs. These include: n  Akron Early College High School n  Advanced Placement and College Credit Plus n  Akron School for the Arts at Firestone High CLC n  AkronReads tutoring n  College and Career Academies of Akron

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n  Early Learning Program (ELP)— preschools located in several elementary schools n  Gifted and talented programs n  International Baccalaureate at the elementary, middle and high school levels n  Learn to Earn college credit program with Stark State College n  Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts (grades 4-8) n  Project Lead the Way—awardwinning, pre-engineering program n  STEM middle and high school with STEM curriculum also implemented at other schools throughout the district n  Visual and performing arts programs throughout the district n  30+ career education programs

AKRON EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL (AECHS) This unique APS program allows students to earn two years of college credit free—and on a college campus— while earning a high school diploma. AECHS is regularly included in Newsweek’s Top Public High Schools list and was awarded a Blue Ribbon by the U.S. Department of Education in 2014.

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CAREER EDUCATION Students can choose from dozens of two-year, accredited occupational training programs (including culinary, HVAC, auto, medical tech, masonry and more) that prepare students for college or jobs. Each year, anywhere from 95 to 98 percent of career technical education students pass the Ohio Proficiency Test or the Ohio Graduation Test and earn a high school diploma. Ninety-seven percent are employed, headed to college or joining the military after high school.

COLLEGE AND CAREER ACADEMIES OF AKRON College and Career Academies of Akron seek to improve school performance and college and career readiness by providing high school students with opportunities to pursue career interests while completing academic graduation requirements. Pathways are designed and supported by community partners to introduce students to a variety of college and career options and experiential learning opportunities. The pilot academy at North High School launched in fall 2016 as ninth graders were enrolled in the Freshman Academy. Students at

North may choose to participate in the Academy of Health and Human Services or Academy of Global Technology and Business. APS plans for implementation in other schools based upon regional workforce data, occupation demand and input from community partners. APS College and Career Academies are based upon a successful model implemented in Nashville and other cities around the United States as part of the Ford Next Generation Learning Community. In May 2017, the Ford Motor Company Fund officially named APS one of its NextGen Learning Communities.

EARLY LEARNING PROGRAM/ PRESCHOOL The Early Learning Program (ELP) for children ages 3-5 incorporates developmentally appropriate curricula and services to best prepare children for success in elementary school. Teachers all have a bachelor’s degree or higher, with classrooms integrating special-needs children with typically developing children. Early intervention helps the children learn to interact with others, as the typically developing children serve as peer models for special-needs students. g r e a t e r a k r o n c h a m b e r. o r g

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program is a rigorous curriculum that meets the highest standards of education in the world. An APS student is now able to follow the IB track from elementary school to high school graduation, the first such complete IB track in Ohio. Firestone CLC is one of only 21 high schools in Ohio to offer this prestigious program. APS now offers the full IB curriculum for all students at Case Elementary School and Litchfield CLC, which were named IB World Schools in 2016. Resnik CLC and King CLC, also in the Firestone cluster of schools, are currently IB Candidate Schools.

THE MILITARY Army JROTC is offered at Kenmore High School, Air Force JROTC at Buchtel CLC High School, Navy JROTC at Ellet High School and Marine Corps JROTC at East CLC High School.

STEM The National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM Middle School is located in the heart of downtown Akron in a contemporary building that was once home to the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum. The National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM High School is on the campus of The University of Akron in what used to be APS’ Central-Hower High School. STEM students explore solutions to real problems while guided by inventors, business professionals and university faculty members.

VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS APS has two specialty arts programs at Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts (grades 4-8) and the Akron School for the Arts at Firestone CLC (grades 9-12). In addition, APS boasts a district-wide orchestra program that prepares hundreds of students, grades 6-12. High school students may earn an arts endorsement on their diploma, and have many opportunities to create visual art, travel and perform internationally and locally at concerts, dance recitals and in a wide variety of music and theater programs.

variety of choices. Our Lady of the Elms is the only all-girls Catholic school in Greater Akron and one of a few in Ohio. It encompasses a coed preschool and kindergarten, but it is single gender from grades one through 12. The Elms welcomes girls of all backgrounds and religions. Founded in 1923, the school has had a 100 percent collegeacceptance rate for more than 20 years and has won The U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon Award, rated “exemplary.” The Catholic St. Vincent-St. Mary (west Akron), Archbishop Hoban (east Akron), Walsh Jesuit (Cuyahoga Falls) and Christian-based Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (Cuyahoga Falls) high schools are fierce rivals on the athletic fields, but the schools all stress academic excellence and service to others in the spirit of their particular religious affiliations. Western Reserve Academy, on a 190-acre campus in historic Hudson, is one of the top boarding schools in the country, founded in 1826. Its nearly 400 students come from all over the world. The student-faculty ratio is 7:1, and 87 percent of faculty members have advanced degrees and an average of

nearly 17 years of teaching experience. College matriculation is 100 percent. The Faith Islamic Academy in Cuyahoga Falls, open since 2002, is for boys and girls in kindergarten through 8th grade. It provides its students with an Islamic academic environment in which they can grow and learn intellectually, spiritually, socially and physically. The school works to ensure that students are fully engaged and challenged by the curriculum while being self-reliant, self-disciplined and keen to learn for the pleasure of Allah. It serves a diverse student population whose parents come from many different ethnic and racial backgrounds. Greater Akron has several coeducational Catholic primary schools, including St. Hilary School in Fairlawn, which has twice been awarded the U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon Award, and St. Sebastian Parish School in Akron, which dates back to 1928. St. VincentSt. Mary School, where basketball star LeBron James attended high school, also has a primary school. Holy Family Parish School in Stow, which has a coeducational K-8 program, won a continued on page 59

Preparing Hearts and Minds of the Next Generation cvcaroyals.org Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy provides a place for students to encounter the real world, ask the hard questions, and own their faith, all while preparing them for college and beyond. We are a college-preparatory Christian Middle and High School committed to academic excellence in a supportive and distinctively Christian environment. There are many opportunities to visit CVCA throughout the school year. Please check our website cvcaroyals.org to learn more.


We are pleased to announce the addition of 6th grade to our CVCA Middle School in the 20182019 school year, further preparing our youngest students for the demands of our college-prep high school.

The region has several categories of private schools that offer students a

4687 WYOGA LAKE ROAD • CUYAHOGA FALLS, OHIO 44224 • 330-929-0575 20 1 7-20 1 8

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Education Profiles


The Future Begins Here

St. Hilary School

The Future Begins Here


Leading the way to the future through faith and service, traditional and innovative teaching methods, cutting-edge science and technology facilities and equipment, three foreign languages, career exploration courses, enrichment and extracurricular opportunities, and much more.

Serving a range of learners in grades K-8 Over $150,000 in tuition assistance awarded annually

Comprehensive Preparation for a Complex World 645 Moorfield Road, Fairlawn | 330-867-8720, ext. 343 | st-hilaryschool.org


eachers who foster the best in every child. Programs that develop the whole person. An environment where all are welcome. For more than 50 years, St. Hilary School has offered all this and more. This is a place where minds are educated and hearts are enlightened, a place where lives are shaped and a place where tomorrow’s leaders are being developed today. Children of all backgrounds are guided in mastering skills that will enable them to lead our world in the years to come. This is a place like no other, a place where children belong. The future begins at St. Hilary School. A two-time recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s prestigious Blue Ribbon award, St. Hilary School serves students in grades K-8. The curriculum blends tradition and innovation to challenge and accommodate students of diverse learning abilities, and their faculty strives to cultivate the full academic potential of every student. Enhancing the core curriculum are classes in Spanish, French, Chinese, religion, art, music, physical education and technology. Advanced math and enrichment classes are also available. All grade levels consistently rank in the top percentiles nationally on standardized testing. Students can participate in service projects, competitive academic events, extracurricular activities and sports throughout the school year. A state-of-the-art media center, digital communication lab and mobile iPads and Chromebooks put the school on the cutting edge of technology. Students in grades 6-8 are provided 1:1 Chromebooks and iPads for use in school and at home. Our fully-equipped science lab is a hub of learning and a central element for classes that allow students to explore careers in science, engineering, technology, medicine, entrepreneurship and other fields. Guidance, remedial tutoring, speech and hearing therapy, a nurse-staffed clinic, a daily hot lunch program and extended care are among the amenities offered. To learn more, please call (330) 867-8720, ext. 343.


Big, world-changing moments. Every day, at Old Trail School.

ld Trail School’s dynamic environment fosters limitless opportunities for active learning, growing and exploration so that their students gain the focus, confidence and skills to thrive—in high school, and wherever they go next. The school’s engaging, academic experience empowers students to think independently and solve real-world challenges, while their committed, supportive community helps them develop into thoughtful leaders who advocate for themselves and each other. Their students raise their voices to ask bigger questions and go on to scale bigger obstacles. Visit oldtrail. org to learn more about their incredible community that has been creating leaders since 1920.

Contact us to schedule your personal tour today. admission@oldtrail.org oldtrail.org/admission 330.666.1118

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5 0 0 M U L L AV E N U E 330.836.9107


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continued from page 57 Blue Ribbon Award in 2012. The Lippman School in Akron is a coed independent school for all children K-8. A global perspective is woven throughout academics, arts and experiential programming. Spring Garden Waldorf School in Copley Township is a K-8 facility located in a remodeled public elementary school. It adheres to the Waldorf educational approach that balances academic subjects with artistic and practical activities. Greater Akron has seven Montessori schools, which differ somewhat in their approaches to the Montessori method. The Montessori method emphasizes hands-on learning, child-directed learning and collaborative work. Akron Montessori in Fairlawn is the only Montessori school in the Akron area that offers a complete infanttoddler, primary and elementary school curriculum. Old Trail School in Bath Township is a coeducational country day school, grades Pre-K through 8, founded in 1920. Today, its 525 students come

t. Sebastian Parish School continues to focus on the directive outlined in its mission statement of “excellence in education and commitment to Christ.” While their Christ-centered approach is our focus, their recent STEM designation from the state of Ohio puts their school at the forefront of education. Their students participate in handson, inquiry and problem-based learning that is crosscurricular and features collaboration, communication and critical thinking. The brand new Innovation Lab will become a hub for student-centered, STEM-based collaboration where students are challenged to be creative, take risks, experiment, prototype and let their curiosity guide their discovery. Students also have the opportunity to learn about coding and 3-D printing in the school’s Technology Learning Lab. The school will soon implement a new 1:1 Chromebook program that will provide technology to create a personalized learning environment that fosters collaboration, creativity, communication and critical thinking for students in grades 6-8. This will increase access for all students and encourage the most modern methods of learning and teaching. Students will also be exposed to robotics as they continue to link these newer technologies across the curriculum. Outside the classroom students have the opportunity to participate in many extra-curricular activities such as Power of the Pen, Science Olympiad, Student Ambassadors, Gravity Racing Challenge, MathCounts, Lego Club, Chess Club, Drama Club and Youth Ministry. The school continues to build its Catholic Identity through faith education, celebration of Mass and the Sacraments and the service of others. To tour the school and see how the students are flourishing, please call (330) 8369107 or visit www.stsebastian.org/school.

from more than five counties. Charter schools are publicly funded, nonsectarian schools that operate independently of any school district but are under contract with an authorized sponsor. Most are for-profit and serve as an alternative to the traditional K-12 public school system.

MEDINA COUNTY SCHOOLS Medina County includes seven public school districts serving nearly 30,000 students, including Black River, Wadsworth and the largest, Medina City Schools. The district has seven elementary buildings, two middle schools and one high school. The Medina County Career Center (MCCC), part of the county school district, offers more than 25 technical career majors covering practically every career field. At MCCC, students can begin earning college credit before stepping foot on a college campus. Many majors provide students access to industry certifications. Medina County offers several private school options for elementary and middle school students, including the Medina Christian Academy, Sacred 20 1 7-20 1 8

Heart School, St. Mark Lutheran School, St. Francis Xavier School, Northside Christian Academy, Reimer Road Baptist School, St. Ambrose and the Montessori-based Medina Children’s House.

PORTAGE COUNTY SCHOOLS Portage County has 11 districts. The largest is Kent City Schools, with an enrollment close to 4,000 in 2016. The district consists of five elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. The district has athletic championships in many sports. More than 85 percent of its seniors go on to college. St. Patrick School in Kent, K-8, is the largest Catholic school in Portage County, with more than 300 students. Children of all faiths attend. Valley Christian Academy in Aurora has an enrollment of more than 300 in grades K-8. The NEOMED campus in Portage County Rootstown Township is home to the tuition free Bio-Med Science Academy, a STEM +M school— science, technology, engineering, math and medicine—founded in 2012.

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The University of Akron

REACHING FOR HIGHER LEARNING The University of Akron, Kent State University, NEOMED and Stark State College are among the many higher learning institutions located in Greater Akron. The region is also home to many trade and vocational schools.


he two largest universities within the Akron radius are The University of Akron (UA) and Kent State University (KSU), which have combined enrollments of more than 66,000 on their main and satellite campuses. These universities interact with the business, industrial and social service communities in many ways— research, special courses, work-study programs, wellness efforts and urban development, among others.

THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON The University of Akron, established in 1870, offers more than 300 associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate and law degree programs. UA brings together a broad range 60 E x p e r i e n c e

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of disciplines in ways that provide students with lifelong skills, internships and co-ops, opportunities for academic research, study abroad, on-campus student employment and service projects designed for diverse groups of learners, including full-time, parttime and online students, veterans and adults returning to the classroom. UA’s College of Polymer Science and Engineering was the world’s first and remains the nation’s largest and most diverse academic program dedicated to the study of polymers— long chains of molecules that make up mainly rubbers and plastics. It boasts the largest concentration of polymer expertise in the world. UA’s famed College of Engineering, which was founded at the request of Akron area industrialists in 1914, has been the producer of a premier workforce pipeline to strengthen the region’s economy. At the time of graduation in May 2017, nearly 90 percent of engineering grads had g r e a t e r a k r o n c h a m b e r. o r g

already accepted jobs in Ohio. In 2010, UA established the nation’s first baccalaureate program in corrosion engineering. The first graduates of that program received their degrees in May 2015. About 35 percent of UA’s patents protect discoveries in polymers, but UA patents represent other strengths— among them medical technology (20 percent), computers and devices (15 percent) and advanced materials (9 percent). Bio-mimicry, the development of products based on designs in nature, has become a vital area of commercialization for UA. In 2016, The University of Akron School of Law received top ranking for Intellectual Property Law by preLaw magazine. The National Jurist magazine ranked the school seventh in the country for those seeking a career as a prosecutor or public defender and in the top 25 for bar exam preparation. In 2015-16, Above the Law ranked the school as a Top 50, Top-Tier Law School for the first time based on outcomes involving quality employment, costs of education and alumni satisfaction among others. Other UA highlights: n  The industrial/organizational psychology program is routinely ranked in the top 10 in the nation. n  In 2016, OnlineAccountingDegrees. com identified the Master of Taxation (MTax) degree program as one of the nation’s best values.

n  The Center for the History of Psychology, founded on the UA campus in 1965, is part of the prestigious Smithsonian Institution Affiliations program. It attracts visiting psychologists from around the world and houses the papers of more than 740 psychologists, along with instruments—some more than a century old—photographs and films. n  Eighty-two percent of students at UA participate in hands-on learning, which includes internships and coops, and academic research to enrich the college experience and help prepare students for post-graduation success. n  UA students enter the work world with less student loan debt on average than their counterparts at any other Ohio public university. n  More than 200 student organizations encompass everything from academics and hobbies to politics, faith, music and careers. UA’s nearly 200,000-square-foot Student Union is home base for many of those organizations and a popular place to hang out between classes.

KENT STATE UNIVERSITY Founded in 1910, Kent State University in Portage County is a public research university, ranked in the top tier of best national universities by U.S. News & World Report. KSU is one of Ohio’s largest universities, with a total enrollment of

more than 41,000 students on its eight Northeast Ohio campuses coming from 50 states and more than 100 countries. In fall 2016, the university marked the 10th consecutive year of enrollment growth on the Kent Campus. The Kent Campus also achieved record retention (82.2 percent) and record enrollment of under-represented students (3,985 students compared to previous high of 3,850 students in 2015). The Kent Campus welcomed a record-setting freshman class, in terms of size, quality based on GPA and diversity. The freshman class of 4,335 students beat the previous record of 4,314 students in 2013, and boasted an average GPA of 3.4. Its average ACT score topped 23. The new freshman class also had a record number of under-represented students enrolled (737 students compared to the previous high of 727 students in 2011). The university’s Kent Campus is located on the banks of the scenic Cuyahoga River and combines a friendly, small-town ambience with proximity to metropolitan centers. From the certificate level to the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level, KSU offers more than 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Enhancing an environment of enlightenment, KSU has undergone the most dramatic transformation in its history, involving the construction of new buildings, facility upgrades and the establishment of dynamic new


JOLENE A. LANE The University of Akron, Vice President for Inclusion and Equity, Chief Diversity Officer, Title IX Coordinator Moved from Brownstown Township, MI and New York, NY to Akron in 2017. “Akron feels like home. I was living in Michigan while working at a university in New York City and enduring a longdistance marriage for seven years, mostly with me traveling between New York and Michigan two weekends each month. My husband was born and raised in Akron, so to be near his parents who are in their nineties, I sought a position at The University of Akron. We will finally live under the same roof. What a remarkable place to have found a home, and my welcome here has been beyond compare! I grew up in the mountains in Colorado, and I am tremendously excited about the spectacular Metro Parks and the possibilities that will allow me to embrace my love of science and nature. My husband is returning home to his Cleveland Browns. I am so grateful to be working and learning in a wonderful academic institution and serving the community within and beyond The University of Akron.” 20 1 7-20 1 8

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KAREN B. CLARKE Kent State University, Sr. Vice President, Strategic Communications and External Affairs Moved to Kent from Philadelphia in January 2016.


hen I was considering a move to Kent State University, I wasn’t sure how well I would adapt after living in downtown Philadelphia. It has been a thrill to share an ‘outsider’s’ perspective with people who have been here all their lives. The Greater Akron area is a genuinely welcoming community where residents eagerly share advice on the best places to shop, eat, explore and play. We have an abundance of riches that would be the envy of many other communities, from world-class healthcare, universities, sports teams, arts and theater to parks and trails, locallyowned shops and markets and so much more. When my daughter recently visited from Seattle, she said what I’ve heard from many of my friends: “I had no idea this area is so awesome!” I love being your new neighbor and am blessed to be a part of this amazing region.”

living and learning spaces. Changes on the Kent Campus are mirrored in the $110 million renaissance of downtown Kent, strengthening the town-gown relationship and creating the enriching experience of Ohio’s rising college town. In an effort to strengthen KSU’s reputation as a leading institution of research, teaching and practice in constructive conflict management, the university changed the name of the Center for Applied Conflict Management to the School of Peace and Conflict Studies, effective August 2017. The move elevates the center from a unit within the political science department to a school in the College of the Arts and Sciences. The center originated a year after the events of May 4, 1970, to serve as a “living memorial” dedicated to the promotion of peaceful social and political change. Other KSU highlights: n  KSU adds about $2 billion in income annually to the Northeast Ohio economy through its development of an educated workforce. There are more than 235,000 alumni living and working around the world. n  KSU is home to the Liquid Crystal Institute®, the most comprehensive research and educational center in the field of liquid crystals. The applications of breakthrough findings at the institute have made 62 E x p e r i e n c e

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an impact on the world, from liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions and computer monitors to electronic devices like the iPad. n  Thanks to recent grants totaling nearly $4 million, KSU’s new Brain Health Research Institute will advance the university’s studies in neuroscience—specifically in the areas of brain injury, neurodegenerative disorders, trauma and stress injuries and substance abuse—while connecting more than 50 faculty members from various fields. Ranked first nationally in memory recall studies and third in stress and trauma psychology, KSU scholars combine their diverse expertise to make brain health one of the largest areas of research strength and opportunity and a constant focus of the mission to create a culture of wellness for all. n  KSU’s Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising is consistently rated among the best fashion institutions in the U.S. and worldwide. It is currently ranked No. 1 in the midwest for both fashion design and fashion merchandising. Fashion School students are educated across three locations including Rockwell Hall on the Kent Campus, the university’s New York City studio located in the Garment District and

at KSU’s Florence Center in Italy. Students enrolled in the Fashion School are also offered study-away opportunities in Paris, South Korea and China. n  The Wick Poetry Center promotes educational and artistic opportunities for emerging and established poets and poetry audiences nationally. Established in 1984, it is one of the leading university poetry centers in the United States and the only one with an interactive poetry park. The Wick Poetry Center is unique for its range of impactful programming, which includes education, performance, publications and outreach. n  The Kent State Golden Flashes compete in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). 425 studentathletes participate in 18 sports (10 men’s and 8 women’s), and women’s lacrosse will be added in 2018-2019. n  KSU is home to Ohio’s first and only accredited aviation flight program and is authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to offer the only degree program in air traffic control in Ohio. n  KSU offers Ohio’s only accredited Master of Library and Information Science program, which is ranked among the top 20 graduate schools in the field by U.S. News & World Report. g r e a t e r a k r o n c h a m b e r. o r g

NEOMED Founded in 1973 to meet Northeast Ohio’s critical need for primary care physicians, Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) opened its historical campus in Portage County to its first class in 1977. The inaugural class consisted of 42 students from a Greater Akron consortium of state universities in Northeast Ohio: The University of Akron, Kent State University and Youngstown State University. Today, with the university’s mission and community base as strong as they have ever been, NEOMED has grown to include three colleges of its own (College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy and College of Graduate Studies) and nine higher education partnerships—including its Greater Akron consortium—with other colleges and universities. Providing education, research and service, NEOMED improves the health, economy and quality of life of the diverse communities of Northeast Ohio. The total enrollment consists of nearly 1,000 future medical professionals, most of whom return to live and work in Northeast Ohio. Collaboration is key to NEOMED’s ongoing success. NEOMED trains future physicians, pharmacists, researchers and other health professionals in an interprofessional environment that positions all for excellence in team-based, patientcentered care and shared research from bench to bedside. To provide a premier health sciences education, NEOMED leverages the strengths and resources of its more than 150 regional partners in healthcare and education. The university is constantly finding ways to have a positive impact on its communities, particularly the underserved areas. From working with government and civic organizations and officials, to partnering with businesses and philanthropists, the results have been a huge boost to Greater Akron. Other NEOMED highlights: n  NEOMED has graduated more than 4,000 medical students—Doctors of Medicine (M.D.), Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), Philosophy (Ph.D.) and other health professionals and researchers—more than half of whom practice in Ohio and are now contributing to economic development and providing excellent care to the patients in the region.

n  Each practicing primary care physician generates about $1 million per year in economic activity. This means that NEOMED alumni living and working in Northeast Ohio contribute well over $1 billion in annual economic activity for the region. n  NEOMED created a publicprivate partnership zone on its campus called the Research, Entrepreneurship, Discovery and Innovation Zone (REDIzone®). More than a dozen area businesses partner with the REDIzone®, which





fosters innovation and technology commercialization, and serves as an incubator for private companies to drive economic prosperity throughout the region. n  The NEOMED Education and Wellness (NEW) Center is a 177,000-square-foot, mixed-use facility located on the university’s campus. Made possible through a public-private partnership among NEOMED, Signet Development and Integrated Wellness Partners, the NEW Center provides a state-of-theart fitness facility; physical therapy,


is expected to grow $30 billion over the next five years – and Kent State University is at the forefront. By bringing together our top-notch Fashion School, Liquid Crystal Institute and School of Digital Sciences, we’re discovering new ways to incorporate liquid crystal sensors into textiles – taking accessorizing to a whole new level.

WWW.KENT.EDU Kent State University, Kent State and KSU are registered trademarks and may not be used without permission. Kent State University, an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, is committed to attaining excellence through the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce. 17-UR-00332-175

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pharmacy and physicians’ offices; conference and event space and catering and management. n  The NEW Center also contains a public high school: Bio-Med Science Academy, a STEM +M (for medicine) high school, was the first STEM high school in the country to be located on the campus of a medical university. The Academy was launched in 2012 and is already among the highest performing high schools in the state. n  According to a 2012 study (before the NEW Center opened), the economic

impact of NEOMED and its affiliated academic healthcare partners on the State of Ohio equaled $7.7 billion annually. NEOMED and its teaching affiliates account for over 71,000 jobs and generate over $243.1 million in total state tax revenue annually.

STARK STATE COLLEGE Stark State College focuses on affordable, quality higher education that propels students to career success or launches them toward advanced degrees. Stark State offers more than 230 associate degrees and certificates

in business, education, engineering technologies, health, human and public services, information technology, liberal arts, mathematics and sciences. The college also works with business and industry to train a skilled workforce to meet talent pipeline needs. Stark State enrolls more than 12,000 students, more than a quarter of whom are from the Akron area. That number is expected to increase in the fall of 2018 when Stark State opens a 50,000-square-foot, state-of-theart facility now under construction in Akron just off Route 8. The site has a continued on page 66


VICTOR TORRES Northeast Ohio Medical University, Director of Global Engagement Moved from McAllen, TX to Stow in 2016.


oving to the Greater Akron area has been a wonderful experience. Coming from southern Texas, our family had never been exposed to all four seasons: the fall with all its glorious colors, the snow-covered winter, how everything comes back to life in spring, and a very mild summer. Bear in mind, our Texan summers are 109 degrees hot! Ohioans may take these seasons for granted, but we have enjoyed them wholeheartedly. So far, we have enjoyed exploring the hiking trails at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and taking in a concert at the Blossom Music Center. In the winter, we had some fun ice skating at Lock 3. When we decided to move, we were a little cautious. We are a Latino family and had never lived this far from our roots. We have come to realize that people here are just as friendly and warm as they are down south.” 64 E x p e r i e n c e

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Located in the center of Northeast

• ballrooms that seat up to 700 guests

Ohio’s health care and university hub.

• intelligent conference or break-out rooms for up to 30 people

Near Akron and just outside of Kent,

• pre-function spaces and layouts for casual networking • 350 seat auditorium

the NEW Center provides 177,000

• executive chef and full catering kitchen

square feet of sophisticated space,

• Sequoia Wellness complete with universal equipment, free weights, pools, sauna, yoga, zumba, basketball court and more

amenities, technology and service.

Speak with an event specialist to create a truly unique experience. Call 330.325.6173 or visit newcenterevents.com to learn more.

4211 St. Rt. 44 | Rootstown, Ohio 44272 | 330.325.6173 | newcenterevents.com 20 1 7-20 1 8

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HIGHER EDUCATION continued from page 64 convenient downtown location, plentiful parking and access from Metro public transportation. Stark State is also offering programs and classes to Akron students on White Pond Drive. For more information about Stark State College Akron, visit starkstate.edu/akron.

TRADE AND VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS The Ohio College of Massotherapy in Montrose offers programs in massage, sports massage and spa therapy. Other vocational and technical schools in the region include Akron School of Practical Nursing, Fortis Institute in Cuyahoga Falls (computer technology and healthcare), Hamrick School in Medina (truck driving) and Akron Testing Laboratory and Welding School in Barberton.

LIFELONG LEARNING Greater Akron offers many alternatives for people interested in attaining valuable career skills at any time, be it right out of high school or for

a midlife career change. Many of these alternatives provide area businesses and industries with well-trained workers who have specialized training in areas such as advanced manufacturing, public safety and polymer science. UA Medina, centrally located in Medina County, is a good example of community education alternatives. The $9 million, 33,000-square-foot center is located in Innovation Park, an industrial park designed for high-technology businesses. UA Medina offers general education courses for adult students, recent high school graduates, post-secondary students and transfer students. Students can also complete the following degrees at UA Medina: Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Organizational Supervision and Master in Business Administration. The University of Akron’s College of Applied Science and Technology offers nationally accredited associate and baccalaureate degree programs. The College also offers minors and technical certificates, in addition to professional training in firefighting and

law enforcement through the Training Center for Fire and Hazardous Materials and the Police Academy. Currently, The College of Applied Science and Technology offers 12 baccalaureate degrees on campus and at a variety of offsite locations in conjunction with various community colleges. These degrees, in the areas of business, engineering and science, computer information and emergency management and homeland security, are designed to build upon associate degrees and are aligned with the needs of local businesses. The University of Akron’s UA Solutions, an advanced professional development and corporate training center, offers more than 300 classroom and online courses each semester. Non-credit courses, certification courses and customized onsite employee training are offered. The University of Akron’s distance learning network includes 29 distance learning classrooms located on or off the main campus. It connects to hundreds of locations around the world for classes, meetings and conferences.

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Cleveland Clinic Akron General

OUR GREATEST WEALTH IS HEALTH Greater Akron’s healthcare network is composed of many of the most advanced research, private and public facilities in the country to take care of all your needs from wellness visits to mental health.


reater Akron offers top-ranking teaching hospitals, world-class Cleveland Clinic hospitals and a designated corridor for biomedical businesses—including some of the world’s leading biomaterials scientists — and commercialization efforts that link the spheres of corporate and academic research, private and public investment and government guidance into one robust ecosystem.

CLEVELAND CLINIC AKRON GENERAL Founded in 1914 as Peoples Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Akron General is a not-for-profit healthcare organization that serves as the hub for Cleveland Clinic’s Southern Region. Akron General’s main campus in downtown Akron is anchored by a 532-registered-bed teaching and research medical center. Akron General has regional referral centers in cardiology, cancer, women’s health and orthopedics, and a broad range of additional services to ensure the most comprehensive, compassionate care. 20 1 7-20 1 8

As a Level I Trauma Center, as designated by the American College of Surgeons, Akron General offers the technology, expertise and staffing to treat all injuries. Operating rooms, diagnostic services and trauma specialists are on call 24 hours a day. Construction is underway on a $49.3 million building that will more than triple the size of Akron General’s downtown Akron emergency department and will help enhance the patient experience. The new emergency department is scheduled to open in the second half of 2018. In January 2017, Akron General opened a four-bed adult Epilepsy Monitoring Unit to deliver state-ofthe-art evaluation, diagnosis and monitoring of patients with epilepsy. An outpatient epilepsy clinic also provides convenient access to Cleveland Clinic’s Epilepsy Center. Express Care is available for minor health complaints when most physician offices are closed after work and on the weekends, with convenient locations in Cuyahoga Falls, Green, Hudson, Kent, Tallmadge and Wadsworth. Cleveland Clinic also offers Express Care Online to contact a healthcare provider via mobile device or computer. Lodi Hospital, a critical access hospital and also part of Cleveland Clinic Akron General, offers a comprehensive range of services, including a 24-hour emergency department, outpatient surgery and a full range of diagnostics, rehabilitation and physical therapy and acute and skilled care. Visiting Nurse Service, a comprehensive provider of home healthcare services, provides nursing care, rehabilitation therapies, hospice and palliative care, as well as medical equipment and supplies. Health & Wellness Centers, located in Bath, Green and Stow, offer a variety of integrated outpatient services, including 24-hour emergency departments, primary and specialty care practices and a medically supervised exercise program. In partnership with Select Medical, Cleveland Clinic is building a new Edwin Shaw rehabilitation hospital. The hospital will be located in Bath Township, next to Akron General’s Health & Wellness Center. It is expected to open November 2017 and will include an interdisciplinary team of specialists helping patients recover from stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, neurological disorders and orthopedic conditions.

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GREATER AKRON HEALTHCARE determined in the annual NorthCoast 99 Awards. Summa is committed to the principles of population health management, using coordinated, patientcentered care to improve the experience of care for individuals, improve the health of the community Akron Children’s Hospital and lower the total cost of care. This is accomplished SUMMA HEALTH when a team of clinicians not only work Summa Health is one of the largest collaboratively in the treatment of the integrated healthcare delivery systems patient, but also in concert with the in Ohio. Formed in 1989 with the patient to make real lifestyle changes merger of Akron City and St. Thomas and implement preventative healthcare Hospital, this nonprofit system now measures. encompasses a network of hospitals, To this goal, Summa Health’s community-based health centers, a Accountable Care Organization (ACO), health plan, a physician-hospital group, NewHealth Collaborative (NHC), multi-specialty group practice, research has been recognized for achieving a and medical education and the Summa significant multi-million-dollar savings Foundation. in the CMS Medicare Shared Savings Summa Health serves more than Program for two consecutive years. one million patients throughout The transformation to a population its five-county region each year in health organization has required comprehensive emergency, acute, many changes for the organization. critical, outpatient and long-term/ In April 2016, Summa Health home care settings. There are more announced an investment of up to than 1,300 licensed inpatient beds $350 million in facility improvements on the campuses of Summa Akron across the system, which will include City Hospital, Summa St. Thomas the construction of a new tower at Hospital, Summa Barberton Hospital Summa Akron City Hospital, a new and Summa Rehab Hospital. The medical office building and significant system’s workforce of more than renovations at Summa Barberton 11,000 employees makes it the largest Hospital. employer in Summit County. For 13 consecutive years, Summa Health AKRON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL has been named one of the 99 best Akron Children’s Hospital is ranked workplaces in Northeast Ohio, as among the best pediatric hospitals

by U.S. News & World Report, but it’s their compassionate approach to treatment that makes the hospital truly exceptional. To ensure families have convenient access to care, it has two hospital campuses in Northeast Ohio and 60 plus primary, specialty and urgent care locations. It collaborates with many community partners to bring neonatal and pediatric expertise to patients in their healthcare facilities, and its home care and school health nurses treat kids in their homes and schools. With more than one million patient visits in 2016, Akron Children’s Hospital has,been leading the way to healthier futures for children through quality patient care, education, advocacy, community service and medical discovery since 1890. The Locust Pediatric Care Group serves as a medical home for children and adolescents. The Group has a unique interest in children with special healthcare needs, international families, foster parents and adopted children.

WESTERN RESERVE HOSPITAL Western Reserve Hospital is Northeast Ohio’s only physicianowned hospital, offering a full range of healthcare options and services reinforced by the shared commitment to patient satisfaction and improved healthcare delivery. Owned and operated by physicians in the community, the hospital is committed to providing the safest, highest quality, lowest cost healthcare available and improving the overall health of the communities the hospital serves. continued on page 72


ANDRÉ LESSEARS, MBA, IDI QA Director, Diversity & Inclusion Cleveland Clinic Akron General Moved from Dubuque, IA to Akron in 2016.


rowing up in the area, like most kids, I couldn’t wait to move away from home. Once I finally moved away, it would have been hard for me to believe that one day I would move back. After living in four states over a sixteen-year period, this is the only place I could imagine raising my children and growing old. I’ve moved back home wiser and more appreciative of the values and perspectives I developed here. They’re the same values I want my children to develop so when they “leave the nest” and if the opportunity comes, they’ll realize that there is truly no place like home.”

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A positive spin: Rock and Recovery™ takes care of mind, body and spirit


ock and Recovery™ (rockandrecovery.com) is a streaming service and smartphone app dedicated to sending out a beacon of hope to all who are experiencing recovery from substance abuse and mental health issues. It went online in 2011. Rock and Recovery™ was conceived as a way for 91.3 The Summit FM to fulfill and expand its mission as a nonprofit public radio station serving Northeast Ohio and to do something positive that also spoke to the history and culture of Greater Akron. Music can help muscles relax, lower blood pressure, elevate mood and even reach and at least temporarily revive minds and memories lost in the fog of Alzheimer’s Disease. For people in recovery, music can relieve stress,

alleviate boredom and distract them from negative thoughts and impulses that might lead them to use again. But on Rock and Recovery™, it’s not just the music that helps. The time in between songs conveys positive messages like: n  “You don’t just choose recovery. You have to keep choosing recovery over and over again.” n  “Something will grow from all you are going through. And it will be you.” n  “You never realize how strong you are until strong is your only choice.” Rock and Recovery™ helps people remember that they’re not alone, and that there is hope. In the words of Grammy Award-winning artist Graham Nash, “We all need help—every single one of us.”

Garrett Heart, Program Director for Rock and Recovery

Caring for you as you care for others. At Summa Health, you are our top priority. Our collaborative culture supports a healthy work-life balance with flexible scheduling, training and development. With many Summa Health hospitals - Akron Campus, St. Thomas Campus and Barberton Campus - as well as several medical centers throughout Summit, Stark, Medina and Wayne counties, there are many opportunities to be part of our amazing team.

Visit summahealth.org/careers.

We are an EOE M/F/D/V and Smoke/Drug Free workplace

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GILBERT D. A. PADULA, MD System Medical Director, Summa Health Cancer Institute, The Vincent and Nancy DiGirolamo Endowed Chair Moved from Grand Rapids, MI to Akron in 2017.


hen I moved to Northeast Ohio from Grand Rapids, MI, I was struck at how similar the two areas are. It’s just beautiful here, and the quality of life is really amazing. There’s so much to do and see. My kids love it here, too, especially visits to the Akron Art Museum and attending RubberDucks games. We have season tickets to the Indians games. And they have been so happy with our trips to Cedar Point, just a short car ride away. I’m also honored to be on the board for the Akron Civic Theatre, which offers our community such a wide range of incredible entertainment. And I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to join Summa Health, such a phenomenal, nationally ranked health system. There is so much room for growth here, and I look forward to continuing to provide outstanding healthcare services to all our cancer patients whom we are so privileged to serve.”


hen the Student Outreach to Area Residents (SOAR) Student-Run Free Clinic opened one year ago, its goal was simple: to provide healthcare to those who can’t afford it. Students at Northeast Ohio Medical University who had worked several years to develop the clinic made the community aware of its opening by spreading the word to local social services agencies, houses of worship and nonprofits. One year later, the SOAR StudentRun Free Clinic, located in the NEOMED Education and Wellness (NEW) Center, is in high-demand and continues to receive high praise. SOAR operates on a mission to deliver high quality, non-emergent, no-cost healthcare to the medically underserved residents of Northeast Ohio. SOAR also serves as an opportunity for NEOMED medicine and pharmacy students to gain experience utilizing their medical knowledge, cultural competency and interprofessional skills in a clinical setting. The free clinic serves as a point of access to primary care for the uninsured and underserved residents in Portage County. The free clinic also offers chronic disease management, routine care, physicals, basic labs, 70 E x p e r i e n c e

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prescriptions and connections to the Prescription Assistance Program and Health Insurance Enrollment. NEOMED medicine and pharmacy students volunteer as interprofessional teams under the supervision of faculty preceptors. John Boltri, M.D., serves as the medical director. The SOAR Student-Run Free Clinic primarily targets the medically underserved and uninsured population of Portage County. Since opening, the Student-Run Free Clinic has provided comprehensive, no-cost, healthcare to over 68 unique patients; care for 104 patient visits; 117 preventative screening labs; and 1,142 student volunteer hours. SOAR has procured funding for initial capital expenditures through the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Walter W. Born Foundation; a grant from the United Way of Portage County will supplement a small percentage of screening services; and University Hospitals Portage Medical Center has donated phlebotomy lab supplies and training. In addition, SOAR receives support from multiple departments at NEOMED. However, the free clinic is still seeking long-term sustainable funding that will enable it to expand its services. The community’s response to


NEOMED’s Student-Run Free Clinic soars to new heights in first year

NEOMED student helps patient at SOAR

the clinic has been overwhelmingly positive. Patients are very satisfied with the care they receive, and 98 percent of patients say they would recommend the clinic. More than 150 volunteers are dedicated to working with SOAR. Goals for 2018 include recruitment of volunteers, primary care physicians and specialists, who will treat patients in their offices or at the free clinic. The free clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., one Saturday per month. More information can be found at outreachneo.org or by contacting SOAR at (330) 552-7080 or clinic@ outreachneo.org. g r e a t e r a k r o n c h a m b e r. o r g

Caring for our community, one child at a time. We treat every child who comes through our doors. That’s why we’re so grateful for community support. Thanks to our friends, donors and volunteers, we can continue to run the clinical, educational and research programs that help improve our children’s lives.

To learn more or to make a donation, visit akronchildrens.org/giving

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GREATER AKRON HEALTHCARE continued from page 68

“Providing quality affordable care.”

Medical · Dental · Pharmacy Behavioral Health Women’s Health Call 888-975-9188 to make an appointment. axesspointe.org

Western Reserve also works closely with local organizations, businesses, schools and first responders to implement effective, far-reaching programs for families and children throughout Summit County. The pharmacy at Western Reserve Hospital has also helped in the fight against drug abuse by being the first in Northeast Ohio to dispense Narcan, an anti-narcotic that can be obtained without a prescription to fight drug overdoses. The hospital also strives to improve the overall health of the community with the Doctor’s Order program, which unites Western Reserve with more than 30 local restaurants. This popular program helps people make healthier decisions when dining out by identifying heart-healthy entrees on each participating restaurant’s menu.

CLEVELAND CLINIC MEDINA HOSPITAL Medina Community Hospital opened on October 22, 1944. The hospital was originally the four-bedroom home

of the Theodore Weidner family. Today, Medina Hospital is a modern, 171-bed hospital, located on the corridor to the Medina community. The hospital features the latest technology and procedures with more than 600 physicians on the medical staff covering more than 40 areas of specialization. In August of 2009, the hospital affiliated with Cleveland Clinic, providing residents with local access to world-class care. Among the hospital’s key service areas are pediatrics, neurology care for neurological and movement disorders including a Gold Plus Award for stroke care and wound care with a team of providers dedicated to healing chronic wounds. Medina Hospital’s cardiac services include diagnostics, a congestive heart failure clinic and cardiac rehabilitation programs. It also has a full spectrum of orthopedic care, including total joint replacement. Medina Hospital is committed to improving the health and wellness of its surrounding communities and helps to lead the award-winning Healthy Medina program.

Arlington · Barberton Broadway · Kent · Portage Path

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Akron-Canton Airport

We can find reasonably priced flights and easy parking at local Akron-Canton Airport, and we have easy access to two other Northeast Ohio airports, local buses and Amtrak.

Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) is about 15 minutes south of downtown Akron. Featuring easy parking and accessibility, many say it’s where you’ll find Ohio’s lowest average fares. In 2016, CAK finished a $240 million expansion for improvements inside and outside of the airport, and in 2017, added covered parking. CAK is home to many popular airlines—including Delta, American, United, and Spirit Airlines. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) offers about 140 nonstop departures to more than 35 markets. CLE hosts nine airlines and provided service to more than eight million passengers in 2016. CLE is located just 35 miles from Akron, adjacent to several interstate highways, including I-480, I-71, I-80 and just minutes from I-77 and I-90. Akron-Fulton International Airport (AKC) on Akron’s east side—along with

15 other airfields in Greater Akron— serves private pilots and passengers, including corporate jets.

PUBLIC TRANSIT Akron Metropolitan Regional Transit Authority (METRO) transports nearly six million passengers annually. For those who like to mix their transportation modes, all METRO lineservice buses are equipped with bike racks. Also, the fleet is 100 percent wheelchair/scooter accessible. In 2017, METRO introduced purple DASH buses that run in a loop through downtown to The University of Akron for free on weekdays! Greyhound Bus Lines operates out of the Robert K. Pfaff Transit Center, which includes a café, an ATM and a community room. Amtrak has lines/stops in Cleveland and Alliance (just 36 miles from Akron) for passenger and cargo transport.




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The Goodyear Blimp, 1938

PRESERVING OUR HISTORY By Dave Lieberth, Chairman, Summit County Historical Society


reater Akron was the American frontier (Summit, Portage and Medina Counties). Europeans moving west in the 18th century encountered enormous challenges in the Ohio country—unnavigable roads and rivers, dense forests, dangerous animals and Native Americans defending the land that had nurtured their people for centuries. Our topography of plateaus and rolling hills, forests, rivers and lakes dictated the route of the Portage Path, which today is marked by a statue of an American Indian at the big bend of the Cuyahoga River in Akron’s Merriman Valley. By sitting atop the continent’s watershed divide, Summit County was the “high point” of the canal that linked Lake Erie to the Ohio River. Today the Towpath Trail is a 71-mile hiking and cycling route that goes through the center of Akron and runs 74 E x p e r i e n c e

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through the 33,000-acre Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Richard Howe House, once home to the canal engineer, is a federal-style home that is the headquarters for the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition. Greater Akron’s founders remade the land into something they understood, not unlike the towns they knew in New England. Hale Farm & Village, an 1825 frontier home and outdoor living history museum, is maintained by Western Reserve Historical Society. Daily life of Ohio’s pioneer days is depicted with demonstrations of American crafts. Medina’s Public Square Historic District is reminiscent of a traditional 19th century downtown, where historic homes and shops have been lovingly preserved. Ravenna’s Lowrie-Beatty Museum rests on a 12-acre site preserved by the Portage County Historical Society and includes an early pioneer homestead, an 1860s brick home, the John Campbell Land Grant Office, New England type barns and more. Akron’s founding family built the Simon Perkins Stone Mansion, one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in Ohio, depicting life in the mid to late 19th century. The Summit County Historical Society also maintains the John Brown House, the home of the

abolitionist who launched the Civil War with his raid at Harpers Ferry. Industrialization came to dominate this American heartland. The first of Akron’s great cereal mills was built in 1862. The restored silos at Quaker Square and the nearby Hower House, a 28-room Victorian mansion, recall the era when Akron was the home of the American cereal industry. Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, opened in 1915 by the founder of Goodyear, is one of America’s “castles,” and one of the finest examples of Tudor Revival architecture in America with its 70 acres of landscaped grounds and gardens designed by renowned American landscape architect Warren Manning. In the Gate Lodge of Stan Hywet, in 1935, the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous were first written. Nearby is Dr. Bob’s House, home of AA’s co-founder. Both are landmarks for the global AA fellowship and are open to the public. Akron’s manufacturing prowess extended to lighter-than-air craft, which can still be observed whenever the Goodyear Blimps take to the sky. The Akron Airdock at Fulton Municipal Airport is one of the world’s signature architectural achievements.

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GREATER AKRON COMMUNITIES COMMUNITY LINKS SUMMIT COUNTY AKRON Population—199,110; residents under 18 years, 22.9 percent; median household income, $34,359; median home value, $91,800. AKRON NEIGHBORHOODS The driving time to downtown Akron from the following areas is less than 15 minutes: Northwest—The neighborhood, which includes Fairlawn Heights, is filled with many homes that were originally built for the founders and executives of the city’s rubber companies. Home prices cover a wide range, from about $70,000 to more than $700,000. Near West—This is one of Akron’s most culturally diverse neighborhoods. It is dotted with homes originally built to house rubber workers and soldiers returning from World War II. Highland Square—Between the northwest and near west sections of town, Highland Square has long been a haven for artists, young professionals and older adults who like a walkable neighborhood. North Hill—Italian immigrants first settled in this section of Akron. It is now a community of many ethnic backgrounds, but residents still honor its heritage with Italian markets, festivals and restaurants.

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME The area is continually recognized for affordable housing and unique neighborhoods.


hile home values are rising in the Greater Akron area, it’s still one of the best places in the nation to snag a deal on record-low interest rates and affordable housing. According to zillow.com, home prices rose almost 6 percent in 2016, and are expected to rise 2.5 percent in 2017. Yet the National Association of Realtors lists the Akron area in their top ten national listing of “Cheapest Homes.” The region is not only family friendly; it’s also affordable and accessible. Here are some details on our larger communities. Statistics come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent census, which comes out every ten years.

East Akron—The east side of town is a mix of mid-priced homes built in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s and contemporary developments geared to the lifestyles of today’s families. Home prices range from $45,000 to $300,000. South Akron—The working-class community known as Kenmore in South Akron was once an independent city, and its residents are still fiercely proud to be Kenmorites. Homes range from $40,000 to $160,000. Ellet—Population, 17,269; median household income, $40,755; median home value, $121,619. Once its own city, Ellet was annexed by Akron but still maintains its own sense of identity. Ellet High School boasts both academic and athletic excellence. The community is home to the Akron Fulton Municipal Airport, the Rubber Bowl football stadium and Derby Downs Goodyear Heights and Firestone Park—These two communities were built in the early 1900s to provide housing for employees near the respective Goodyear and Firestone factories. Homes range from $65,000 to $150,000. Downtown—Loft apartments and condominiums are more popular downtown. Several new developments are luring suburbanites back to city living. The housing is in all price ranges, depending on the development.

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GREATER AKRON COMMUNITIES OTHER SUMMIT COUNTY COMMUNITIES The driving time to downtown Akron from the following areas averages 20 to 30 minutes:


Barberton Population—26,550; residents under 18 years—23.5 percent; median household income—$35,411; median home value—$96,600. Situated around Lake Anna, a natural glacial lake, blue collar Barberton is a mix of older homes on quiet streets with a burgeoning art district in their downtown.


Bath Township Population—9,662; residents under 18 years—25.7 percent; median household income—$98,485; median home value—$327,100 (unless you’re LeBron James, who built a $9.2 million home here). This affluent community just outside of Akron has a rural feeling; its homes are built on lots of an acre or more.

You can always go downtown Greater Akron’s downtown communities are being revitalized. Here is a synopsis of a few new projects:


he City of Akron created the Downtown Akron Vision and Redevelopment Plan a few years ago, which entered its second phase in 2017. Phase 1 of the plan has been completed and has implemented safer, complete streets; created cyclist and pedestrian connections within streets; and renewed public areas and preserved landmark buildings. The next phases, based on the needs that came from resident and business focus groups, will continue the redevelopment process. Testa Companies is renovating the Akron City Center into urban housing. Armed with practical and quantitative evidence for residential demand, Testa decided to rehab the building as all residential units with complementary amenities, including easy-access parking, a restaurant, bar and pool. Akron’s Northside District, in the northern-most section of downtown, is getting a facelift from new business, loft housing and social venues. Testa Companies has brought 25 businesses there, including Rubber City Clothing and NORKA. The City of Cuyahoga Falls has started to redevelop Front Street, which the city says is essential to downtown renewal and the long-term health of the community. The plan’s goal is to reshape the city’s center, offer a mix of modern uses, and present a pleasing landscape to accommodate cars, pedestrian and cyclists. The Front Street redevelopment will capitalize on this riverfront location, with 215,000 square feet of space for retail, restaurants and more. The City of Hudson is moving on to a second phase of its downtown redevelopment plan as of 2017, to revitalize 20 acres of underutilized land in the downtown area. The plan is to include varied housing and office space within a connected, walkable setting to support the existing First and Main retail district. Testa Companies has been contracted to build 170 residential units, flexible office space and a boutique hotel. 76 E x p e r i e n c e

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Copley Population—16,683; residents under 18 years—26.9 percent; median household income—$70,738; median home value—$182,300. Adjacent to Akron, it is a mix of quiet residential neighborhoods, old-time farms and boutique businesses. Coventry Township Population—10,945; residents under 18 years—18 percent; median household income—$47,136; median home value—$128,500. Coventry Township is surrounded by the lakes that make up Portage Lakes State Park, an enormous draw for recreation and entertainment. Many people live around the lakes all year long; others keep summer homes there. Cuyahoga Falls Population—approx. 50,000; residents under 18 years—20.9 percent; median household income—$48,606; median home value—$125,600. The second largest city in Summit County, Cuyahoga Falls offers superior amenities such as low utility rates, a first-class natatorium fitness facility and an award-winning downtown riverfront district. Numerous housing options are available from upscale condos, luxury apartments and quaint bungalows to large homes near the National Park. Fairlawn Population—7,437; residents under 18 years—19.4 percent; median household income—$56,087; median home value—$185,700. Fairlawn offers homes in many price ranges, from two-bedroom bungalows to spacious, traditional Colonials close to highways and shopping. Green Population—25,699; residents under 18 years—24.1 percent; median household income—$63,402; median home value—$176,300. Green is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. Affluent and rural in feel, Green is situated halfway between Akron and Canton.

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Hudson Population—22,262; residents under 18 years—30.1 percent; median household income—$115,144; median home value—$292,800. Historic buildings line downtown’s N. Main Street. Hudson is home to Seton Catholic School, Hudson Montessori and Western Reserve Academy. One of the original settlements of the Connecticut Western Reserve, Hudson has a distinct East Coast flavor.

Norton Population—12,085; residents under 18 years—21.8 percent; median household income—$55,252; median home value—$143,400. Norton, one of the oldest communities in the area, is made up mainly of single-family homes. Many of the city’s families have been there for generations. Peninsula Population—537; residents under 18 years—20.6 percent; median household income— $81,176; median home value—$257,300. Small and close-knit, the village has many historic homes that have been lovingly preserved, and the Towpath Trail brings lots of visitors to town to bike and hike.

Macedonia Population—11,188; residents under 18 years—22.3 percent; median household income—$77,866; median home value—$200,500. Along with being halfway from Cleveland to Akron, its proximity to major shopping areas is a draw for many.

Richfield Village and Township Population—6,165; residents under 18 years—21.5 percent; median household income—$91,217; median home value—$281,628. Homes are built on large lots; neighborhoods have a rural feel honoring their history as farm communities. Close proximity to the Ohio Turnpike and major highways is a plus.

Mogadore Population—5,212; residents under 18 years—23.7 percent; median household income—$67,066; median home value—$165,600. Small, historic and family-oriented, Mogadore is adjacent to Akron’s east side. It features modest, older homes, quiet streets and some light industry on main thoroughfares. Munroe Falls Population—5,012; residents under 18 years—20.2 percent; median household income—$68,306; median home value—$167,200. A river runs through it, the Cuyahoga River, to be exact. Munroe Falls is a mature bedroom community surrounded by natural charms. New Franklin Population—14,227; residents under 18 years—21.2 percent; median household income—$57,756; median home value—$149,300. Although New Franklin has a rural feel, three major state routes traverse the city, allowing easy access to nearby attractions. State Routes 93, 236 and 619 run through New Franklin, with easy access to State Route 21.

Sagamore Hills Population—10,679; residents under 18 years—19.7 percent; median household income—$86,766; median home value—$212,700. Sagamore Hills is the gateway to booming northern Summit County. Some historic homes remain and are accompanied by newer developments, including several condo developments. Silver Lake Population—2,651; residents under 18 years—20 percent; median household income—$93,641; median home value—$217,000. If you like the water, check out Silver Lake, a quaint village that developed around two lakes. This quiet bedroom community has upscale homes and more moderately priced offerings.


Grocery Items 12.95%

Housing 28.99%

Utilities 10.02%

Transportation 11.98%

Healthcare 4.07%








Los Angeles CA







Denver CO







Washington DC/ Arlington VA







Fort Lauderdale FL







Atlanta GA







Chicago IL







Boston MA







New York (Manhattan) NY







Portland OR







Dallas TX







To use the index, compare one city’s index figure as a percentage of another’s. Three or fewer index points do not indicate statistically significant differences. US Average = 100.0. Source: The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER). 8/2017 2nd Qtr. 2017

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GREATER AKRON COMMUNITIES Springfield Township Population—14,644; residents under 18 years—19.8 percent; median household Income—$47,397; median home value—$121,000. Springfield Township is located southeast of Akron. Springfield Lake, located in the center of the township, is one of the few natural lakes found in Ohio. Boating and fishing activities are popular. Stow Population—34,837; residents under 18 years—22.7 percent; median household income—$63,834; median home value—$168,800. Stow is well-suited to raising children, with plenty of play areas and kid-friendly city events. Apartments and condominiums are also available for singles and smaller families. Tallmadge Population—17,537; residents under 18 years—21.6 percent; median household income—$60,181; median home value—$167,100. This city, anchored by its famous traffic circle, is made up of mainly single-family homes in the middle price range. Large green spaces help maintain a country feel, while there is easy access to downtown Akron. Twinsburg Population—18,795; residents under 18 years—25.4 percent; median household income—$69,662; median home value—$205,800, mid to higher-priced homes. The City of Twinsburg, in northern Summit County, was so named because its founders were twin brothers who married sisters. It is one of the fastest-growing communities in Ohio with a mix of small industry and mid-priced family homes.

PORTAGE COUNTY Aurora Population—15,548; residents under 18 years—24.6 percent; median household income—$79,552; median home value—$260,100. This upscale community between Akron and Cleveland is popular with commuters to both areas. It is also home to a popular outlet mall. Brimfield Population—3,343; residents under 18 years—24.2 percent; median household income—$57,589; median home value—$162,900. Named after a community in Massachusetts, Brimfield is a township. It still is considered a rural area, although some major retailers have recently developed in the area. Garrettsville Population—2,660; residents under 18 years—22.3 percent; median household income—$43,043; median home value—$159,900. Founded as a mill town, the village is the quintessential town. It has many Victorian and Colonial homes. Kent Population—28,904; residents under 18 years—14.1 percent; median household income—$26,696 (this includes students); median home value—$145,100. Home of Kent State University, The Davey Tree Expert Company, Smithers-Oasis, AMETEK and Kent Displays, the city has long drawn artists and writers. It also has a large park system, which includes fifteen parks and nature preserves.


BILL TOPPER Associated Materials Inc., Executive Vice President of Operations Moved from Nashville to Akron in 2017.


commute to work in the area every week from Nashville, TN, and I’ve been doing this for almost four years. My first year’s residence was in a much smaller local community, and it was too small and seemed isolated to me. I had visited the Akron downtown area and really liked the feel, so I relocated. And I’ve enjoyed every moment since. Because of Akron’s size, it seems somewhat calm, but at the same time you have the energy that comes with a college town, and the bustle of an active city. The restaurants, unique shops, arts, and sports venues all provide a very positive atmosphere for human interaction. It always seems there is so much thought given to how everything here co-mingles with human existence and people’s needs. I just love my home away from home.”

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Ravenna Population—11,724; residents under 18 years—22.5 percent; median household income—$33,523; median home value—$115,600. One of the Western Reserve’s first communities, Ravenna maintains its historic charm in its quaint downtown. Parts remain rural in feel, but most neighborhoods are well established. Rootstown Population—8,045; residents under 18 years—24.7 percent; median household income—$58,110; median home value—$174,200. This community is home to the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), which was built on an old homestead. It is still considered rural, with a wide variety of housing options.

Medina Population—26,678; residents under 18 years—28.3 percent; median household income—$60,650; median home value—$170,200. The City of Medina enjoys a long and rich history that is evident in the restored Victorian architecture of its picturesque Public Square area. Seville Population—2,154; residents under 18 years—20.1 percent; median household income—$67,292; median home value—$141,800. This is small town life in Medina County. The village has preserved its heritage as an early Western Reserve community. Historic homes are mixed in with brand new developments.

Streetsboro Population—16,028; residents under 18 years—22.3 percent; median household income—$60,740; median home value—$147,500. Streetsboro’s proximity to major highways and its location between Akron and Cleveland has made it a popular spot for many businesses and commuters. More than 400 companies call Streetsboro home.

Wadsworth Population—21,567; residents under 18 years—25.6 percent; median household income—$58,303; median home value—$157,500. Both the City and Township of Wadsworth have boomed in recent years, but the community has worked hard to preserve its small-town charm and boasts boutique and big box retailers. Historic homes, new condominiums and gracious single-family homes can be found there.

Suffield Population—6,320; residents under 18 years—21 percent; median household income—$62,037; median home value—$167,200. The township is a long-established, tight-knit rural community; some of its families date back generations.

Westfield Center Population—1,081; residents under 18 years—18.3 percent; median household income—$104,779; median home value—$218,600. Executive-style homes are the norm in Westfield Center. Quiet, rural and small, the community draws from both Cleveland and Akron.

MEDINA COUNTY Brunswick Population—34,255; residents under 18 years—25.2 percent; median household income—$62,022; median home value—$162,700. About 300 acres of green space keep this thriving community pleasant and peaceful. It has a wide range of single-family homes, apartments and condos.

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Granger Population—4,394; residents under 18 years—27.5 percent; median household income—$86,346; median home value—$258,400. The township offers a rural setting marked by upscale homes. Its location makes it a haven for executives from the Akron and Cleveland areas.

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Hinckley Population—7,564; residents under 18 years—23 percent; median household income—$79,531; median home value—$247,500. Like neighboring Granger, Hinckley Township is an upscale bedroom community serving the Akron and Cleveland areas. Each spring, it marks the return of buzzards with a unique celebration. 20 1 7-20 1 8

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ADVERTISER INDEX Advertiser..................................... Page

Akron Zoo........................................... 24

Akron Art Museum.............................. 43

AxessPointe........................................ 72

Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy......................................... 57

Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank..... 52

Better Business Bureau...................... 42

Dominion Energy................................ 80

Akron Children’s Hospital................... 71

Blu Jazz+............................................ 33

Don Drumm........................................ 34

Akron Children’s Museum.................. 43

Box Gallery/Rubber City Artists......... 43

Downtown Akron Partnership............ 43

Akron Coffee Roasters....................... 43

Canal Place.......................................... 1

Goodwill Blue..................................... 80

Akron RubberDucks........................... 43

Cleveland Clinic Akron General.......... 72

Goodwill Industries............................. 53

Akron-Summit County Public Library............................................. 43

The Cleveland Orchestra.................... 37

Greater Akron Chamber..................... 16

Community Support Services............ 54

Habitat for Humanity Summit County................................ 53

Akron USA.......................................... 41

Keller Williams/Steve Spinelli............. 48 Kent State University.......................... 63 Lock 3................................................. 43 Metis Construction Services.............. 40 Metro RTA........................................... 18 NEOMED............................................ 65 The Ohio Light Opera......................... 36 Old Trail School.................................. 58 Presper Financial Architects............... 48 Rubber City Clothing.......................... 79 Stan Hywet Hall & Garden.................. 33 Stark State College Akron.................. 66 State Farm Insurance......................... 66 St. Hilary School................................. 58 St. Sebastian Parish School............... 59 Summa Health..................... 69, Cover 3 Summit County DD............................ 52 Summit County Historical Society..... 43 Summit Business Connection............ 40 Testa Companies....................... Cover 2 Trailhead Space.................................. 28 The University of Akron............. Cover 4 WKSU................................................... 3

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Western Reserve Hospital

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Summa Health System St. Thomas Campus


Summit Summa Health System Akron Campus


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Summa Health System Barberton Campus

Summa Rehab Hospital


82 percent of recent UA grads

had experiential learning (internship, co-op, student teaching, etc.) and gained an advantage in the job market

The Student Recreation and Wellness Center is ranked #4 in the U.S.

UA’s bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management & Homeland Security is the only degree of its type in Ohio

UA’s College of Business Administration is ranked by Bloomberg as a

Top 50 Public Business School

UA’s Myers School of Art students received 8 ADDYS from the Akron Chapter of the American Advertising Federaton in 2017

That’s What Makes Us The University of Akron The University of Akron is an Equal Education and Employment Institution – uakron.edu/eeo

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