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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Mar. 27, 2017

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ROCKFORD — Ohio marketing agency Brand It Marketing Communications has been awarded two first place awards for “Best of Region VI” through the National Agri-marketing Association (NAMA). Both Region VI awards are for the work the agency produced for client Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM) in the direct mail for farmers, growers, and ranchers (flat) and direct mail for dealers, distributors, sales reps, or others serving agribusiness categories.

The award-winning “SabrEx for Wheat/Cereals Mailer” and “Trichoderma Takes a Little Digging” direct mail pieces were both developed for ABM, a Van Wert company. For the Wheat/Cereals Mailer, Brand It Marketing worked with ABM to identify a target audience in a territory that did not have a history working with ABM.

Brand It logo 3-2017The goal and successful outcome was to create product brand awareness and to show the advantages of using SabrEx for Wheat, even on naked (untreated) seed.

The second campaign, Trichoderma Takes a Little Digging, was used to show appreciation and generate interest at the ASTA (American Seed Trade Association) annual meeting in Chicago. Trichoderma works in the roots of the plant, in the soil. The piece explained what Trichoderma is and what it does.

The “Best of NAMA” honors and awards the best of the best in agricultural marketing communications. All submissions to NAMA are evaluated for agricultural marketing effectiveness and creativity, and are hand- selected by a panel of roughly 50 industry experts.

The Best of NAMA competition originated in 1988 to honor outstanding work by NAMA members, while educating members of the agriculture industry and feature top-of-the-line advertising. These awards have helped to raise the quality of the agricultural industry’s overall communication efforts throughout the years.

Brand It Marketing will advance to compete at the national level for both awards. The national awards ceremony will take place on April 26 at the Sheraton Dallas hotel.

POSTED: 03/20/17 at 7:30 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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Veronica Cuevos

Veronica Cuevos

Principal Broker Bob Gamble announced that Veronica Cuevos is the newest addition to the professional sales staff of Bee Gee Realty & Auction Company Ltd.

Cuevos is a Van Wert native and lives in Van Wert. She is the mother of two teenage daughters, Arianna and Alysia, and enjoys camping, hiking, music, traveling, volunteering, and spending time with friends and family in her spare time.

She also works at LifeHouse Church as administrative assistant, volunteers with students that reside in Van Wert and surrounding areas, and enjoys attending events that support and promote the success of the community. She attended Hondros College of Business to obtain her real estate education and license.

Cuevos is very knowledgeable about real estate and has a passion for welcoming people into the area. Contact her at 567.259.9602 for assistance with all one’s real estate needs.

POSTED: 03/20/17 at 7:19 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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A local financial institution has announced the hiring for Main Street Van Wert Program Manager Adam Ries. First Federal of Van Wert announced Friday the hiring of Ries, a Van Wert native who has been MSVW program manager for the past six years.

Adam Ries

Adam Ries

Ries is a 2006 graduate of Van Wert High School and a 2010 graduate of Kent State University. He has served on the board of the Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce, the Van Wert Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, and several community event committees.

Ries sings in the choir at First Presbyterian Church in Van Wert and is a member of Van Wert Rotary Club.

“We’re excited to have Adam join our team at First Federal,” said First Federal President Brian Renner. “He brings a great amount of energy and enthusiasm with him.

“Adam will be a great addition to First Federal; he’s heavily involved in the Van Wert community,” Renner added. “We are proud of our excellent customer service and our commitment to Van Wert.  Adam only strengthens those missions at First Federal.”

First Federal of Van Wert is a locally owned and operated institution which has been serving the Van Wert community since 1893.  As an independent community bank, First Federal takes great pride in supporting the Van Wert community.

POSTED: 03/11/17 at 8:39 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News

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CELINA — Citizens National Bank, headquartered in Bluffton, recently donated $25,000 to the Wright State University-Lake Campus Rise! Shine! capital campaign. The funds are earmarked for Lake Campus capital projects, including the Agriculture & Water Quality Center, the Advanced Manufacturing Center, and an academic expansion.

On January 31, 1920, Citizens National Bank opened its doors for the first time in Bluffton, and 1920 financial documents indicate the bank began with $50,000 in capital and approximately four employees. Now, 97 years later, the bank has offices in Celina, Defiance, Elida, Findlay, Lima, Springfield, Toledo, and Van Wert and employs about 160 people. CNB Ohio serves customers primarily in 11 counties: Allen, Hancock, Putnam, Hardin, Auglaize, Mercer, Van Wert, Paulding, Clark, Defiance, and Lucas.

The Rise! Shine! campaign had its regional launch at the Lake Campus in March 2015. In October 2014, Wright State University launched a $150 million fundraising campaign that was co-chaired by Tom Hanks, Academy Award winning actor, and Amanda Wright Lane, great grandniece of Wilbur and Orville Wright, the university’s namesake.

The campaign’s mission was to “create a level playing field for all our students to light their imagination with possibilities and to make necessary investments to help all students achieve, serve our communities, and advance applied research that answers important questions and creates jobs.”

To find out more about the Rise! Shine campaign, log onto

Shown are (from the left) CNB Business Banking Officer Chris Dippold, Western Ohio Educational Foundation Development Officer Julie Miller, CNB President CEO Mike Romey (handing the check to Dr. Jay Albayyari, dean/chief administrative officer of WSU-Lake Campus), CNB Senior Vice President Rod Stover of the Celina banking office. (WSU-LC photo)

Shown are (from the left) CNB Business Banking Officer Chris Dippold, Western Ohio Educational Foundation Development Officer Julie Miller, CNB President CEO Mike Romey (handing the check to Dr. Jay Albayyari, dean/chief administrative officer of WSU-Lake Campus), CNB Senior Vice President Rod Stover of the Celina banking office. (WSU-LC photo)

POSTED: 02/21/17 at 8:26 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News

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ST. MARYS — Cisco Realty Inc. in St. Marys welcomes its newest real estate agent, Bonnie Marlow of Delphos.

Marlow received her real estate education from Hondros College in Toledo and also has a degree in public relations from Bowling Green State University.

Bonnie Marlow

Bonnie Marlow

She successfully completed the national and state real estate test in January and is a member of the Midwestern Ohio Association of Realtors.

Marlow brings over 10 years of marketing experience with her to Cisco Realty. She is also currently employed at K&M Tire in Delphos as the assistant marketing/programs manager. At K&M Tire she helped to grow membership in an industry organization from 125 members to over 1,000 members in just seven years by utilizing her marketing skills, negotiating deals with vendors for associates, and selling the benefits of the program.

Passionate about family and friends, the move into real estate was natural. Caring for the community and its residents, Marlow has volunteered at the Delphos Relay for Life for over five years, has helped to raise money for the United Way, and served as a Girl Scout leader when her three girls were younger.

Specializing in residential and commercial real estate, Marlow will represent both buyers and sellers. She is excited and looking forward to offering personalized service to area residents. Find out more about Marlow by visiting her website at or her Facebook page at

Contact Marlow at 419.513.0378 or send her an email at

POSTED: 02/16/17 at 8:42 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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First Financial Bank is pleased to welcome Pedro Campos as the new vice president/retail market manager.

Pedro Campos

Pedro Campos

Campos will focus on leading and supporting the northern Ohio retail banking centers. He is responsible for the overall success of the banking centers and providing leadership through employee development, along with deposit and loan growth.

Campos will work out of the First Financial banking center at 1163 S. Shannon St. in Van Wert.

“Pedro brings a wealth of experience to First Financial and we are excited to add him to our Northern Ohio Market,” said George Brooks, First Financial market president. “We’re confident Pedro will meet and exceed our clients’ expectations.”

Campos comes to First Financial Bank with over 12 years of banking experience, most recently as a branch manager at Wells Fargo. He earned his degree in business administration from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

In addition to his professional experience, Campos served in the United States Navy. He has a passion for the community and looks forward to joining the local Chamber and non-profit organizations in the region.

Take another step on the path to success and schedule an appointment with Campos today by emailing For more information about First Financial, visit or

POSTED: 02/02/17 at 7:53 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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Keith Goad has been hired as chief financial officer for both Central Mutual Insurance Company and All America Insurance Company.

Keith Goad

Keith Goad

As CFO, Goad holds overall accountability for the company’s finance, investments, accounting, actuarial, analytics, risk management, and innovation functions.

Goad comes to Central from Nationwide Insurance, where he was most recently an associate vice president in the Office of Corporate Strategy. Prior to that, he was associate vice president/CFO of Nationwide’s Growth Solutions & Direct division for several years. Before joining Nationwide, Goad was involved with financial planning and analysis in the energy industry.

Goad earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and his Master of Business Administration (corporate finance and strategy) from The Ohio State University. He is a certified valuation analyst (CVA).

He serves on the Board of Governors for The Ohio State University Honors & Scholars program, is a board member of The Ohio State University Risk Institute, and has served as an adjunct professor for Franklin University and Ohio State University.

Central Mutual Insurance Company was founded in Van Wert in 1876 and provides insurance for more than 350,000 automobiles, homes, and businesses in 20 states. The Central group of companies has combined assets of over $1 billion. Central’s A.M. Best rating is A (Excellent).

POSTED: 01/20/17 at 8:05 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News

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Gary Clay, president of Van Wert Federal Savings Bank, has announced the appointment of Mike Keysor to the bank’s Board of Directors.

Mike Keysor

Mike Keysor

Keysor serves on the Board of Trustees of Van Wert County Hospital, as president of the Van Wert County Regional Airport Authority, treasurer of the Lincolnview Bible Board, and is on the Community Health Professionals/Visiting Nurses Association Board of Directors.

Keysor is a 1987 graduate of Paulding High School and a 1991 graduate of the University of Toledo, with a bachelor’s degree in business management.

He began working during college at RDSI, a subsidiary of The State Bank and Trust. After graduation, he was hired full-time at the State Bank and Trust. In 1992, Keysor began working for Custom Assembly — a family owned business. He currently serves as president of Custom Assembly, which has seven different locations throughout the United States.

Keysor lives in the Van Wert community with his wife, Kelly, and two children, Jacob and Delaney.

POSTED: 12/08/16 at 8:42 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News

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Leland Smith Insurance Services and the Hickey-Morris Insurance Agency are pleased to announce the addition of Kyle Strawn to its sales force. Strawn has more than four years of insurance experience, most recently as a territory manager with Auto-Owners Insurance Company in the Toledo area.

Kyle Strawn

Kyle Strawn

Strawn was born in Van Wert and later moved to Lima, where he graduated from Shawnee High School. He then went on to continue his education at Adrian College in Michigan, earing his degree in business management while also being a four-year letter winner on the baseball team.

Strawn is a huge sports fan and recently started coaching baseball. He and his fiancé, Lindsay, are also looking forward to their upcoming wedding in 2017.

Area residents are invited to stop by the Hickey-Morris Agency in Delphos and let Strawn help them with insurance needs. Strawn said he is looking forward to being part of the Delphos community.

Leland Smith Insurance Services is an independent insurance agency representing multiple insurance companies, offering home, auto, business, life, and health insurance at locations in Van Wert and Antwerp; Shisler Insurance Agency in Paulding; Kulwicki-Hilton Insurance Agency in Convoy and Ottoville; and Hickey-Morris Insurance Agency in Delphos.

Find more information, access the company’s website at

POSTED: 11/23/16 at 9:36 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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The eighth annual Entrepreneurship Fair scheduled for this Saturday, November 12, at Vantage Career Center has been postponed until early next year.

In the meantime, those who need immediate assistance with starting their own business should contact Jennifer Rigdon with the Wright State University-Lake Campus Business Enterprise Center at 419.513.5111, Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce President Susan Munroe at 419.238.4390 or Main Street Van Wert Program Manager Adam Ries at 419.238.6911.

POSTED: 11/08/16 at 10:10 pm. FILED UNDER: Business, News