The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Sep. 19, 2018

VW independent/submitted information

Area residents and businesses are invited to Citizens National Bank’s Customer Appreciation Day celebration on Friday, September 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Van Wert office, 1199 Westwood Drive.

Free pulled pork or brat sandwiches, chips, and ice cream will be served. Attendees may enter to win a variety of door prizes. The bank hosts the annual event as a way to show appreciation for its customers.

“We look forward to this event every year and the customers really seem to enjoy it,” says CNB’s Van Wert City President Pat Ryan.

A nine-month, no-penalty certificate of deposit special will be offered from September 24-28. Call the office for details at 419.238.1080.

Citizens National Bank is a community bank with a special focus on small business and agriculture. Learn more about its products and services at or like the bank on Facebook at

POSTED: 09/15/18 at 7:43 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

VW independent/submitted information

Citizens National Bank (CNB) has named Jessi Harman as branch manager of its Van Wert office. In this position, Harman is responsible for branch oversight, including daily operations, sales, and financial performance.

Jessi Harman

Harman has over 12 years’ experience in the banking industry, advancing from teller to customer service representative, and now branch manager over the course of her career at CNB.

“Her hard work and dedication to our customers is commendable,” Margaret Thompson, VP/branch operations coordinator for CNB, said of Harman. “We’re pleased to be able to promote her to this position where she can make an even bigger impact.”

Harman attended Van Wert High School and Vantage Career Center and resides in Van Wert. She is involved with the United Way of Van Wert County, serving six years on the board of directors and assuming the role of 2017’s United Way Day of Caring chairman. She is also a 2018 graduate of the Leadership Van Wert program and is involved with the Next Generation of Leaders group within CNB.

With offices in Bluffton, Celina, Defiance, Elida, Findlay, Lima, Springfield, Van Wert, and Toledo, Citizens National Bank has assets totaling more than $800 million and has been serving the communities of west central Ohio since 1920.

POSTED: 08/04/18 at 7:42 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Tractor Supply Company in Van Wert​ is dedicating the entire month of August to showing its appreciation for animals. The rural lifestyle retailer will host a variety of animal-centric happenings and deals as part of Out Here with Animals, its month-long event for animals of all kinds and the people who care for them.

Out Here with Animals kicked off this past Wednesday with a month-long pet supplies drive. Customers are invited to show their support for the Van Wert​ animal shelter community by dropping off new sealed food, toys, cleaning supplies, and other essential pet accessories, such as beds, scratching posts, leashes, and bowls to be donated to local rescues and shelters.

In addition to the supplies drive, Tractor Supply will host a pet adoption event Saturday, August 25. Local animal organizations interested in participating are encouraged to sign up online at by contacting the Van Wert​ Tractor Supply store. Registration closes Wednesday, August 22.

Animal lovers, don’t forget to put Tractor Supply Company’s Out Here with Animals event on the calendar. photo provided

“Out Here with Animals allows the Van Wert​ community to come together to celebrate their pets while supporting the great work of their local animal organizations,” said Mary Lawley, vice president of store administration at Tractor Supply Company. “Whether you have a dog, cat, horse, pig, or goat, we hope families will bring their leashed, friendly pets to the store to show how special their animals are and help us find homes for the local adoptable animals that deserve a family too.”

Tractor Supply is also shining a spotlight on animal organizations through the return of its popular Rescue Your Rescue contest. The retailer will donate a total of $25,000 in grants to 10 animal nonprofits that deserve a boost. Customers are encouraged to nominate their favorite shelters through Wednesday, August 8, at

Along with events that celebrate and support Van Wert​ pets, Out Here with Animals will feature a sale on premium pet and animal products and brands. Customers — and their animals — can enjoy deals on top brands like Purina Feed, Blue Buffalo, Wholesomes, 4health, and more Wednesday, August 22, through Sunday, August 26.

Out Here with Animals events are open to the public and leashed, friendly animals. Contact the Van Wert​ Tractor Supply store for more details.

For expert advice on raising pets and other animals, visit and follow Tractor Supply on Facebook and Instagram. To receive deals and rewards on pet and livestock products, sign up for the Tractor Supply Neighbor’s Club at

POSTED: 08/04/18 at 7:40 am. FILED UNDER: Business, Lifestyles

VW independent/submitted information

LIMA — Lima area employers can expect $20.2 million in rebate checks from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), agency officials announced during a visit to Lima.

“BWC is pleased to present the region’s employers with $20.2 million they can use to strengthen and grow their businesses,” said Barb Ingram, BWC chief financial officer. “While the money is theirs to spend as they see fit, we encourage employers to invest in workplace safety measures that prevent injuries and reduce their workers’ comp costs.”

The checks are part of a $1.5 billion rebate to Ohio employers this summer, BWC’s fourth rebate since 2013 and the agency’s largest in 20 years.

The rebates are possible because of the agency’s healthy investment income, falling claims and prudent fiscal management. The rebate brings workers’ comp savings for all Ohio employers to $8 billion since 2011.

Ingram asked employers to watch their mailboxes for the checks, which BWC is mailing in batches through the end of July. He also detailed the totals each of the region’s six counties can expect to receive:

  • Allen County: $7,334,675.72
  • Putnam County: $2,447,585.14
  • Hancock County: $3,920,035.24
  • Hardin County: $1,275,472.43
  • Auglaize County: $3,453,264.21
  • Van Wert County: $1,787,281.72

Rebate amounts going to individual public employers by county are here. Rebates for specific private employers are not public record.

Employers that participate in the Group-Retrospective Rating Program will receive checks in the fall.

BWC’s rebate also includes several safety initiatives the agency announced last month. The $44 million investment over two years includes $8 million in safety grants for law enforcement and to improve school safety and security.

POSTED: 07/31/18 at 7:40 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News

VW independent/submitted information

Auto-Owners Insurance announced that Leland Smith Insurance Services Inc. of Van Wert, has been named one of the Top 10 growth agencies for the Company in Ohio for 2017.

The agency was recognized at a luncheon meeting in Lima, and during a reception with all regional associates, where they and other recipients were presented with a plaque commemorating their accomplishment.  Leland Smith Insurance Services Inc. has represented Auto-Owners since 1996.

Shown is Kyle Strawn (center) of Leland Smith Insurance with Auto-Owners Insurance representatives Steve Speicher and Carolyn Muller. photo submitted

“Their growth and support only help to make the entire community stronger and more secure,” said Carolyn Muller, Auto Owners executive vice president, while also thanking the agency for its support and its business. “We are grateful they choose to do business with us.”

Celebrating more than 100 years in business, Auto-Owners Insurance was founded in 1916 and has served Ohio since 1936. Auto-Owners Insurance is a Fortune 500 company and is the 17th largest property  and casualty insurance company in the nation, based on written premium.

Auto-Owners Insurance is one of eight insurance companies in the United States to receive the highest rating possible, A++ Superior, by A.M. Best, a nationally recognized rating agency for insurance companies.

Auto-Owners is represented by more than 44,000 licensed agents in its 26 operating states. The company, which provides auto, home, business and life insurance to more than 2.7 million policyholders, is headquartered in Lansing, Michigan.

POSTED: 07/05/18 at 8:55 pm. FILED UNDER: Business

Submitted information

The Van Wert Parks Department recognized Premier Turf Management LLC for its time and dedication to Fountain Park.

Gene Pool (front row, second in from left) and staff, along with Van Wert Maintenance Supervisor Jeremy Morefield (front row, left). photo submitted

Since the summer of 2016, Premier Turf Management has been responsible for fertilization and weed management of Fountain Park, and has donated time and equipment, free of charge, to help in beautifying the park.

Prior to 2016, broadleaf weeds controlled much of the turf in the park. Three summers later, the lawn has never looked better and is as healthy as it has ever been.   

Premier Turf Management owner Gene Pool and his staff of landscaping professionals provide a great service to the Parks Department and community of Van Wert by keeping the lawn of Fountain Park thriving. The Parks Department and Maintenance Supervisor Jeremy Morefield are very thankful for the time and energy that Pool and his staff put into Fountain Park.

If there is a need for landscaping management at a local business or home, give Pool and his staff a call at 419.749.2975 or visit the company’s website,, for guaranteed results.

POSTED: 07/05/18 at 8:51 pm. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Shultz Huber & Associates, Inc. is pleased to announce four promotions. Rob Bourn, Kim Ray, Stacey Baer and Steve Samples have all been promoted from principal to shareholder. All four will continue to serve clients while increasing their leadership roles with the firm.

Steve Samples

Stacey Baer

Bourn, a Certified Public Accountant at the Defiance office, joined the firm in 2007 and is experienced in financial accounting, as well as federal, state, and local income tax areas. He works with clients in a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing, professional services, real estate and construction.

Bourn is a graduate of the University of Toledo with a bachelor’s degree in accountancy. He is a member of The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is the past president of the Wauseon Chamber of Commerce, a member of Defiance Premier Networking and a member of NetSense, a professional business network.

Ray, a CPA at the St. Marys office, joined Siefring and Associates in 2004, which was acquired by Shultz Huber & Associates Inc. in November 2015. Ray prepares business and individual tax returns and financial statements; offers consulting services for businesses and individuals; and conducts estate and tax planning. She specializes in agriculture, manufacturing, construction and service industries.

Ray is a graduate of Wright State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance and a master’s in business administration. She is a member of The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and St. Marys Rotary Club.

Rob Bourn

Kim Ray

Baer, a CPA at the Van Wert office, joined the firm in 1998. She assists large and small businesses in a variety of industries with individual and business accounting and tax preparation, financial reporting, payroll assistance, and software consulting, evaluation and implementation as well as sales, mergers and acquisitions. Baer is also a certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Baer is a graduate of Defiance College with bachelor’s degrees in accounting and marketing. She is a member of The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She currently serves on the Van Wert County YWCA Finance Committee, is treasurer of the Van Wert Youth Football Association, and treasurer for the Van Wert Football Tailgate Tour.

Samples, also a CPA at the Van Wert office, joined the firm in 1995. He provides accounting and tax services to businesses in a variety of industries, including telecommunications, agriculture and franchise operations. Samples also heads the firm’s forensic accounting services.

He is a graduate of Miami University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Samples is a member of The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and the American College of Forensic Examiners.  He is involved with the Van Wert Rotary Club and is the treasurer for the Van Wert Community Improvement Corporation.

“Over the past three years, our firm has experienced growth, not only in the number of clients we serve, but also in our team, service offerings and service footprint,” said Barb Kohnen, president of Shultz Huber & Associates. “Rob, Kim, Stacey and Steve have been instrumental in helping navigate that growth, and we are excited for them to take a larger leadership role as we plan for the firm’s future.”

Shultz Huber & Associates, Inc. is a full-service accounting, tax and business consulting CPA firm specializing in assisting businesses and their owners plan for their future and achieve their goals in an ever-changing financial and regulatory environment. Offices are located in Archbold, Bryan, Defiance, St. Marys and Van Wert, with eight shareholders and 60 employees.

POSTED: 06/09/18 at 8:05 am. FILED UNDER: Business