The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2019

VW independent/submitted information

Financial services firm Edward Jones ranks highest in investor satisfaction with full service brokerage firms, according to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study, the firm recently announced.

The study measures overall investor satisfaction with 18 full-service investment firms based on eight factors, including financial advisor, account information, investment performance, firm interaction, product offerings, commissions and fees, information resources, and problem resolution. The firm scored 853 in overall satisfaction, 18 points over the industry average.

“What a great honor it is to be recognized for what matters most, which is making a difference in the lives of our clients,” said Edward Jones Managing Partner Penny Pennington. “We illustrate the value of the Edward Jones client experience every day and help our clients achieve financially what is most important to them. We can bring something truly special to clients who experience us. This is why we exist.”

Edward Jones ranked highest in investor satisfaction by J.D. Power in 2015 (tied), 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007-2005, and in a tie in 2002, when the study began.

The 2019 Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 4,629 investors who primarily invest with one of the 18 firms included in the study.  The majority of the study was fielded in December 2018. For more information, visit

The Van Wert financial advisors are Eric Hurless, Thaison Leaser, Ryan Lindemann, and Trevor Webster.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in St. Louis, provides financial services in the U.S. 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 17,000-plus financial advisors serve more than 7 million clients and care for $1 trillion in assets under management. Visit our website at and recruiting website at Member SIPC.

POSTED: 03/16/19 at 7:26 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

GKN Freight Services has been in Van Wert since January 2000, and is likely the best kept secret in town.

The team in Van Wert is small (approximately 37 people), but has a global scope. The Van Wert office is one of three control towers for freight services globally, and has employees in U.S., Brazil, and Mexico.

Because of its global footprint, GKN Freight Services frequently hosts meetings with visitors from all over the U.S., along with the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Brazil. Guests to the GKN office enjoy visiting the local restaurants and establishments while they are in town.

When The Times-Bulletin moved to its new location, Alexander & Bebout renovated the building to fit Global GKN visual standards. After 12 years at Industrial Drive, GKN Freight Services then moved in mid-January of this year to its new location.

While the renovations significantly changed the interior of the building, the heart of the people remains the same. As a member of the Van Wert Chamber of Commerce, GKN Freight Services continues involvement in the local community, and encourages participation of its employees in local events.

POSTED: 03/13/19 at 7:54 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Cassondra Clark recently graduated from a trainee position to that of branch office administrator at the Van Wert office of the financial services firm Edward Jones. Clark has lived in the Van Wert area for 28 years.

Cassondra Clark

“For the past 12 months, Cassondra has performed the duties of her job while also working to complete her training and testing requirements,” Hurless said. “This is a well-deserved promotion.”

A branch office administrator is responsible for the daily operation of an Edward Jones office. This includes providing top-notch client service, supporting marketing activities for the office, and staying updated on technological advances.

“On a given day, Cassondra’s activities could include processing client trade transactions, providing clients with receipts for money and securities, and assisting in the planning of seminars and special events,” Hurless added.

Hurless’ office is located at 1119 Westwood Drive, across from Sycamore Ice Cream. Hurless and Clark can be reached at 419.232.2058, or visit the office website at

POSTED: 02/27/19 at 8:54 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert agent Devin Sheets has earned the prestigious AFLIC Award from American Family Insurance. He joins a select group of agents who distinguished themselves in 2018 through outstanding sales of life insurance products offered by the company’s subsidiary, American Family Life Insurance Company.

Sheets has been an agent for American Family since October 2003. His office is located at 118 S. Washington St. in Van Wert.

“This is a tremendous honor for Devin but not surprising when you consider the emphasis he places on relationships,” says Jill Blackburn, district sales manager for the company. “He takes the time to listen and work with his customers to make sure they understand their insurance options and how each fits their unique needs.”

POSTED: 02/27/19 at 8:45 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert Manor was recognized as a top performer by the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA). 

Each year, ACHCA awards the leaders of top-performing skilled nursing facilities across the country through its Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award. Only 7 percent of facilities qualify for this award nationwide.

To be considered for the ACHCA Eli Pick Facility Leadership award, facilities must meet all of the following criteria: 

  • The current administrator has been the administrator of record for the full calendar year
  • No survey (health, fire safety, and complaint) in the past three years with a citation above “E” in Scope and Severity
  • Occupancy of at least 80 percent, as defined by CMS Survey Report
  • Avoidance of Special Focus Facility status 
  • At least two CMS four-quarter average QM score equal or better than the top quartile for the USA for eight select quality measures. 

“It’s truly an accomplishment to be recognized by the ACHCA for this award,” said Van Wert Manor Administrator Jacque Welch. “My team continues to provide the most quality and compassionate care and service, and this is just another way that they are able to show their success in all that they do here at Van Wert Manor.”  

Van Wert Manor has been a part of the community since 1970 through the tradition of caring. With the addition of assisted living apartments to Van Wert Manor’s facility, Van Wert Manor offers assisted living, transitional care and skilled nursing. 

For more information about Van Wert Manor, call 419.238.6655. 

POSTED: 02/21/19 at 8:10 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

BLUFFTON — On Tuesday, the Board of Directors of Citizens National Bank officially named Eric Faulkner as the president of the bank.

Former President Mike Romey will remain with the bank in the role of chairman of the board and CEO. Romey held the role of president/CEO from 1986 until now. Faulkner is only the fifth person to hold the position of president since the bank opened nearly 100 years ago.

Eric Faulkner

Faulkner began his banking career at CNB in 2009 in Columbus, heading up the loan participation program. He’s been involved with the Ohio Bankers League (OBL), serving as chairman for the Next Generation Advisory Board, and is currently a member of the Community Bankers Association of Ohio’s (CBAO) Legislative and Regulatory Committee. He’s actively represented the bank through participation in the OBL and CBAO lobbying efforts at both the state and national levels. 

In August 2018 he completed the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, having been voted president of his class, and also received a Certificate of Executive Leadership. 

“The transition of the responsibility for the leadership of the bank has happened gradually over the past year,” Romey said. “I’m confident as I hand the reins over to Eric that the day to day operations of the bank will continue to run smoothly and I look forward to seeing the advancements the bank makes under his leadership.”

Faulkner received his Bachelor of Science degree in marketing, as well as his Master of Business Administration, from Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia. He is married, and he and his wife have two children. 

With offices in Bluffton, Celina, Defiance, Elida, Findlay, Lima, Springfield, Van Wert, and Toledo, Citizens National Bank has assets totaling more than $840 million and has been serving the communities of west central Ohio since 1920.

POSTED: 02/21/19 at 8:07 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

St. LOUIS, Missouri — Financial services firm Edward Jones ranks No. 7 on the 2019 Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, according to global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work and Fortune magazine. This year marks the firm’s 20th year on the list.

“At Edward Jones, we believe there are two relationships that form the foundation of our firm and how we work – the relationships we have with our clients and the relationships we have with one another,” said Edward Jones Managing Partner Penny Pennington. “That’s what makes this recognition so significant: It represents our associates’ longstanding commitment to creating an environment where each of us can do our best work in service of our clients.”     

This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, and 2019 winners continue to show that a high-trust culture for all fuels better business results. Great Place to Work research shows that list winners keep outperforming the stock market, beating industry rivals when it comes to talent retention and demonstrating higher levels of productivity than peers.

Van Wert Edward Jones financial advisors include Eric Hurless, Thaison Leaser, Ryan Lindemann, and Trevor Webster.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in St. Louis, provides financial services in the U.S. 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 17,000-plus financial advisors serve more than 7 million clients and care for $1 trillion in assets under management. Visit the company website at and recruiting website at Member SIPC.

POSTED: 02/18/19 at 8:53 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

FORT WAYNE, Indiana — With the recent merger of Pro Seal and Seal Products to form PSP Seals LLC, Van Wert resident Bill Walls has been named the new general manager. 

Bill Walls

Walls had served as operations manager for Seal Products since 2015 and, starting in 2017, was also operations manager for Pro Seal. 

Walls has a double major of operations and production management and purchasing and materials management from Bowling Green State University and has 20 years operations experience.

“We are excited to have Bill accept this position as he has proven to be a wonderful asset to the company,” said Managing Partner Jody Stafford. “With his 20 years’ supply chain and operations experience, the continued rapid growth of the company is in great hands.” 

PSP Seals LLC is an engineering driven, stocking distributor specializing in customized sealing solutions and products for OEM customers, aftermarket, and the U.S. government/militaryAdditional services include seal kitting, component sub-assembly and integration, inventory stocking programs, custom materials management, experienced technical support team, engineering design, development, and troubleshooting.

PSP is an authorized distributor for globally recognized seal manufactures, including: Parker, Trelleborg, Freudenberg, Garlock, Greene Tweed, Hutchinson, and Black Hawk Seals. 

For more information, visit the company website at

POSTED: 02/16/19 at 9:01 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

At the annual meeting of the members of Van Wert Federal Savings Bank held in January, the Board of Directors announced the promotion of George Scott to the position of vice president and senior lending officer. He will fill the position formerly held Mark Schumm, who was promoted to president of the bank. 

George Scott

Scott has been employed with Van Wert Federal since 2017, focusing on residential and consumer lending. Prior to joining the bank, he was a teacher at Van Wert High School.  

Scott is an active member of several community service organizations. He currently is a board member of the Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce, serves as President of Crime Stoppers, and is a member of the Van Wert Optimist Club. Scott is a graduate of the University of Toledo and received a master’s degree from the University of Findlay. Scott has lived in Van Wert since 2005 with his wife, Laura, and their three sons: Owen, Wyatt, and Oliver. They attend LifeHouse Church.

“People have more choices than ever and selecting a local lender can really have a significant impact in the long term financial decisions they make. A big part of my job is helping individuals, families, and businesses navigate the complexities of loans that they are not familiar with. I enjoy meeting new people and talking about their future hopes and dreams. It keeps each day fresh because no two people or businesses operate the same way.” Scott commented.

“As a local community bank, helping our neighbors and small business owners fulfill their dreams is our priority,” Schumm said. “George has an inner fire to provide the best possible service to each and every customer.  His leadership in our loan department and the Van Wert community is a true blessing.”


POSTED: 02/06/19 at 8:28 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) introduced a pair of bills to encourage corporations to invest in their workers. The Patriot Employer Tax Credit Act would provide a tax credit to companies that provide fair wages and good benefits to workers. 

This is the first bill introduced by Durbin in the 116th Congress. The “Corporate Freeloader Fee” would levy a fee on large mega-corporations that are often extremely profitable, yet pay their workers poorly. 

Sherrod Brown

“In America, if you work full-time you should be able to support your family — you should be paid a living wage, have access to quality health insurance and paid leave, and be able to save for retirement,” said Durbin. “However, far too often, employers are more focused on returning profits to their wealthy shareholders and executives than doing the right thing for the American workers and the American communities they rely upon.” 

“We should reward companies that exemplify American values by treating their workers fairly and keep jobs here in our country,” Durbin added. “I thank Senator Brown for championing this issue with me.”

 “The President’s tax law rewards Wall Street and corporations that ship jobs overseas at the expense of American workers,” Brown said. “These bills will put workers first and encourage companies to invest in good-paying American jobs.” 

Under the Patriot Employer Tax Credit Act, patriot employers would receive a tax credit up to $1,500 per employee if they meet the following criteria: 

  • Invest in American jobs: Maintain headquarters in the U.S. if the company has ever been headquartered in America, maintain or increase the number of workers in the U.S. compared to the number of workers overseas and independent contractors, and has not inverted to avoid U.S. taxes.
  • Pay fair wages: Pay at least 90 percent of U.S. workers an hourly wage equal to 218 percent of federal poverty for an individual (about $15/hour).
  • Provide quality health insurance: Offer Affordable Care Act compliant health care to employees.
  • Prepare workers for retirement: Provide 90 percent of non-highly compensated U.S. employees a defined benefit plan or a defined contribution plan and contribute at least 5 percent of worker compensation.
  • Support U.S. troops and veterans: Pay the difference between regular salary and military compensation for all National Guard and Reserve employees called for active duty and have a plan in place to recruit veterans.
  • Create a diverse workforce: Have a plan in place to recruit employees with disabilities.
  • Support working families: Provide paid sick or family and medical leave to fulltime employees.

POSTED: 01/26/19 at 9:13 am. FILED UNDER: Business