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Celebrating 19 Years of Service Published and Owned by Schaffner Publications, Inc.
APRIL 2014 Vol. 20 No. 4
INSIDE THIS MONTH CHAMBER CALENDARS..... 12 RETIREMENT PLANNING: To Roth or not to Roth................. 15 SALES: Ten Commandments of Marketing.... 18 TAXES: How the NIIT Affects Real Estate Investors.......... 21 INSURANCE: Flood Insurance Act Provides Relief ............... 22 HR: Workplace Bullying............ 24 LEGAL: Second Marriages......... 25 IT: Hackers are People Too........ 26 ESTATE: Education Tax Credits and Deductions....... 28
“The Business Voice of Erie, Huron, Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca Counties”
Sandusky County’s Chamber: New Programs, New Services, New Benefits Submitted by Angie Morelock CEO/President Chamber of Commerce of Sandusky County Chambers of Commerce are essential to the economic growth of our communities; through making introductions, participating in projects, keeping abreast of pending development projects, and serving as a resource to the business community. However, in today’s world, all of that is not enough. Chambers now have to ensure their members understand the return on investment of Chamber membership as it can be easily overlooked during cost-cutting. The Chamber of Commerce of Sandusky County Board of Trustees knows this and is spending this year introducing new programs and promoting improved benefits and services to their members in their four benefit categories. Chamber members are being encouraged to GET NOTICED and take advantage of varied opportunities that put their name out into both the business community and to the citizens of Sandusky County. One such way is through the one oftenoverlooked benefit of the Chamber directory. All Chamber members are listed in an online directory that’s available not only to members, but also to the public. There are multiple advantages to this, but the main one is based on a recent study, conducted by The Schapiro Group, an Atlanta-based strategic consulting firm, that found consumer perceptions of Chamber members to be positive in many ways. In fact, when consumers know that
a small business is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, they are 49% more likely to think favorably of it and 80% more likely to purchase goods or services from the company in the future. For this reason, the Chamber has recently implemented new membership software that will integrate into their new website that will be launched within the next month to enhance our membership directory and add value to the referrals that we are able to make. As a Chamber that is over 330 members strong, we are a resource to our members to help them meet fellow business owners, new clients and strategic partners to grow their business. One such way to BUILD CONNECTIONS is through our new and improved Business After Hour events. We have moved from the business showcase type of event, to a purely social event where members can meet fellow members, share business cards and learn about their fellow members and how they can help each other thrive. A calendar has been established for the entire year of these events and we are working hard to promote these events to not only the leadership of our business members, but also to all employees of Chamber members. EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES are also in abundance to members as they are
able to benefit from communications and resources that keep them informed on issues that affect their business and opportunities that keep them on the cutting edge. One way we are doing this is by offering Lunch and Learn sessions on a quarterly basis. These sessions feature a speaker presenting topics of interest to small business owners and managers. Our first session in February sold out and we are looking forward to the same success with our remaining sessions in April, August and October. Finally, we are promoting INCREDIBLE SAVINGS to our members because with the expanded network among our
See CHAMBER, Page 6
We’re a proud member of the following: Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce
Elmore Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce Erie County Chamber of Sandusky County of Commerce
Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce
Huron Chamber of Commerce
Marblehead Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
Genoa Chamber of Commerce
Huron County Chamber of Commerce
Milan Chamber of Commerce
Oak Harbor Area Put-in-Bay Chamber Chamber of Commerce of Commerce Port Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce
Vermilion Chamber of Commerce Willard Area Chamber of Commerce
North Coast Business Journal
Terra President Offers a Look Back and a Look Ahead Jerome E. Webster, Ph. D. President, Terra State Community College
The 2013-14 academic year has been filled with efforts that were designed to dynamically transform the College through innovation, collaboration and leadership. As April is known as National Community College Month, I am excited to share a look back on a year of progress, and a look ahead to the future of Terra State Community College as the educational centerpiece for our region: •
We focused our year, and our Celebrate Terra State events, on manufacturing and the skilled trades, with a review of the academic programs at the College that have been part of our historical roots when we started as a technical college in 1968. The College partnered with the Sandusky County Economic Development Corporation to host a manufacturer’s bus tour for local high school principals and counselors, which provided a renewed focus on career options in the manufacturing fields.
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205 S.E. Catawba Road, Suite G, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452 419-734-4838 • Fax 419-734-5382
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North Coast Business Journal is owned and published monthly by Schaffner Publications, Inc., and is mailed free to chamber of commerce members in a five-county area: Erie, Huron, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Seneca counties. The editorial and advertising deadlines are the 25th of each month. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the expressed, written consent of the Publishers. We welcome submissions from readers in the form of letters, articles or photographs, although we reserve the right to edit and condense any articles submitted. Submissions should be sent to the editor at the above address. We prefer material (copy & photos) to be submitted electronically.
In the fall, we were proud to announce that the College received “candidacy for accreditation” status for our new Physical Therapist Assistant program. Since then, we have met with accreditors from the Commission on the Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) for our final review. We should hear of our status in May. In September, the College and the Sandusky County Transportation Improvement District (SCTID) received word from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) that Physical Therapist Assistant students watch a demonstration by both a feasibility study and a Assistant Professors Brandon Koehler and Bruce Wassung traffic impact study and Hospitality Center. The gift from the submitted by the SCTID were approved by Coldirons represents the largest gift that the ODOT for an entrance to the campus off of College has received in its history. The S.R. 53/U.S. Rt. 6. This is historic in nature, College is most grateful to the Coldirons for as it is the first time that ODOT approved the their extreme generosity and passion for the request for a new campus entrance after years work that is done to educate students at Terra of petitioning for the entrance. The College State! continues to seek funding for the entrance project to accompany proceeds from bond • The College has expanded its academic sales, and is hopeful that funding from the programs over the year, and now includes State of Ohio will be awarded in the capital courses in Real Estate Studies, offered in bill allocations. If so, ground breaking will collaboration with the Ohio Institute for Real begin in late fall, with an entrance completed Estate Studies, Phlebotomy, Medical by the fall of 2015. Laboratory Technician, and Health Care Administration. Programs scheduled to be In October, the College received word from launched in the upcoming semesters include the Higher Learning Commission that the Agribusiness/Modern Agriculture, Public College’s request to offer a fully-online degree Administration, and a return to Truck Driver had been approved. Our faculty and staff are Training, to name a few. We also are working currently working to launch the online degree through a new partnership with Northwest programs in the 2014 fall semester. With this State Community College and the University effort, students from around the world will be of Toledo to offer our Plastics and Color able to take courses and earn an associate’s Matching Technology program at the degree from Terra State! University of Toledo Scott Park campus in the In November, the College opened our new near future. Conference and Hospitality Center. This • Phase One renovations are currently under center serves as a learning lab for students in way on campus in our General Technologies our new Hospitality Management Program, Building (Building B). In this phase, we are where students learn the various aspects of installing a new dining services commons event planning, along with several other and a new culinary arts lab for our Hospitality skills in hospitality management. Shortly Management program, both on the second after the opening, the College was thrilled to floor of the facility. Renovated restroom announce the generous donation of $1 facilities are also part of the project. Future million from Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Coldiron. phases include changes to the first floor of The gift was made in honor of Ronald L. the building, where Admissions, Financial Neeley, a former faculty member who served Aid, Student Records and the Cashier’s offices in our graphics program for more than 18 will be relocated to create a one-stop concept years. Ron passed away in 2006, and his for student convenience and use. sister is Wanda Coldiron. This gift is a naming rights gift in honor of Ron, and • The College continues to explore the addition honors him by naming our newest building of Terra Village, a mixed-use development renovation the Ronald L. Neeley Conference including housing and retail space on the
North Coast Business Journal
western edge of the campus on State Route 53. A committee has been working with consultants Brailsford and Dunlavey to analyze options and approaches to this effort. Further development will occur once the entrance project is launched. Look for a new logo for the College upon the launch of Terra State’s fall marketing campaign, to begin in July. Through the work of the Clarus Corporation, we have sought out feedback from community representatives, industry, civic, and community organizations as well as alumni and Terra College Foundation donors about perceptions of the College. A new logo will reinstitute the College’s brand and serve to solidify our prominence in the community.
So, as you can see, it continues to be an exciting time at Terra State. We will continue to search for ways to further enhance the student experience, boost student success and completion, and strengthen Terra State’s role in the local economy.
The Neeley Center can handle large banquets to small meetings.
In honor of National Community College Month, we are planning an open house on Thursday, April 24 from 5 to 7 p.m. More information on this event will be released soon. We invite you to come see what all the excitement is about.
Construction workers transform the old reprographics area at Terra State into the new dining services commons
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North Coast Business Journal
Fremont City Schools: A District of “Excellence” Submitted by Dr. Traci McCaudy, Superintendent Fremont City Schools Fremont City Schools provides a comprehensive, quality PK-12 education for each of its 4,300 students in seven elementary schools, one middle school and Fremont Ross High School. Our curriculum aligns completely with the standards-based models developed by the State of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Education rates our district “Excellent.” Our curriculum uses an array of resources to promote and achieve high levels of learning as students progress from Kindergarten to graduation. Textbooks, technology, field experiences, mentoring, tutoring services, college partnerships, Vanguard Tech Center partnership, multi-level learning opportunities (Advanced Placement and PostSecondary Education Options) and an intensive Professional Development program provide teachers with the tools to broaden and deepen the education of our students inside and outside the classroom. Fremont City Schools also celebrates its diverse learning population and the uniqueness of every individual. Regardless of the pathway a student chooses to pursue – from college to immediate entry into a job or career – Fremont City Schools is dedicated to providing the preparation necessary for that student to be successful and productive. Fremont City Schools understands that current technology has changed daily communication and interaction dramatically. Students – and adults – face a world that is technology-rich and technology-complex. The speed with which technology advances
challenges every public school to keep pace. Fremont City Schools provides access to computers to every student, either in classrooms or in labs. Students can earn academic credits through online classes at the high school. Fremont has invested heavily in SMART Board technology, which allows students and teachers to utilize computer applications and the power of the internet to maximize classroom learning experiences. Mobile carts of notebook computers and iPads are further examples of Fremont’s commitment to maintaining a close connection to advancements that have changed the time and space of learning. The district continues to enhance its technology every year. This year the district purchased 420 Chromebooks for utilization at all of the elementary buildings. A Chromebook is a fast, portable computer that gives students access to educational applications and resources on the Web. A Chromebook looks and feels just like a notebook and is compatible with the new PARCC assessments which will be administered beginning next school year. Fremont City Schools integrates its technology-strong learning environments and its more traditional teaching contexts into a learning package that readies students for actual-world experiences and endeavors. Regardless of the tool used, Fremont City Schools strives to develop students prepared to apply the power of knowledge and skill to independent learning. For more information about Fremont City Schools visit our website at www.fremontschools.net or “Like” us on Facebook.
North Coast Business Journal
Economic Development is Alive and Well in Sandusky County!
Fostoria’s Independence House Known for its Breadth of Services
From: Kay E. Reiter, Executive Director, SCEDC Recently, Sandusky County Economic Development Corporation’s (SCEDC) Executive Director Kay E. Reiter reported to their Investors that 2013 was a very successful year for the business community throughout the county. Twenty-one (21) construction projects were announced with over $193M in capital investments – from a combination of health-care related projects, existing industrial projects, and new industrial-related projects. Over the past seven (7) years, local capital investments have averaged about $100M throughout the business community of Sandusky County. The 2013 Announced Projects also had an impact on the jobs retained and created – 7,639 retained and 508 newly-created jobs. The economic development success in Sandusky County comes from a team approach in economic development. The Economic Development professionals representing the cities of Bellevue, Clyde, Fremont, Village of Gibsonburg along with professional representation from Terra State Community College, Chamber of Commerce of Sandusky County, Sandusky County Convention & Visitors Bureau, WSOS Community Action Commission, Sandusky County Job & Family
Established in 1991, Independence House offers a variety of care options to provide the level of care that each individual client needs. Skilled nursing, independent living and rehabilitation are all offered by Independence House, as well as short-term stays which provide caregivers with a support system to allow for time away from their loved one for a few days or weeks. The facility has both private and semi-private accommodations for clients, and all rooms have a private bathroom. Independence House is well-known for its expansive rehabilitation center. The 3,900 square foot wing offers a pool, heated spa and a variety of rehabilitation equipment, and physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy are offered. While Independence House has provided therapy services for clients living within the facility since its opening, in the summer of 2013 Independence House began providing outpatient therapy as well. Anyone of any age in the community is able to take part in IH therapy services which include physical, occupational and speech therapy. In addition, clients who receive inpatient rehabilitation following a surgery, injury or illness can continue to receive therapy from Independence House once they return home. This ensures continuity of care throughout the recovery process. As part of the rehabilitation center, Independence House added a spinal traction table in 2013. This table helps alleviate pain from back injuries by reducing pressure on the spine. In addition, a Magnum Fitness System was added to aide clients in rebuilding their strength. This is a multi-station weight machine that allows clients to improve several muscle groups and strengthen various areas of their upper and lower body. Independence House is the only care facility in Fostoria to offer aquatic therapy. Through its natural properties, water creates an environment for patients to utilize a greater range of motion with increased resistance which helps improve balance and strength while experiencing a decrease level of pain. It also allows our long-term residents the ability to swim no matter the temperature outside. Independence House continued to work toward performance excellence through the National Quality Award program in 2013. In 2012, the facility received the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award from the National Quality Award program, presented by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. After facilities receive the Bronze level award, they can continue to work toward Silver and Gold level recognition. Independence House hopes to receive Silver level recognition in 2014. Within the community, each fall Independence House hosts a car show that is open to the public. The 2013 show included free hot dogs and popcorn, entertainment from Jim Duggan and the appearance of the Fostoria Glass Court. Money made from classic car entries benefits the activity program at Independence House.
Services, Sandusky County Regional Planning, and SCEDC all work together to deliver support necessary to achieve successful project results. To assist in keeping projects on track and as professional development support, these professionals meet on a monthly basis. Just recently, Site Selection magazine announced their top 100 Micropolitans in the Nation. Seven (7) of the 2013 Announced Projects assisted in the Fremont region receiving a 10th place rating in the US. A Micropolitan is defined by the US Census Bureau as a rural county where the largest city has a population not more than 50,000. This is a great achievement since there are over 576 Micropolitans throughout the nation. To keep the wheels of success turning, a re-shoring project is currently underway with a focus on the plastic industry. Forty-four (44) manufacturers, with manufacturing facilities located in Mexico, have been identified as our primary target. The project goal is to stay in front of the decision-makers as they look at re-shoring production back to the US over the next three years. Unusual out-of-the-box methods of marketing to the forty-four (44) manufacturers is currently underway. Sandusky County Economic Development Corporation is overseeing the project with a strong partnership from Bellevue Development Corporation, Clydescope, the City of Fremont, and the Sandusky County Commissioners. Along with the re-shoring project, Family Owned and Operated Since 1933 SCEDC is helping to facilitate a new opportunity for the county’s Serving Commercial & Industrial Accounts educational high school and middle school guidance In NW Ohio counselors…Manufacturing Bus Tour! Last fall during the month of October, a Specializing in: tour of Bellevue - Amcor Rigid Plastics, Clyde - Fisher & Paykel Laundry Inc., & STANDARD ARCHITECTURAL & MULTIWhirlpool – Clyde Division, Fremont – COLOR COATINGS Century Die, Inc., & Heinz NA was organized by a committee of business WOOD FINISHING partners from the county. As the VINYL WALLCOVERING guidance counselors spent a full day touring manufacturing facilities, a focus WATER REPELLENT COATINGS on 14 skill-sets needed in manufacturing was introduced to the attendees. As the TWO COMPONENT EPOXY & URETHANE thirty-three (33) attendees enjoyed their SYSTEMS lunch provided by Terra State Community College, Progress Design – Clyde provided WATER AND SAND BLASTING an overview of current hiring practices in manufacturing. As their lunch “Professional Painting Pays” wrapped up, the attendees toured the college’s Skilled Trades Center. 419-332-1363 Toll Free 800-797-6252 As you can see, Sandusky County is 446 N. Wood St., Fremont, OH 43420 alive and well and I would say “Stay www.maypainting.com Tuned…There Is More to Come!!”
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North Coast Business Journal
CHAMBER, from Page COVER members, there are more options available and the increased buying power saves money and lowers their cost of doing business. One such program is our partnership with Chamber Energy Solutions (CES), which is a program that helps businesses control natural gas costs and saves money on electric consumption through the application of its pricing expertise. Energy is a hot topic among the business community and we are excited about offering this program that has been saving businesses of all sizes money on their energy consumption. Businesses are encouraged to take the next step toward saving money on their energy costs by sending a copy of their most recent electric and gas bill to the Chamber for analysis. The days of businesses joining the Chamber because they are new to the area and because it is the “right thing to do” are gone. Instead, businesses are looking for a return on their investment with Chamber membership. The Chamber of Commerce of Sandusky County is committed to providing value to our membership. We strive to be the recognized leader of businesses and will continually look at the benefits we are offering in order to remain relevant and responsive to the needs of the business community. To obtain a 2014 calendar of events or learn more about the benefits of membership with the Chamber of Commerce of Sandusky County, who has been serving the business community since 1946, call (419) 332-1591 or visit www.scchamber.org.
Cedar Point Announces Lighthouse Point Expansion Even though there is still a chill in the air, it’s not too early for people to start thinking about warm summer days and planning a fun-filled family vacation getaway to Cedar Point. Cedar Point announced today that it will be adding 52 new deluxe cabins to its Lighthouse Point resort. These new cabins can accommodate up to 10 people and will feature two full bathrooms, four flat panel televisions, a dorm-size refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker, outdoor charcoal grill and picnic table. In addition, all of the cottages, cabins and full hook-up campsites in Lighthouse Point will now offer free wireless internet access. A new registration building will help speed up the check-in process and get guests to their cabins and RV sites quicker than ever before. Originally opened in 2001, Lighthouse Point nearly doubled in size with a major addition in 2004. The centerpiece of Lighthouse Point is the historic Cedar Point Lighthouse (circa 1862), which is the oldest existing structure on the Cedar Point Peninsula. Cedar Point opens for the 2014 season on Saturday, May 10.
Design/Build Development Commercial/Retail Educational Industrial/Warehousing Manufacturing Offices Healthcare Senior Care Worship Facilities Metal Buildings 5505 Milan Road, Sandusky, Ohio 44870 Phone: (419) 626-1111 Toll Free: (888) 904-4600
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North Coast Business Journal
Fremont’s Hayes Presidential Center: A Year-Round Source of Learning for All Ages If your idea of a museum is a sleepy unchanging place to while away a rainy day, you haven’t been to the Hayes Presidential Center. There always is something new going on with activities happening year-round. Beginning May 1, 2014, the Hayes Museum opens a NEW exhibition that will be of special interest to residents of Northwest Ohio. The exhibit presents new facts about the Civil War prison located on Johnson’s Island, near Marblehead. Privy to History: Civil War Prison Life Unearthed focuses on information learned through decades of archaeological investigation of the site. In collaboration with Dr. David Bush of Heidelberg University, the exhibit relies heavily on artifacts his team uncovered through excavation of the camp’s latrines. The bits and pieces of objects reveal much about the men confined at the camp and daily life at the only Union prison built specifically to house Confederate Army officers. A timeline of the prison’s history is presented in a very personal way – using excerpts from the diaries and letters of prisoners and guards. The voices of these men describe key periods during the war, and the resulting affects on life at the prison. Photographs of the soldiers add vivid detail to the text. Privy to History: Civil War Prison Life Unearthed is on display May 1, 2014 through Jan. 4, 2015 exclusively at the Hayes Presidential Center. The exhibit is made possible through funding from the Sidney Frohman Foundation and the Friends & Descendants of Johnson’s Island Civil War Prison. Hours are 9 am-5 pm Tuesdays-Saturdays, and noon-5 pm Sundays. (The Hayes Center is closed Mondays, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.) Another NEW addition at the Hayes Presidential Center caters to children. Second Saturdays R 4 Kids is a hands-on educational series designed for kids and their parents or adult companions. Sessions take place April through December on the second Saturday of each month. An overall theme of “Exploring the Civil War” sets the stage for sessions focused on: what it was like to be a soldier,
the Underground Railroad in Ohio, Civil War medicine, women during the war, prisoners of war, elections during wartime, life in an Army camp, and what happened when the war was over. The time frame for Saturdays R 4 Kids is 11 a.m.-3 p.m. but families can come and go as they wish. Sessions are to include speakers, special guests, activities, and a make-it-take-it craft. Cost is $1/ children and $7.50/adults which includes admission to the Hayes Museum and its current special exhibit. Those with Hayes Presidential
Center “Family” level memberships are admitted free. Dates for Saturdays R 4 Kids are: April 12, May 10, June 14, July 12, Aug. 9, Sept. 13, October (to be announced), Nov. 8, and Dec. 13. Pre-registration is requested. Please call 419-332-2081 or email email@example.com. To keep up with the latest in programming at the Hayes Presidential Center visit our www.rbhayes. org.
Coming in May: Focus on Huron & Vermilion
North Coast Business Journal
Visit Your Local Digital Library Submitted by Pamela M. Hoesman, Director Birchard Public Library of Sandusky County If you think you don’t have time to visit your local public library, think again. Birchard Public Library of Sandusky County has a full suite of digital offerings that can be accessed through the library website, http://Birchard.lib.oh.us. To get a library card which will allow you to take advantage of these free digital services, all you have to do is bring a photo ID and proof of your current address to the library. Once you have set up your account, you have free access to downloadable magazines, books, and audiobooks which can help you stay on top of the latest business news, tech trends, and career enhancement tools. Download to a PC, or get an app to download directly to a smartphone or other personal device. Besides the convenience of being able to download materials virtually anytime and anyplace, an added advantage of digital loans is that they are never overdue. E-books and e-audiobooks expire at the end of the loan period, so there are never any late fees. In 2013, digital checkouts accounted for 5% of over half a million transactions at the Birchard Public Library.
Birchard Public Library offers digital magazines through an agreement with Zinio.com. Over a hundred magazines are available, including: Bloomberg Businessweek, the Economist, Forbes, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Newsweek, and several computer magazines. Once you have downloaded a digital copy, it is yours to keep. E-books and e-audiobooks are available through the library agreement with Overdrive. There are numerous titles available on business-related topics, including: Small Business Marketing for Dummies, Inc. Yourself, and Scaling Up Excellence. E-audiobook titles include: It’s Okay to be the Boss and 117 Tips and Ideas to Organize Your Business Life. When you are ready to relax at the end of the day, you may want to take advantage of free music downloads through an agreement with Freegalmusic. Birchard Library patrons can get three free music downloads each week, and they do not expire. Birchard Public Library continues to offer frequent programs and classes on how to use your computer, eReader, or tablet at all four locations: Fremont, Gibsonburg, Green Springs, and Woodville. Call 419-334-7101, ex: 216, for information on class schedules.
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The above rates applies to in house portfolio loans only. 5.007% APR based on $500,000 loan amount; 3% down; 0 point. 3 % down available on PURCHASE of single family owner-occupied homes only. Construction loan guidelines apply to all construction loans. Automatic transfer of payments from a First Federal demand checking donor account required. Payment example: $500,000 loan amount; 5.000% rate; 360 monthly payments of $2,684.11 which includes principal and interest only. RATES AND OFFER SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.
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North Coast Business Journal
Terra State Hosts Professional Development Event Thanks to an Ohio Association of Community Colleges grant, Terra State Community College offered a professional development event for its faculty and invited interested parties from other area colleges and universities as well. The session was March 21 and featured Dr. Paul Cesarini from Bowling Green State University. The topic was Active Learning Classrooms, and the group met in Terra State’s own Hybrid Course Instruction Active Learning Classroom. Unlike the traditional college or high school classroom, this room features seven independent workstations for
group activities and a computerdisplayed presentation station. It includes audio and video playback equipment, OSX and Windows environments, and lounge areas for comfortable student interaction. Cesarini was instrumental in setting up four such classrooms at BGSU and he shared those experiences with the group. The session was aimed at generating interest in this type of instruction and providing insights into best practices for these spaces. The OACC Student Success Center grants are meant to encourage statewide student success through Dr. Paul Cesarini, standing, leads a discussion about Active Learning Classprofessional development. rooms
Elmwood Deficiency-Free The Ohio Department of Health - Division of Quality Assurance arrived at two area Elmwood Communities recently to conduct annual surveys. Surveys were conducted at both, Elmwood Assisted Living of Green Springs and Elmwood Assisted Living at The Shawhan in Tiffin. Each of these communities were found to be deficiencyfree. The Ohio Department of Health is responsible for enforcement of the Ohio Revised Code and
Ohio Administrative Code laws and rules in licensed residential care facilities in Ohio. Each of the residential care facilities in Ohio receives at least one unannounced survey inspection during a 9 to 15 month cycle. The Ohio Department of Health surveyors are responsible for completing the surveys and are comprised of highly trained HAWK professionals to include
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registered nurses, dietitians, sanitarians, and licensed social workers. Elmwood Communities is also pleased to welcome Tyler Hawk, LNHA, as the new Administrator of Elmwood Healthcare Center’s at The Springs skilled nursing facility.Hawk will oversee the day-to-day operations of The Spring’s west campus, skilled nursing unit. This will include the recruitment and training of staff and all related administrative duties of the 120-bed facility.
To set up a free consultation, contact our Port Clinton, Perrysburg or Fremont offices: Port Clinton: 205 SE Catawba Rd. Suite C Phone: (419) 732-0732 Perrysburg: 900 W. South Boundary St. Bldg. 3A Phone: (419) 874-2015 Fremont: 622 1/2 West State Street Phone: (419) 332-0532
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10 April 2014
North Coast Business Journal
Fostoria Area Safety Council Provides Community Support
Small Business Basics seminars set for April
The Fostoria Area Safety Council enjoyed a successful 2013 and has many plans for the current year. Attendees of member companies saw a variety of interesting and informative presentations relating to health and safety over the past year at the monthly, luncheon meetings. Some of the topics presented included first-aid, heat stress, hazard communications, a review of grants available through the Bureau of Workers Compensation, drugs and alcohol in the workplace and a demonstration by the Fostoria Police Department’s two member K-9 team. For the November meeting, a representative from AT&T came to present a video on the dangers of texting while driving to students at Fostoria High School. The meeting was attended by local law enforcement and fire officials, as well as Representative Rex Damschroder and State Senator Cliff Hite who were both instrumental in passing legislation to make texting while driving illegal in Ohio. The council was glad to assist the local DARE program with a donation of $1,000 to make the program possible for the 2013 school year. This February, the Council also contributed $1,000 to
The Ohio Small Business Development Center at Terra State Community College is offering free, two-hour seminars, “Small Business Basics,” that will answer questions about starting, buying or expanding a small business. This seminar will take the confusion out of your efforts and help you avoid costly mistakes and unnecessary steps. Learn the basics of: name registration, licensing, taxes, zoning, business entities, employees, insurance, financing and business planning.
the local fire department for the purchase of CPR mannequins to be used in first response training. Other programs conducted by the Council includes an annual food drive with donations going to Fostoria Pantry Plus, as well as providing $500 scholarships to the local high schools for graduating seniors who are interested in pursuing a career in a health or safety related field. Upcoming events include presentations on violence in the workplace, safety in the transportation industry, swimming and water safety, and the annual awards luncheon which will include a motivational presentation by local speaker Bruce Boguski of “The Winners Edge”. This luncheon is to be held Wednesday, April 16th at noon in the St. Wendelin Parish Hall, 323 N. Wood St. in Fostoria. Attendance is open to the public at a cost of $15 per person for non-members. Anyone interested in attending this meeting, or becoming a Council Member, should contact the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce at 419-4350486, or e-mail at coordinator@fostoriachamber. com.
The April schedule is: • Wednesday, April 9– 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce (conference room), 19 W. Market St., Tiffin • Wednesday, April 16 – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Erie County Chamber of Commerce (conference room), 225 W. Washington Row, Sandusky • Wednesday, April 23 – 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Terra State Community College (Building A, Room 314), 2830 Napoleon Road, Fremont These events are free and open to the public.
Firelands Corporate Health Center offers the following services to meet employer’s needs:
Attention DOT Drivers & Employers
Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) injury treatment and case management and Drug Free Safety Program Drug & alcohol testing Department of Transportation (DOT) consortiums
Effective May 21, 2014 all CMV drivers must have their medical examination performed by a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Firelands Corporate Health Center provides five physicians who are Certified Medical Examiners, meeting the new requirements. Very few physicians in the region hold this new certification. Certified medical examiners are listed on the National Registry: nrcme.fmcsa.dot.gov
DOT & non-DOT random programs Medical review officer services Physical examinations Fit-for-work & return-to-duty evaluations Educational programs
Employee assistance program & Certified SAP For a complete list of services visit firelands.com
Brett R. Kuns, DO
David Girvin, DO
Bryan P. Kuns, DO Medical Director
David J. Grayson, MD, FAAFP
Thomas Work, DO
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For an appointment, or more information, call: 419-557-5052 • firelands.com
North Coast Business Journal
Sycamore Hills Celebrates 50 Years!
Golf Is Good For Business For centuries golf has been called the game of kings. In the 1950’s & 60’s Arnold Palmer brought the game to the masses. According to the National Golf Foundation, there are now 25 million golfers in United States today. In business it is important to get to know your clients, customers, & associates. You can learn a lot about a person during a round of golf. Golf is a game of self reliance, integrity, concentration, perseverance, honesty, sportsmanship and so much more. Where else can you spend 5 hours with someone without the interruption of cell phones, email and other distractions? Planning a corporate golf outing is one of the best tools you may have evaluate your internal and external customers. I would like to give you a few tips on planning your next event. 1. Choose the date carefully. Be sure it doesn’t conflict with any other events or functions that could hurt participation. Weekdays are generally less busy on the golf course which will save you money. 2. Choose the location. You want a venue that is popular to area golfers and centrally located to your market. Google the golf courses in your area and check out their websites. Many courses have amenities that can make your planning easier, such a meeting rooms and practice areas. Talk to the PGA Professional or event coordinator to discuss all the options.
3. Choose your purpose and participants. You may want to have a customer appreciation event, where your associates can mingle with your most important clients. Partnering with a charity where you raise money for a good cause can be very beneficial to your brand. Some companies have golf outings just for their employees with the purpose of team building and motivation. Whatever your purpose, planning is key to a successful event. 4. On the day of the event have plenty of volunteers to handle the hustle and bustle. Spouses of associates, non golfing associates and friends may enjoy a day away from the office at a beautiful place like a golf course. Be sure to collect contact information of all that participate, players and workers alike. 5. After the event is over, follow up with participants for input on your next event. If your event was a fundraiser for a charity, contact the media to get the word out about your success. We all know that goodwill is important but hard to measure. Hopefully these ideas will serve a tool to make your next event a success on all levels. About the author, Chuck Benes has been an owner and PGA Professional at Oak Harbor Golf Club since 1987. He has hosted and ran hundreds of golf events in his 35 years in the business.
A Golf Experience Worth Sharing! Green Hills
1959 S. Main Clyde 419-547-7947 greenhillsgolf.com
6311 Mason Rd. Sandusky 419-359-1141 woussickett.com
Sycamore Hills Golf Club wasn’t always the 27-hole challenging course that it is today. In 1964, brothers Doug and Wayne Michael opened the first 9 holes after transforming that land from family farm land. Cautious optimism paved the way for many changes over the years, beginning with the next 9 holes opening in 1967, cart paths, and banquet hall construction in 1992. Planning the final 9 began in 1994 with the acquisition of the adjacent property, and opened in 1996. Sycamore Hills GC has been rated Sandusky County’s “Best of the Best” golf course, and provides for a great venue and best value for golf outings, leagues, and business and social gatherings of all kinds. Sycamore Hills has also been a member and has hosted Toledo Junior Golf Association tournaments for the past 50 years.
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12 April 2014
North Coast Business Journal
CHAMBER CALENDARS for April Bellevue Chamber of Commerce 3
Monthly Luncheon Noon at The Willows Arvydas Montvilas, Catering by Design $10 per person.
Annual Meeting Bellevue Society for the Arts. $65 per couple. Call the Chamber Deadline is March 31st.
Erie County Chamber of Commerce 24
Multi-member Showcase 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Lyman Harbor Marina. Advance reservations required.
May 1 “Kick-off to Summer” 5:15 p.m., Bay Harbor Restaurant. Reservations by April 25.
Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce 12
Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting Crafty Cottage, LLC 9:00am - 6:00pm Complementary light refreshments 105 E. Tiffin St.
Fostoria Area Safety Council The Annual Awards Luncheon Featuring Bruce Boguski, Motivational Speaker 11:30am—1:30pm St. Wendelin’s Parish Hall
“Bark at the Stars” 176 Keys Fun Pianos Dueling Pianos Fundraiser Event Stacey’s Place on Plaza Drive
Genoa Chamber of Commerce 10
Chamber monthly meeting 7:30 am at Rayz Café.
Huron County Chamber of Commerce 8
Human Resource and Safety University Day, RSVP required Seminars: 8:00am-3:00pm, Distance Learning Center @ Norwalk High School $35.00/person, includes lunch.
Safety Council General Risk, 7:30am, RSVP required.
Annual Dinner and Awards Program CIC 6:00 pm
Board of Directors, 4:00pm, Chamber office
Benefits Committee 8:30 am
Education Committee, 8:00am, Norwalk Water Plant next to the reservoir
Chamber Board 8:30 am
Safety Council Manufacturing, 7:30am, RSVP required
Ambassadors Committee 8:30am
Chamber Annual Banquet, St. Paul Convocation Center, RSVP, 419-668-4155
Walleye Festival Committee 8:30am
Kelleys Island Chamber of Commerce
Promotion Committee 8:30am
Sandusky County Chamber of Commerce
Early Bird at the Village Pump,
25-27 Blessing of the Brewery Kelleys Island Brewery,
Lunch-n-Learn, 12 p.m. (Reservations Required)
Marblehead Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
Ag Committee Meeting, 7:30 a.m. Finance & Executive Meeting, 12:30 p.m.-Finance, 1p.m.-Executive
Ambassador Meeting, 8 a.m., Terra Community College
Board Meeting, 7:30 a.m.
Property Meeting, 9:30 a.m.
Business After Hours 5 to 7 pm Hosted by Tadsen Diversified Insurance
Business Over Breakfast 8:00 am to 9:30 am Victorian Inn Speaker: Joan Washburn
24 Executive meeting 10:00 am, Chamber Office
Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce 12
Annual Chamber Easter Egg Hunt 2pm, Log Cabin/Downtown
Board Meeting 7:30am Chamber Building
Port Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce 7
Communications Committee 8:30am
Design Committee 11:00am
Organization Committee 8:30am
Safety Council Meeting, 7 a.m., Ole Zim’s Wagon Shed
Seneca County Chamber of Commerce 9 15
Small Business Basics Seminar 9:30 am to 11:30 am Community room Chamber of Commerce
Ambassador Meeting Noon Chamber
Tiffin Area Safety Council 11:30 am at Moose Lodge
After Five MLAD Paper Store 5 - 7 pm
Human Resource Association Meeting 11:30 am. Lunch Meeting at St. Francis Home, April Speaker: Ben Goff, Brown & Brown
North Coast Business Journal
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14 April 2014
North Coast Business Journal
Ag Week “Kickoff” Breakfast Announced Award Winners
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The Chamber of Commerce of Sandusky County 2014 Ag Week “Kickoff” Breakfast was held on last month at Ole Zim’s Wagon Shed in Gibsonburg. The Agricultural Committee announced that Jeff Reed received the Farmer of the Year Award and Dr. Ryan Zimmerman of Westview Veterinary Hospital received the Agricultural Service Award. The 2014 recipient of the Farmer of the Year Award, Gibsonburg native Jeff Reed currently farms around 1400 acres along with his father and brothers. Dr. Ryan Zimmerman, of Westview Veterinary Hospital, is the recipient of the 2014 Agriculture Service Award. He not REED only contributes to the Agriculture community in Sandusky County, but to the greater community as well. The Chamber of Commerce of Sandusky County Agricultural Committee presented the Sandusky County Food Pantry with a donation. This year they partnered with The Andersons, Inc. who generously agreed to match donations up to $2500. The Chamber collected donations of $1,606.41 which is doubled to $3,212.82 to donate to the Sandusky County Food Pantry. Jan and Rich Foos representatives from the Sandusky County Food Pantry, ZIMMERMAN accepted the donation.
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North Coast Business Journal
To Roth or not to Roth Chris McIntire, President McIntire Retirement Services I am honored to be a provider of a bi-monthly column along with the other fine people that give different types of advice to the readers of the North Coast Business Journal. I welcome any feedback from the readers for future columns on subjects related to retirement planning. This month I want to discuss Roth IRA’s in general. It is an area where there is much confusion and my goal is to help give clarity and perspective to the readers. Roth IRA’s can be a very useful tool for your retirement as they provide income tax free benefits to the owners of the Roth. Roth IRA’s were created in the “Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997” and named for its creator, Senator William Roth of Delaware. They are still relatively new when compared to traditional IRA’s that were originally created in 1975. The Internal Revenue Service Publication 590 has the rules and regulations regarding IRA’s and I encourage you to view that source as it has a lot of great information for owners of IRA’s. Both Traditional and Roth IRA’s have advantages and disadvantages and I’ll highlight them throughout this article. The advantage to a Roth IRA is the fact that your money grows tax deferred and normal (or qualified) distributions are income tax free. I ask the people I meet with if you were going to put money into an envelope and mail it to yourself 30 years from now; when you open that envelope would you want your money to be taxable or tax free? If you said “tax free,” so would I! Since many of us drive by the wonderful farm land we have in Northern Ohio think of it this way; would you rather pay income tax on each individual seed you plant and have your entire harvest be income tax free? That’s how a Roth IRA works, you use money you have paid income tax on to fund your Roth “contribution”, then you let it grow tax deferred and make withdrawals that are income tax free. There are some five year rules to Roth IRA’s, so please do your homework to
determine if this makes sense for your individual situation. A traditional IRA uses tax deductible contributions and they also grow tax deferred. When you make qualified withdrawals after age 59 ½ then you will pay income tax on those withdrawals. Again with the farm analogy, you dont pay tax on the seeds you plant; however you pay tax at whatever tax rate your income is at when you make those withdrawals (the harvest). Since traditional IRA’s have been around longer than Roth IRA’s, I see many more traditional IRA’s than I do Roth IRA’s. Also many people who contributed to their employer sponsored plan, such as a 401k, 403b or 457 plans (amongst others) typically will rollover the 401k to an IRA to avoid paying income tax until they make normal withdrawals. So how do you get money from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA to structure income tax free money for retirement? This is called a conversion. If you are working and putting money into a Roth or traditional IRA, this is called a contribution. Whether or not to convert is an important consideration and it takes time to determine if this makes sense for the IRA owner. Things to consider are age, health, time horizon for needing the money, estate planning considerations and so on. It makes sense to review the tax return to determine the tax bracket that the IRA owner is in and determine how much more income they can have without going into the next tax bracket. A brief example: For 2014 a couple “married filing jointly” can have income up to $73,800 and be in the 15% income tax bracket. Keep in mind that part of your income, 0-$18,150, is taxed at 10% before even getting to the 15% bracket, not to mention the standard deduction of $12,400 and two personal exemptions of $3950 each for married filing jointly taxpayer. Many people are not aware of their effective tax rate that they pay on all of their income after deductions are factored into the equation. Many opportunities are lost right here because of a lack of knowledge unfortunately. For our readers that are not drawing their Social Security benefits yet, you may have additional reasons to look at Roth conversions or contributions. When you start drawing Social Security benefits
Huron Chamber Honors Outstanding Citizens "Celebrate Huron: A Stroll Down Memory Lane” was the theme for the Huron Chamber of Commerce’s annual recognition night on Saturday, March 8. Memorabilia displayed at the dinner included an unopened bottle of beer smuggled in to the Rye Beach area during prohibition in the 1920’s. Randy Crawford created a DVD chock-full of scenes from the city’s colorful past. Honorees included: Berardi’s Restaurant, Holiday Harbor Marina and Latanick Equipment. President Matt Cummings received the Unsung Hero award for his many years of dedicated service to the Chamber, and for helping out many local charity drives and non-profits whenever asked.
Pictured, (l. to r.) are: Tony McGue and Chris Brandich, Berardi’s; Rick Decker, Latanick Equipment; Tom Solberg Jr. and Ron Finke, Holiday Harbor Marina; Matt Cummings, Huron Pizza House, and Rick Poorman, Latanick.
you can potentially pay income tax on a portion of those benefits if you cross certain income thresholds. Traditional IRA withdrawals add to your potential tax liability and this can also cause you to pay tax on up to 85% of your Social Security benefit. Roth IRA withdrawals are not taxable and do not contribute to your Social Security being taxable. Traditional IRA withdrawals must begin at age 70 ½ and continue for the remainder of your life. This called the required minimum distribution or RMD’s for short. The RMD amount equates to roughly 3.65% of your IRA value of your December 31st value. For those folks that are fortunate enough to live off of a pension and/or social security benefits and you’ve let your IRA grow for decades, this could be a significant amount of taxable income whether you need it or not! Many times it is this distribution that forces you to pay income tax on a portion of your Social Security benefit. A Roth IRA has no RMD. It is true that traditional IRA’s can help your current tax situation and the paradigm is delay taxation whenever possible. Most people will be asking their accountants: is there any way they can lower their taxes by April 15th? The quick answer is to add money to your IRA to lower your tax liability. Since no one knows where tax rates will be in 10, 20 or 30 years, I’ll pose the question again; if you were going to put money into an envelope and mail it to yourself in the future… how much tax do you want to pay when you open it? Chris McIntire is the President of McIntire Retirement Services and has offices in Port Clinton, Fremont, and Perrysburg. You can reach him at 866-695-2620. You can also listen to Chris on Saturday mornings at 10:00 on WLEC am 1450 for Money Matters. Investment advice is offered by Horter Investment Management, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Insurance and annuity products are sold separately through McIntire Retirement Services, LLC Securities transactions for Horter Investment Management clients are placed through Pershing Advisor Solutions, Trust Company of America, Jefferson National Monument Advisor, Fidelity, Security Benefit Life, and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
16 April 2014
North Coast Business Journal
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Business Valuation If you’re buying or selling a business...
It’s time to talk to Payne Nickles. If you are considering buying or selling a business, then you may be looking for help placing a value on that business. Payne Nickles has worked with hundreds of local business owners and can offer the expert advice you need, including: 2357 SEAN DRIVE (SR 53) 1,500 to 3,000 sq. ft. units Brand new center opened in 2014 Tenants: AAA, Liberty Dental & Jimmy John’s Access to traffic signal from Sean Drive Fast-growing area includes Walmart, Lowes, Applebee’s and several major employers Lease rate: $15.00 per sq. ft. NNN
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North Coast Business Journal
The Gus Macker Tournament is Dribbling in to Fostoria The weekend of June 14th and 15th will be a busy one in Fostoria. The community will be hosting the National Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. It is anticipated that this will be an event unlike any other seen in Fostoria. The City of Fostoria and the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor’s Bureau have partnered to bring this event to the Fostoria community for the first time. In 2014, the National Gus Macker Tournament will be celebrating its 41st year. The first tournament was held on a driveway in Michigan with 18 players competing for $18. Since that first competition, the Tournament has grown at a rapid pace. Gus Macker holds both indoor and outdoor tournaments in over 75 cities across the United States with over 200,000 players and 1.7 million spectators. While the Macker Tournament has grown to national prominence, it is still run in a hometown friendly manner. Teams of various age, size, and talent levels pay a team registration fee for the opportunity to compete against other teams of similar make-up and the chance to win. The Fostoria Gus Macker event will take place in the Fostoria High School/ Fostoria Intermediate Elementary School parking lots. Team registration fees will be $132 per team. Over the next few months additional information
will be provided on this event. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer for the tournament, please call the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce at 419-435-0486.
Check out more information about the North Coast Business Journal at www.ncbj.net
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18 April 2014
North Coast Business Journal
Ten Marketing Commandments
By Roger Bostdorff
Below are the 10 Marketing Commandments. These are commandments that should be followed for all businesses. I did not create these but I suggest to my clients that they are, at a minimum, to be reviewed, before any are violated. Many organizations confuse selling with marketing. Marketing is positioning your brand or reputation in the marketplace; while selling is actually the exchange of revenues between two businesses for products or services. Marketing Commandments I. Marketing is defined as getting someone who has a need to know, like and trust you…in that order. You can’t circumvent the process. II. There is no “mystery” in marketing. The more people you communicate with in an appealing way, the more business you’ll generate. III. Unless you operate a monopoly, it generally takes 6 to 9 contacts with a prospect before they’re ready to buy.
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IV. Marketing never “ends” until you sell or close the business. effective marketing is like continuously building a house. Planning is the foundation and marketing activities are the bricks. Marketing contacts are never wasted…they’re small investments in a foundation that will eventually lead to business. V. The most important aspect of effective marketing by far is followthrough. If you’re doing something, then half of the battle is won. VI. You should be investing at least 5% of your ongoing revenues back into the business through marketing. It takes money to make money.
VII. If the business you’re generating is only as good as your last advertising dollar, then you’re not branding (differentiating) yourself. Effective branding is essential to taking your business to the next level. VIII. Marketing today is an integral part of a small business. If you’re not devoting time and/or resources to it continually, then you’re at the mercy of the cycles and pitfalls of the marketplace. IX. Due to its creative and reflective nature, marketing can and should be fun. X. Marketing is not sales. Sales can have more immediate results. Marketing generally has a longer return on investment but because you’re communicating with the masses, has a much broader impact. Which ones are you doing? Roger Bostdorff is the President of B2B Sales Boost. He spent over 30 years with IBM in sales and sales management. He then became President/COO of a small internet security company before founding B2B Sales Boost, LLC. B2B Sales Boost, LLC is a consulting company helping organizations improve their sales and overall business processes. Roger is also available for public speaking engagements. You can find more about B2B Sales Boost on the web at www. b2bsalesboost.com or calling 419-351-4347. If you would like to receive the B2B Sales Boost Newsletter please send an email to sales@ b2bsalesboost.com
Chalet at The Vineyard on Catawba ranked in the Top 25
Every 2 years, the Ohio Assisted Living Association conducts a resident satisfaction survey of the 370 assisted living communities in the state. For the second survery in a row, The Chalet at The Vineyard on Catawba has ranked in the top 25.
North Coast Business Journal
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
A MICROPOLITAN WITH
IMPRESSIVE MACROECONOMICS. Congratulations to Fremont, Ohio for coming in 10th in the 100 Top Micropolitans! Site Selection magazine has recognized Fremont, Ohio, with a Governor’s Cup Award as the 10th Top Micropolitan area for producing the most expanded corporate facility projects during the past 12 months. Big results like these are what you can expect when Sandusky County Economic Development gets down to business. Manufacturing is alive and well in Sandusky County, and big business is booming. Get the big picture and small details about why companies have set up shop in northwest Ohio.
Contact Kay E. Reiter at Sandusky County Economic Development http://www.sanduskycountyedc.org | 419.332.2882
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TERRA STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
20 April 2014
North Coast Business Journal
ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital Begins Construction Project In an effort to further promote continuity of care for patients, ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital has committed $1.6 million to create an approximately 8,000 squarefoot Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Center on the garden level of ProMedica Medical Center in Fostoria. In addition to constructing office space for the Northwest Ohio Orthopedics and Sports Medicine orthopedic specialty clinic, which currently resides at the hospital, the full spectrum of rehabilitation and therapy services offered through Total Rehab will be relocated to the new site as well. The project is expected to take six to seven months to complete, and features a new therapeutic exercise area along with physical, occupational and speech therapy clinic space; dedicated rooms for orthopedic patient consultations; an X-ray room; and the addition of an elevator. The building, now known as the ProMedica Medical Center was donated to the ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital Foundation by NSI Crankshaft, formerly known as Norton Manufacturing, in 2009. Alvada Construction completed the family medicine office, and was awarded the bid for the Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Center as well.
Lake Erie Shores & Islands - East Director Meets with State Legislators on the Power of Tourism Columbus, Ohio, March 27, 2014 – Lake Erie Shores & Islands – East Executive Director Joan Van Offeren met with several state lawmakers on March 19th about the importance of Ohio’s tourism industry. This was during the Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus annual State Legislative Day. The event provides an opportunity for participants to meet with their individual elected representatives and talk tourism. The impact of the tourism industry on Ohio’s economy is shared with lawmakers and it is also a time to discuss issues of local importance. This year legislators learned that the latest studies showed tourism sales in Ohio generated $2.7 billion dollars in state and local taxes and that tourism is one of the top five Ohio industry employers with a payroll of $10.6 billion dollars. Participants were also able to assure their legislators that tourism is a wise investment for the state, with TourismOhio returning $15 in state and local
taxes for every $1 invested in their annual marketing campaign. Issues of local importance included ongoing efforts to control harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie and the threats posed by Asian carp. Over the course of the day Van Offeren met with Senator Randy Gardner, Representative Chris Redfern, Representative Mike Dovilla, and Representative Cheryl Grossman. Discussions were held with several other legislators and staff during a reception following the formal appointments. OACVB is statewide organization serving visitors bureaus throughout Ohio helping them to maximize the economic impact of tourism via effective communication, cooperative marketing, industry education, legislative awareness, issue management, trend identification and professional development. More information is at www. oacvb.org.
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North Coast Business Journal
Taxes How the NIIT Affects Real Estate Investors By John Funk, CPA Principal and Leader Real Estate & Construction Group Barnes Wendling
gross income over the threshold of $250,000 for married people filing jointly, $125,000 for married people filing separately, or $200,000 for single people. For most taxpayers, modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) and adjusted gross income (AGI) will be the same. AGI is found on Line 37 of the Form 1040 tax return. The tax is calculated at 3.8 percent times the lesser of the taxpayer’s: • Net investment income • MAGI less the applicable threshold
For real estate investors, rents are included under the first category of net investment income and the second category of passive income. The net investment income tax (NIIT) is a new tax The third category includes gains from the sale of real estate properties. created with the passage of the Patient Protection Active real estate professionals, however, have found safe harbor with and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. recently released final regulations regarding the NIIT. If a real estate The 3.8 percent tax on the net investment income professional participated in rental real estate activities for more than of high-wage earners became effective for the tax 500 hours per year in five of the last 10 taxable years, the rental year beginning Jan. 1, 2013. income is deemed to be derived in the ordinary course of business, thus removing it from the first two categories and excluding it from Net investment income generally includes: the NIIT. However, failure to meet the 500-hour test does not necessarily mean taxpayers cannot be considered real estate • Category 1 - Interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rents professionals. They may state facts and circumstances specific to their • Category 2 - Income from passive activities and businesses involved situation to prove their level of activity. in the trading of financial instruments • Category 3 - Net gain from the disposition of property other than Taxpayers should discuss specifics with their CPA if they have property held in a trade or business questions and to see if they qualify as a real estate professional. For Those subject to the tax are high-income earners who are U.S. more information on the NIIT, contact Barnes Wendling at (800) residents and have net investment income and a modified adjusted 369-6375 or www.barneswendling.com.
22 April 2014
North Coast Business Journal
Flood Insurance Act Provides Relief from Planned Premium Increases Submitted by: Mark T. Reilly
Quick Facts: The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 will: • Limit flood insurance premium • increases to no more than 18 percent a year. • Repeal a provision requiring an immediate premium increase when a home changes ownership. • Reinstate the flood insurance • program’s grandfathering provision. On March 21, 2014, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (the Flood Insurance Act) was signed into law. This Act modifies planned flood insurance reforms that would have dramatically increased premiums for many property owners in highflood risk areas. These reforms were part of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (the Biggert-Waters Act). The Biggert-Waters Act required changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to make it more financially stable, including the elimination of subsidized rates and grandfathering, which protected property owners from certain rate increases. The implementation of these changes led to an outcry from property owners facing sudden and significant rate increases, which many homeowners called unaffordable. Congress passed the Flood Insurance Act to address the issues created by the Biggert-Waters Act.
receive discounted insurance rates after flood risk standards are revised. This grandfathering approach prevented rate increases for existing properties when the flood risk in their area increased. The Biggert-Waters Act would have required a number of changes to the NFIP that would have resulted in steep increases in flood insurance premiums intended to make the NFIP solvent. Specifically, homeowners with subsidized rates would lose the subsidies for primary residences when the property was sold, the policy lapsed, they had severe, repeated flood losses or they purchased a new policy. Also, owners of properties that experienced severe or repeated flooding, along with business property owners and non-primary homeowners in Special Flood Hazard Areas, were set to have rates increase 25 percent per year until their rates reflected their true risk. Grandfathered rates originally permitted under the NFIP were set to be phased out under the Biggert-Waters Act. Properties with these grandfathered rates would have been moved to risk-based rates over a period of time once their community adopted a new Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). In January 2014, the spending bill known as the Omnibus Appropriations Package, H.R. 3547, was passed. The spending bill provided short-term rate increase relief to some homeowners covered by the NFIP, delaying scheduled premium increases until Oct. 1, 2014. The Flood Insurance Act provides additional relief from the planned increases by retaining the NFIP’s grandfathering and subsidy provisions.
PLANNED CHANGES TO THE NFIP
MAJOR PROVISIONS OF THE FLOOD Congress created the NFIP in 1968 to enable property owners to obtain flood insurance. INSURANCE ACT The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirements to reduce the risk of flooding. The NFIP provides subsidized flood insurance rates to many property owners. This allows the property owners to obtain flood insurance at a cost that does not reflect the true risk rate for their policies. The NFIP also contains a grandfathering provision, which allows properties built in compliance with then-current standards to
Reinstatement of Grandfathering Provision The Flood Insurance Act reinstates the NFIP’s grandfathering provision, which was to be phased out under the Biggert-Waters Act. Grandfathered properties were to be moved to risk-based rates upon the adoption of a new FIRM. New rates were due to increase by 20 percent per year for five years. The Flood Insurance Act reinstates the grandfathering approach that prevents rate increases for existing properties when the flood risk in their area is increased.
Continuation of Subsidized Rates The Flood Insurance Act repeals a provision of the Biggert-Waters Act that would have required an immediate premium increase when a home was sold. This means that a change in home ownership no longer immediately changes the rate of insurance. In addition to subsidies, the Flood Insurance Act provides refunds of premiums to property owners who purchased homes after the Biggert-Waters Act became law and experienced an immediate increase of their insurance rates. Limit to Annual Premium Increases The Flood Insurance Act limits yearly premium increases to an average of 15 percent per year for nine specific property categories listed by FEMA. It also limits all increases to no more than 18 percent per year. Under the Flood Insurance Act, FEMA is encouraged to limit premiums to no more than 1 percent of the value of coverage for most policyholders.
FUNDING FOR SUBSIDIZED RATES The cost of retaining subsidized flood insurance rates will be funded through a $25 surcharge for most homeowner policyholders. A $250 fee will apply for non-residential property owners and non-primary residence homeowners. Although the Flood Insurance Act maintains the subsidized rates, it also retains a provision in the Biggert-Waters Act that will move toward the use of actuarial rates over time to increase the solvency of the NFIP.
MORE INFORMATION The impact of the Flood Insurance Act on each property owner will depend on a number of factors. Contact Diversified Insurance Service at 800-848-2788 for more information on how this law may affect your premium costs and coverage. For more information about implementing a safety plan at your business, contact Diversified Insurance Service at 800-848-2788 or visit their website at www.divinsurance.com.
North Coast Business Journal
Fostoria City Schools: Providing Opportunities for Success Fostoria City Schools (FCS) is located in Fostoria, Ohio in Seneca, Wood, and Hancock Counties. The FCS District is comprised of four buildings. Longfellow Elementary houses students in preschool – kindergarten; Riley Elementary houses grades 2-3; Fostoria Intermediate Elementary houses grades 3-6; and Fostoria Junior/Senior High Schools houses grades 7-12. Enrollment for the district is 1839. We have a diverse population of students consisting of 59.4% white, 18.1% Hispanic, 4.6% African-American, and 17.2% multiracial. The mission for Fostoria City Schools is to provide equal opportunities for success by promoting academic growth, c r e a t i v i t y , r e s p o n s i b i l i t y, tolerance, citizenship, life-skills and personal health so that individuals can achieve their maximum potential for life-skills and personal health so that individuals can achieve their maximum potential for life in a global society. The main focus for Fostoria City Schools is student achievement. The District has been concentrating on the new Common Core Standards. The new standards are an attempt to align education across the country. The new standards provide an opportunity for deeper analysis and performance in the classroom through project based performance and student inquiry. A new ELA curriculum, “Wonders”, was initiated this school year in grades K-6. Features of the new program are: -Building a strong reading foundation -Accessing complex text -Finding and using text evidence -Engaging in collaborative conversations -Writing to success. The District also received a parent grant this year through the State Support Team-Parent Teacher Partnerships. We were one of 16 schools in the state to receive the
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grant. The goals for the grant are: - Improve parent-teacher communication - Better understanding of what is happening - How can each group heap each other - Focus this year is with parents form 6th and 7th grade families. For the 2014-2015 school year, the District will be focusing on the new state assessment testing. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers assessment test will replace the Ohio Graduation Test for next year. The new tests are designed to prepare students for college and careers by the end of high school, show progress from 3rd grade up, and provide teachers with information for instruction and to provide student support. The District provide information through Facebook, with each building having its own page, the district website, Fostoria Education Television; and a monthly newsletter by each building.
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24 April 2014
North Coast Business Journal
Human Resources Workplace Bullying! By: Steven J. Krisfalusy, Sr. Management & HR Consultant, Beringer Group LLC. Over the past decades, we can probably all recall working where someone was intimidating someone else, usually from someone in management. Sadly, even in 2014, I have to report that those tactics still exist at more places than you want to know about. Over time many simply ignored it, usually owners, but I assure you the recipient never does. Like everything the definition of intimidating is changing, driven by society, to “bullying” and that includes in the workplace not just at school. A much less acceptable definition that can lead to your business being more liable for “not” doing something about it – or just living with it. The recent NFL Miami Dolphins locker room issues have not only become public but the pressure from society is showing. At the center of
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all of that is offensive lineman Richie Incognito. Who in the beginning of this PR nightmare stated he didn’t do nothing wrong and now after society is clearly saying otherwise, he is all of a sudden undergoing treatment at a psychiatric. Interesting! If this plays out as other scenarios, the spotlight will switch to his employer with people asking “Why did you let this happen for so long?” Possibly down the road society will increasingly hold the employer legally responsible for their failures. Penn State for example. I believe this trend of society changing what is acceptable and who (all parties) are responsible has just begun especially when it comes to the workplace. I assure you that the next generation of Millennials will have no part of it. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find people in the future, it simply means you will have a harder time hiring and retaining them.
what can you do now? If you DO NOT have a policy manual – start right away! If you have one that has dust on it, blow off the dust and start making it more important to everyone throughout your company. Add a “Code of
Conduct” policy that explains your companies’ position and expectations for peoples’ behavior while on the job & getting paid. REALLY hold people accountable – sooner! Don’t live with it – it may cost you. Maybe some folks need some help, like Richie possibly, and it is up to you to try. It is up to them to change. This is just another example of why Human Capital issues need to be given greater priority now more than ever before. Many have been lucky by avoiding this but the tsunami is coming and society is riding the wave. It is time to jump into the water and as important, protect your business from the loss of an average award for a HR law suit of $365,000.00 + legal defense costs. The world is changing rapidly, especially when it comes to Human Capital issues. Remember that when it comes to violating laws, your company’s size does not matter. I suggest you get started updating now! Need some advice? Please ask – glad to help. The Beringer Group LLC is a diverse team of experts that help the small & mid-range business community for HR & Business Growth issues as part of their legacy. 440-552-6599 www.sjkberinger.com
2014 Guide to Local Port Clinton Activities The Port Clinton City School District, Magruder Hospital, the City of Port Clinton, and the Port Clinton Area Chamber teamed together to create the 2014 Guide to Local Activities. Guides are now available at the Chamber office in downtown Port Clinton. The Chamber encourages you to take advantage of the many events and activities in the Port Clinton community.
North Coast Business Journal
Legal Second Marriages By Jeff Roth
People are living longer today. Many are remarrying to fully enjoy the second half of their lives. This being said, many estate problems can occur when no estate planning is completed prior to or after the marriage. This will be a two part series. The purpose of these articles is not to give all of the solutions but to alert you to the potential unintended consequences after the death of one of the spouses of a second marriage. You may even disinherit your children without knowing that it could happen. There are several second marriage categories: - Each spouse has children. - Each spouse has children and they have a natural child between them. - One spouse has children and the other spouse has none. - Neither spouse has children. Each of these situations requires special planning to insure that the right beneficiaries receive the correct family property. Most couples take it for granted that their children or family will receive their property upon
the death of themselves or after the death of the second spouse. PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT - SEE THE LAWYER BEFORE THE MINISTER. A prenuptial agreement can often save the children of each family a lot of grief. First of all, it is contract that has to be entered into BEFORE the marriage ceremony. Its validity depends on FULL disclosure. Each party should have an attorney to advise and verify the contents of the agreement. Using one attorney can easily void the contract if challenged in court. It is imperative that each person disclose in detail all of their assets. If this is not done, then the survivor can possibly prove that the assets of the deceased were not disclosed and break the agreement. This is most often initiated by the children of the surviving spouse. They discover what the deceased spouse owned and that it could belong to their parent and eventually to themselves. It is important to understand that a prenuptial agreement will do nothing to protect the assets of a spouse if the other person enters a nursing home. NO WRITTEN AGREEMENT. Most couples had a handshake and a kiss and promised to see that the other’s children would get everything that belongs to them. They are probably telling the truth but they have no idea of the results that can occur without planning.
ESTATE PLANNING. Detailed estate planning is imperative for a second marriage. It is also one the most difficult planning areas. The attorney’s job is to look at all of the worst case scenarios and plan accordingly. We must take the emotion out of the equation and see that each person’s assets get to the intended beneficiary. A trust is often the best tool to insure completion of the couple’s desires. Having the couple plan will prevent potential feuding among the survivors. Without proper documents, your children may not even be involved in your end of life decisions. Moving to another state can have adverse consequences in the ultimate distribution plan. There are many other potential problems that can be prevented by honest informed planning and continued thought as new assets are acquired. The next article will focus on problems with the improper titling of assets between spouses. Jeff Roth is a partner with David Bacon and associate Jessica Moon of the firm ROTH and BACON with offices in Port Clinton, Upper Sandusky, Marion, Ohio and Fort Myers, Florida. All members of the firm are licensed in Ohio and Florida. Mr. Roth’s practice is limited to wealth strategy planning and elder law in both states. Nothing in this article is intended for, nor should be relied upon as individual legal advice. The purpose of this article is to provide information to the public on concepts of law as they pertain to estate and business planning. Jeff Roth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org (telephone: 419-7329994) copyright Jeffrey P. Roth 2014.
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26 April 2014
North Coast Business Journal
IT Hackers Are People Too By Amanda Berlin • We are hackers and we are proud. • We question and answer, we break and fix, we create and destroy, we attack and defend, teach and are taught. • We provide value by inspiring others to do the same. • We care about the safety of your data! Hopefully this article will help enlighten you to what a “hacker” truly is. We want to spread the word and break the negative stereotypes that come with the word and profession. We’ll start off with a couple questions. 1. When you think of a hacker what do you think of? Some of the most prominent hackers in recent news would be Edward Snowden or Anonymous as well as other nameless groups or people. Most of these people/groups/activities have a negative connotation right? Nothing but a bunch of hi-tech criminals. But then again, most of the news that sells is negative. Who wants to publish a story about the 99% of hackers that are doing good work in the local and global economies? Well, since you’re reading this article in the North Coast Business Journal, it means this newspaper feels that it is important. The first time I actually considered myself a hacker was during my first trip to a “hackercon” (conference) called DerbyCon in Louisville, KY. When I arrived I was blown away at the sheer amount of knowledge and skill that I was surrounded by. I felt like a very small fish in a giant ocean. But I have to tell you, there wasn’t a single person that was too good to talk to me. They would strike up conversations as you walked by, while we were in talks learning, and if they saw you out in a restaurant. They were there to teach just as much as they were there to learn. The security practices and tools that I learned about that weekend not only would help the security of the organization that I work for, but the security of the data of everyone in the community. In those three days I realized that I wanted to work in Information Security and become a good hacker (aka “White hat”). One thing that really upset me was during DerbyCon a reporter at WDRB in Louisville posted to his Facebook and Twitter account this
“I don’t know how I feel about this--DerbyCon Companies of every size and every household happening at Hyatt downtown. It’s a convention should think of their data the same way. Wouldn’t for computer hackers. Sessions include password you want to be for certain that your car wouldn’t cracking, hacker war games and a lock picking blow up at the next pothole? Or that it had pavilion. Thoughts?” - Sterling Riggs seatbelts, warning lights, airbags, etc? Well that’s a This sparked some very hurtful comments from good analogy that describes why hackers break the residents of the city. Such as “The cops should stuff! We enjoy and most times get paid to try and be waiting to arrest anyone upon their arrival. It’s a break into systems or make them do things that shame that people have the brains to do stuff like they aren’t meant to do. Because if we didn’t that, but are too lazy to get a real job…” and someone else would. “Should be outlawed”. We need to stop letting this fear mongering happen and stop participating in it 3. What questions can we answer for you? when it does. As a single mom of three, I’ve had a About our community, the work we do, or the steady job since I was 16 and would rather not go lives we lead? Maybe you’re interesting in getting to jail for trying to help others. into this field of work as well? Hackers are all around you. Hopefully bettering the company you work for, the hospital you need #HackersArePeopleToo @Infosystir to visit, the stores you shop at, and the services you use. We’re there, but you don’t realize it because WELCOME AMANDA! we’re doing our job to protect you and your data. Yes there are a lot of threats out on the internet, but Amanda Berlin is a new addition to the North with the bad come a whole lot of good. Coast Business Journal’s list of contributing An amazing group of hackers is Hackers For “experts.” She is currently a Network Analyst in Charity (HFC) www.hackersforcharity.org. Hackers the healthcare industry in Northern Ohio. She has for Charity’s Food for Work Program feeds hungry recently changed focus to more information children in Africa but also teaches them to grow security related topics and manages the internal gardens to become self-sufficient. They have a phishing campaign at her company to promote whole group of volunteers that travel from city to user education about phishing and hacking city and attend hacker cons to raise money for this through an awards based reporting program. cause through auctions, t-shirts, zombie makeup The Chamber of Commerce drives, and more. An extremely popular of Sandusky County is con is DEF CON. Located offering their building for sale. in Las Vegas, Nevada, DEF CON is possibly the It is located at 101 & 103 S. largest con in the USA, Front St. Fremont, OH 43420. drawing people from around the world. In An information sheet and 2010, over 10,000 people additional information can be attended DEF CON 18. At almost last minute requested at ceo@scchamber. notice project Bloodkode org. An open house is was setup to accept blood donations for a member scheduled for April 12 from of the community that 10 a.m.-12 p.m. had become ill. In the first hour all of the appointments had been filled, and they had to Bids will be accepted by mail, e-mail or hand delivery until May actively turn away 2, 2014 at 11 a.m. A minimum reserve has been established. donors. Bloodkode has now been expanded and The Chamber reserves the right to reject all bids. The will continue to collect winning bid will be announced at noon on May 2nd in the donations at each DEF CON. Chamber conference room, at which time the successful bidder 2. How many of you would purchase a car for your family that had never gone through crash or safety testing?
shall execute the purchase contract. Once the bid is accepted, it is final and non-negotiable. Purchaser must pay a minimum of 10% of the winning bid upon acceptance. Transaction must close within 45 days of acceptance.
North Coast Business Journal
Fostoria’s “Old-Timer” Fisher-Titus Awards Area Computer Shop? Schools $27,000 in Grants Noguska Computer Center has long been known as one of the eldest “computer” shops, not only in Fostoria, but in all of Northwest Ohio. While serving local needs for repairs, new/refurbished equipment and business IT services, Noguska has been serving computer needs since 1973. But here’s some news: Noguska’s main business isn’t computer hardware at all… It’s software development. We have custom developed software for thousands of business clients in a myriad of industries, all around the globe. In fact, Noguska programs have been translated to over 25 languages. However, as lucrative as working in the corporate world may be, there’s nothing more satisfying that helping the Mom & Pop shop next door create an affordable inventory, accounting and/or order entry system that helps them compete with the big boys in the market. For 2014, Noguska is expanding its software library in the areas of Manufacturing/Job Costing, Print Estimating, Property Management/Contractor Tools, Accounting & Order Tracking, Online Sales and dozens more. Their area of expertise is providing a customizable solution when standard cookie-cutter software fails to “fit” unique operating requirements. And unlike other programs, the Apps can be installed locally, run over a closed network, or accessed via the Cloud, whatever suits a client’s fancy. So for technical needs, whether business or personal, large or small, Noguska says they’ll be there to help you out. And if they can’t, they’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.
Fisher-Titus Medical Center’s Health Education Grants were used in a variety of ways in 2013. Nine local schools were better able to achieve goals and make math, science and health education fun for their students. Fisher-Titus Medical Center’s Health Education Grant Distribution Program was established to fund innovative educational programs in the areas of math, science and health for schools in the FisherTitus service area. “Each year we are pleased with the innovative ways in which the school districts utilize their grants,” said Ross Matlack, Fisher-Titus president. More than $741,400 has been distributed in the 18 years the program has been in existence, according to Virginia Poling of FisherTitus Medical Center’s Board of Directors. This year $26,616.50 was distributed to Edison Local Schools, Monroeville Local School District, New London Local Schools, Norwalk City Schools, Norwalk Catholic School, South Central Local Schools, Wellington Schools, Western Reserve Local Schools and Willard City Schools. During a luncheon ceremony on Tuesday, March 18 at FisherTitus Medical Center, the Medical Center awarded Health Education Grants to 9 local school districts. FisherTitus and school representatives pictured front (from left) are Dr. Wayne Babcanec, Norwalk Catholic School; Dennis Doughty, Norwalk City Schools; Rodge Wilson, Western Reserve Schools and Brad Romano, New London Local Schools; back row (from left) President Ross Matlack, Fisher-Titus Medical Center; John Nolan, Wellington Schools; Thomas Roth, Edison Local Schools; Bob Butler, Monroeville Local Schools; Bryan Oney, South Central Local Schools; Jeff Ritz, Willard City Schools; and Matt Gross, Fisher-Titus Medical Center Board of Directors.
Port Clinton Chamber and Baumann Celebrate Renovation Over the past year, extensive improvements have been made at the Baumann General Motors auto dealership on State Route 53. In early March, Baumann celebrated the completion of those improvements by hosting a Port Clinton Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours. They then held a special ribbon cutting ceremony, with Chuck Miller, the Baumann General Manager, doing the honors.
We have Two Local “Top Ten” Micropolitan Winners! Site Selection Magazine recently announced that Fremont-Sandusky County has been recognized as one of the top 10 micropolitan regions in the country for business investment and expansion. The Seneca Industrial & Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) announced today that Tiffin and Seneca County have placed in the top ten nationally in the magazine’s rankings for large, private economic development projects. The U.S. Census Bureau defines a micropolitan community as a “rural county whose largest city does not exceed a population of 50,000.” According to the Census Bureau there are 576 micropolitan communities in the United States. Sandusky County had seven (7) qualifying projects in 2013, which places the County in the top 2 percent of micropolitan communities nationwide. According to Site Selection Magazine officials the seven (7) qualifying projects were located in the cities of Bellevue, Clyde, Fremont, the Village of Gibsonburg, and Rice
Township. Seneca County reached the top ten by registering seven major projects in 2013, involving the creation of 210 new jobs and $27 million in new investment. Eligible economic development projects must involve at least one of the following: the creation of 50 or more jobs, the construction of 20,000 square feet, and/or the investment of at least $1 million. The new or expanded facilities must also be in manufacturing, distribution, office, R&D, headquarters, or call centers. The new or expanded facilities must also be in manufacturing, distribution, office, R&D, headquarters, or call centers. Joining Fremont and Tiffin in the top 10 this year is Findlay, making northwest Ohio the strongest region in the country for micropolitans. “We believe that northwest Ohio is getting some much deserved attention,” said Dean Monske, President & CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership in Toledo.
28 April 2014
North Coast Business Journal
Retirement & Estate Planning Education Tax Credits and Deductions Douglas Gildenmeister Senior Vice President, Investments For parents and students trying to manage college bills and student loan payments, the federal government offers education-related tax benefits. The requirements for each are different, so here’s what you need to know. American Opportunity credit The American Opportunity credit (formerly the Hope credit) is a tax credit available for the first four years of a student’s undergraduate education, provided the student is attending school at least half-time in a program leading to a degree or certificate. The credit is worth up to $2,500 in 2014 (it’s calculated as 100% of the first $2,000 of qualified expenses plus 25% of the next $2,000 of expenses). The credit must be taken for the tax year that the expenses are paid, and parents must claim their child as a dependent on their tax return to take the credit. To be eligible for the credit, your income must fall below certain limits. In 2014, a full credit is available to single filers with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) below $80,000 and joint filers with a MAGI below $160,000. A partial credit is available to single filers with a MAGI between $80,000 and $90,000 and joint filers with a MAGI between $160,000 and $180,000. One benefit of the American Opportunity credit is that it’s calculated per student, not per tax return. So parents with two (or more) qualifying children in a given year can claim a separate credit for each child (assuming income limits are met). The mechanics of claiming the credit are relatively easy. If you paid tuition and related expenses to an eligible educational institution during the year, the college generally must send you a Form 1098-T by February 1 of the following year. You then file Form 8863 with your federal tax return to claim the credit. Lifetime Learning credit The Lifetime Learning credit is another education tax credit, but it has a broader reach than the American Opportunity credit. As the name implies, the Lifetime Learning credit is available for college or graduate courses taken throughout your lifetime (the student can be you, your spouse, or your dependents), even if those courses are taken on a less than half-time basis and don’t lead to a formal degree. However, this credit can’t be taken in the same year as the American Opportunity credit on
behalf of the same student. The Lifetime Learning credit is worth up to $2,000 in 2014 (it’s calculated as 20% of the first $10,000 of qualified expenses). The Lifetime Learning credit must be taken for the same year that expenses are paid, and you must file Form 8863 with your federal tax return to claim the credit. In 2014, a full credit is available to single filers with a MAGI below $54,000 and joint filers with a MAGI below $108,000. A partial credit is available to single filers with a MAGI between $54,000 and $64,000 and joint filers with a MAGI between $108,000 and $128,000. Unlike the American Opportunity credit, the Lifetime Learning credit is limited to $2,000 per tax return per year, even if more than one person in your household qualifies independently in a given year. If you have more than one family member attending college or taking courses at the same time, you’ll need to decide which credit to take. Example: Joe and Ann have a college freshman and sophomore, Mary and Ben, who are attending school full-time. In addition, Joe is enrolled at a local community college taking two graduate courses related to his job. Mary and Ben each qualify for the American Opportunity credit. Plus, Mary, Ben, and Joe each qualify for the Lifetime Learning credit. Because the American Opportunity credit isn’t limited to one per tax return, Joe and Ann should claim this credit for both Mary and Ben, and then claim a Lifetime Learning credit for Joe. Joe and Ann can claim both the American Opportunity credit and the Lifetime Learning credit in the same year because each credit is taken on behalf of a different qualified student. Tax credit vs. tax deduction A tax credit is more valuable than a tax deduction of the same amount. Why? A tax credit reduces any taxes owed on a dollarfor-dollar basis, whereas a tax deduction simply reduces the total income on which your taxes are based. Student loan interest deduction The student loan interest deduction allows borrowers to deduct up to $2,500 worth of interest paid in 2014 on qualified student loans. Generally, federal student loans, private bank loans, college loans, and state loans are eligible. However, the debt must have been incurred while the student was attending school on at least a half-time basis in a program leading to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential. So loans obtained to take courses that do not lead to a degree or other educational credential are not eligible for this deduction. Your ability to take the student loan interest deduction depends on your income. For 2014, to take the full $2,500 deduction (assuming that much interest is paid during the year) single filers must have a MAGI of $65,000 or less and joint filers $130,000 or less. A partial deduction is available for single filers with a MAGI between $65,000 and $80,000 and joint filers with a MAGI between $130,000 and $160,000. Also, to be eligible for the deduction, an individual
must have the primary obligation to pay the loan and must pay the interest during the tax year. The deduction may not be claimed by someone who can be claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s return. Borrowers can take the student loan interest deduction in the same year as the American Opportunity credit or Lifetime Learning credit, provided they qualify for each independently. Deduction for qualified higher education expenses
The deduction for qualified higher education expenses is not available in 2014. In 2013, it was worth up to $4,000 for out-of-pocket qualified higher education expenses paid during the year. In 2013, single filers with a modified gross income (MAGI) of $65,000 or less and joint filers with a MAGI of $130,000 or less could take the full $4,000 deduction. A $2,000 deduction was available for single filers with a MAGI between $65,000 and $80,000 and joint filers with a MAGI between $130,000 and $160,000.
Comparison of Credits/Deductions American Opportunity Credit $2,500 MAGI Limits - Single Filer: $80,000 or less for full credit; partial credit if MAGI $80,000 to 90,000. Joint Filer: $160,000 or less for full credit; partial credit if MAGI $160,000 to 180,000. Qualified expenses include: Tuition and fees, plus course materials. Lifetime Learning credit $2,000 MAGI Limits - Single filer: $54,000 or less for full credit; partial credit if MAGI $54,000 to $64,000 Joint filer: $108,000 or less for full credit; partial credit if MAGI $108,000 to $128,000 Qualified expenses include: Tuition and fees only. Student loan interest deduction $2,500 MAGI Limitis: Single filer: $65,000 or less for full deduction, partial deduction if MAGI $65,000 to $80,000. Joint filer: $130,000 or less for full deduction; partial deduction if MAGI $130,000 to $160,000 Qualified expenses include: Tuition and fees, room, and board, books, equipment and other necessary expenses For more information, see IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education
This information was developed by Broadridge, an independent third party. It is general in nature, is not a complete statement of all information necessary for making an investment decision, and is not a recommendation or a solicitation to buy or sell any security. Investments and strategies mentioned may not be suitable for all investors. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Raymond James & Associates, Inc. member New York Stock Exchange/ SIPC does not provide advice on tax, legal or mortgage issues. These matters should be discussed with an appropriate professional. Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC
North Coast Business Journal
Janotta & Herner Wins Company of the Year In the year 2000, Janotta & Herner sold their Design Build Construction Company to its 135 employees and became an ESOP. When JHI became an ESOP, the company joined the Ohio/ Kentucky Chapter of the National ESOP Association. For the past 14 years, JHI has participated in a number of competitions, both chapter and nationwide. This year, out of 103 participating member companies, Janotta & Herner and Firelands Fabrication, a subsidiary of JHI, was honored as the 2013 ESOP Company of the Year for the Ohio/ Kentucky Chapter. The award is given to the company that scores the highest on a number of criteria, including participation in Chapter programs, employee education and creating a sense of ownership throughout the company.
Pictured are from left to right, Robyn Pollina ESOP Association President, Joyce Fleming Firelands Fabrication ESOP Committee member, Jim Limbird Janotta & Herner President, Tony Whitacre JHI ESOP Committee Vice Chairman.
30 April 2014
North Coast Business Journal
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Sandusky State & Terra State Go Viral Last month the Sandusky State Theatre presented the show “Rhythm In The Night,” a national touring Irish Dance Spectacular. The show was presented to not only a great audience at the theater, but went out to an international audience through streaming by Terra State Community College’s Video Club. Streaming the concert allows individuals around the globe to join in and watched the concert live online. Many viewers from last night’s program were from European audiences and the United States. This new feature allows the State Theatre to provide their great programing to a much broader audience from the Sandusky stage to around the world! State Theatre Executive Director, David Taylor said, “As the director of a performing arts center, I often struggle with how to connect with the community in showing them the quality programing we present, and how to expand opportunities with promoters and tour managers why they need to consider Sandusky as a venue of choice. By partnering with Terra State and implementing a social media platform on an international scale, that is also portable, we can now show the global community the assets we have right here in our region!” In July, Terra State renewed their collaborations with the Sandusky State Theatre in offering real world opportunities, professional training experiences, and internships for students studying Music Production, Music Performance, Music Business and Arts Management, Management, Marketing and now Digital Media Arts and Technologies. The Terra State / State Theatre partnership is expanding to collaborate with BGSU Firelands College this summer to include programming and collegiate experiences for students and community members with a new Summer Repertory Theatre. The tri-collaboration is literally where the stage itself becomes the classroom, presenting Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and “Legally Blonde The Musical” this summer.
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North Coast Business Journal
2014 Travel Guide Available for VacationLand Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands Federal Credit Union Receives Top Ten Honor
Tour an island, ride Cedar Point coasters, splash at a waterpark, or do nothing at all. Find your Lake Erie Love at Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands. The 2014 travel guide for Lake Erie Shores & Islands is now available. One of the Midwest’s most popular travel destinations, the region on Ohio’s north coast between Toledo and Cleveland attracts more than 7.5 million visitors annually. The new, full color travel guide contains a wealth of information about the region, including area attractions, lodging, dining, events, and more. The guide is a larger size for 2014 and now includes a fold out/tear out regional map featuring area attraction locations. With a production run of 400,000 copies, the travel guide has a readership of over 1 million and is the largest circulated travel planner in Ohio. It is distributed at hundreds of locations including Ohio visitors bureaus, AAA’s, CAA’s, Ohio and Indiana Turnpike service plazas, welcome centers, travel & sport shows, brochure racks in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, destination marketing events, meeting & convention shows, and via U.S. mail. The 120-page planner features valuable visitor information amongst scenic photographs of the region as well as travel tidbits and “must-do’s” while visiting. Also included is the tear-out Shore Savings Card, which offers visitors savings at participating businesses. Request the new 2014 Lake Erie Shores & Islands Travel Guide by calling the friendly Shores & Islands travel counselors at 1.800.255.3743. The travel guide is also available to request or download at SHORESandISLANDS.com.
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VacationLand Federal Credit Union recently received the honor of being ranked as one of the top ten largest credit unions in Northeast Ohio, as published in the December 2013 issue of Crains Cleveland Business. Based upon information obtained from the National Credit Union Association, VLFCU increased assets by 6% to $147.7 million as of December 31, 2012 compared to $139.3 million on December 31, 2011. Founded in 1956, VLFCU is comprised of four branches located in Sandusky, Perkins Township, Norwalk, and Vermilion.
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32 April 2014
North Coast Business Journal
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