The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018

Submitted information

DEFIANCE –Tyson L. Stuckey, CPA, CVA, MAFM, was recently elected by the board of directors of Shultz Huber & Associates to serve as the firm’s managing partner. This appointment comes after the shareholders voted to restructure the firm’s governance model and move away from an executive committee model of governance.

Tyson Stuckey

“As we continue to grow as a firm, in terms of the number and size of clients we partner with, the number of our firm’s offices, the number of team members within the firm, and the resources that we have available for our clients, we felt we needed a different form of governance than how we’ve been structured,” said Stuckey. “This change will allow us to adapt and respond more quickly to changes in addition to allowing us to simplify and expedite our decision-making abilities.”

As managing partner, Stuckey is responsible for the firm’s strategic direction and operations. This includes working with the shareholder group to set long-term and short-term goals and implement strategies and initiatives as they relate to these goals. Stuckey will report to the board of directors, which is made up of shareholders Barbara L. Kohnen, Anthony L. Gericke, Robin K. Brinegar, Stacey A. Baer, S. Rob Bourn Jr., Kimberly A. Ray, and Steven S. Samples.

In addition to his responsibilities as managing partner, Stuckey will continue to serve clients of the firm. As a shareholder himself, Stuckey provides accounting, auditing, and taxation services. He also assists business owners with determining a value for their company, succession planning, gifting, estate values, sales, and mergers.

Stuckey’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business information systems, and mathematics from Goshen College. He also holds a master’s degree in accounting and financial management from DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management.


POSTED: 11/28/18 at 8:34 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

First Bank of Berne closed all branches and its call center on Monday, November 12, in observance of Veterans Day. Employees of the bank spent their day away from the office dedicated to serving community resources in their specific project needs.

First Bank of Berne is a community bank who believes in giving back tothe communities it serves. Employees of First Bank of Berne were encouraged to align themselves with volunteer opportunities that coordinated with existing affiliations, interests and community needs. Employees were also encouraged to partner and form teams to work together.

First Bank of Berne’s Van Wert office staff volunteered at Community Health Professionals during the Veterans Day holiday. photo provided

With several locations in Adams, Wells, Jay, Howard, Miami, and Van Wert counties, First Bank of Berne employees invested their time into a wide variety of community agencies and services. This list includes: Joe & Jane Project, Forgotten Children Worldwide, Family Life Care, The Hope Clinic, Family Hope Center, C.C.’s Closet, Persimmon Ridge Nursing Home, Van Wert Hospice and Adult Day Care (shown above), Adams County Historical Society, J. Edward Roush Reservoir, Helping Hands-Rockford UMC, First Missionary Church, Compassionate Ministries, United Way of Adams County, House 1:14, Berne Volunteer Fire Department, South Adams Elementary School, Community Harvest Food Bank, Tiny Treasures of Grace Daycare, Swiss Village, Boys & Girls Club, Family Health Care of Northwest Ohio, King’s Kingdom Childcare, Adams Central Elementary Library and Southern Wells Community Schools.

Volunteers also assisted several elderly individuals who needed help with home improvement tasks and landscaping chores.

This is the second year First Bank of Berne has orchestrated this widespread effort to encourage volunteerism, though many of the employees were already aligned with these organizations and serve independently of this day of volunteer spirit.

“Our employees volunteer on a regular basis and many serve on local boards and community organizations,” said Vice President and Director of Marketing Chad Montgomery. “We had such positive feedback from the community and our employees when we did this last year. We had employees and organizations asking us to do it again.”

First Bank of Berne chose November 12 as a day of service in observance of Veterans Day to honor those who have served in the United States armed forces.

POSTED: 11/26/18 at 8:07 am. FILED UNDER: Business

Submitted information

Community Health Professionals (CHP) Home Care & Hospice has been named a Top Agency of the 2018 HomeCare Elite, recognition of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. HomeCare Elite identifies the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agencies annually and highlights the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall.

The ranking is developed by Ability Network, a leading healthcare information technology company. It is sponsored by DecisionHealth, the leading source for news, analysis, and instructional guidance for the home health industry.

“I would like to congratulate the team at the CHP Home Care & Hospice and thank them for their commitment to providing consistently high-quality care,” Christine Lang, senior director for Ability Network, said. “During a time of increasing demands on home health professionals’ time and attention, these caregivers and leaders have demonstrated that they have prioritized their patients and created a solid foundation for serving their communities and partnering with other healthcare providers.”

Brent Tow, president and CEO of Community Health Professionals, credits the commitment of the staff and high standards of quality with the agency’s ability to achieve recognition as one of the HomeCare Elite.

“We’re proud of the work we do and this distinguished award really sets our staff apart,” Tow said. “It’s a great achievement and high honor for all of our staff. Healthcare today is being redefined, yet our experience and expertise in home care has stayed relevant. This recognition is particularly meaningful as we continue to strive to meet the needs of our community.”

HomeCare Elite agencies are determined by an analysis of performance measures in quality outcomes, best practices implementation, patient experience, quality improvement and consistency, and financial health. The entire list of 2018 HomeCare Elite agencies can be downloaded by visiting the Ability Network website at

POSTED: 11/05/18 at 7:40 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Dr. John Cook, DDS, has announced that Dr. Sean Kelly, DDS, has joined his Van Wert dental practice, which has been renamed Cook-Kelly Family Dentistry.

Dr. John Cook, DDS (left), and his new associate, Dr. Sean Kelly, DDS. photo provided

“We will be working together to serve your dental needs and maintain our friendships for years to come,” Dr. Cook noted.

Dr. Kelly comes to Van Wert from Indianapolis, Indiana, where he has been practicing since his graduation from the Indiana University School of Dentistry. He also has a master’s degree in organic chemistry from the University of Scranton.

He and his wife, Chelsea, live in her hometown of New Haven, Indiana, with their young son, Henry.

Dr. Kelly will be accepting new patients at 723 W. Main St. in Van Wert. Call 419.238.4400 for an appointment.

For more information, go to the practice’s website at

POSTED: 10/24/18 at 7:11 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Fifty years ago, a group of concerned individuals came together to fill a need for compassionate and rehabilitative care. They formed HCF Management Inc. in Lima on October 11, 1968. HCF owns Van Wert Manor at 160 Fox Road in Van Wert.

This small group began making quality nursing homes a reality. Burton Rubens was appointed president in 1968. He and the original founders, including Richard Unverferth, put HCF on the map. Rubens retired as president in 1995 after leading HCF for 27 years.

The original shareholders sold their HCF ownership to Unverferth in March 1977. He then became chairman of the board and kept the “Original Six” to guide the company to success. Unverferth masterfully steered HCF for over 27 years.

The company is owned and operated today by a second generation of the Unverferth family: Chairman and President James Unverferth. Unverferth has furthered the founders’ vison of compassionate care in today’s ever changing world.

HCF started with a modest beginning 50 years ago but now serves approximately 3,000 community residents and has over 4,000 employees.

A new chapter had begun in the 21st century with the expansion into home health with the purchase of Heritage Health Care, a skilled home care organization to complement HCF’s post-acute continuum. Heritage currently covers most of northwest Ohio, Dayton, Washington Court House, all in Ohio, and Jamestown, Pennsylvania.

As the need for better post-acute care services grew, so did HCF. This included the acquisition of a thriving therapy company in 2012. EncompassCare’s acquisition expanded the HCF service network, aiding their care communities and other therapy service centers throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania.

HCF Management is a known leader in therapy care, skilled nursing, assisted living, and home care, answering the need since 1968. The caring and dedicated employees who believe in the company’s mission make this record of quality care possible. HCF’s objective continues to be providing the best care to their residents and to enhance the quality of life for residents, their families, and employees.

Van Wert Manor is proud to be a part of this tradition of caring. For more information, contact Administrator Jacque Welch at 419.238.6655.

POSTED: 10/13/18 at 8:52 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Six real estate professionals affiliated with Straley Realty & Auctioneers Inc. have earned the 2017-2018 Presidents Sales Club awards presented by the Ohio Association of Realtors.

Realtor Chet Straley has been awarded the Award of Distinction for each having more than $2.5 million in sales between July 1, 2017, and June 30 of this year.

Straley Realty & Auctioneers staff who won recent production awards include (top row, from the left) Lynda Purmort, Chet Straley, Warren Straley; (bottom row) Anne Brecht, Jane Germann, and Joe Bagley. photos provided

Receiving the Award of Achievement for $1 million to $2.5 million in sales were Warren Straley, Jane Germann, Lynda Purmort, Joe Bagley, and Anne Brecht.

OAR officially awarded qualifying members the “President’s Sales Club Award” designation in four recognition levels for outstanding sales performance in the real estate industry. Honorees were recognized at the President’s Sales Club Dinner during the OAR’s Annual Convention. The Ohio Association of Realtors is the largest professional trade association in Ohio.  All OAR members in good standing were eligible for the award.

POSTED: 10/09/18 at 11:13 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

BLUFFTON — Eric Faulkner, executive vice president-management for Citizens National Bankwas awarded a diploma at commencement exercises during the 74th annual session of the prestigious Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Eric Faulkner holds his diploma from the Graduate School of Banking. photo provided

Faulkner also received a Certificate of Executive Leadership from the Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional and Executive Development for completing the rigorous GSB leadership curriculum. In addition, he served as a class officer and he was recognized by his classmates for his leadership skills.

The school, sponsored by state bankers associations from across the central United States, as well as the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was established in 1945 to provide bankers with an opportunity for advanced study and research in banking, economics and leadership.

Instruction at the Graduate School of Banking takes place during two-week resident sessions for three consecutive summers, along with comprehensive study between summer resident sessions.  The curriculum focuses on the management of strategic issues faced by banking executives and financial services industry professionals.

The Graduate School of Banking enrolls approximately 600 U.S. and international professionals each year.  More than 85 esteemed academicians, economists, government officials, and industry professionals comprise the School’s faculty.

Citizens National Bank is a community bank based in Bluffton, with nine branches, including Elida, Lima, Van Wert, Celina, Findlay, Springfield, Defiance, and Toledo. The bank also has a presence in Columbus, where Faulkner was instrumental in developing the bank’s loan participation program.

More information regarding the bank can be found at

POSTED: 09/27/18 at 6:28 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, a division of the Ohio Department of Aging, has released results of the 2017 Long-Term Care Resident Satisfaction Survey.

Van Wert Manor was named the No. 1 assisted living for overall resident satisfaction in 2017 for the state of Ohio. The statewide average score for resident satisfaction in assisted living facilities was 85.2 (out of 100), while Van Wert Manor received a satisfaction score of 98.62.

Van Wert Manor residents and staff celebrate the facility being named the No. 1 Ohio assisted living facility in customer satisfaction. i

The survey, conducted through face-to-face interviews with residents of nursing homes and residential care (assisted living) facilities, gauges residents’ satisfaction with an array of focus areas related to their care and everyday life.

“For a decade and a half, the Long-Term Care Consumer Guide has helped older Ohioans and their families make one of the most difficult and important decisions in their lives or that of a loved one,” said Erin Pettegrew, acting state long-term care ombudsman. “The guide and its annual satisfaction surveys are also valuable resources for facility staff and leadership as they continue to reach toward a higher bar for quality.”

“We sometimes forget that these facilities are ‘home’ for those who live there. Residents deserve their homes to be as responsive to their needs and reflective of their interests and values as possible,” added Beverley Laubert, interim director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “Scores in this and other surveys show us that person-centered care not only drives customer satisfaction upward, but also leads to higher quality of life and better health outcomes.”

The 2017 Long-Term Care Resident Satisfaction Survey was conducted between July and December 2017 by Vital Research LLC through a competitive contract with the Department of Aging. Surveyors conducted structured face-to-face interviews with a random sample of residents in each facility. A total of 23,145 residents in 963 nursing homes and 12,849 residents of 687 assisted living facilities were interviewed. Slightly more than half of each type of facility (501 nursing homes and 357 assisted living) scored above the statewide average.

In addition to overall satisfaction, the survey measures how well specific aspects of the facility meet the residents’ needs and expectations. Areas explored include environment, choice and quality of meals, safety, care, staff and how residents spend their time, along with others. In both types of facilities, residents were most satisfied with the environment for example, cleanliness, privacy, and overall care. Lower satisfaction was reported with meals and how residents spend their time.

“We are excited to be awarded the No. 1 Assisted Living in Ohio for resident satisfaction. We value our resident satisfaction each and every day, and to get awarded this from our residents means a lot to us,” said Van Wert Manor Administrator Jacque Welch. “I cannot begin to thank our residents, staff, and community alike more for continuing to support us.”

POSTED: 09/15/18 at 7:39 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

The Central Insurance Companies have announced the election of David C. Ward to the Board of Directors for Central Mutual Insurance and All America Insurance Companies, effective August 24.

David Ward

Ward is the managing director at, a private investment firm based in Dallas, Texas. ward.venturesinvestsin venture capital and private equity as well as real estate and managed funds, as a limited partner. He previously served as a senior financial analyst in the Capital Markets Group at Trinity Industries, and also held positions at Five Elms Capital, Grassmere Partners, and at The Hartford Financial Services Group.

Ward received his Master of Business Administration degree from Southern Methodist Universityand completed his undergraduate studies at Miami University with a Bachelor ofScience degree in finance. He participates in the University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School ArtesyInstitute for Executive Education program.

Ward is a member of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Enterprise Club of Dallas, Urban Land Institute, Young Professionals at Old Parkland, and Young Professionals in Finance, Dallas. He is involved with the Ward Foundation, Big Buddies Texas, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and Colorectal Cancer Alliance non-profit organizations.

In his spare time, Ward enjoys spending time with his family, politics, economics, outdoors, basketball, and golf.

Central Mutual Insurance Company was founded in Van Wert in 1876. Today, Central Insurance Companies writes more than 350,000 auto, home, and business insurance policies in 23 states, with regional offices located in Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, and Van Wert. The Central Insurance Companies have combined assets of over $1.5 billion andan A.M. Best rating is A (Excellent).

POSTED: 09/15/18 at 7:35 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Eric Hurless of the financial services firm Edward Jones recently won the firm’s coveted Ted Jones Prospecting Award, which recognizes financial advisors who achieve high levels of success early in their careers. Hurless was one of only 1,215 of the firm’s more than 16,000 financial advisors to receive the award.

Eric Hurless

Jim Weddle, the firm’s managing partner, said the award is a strong indicator of a financial advisor’s future success.

“We recruit and hire our financial advisors from among the best, so we expect our financial advisors to do well,” Weddle said. “But to achieve such success this early in his career is outstanding, and I commend Eric for his performance and dedication.”

“I’m very proud to receive an award named after Ted Jones,” Hurless said. “It is because of him that our Van Wert office exists, and I believe we are serving an important need here for one-on-one investment information. I plan to do my best to continue meeting that need.”

Hurless’ office is located at 1119 Westwood Drive in Van Wert.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, provides financial services in the United States. and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the investments its financial advisors offer to the location of its branch offices, caters to individual investors. The firm’s 16,000-plus financial advisors serve more than 7 million clients and care for $1 trillion in assets under management. Visit the firm’s website at and its recruiting website at Member SIPC.

POSTED: 08/18/18 at 6:40 am. FILED UNDER: Business