The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

VW independent/submitted information

At the 128th annual meeting of its members held in January, Thomas J. Turnwald was elected to serve as a member of the Van Wert Federal Savings Bank board of directors. Turnwald joins Jon D. Bagley, Edd R. Buhl, Gary L. Clay, Charles F. Koch, Michael B. Keysor, and Michael R. Zedaker on the bank board.

Thomas Turnwald

Turnwald is a graduate of Van Wert High School and received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Toledo. He then returned home to Van Wert to the family business, National Door & Trim, a place where he had started his work career at a very early age. Turnwald then recognized a new business opportunity and founded Teem Wholesale, which continues to have rapid growth of its business in Ohio and surrounding states.

Turnwald resides in Van Wert with his wife, Michelle, and their three adult children. He serves on the board of trustees of the Van Wert Business Development Corporation and Van Wert County Hospital.  He is also a member of Lifehouse Church. He enjoys outdoor activities and being involved in the community.

“We are excited to add Mr. Turnwald to our bank board,” said Van Wert Federal President Gary Clay. “He shares our belief that Van Wert County is a great place to live and do business (and) he is an avid supporter of providing opportunities for young people to return home and experience the wonderful quality of life our community affords.”

Van Wert Federal Savings Bank, founded in 1889, is the longest operating financial institution in Van Wert County. The bank is recognized as one of the safest financial institutions in the country, having received the Bauer Financial 5 Star Sustained Superiority Award for more than 30 years, an honor that less than 50 banks in the United States have received.

In addition to the Bauer rating, Van Wert Federal also maintains an “outstanding” CRA rating for meeting the credit needs of the Van Wert community, including low and moderated income neighborhoods, while operating with safe and sound banking practices.

POSTED: 02/07/18 at 8:18 am. FILED UNDER: Business

Submitted information

Cassondra Clark recently joined a Van Wert office of the financial services firm Edward Jones as a branch office administrator trainee.

The title of branch office administrator was adopted for this position at Edward Jones because of the wide range of responsibilities associated with the job.

Cassondra Clark

“A branch office administrator is not only responsible for the daily operation of the branch, but also must provide top-level client service and marketing support for my activities,” said Eric Hurless, local financial advisor for the firm.

Clark must successfully complete the firm’s in-depth training program within six months to graduate from the trainee designation into the position of branch office administrator. The program consists of online modules that are grouped into study weeks.

Hurless added that he was impressed not only with Cassondra’s office skills and efficiency but also with her knowledge of the community. “I know she will be a terrific asset to our team as we strive to provide our clients unparalleled personal service,” Hurless said.

Clark is originally from Van Wert and is enthusiastic about her return to the area.

Hurless’ branch office is located at 707 Fox Road. He may be reached at 419.238.5581.

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 15,000-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: 02/07/18 at 8:14 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

First Federal of Van Wert is excited to announce the celebration of its 125th anniversary in 2018.  While the festivities will start in January, First Federal will be celebrating throughout 2018.

“We are very proud of our history of being a strong community bank. We emphasize customer service and community involvement and it’s because of those attributes that we’ve been a successful organization for these 125 years,” says Brian Renner, president of First Federal. “We take great pride in our community involvement and we understand for this company to be successful, we need Van Wert to be successful.”

First Federal was first organized on January 9, 1893, as the Fraternal Building and Savings Company. The bank was initially located in downtown Van Wert at J.H. Kaulke’s Hardware store. It was 1936 when the bank changed its name to First Federal Savings & Loan of Van Wert. After many years of being located next to the courthouse, First Federal moved to its current location at 679 Fox Road in September 1997.

The building recently received an interior remodel as well as new and improved drive-thru area equipment.  Renner indicated that First Federal has many of the modern banking conveniences and they will continue to add products to meet the customers’ needs.

First Federal, which is locally owned and operated, has five local board of directors and 19 local employees. While there is only one location, First Federal serves customers from all over Van Wert County and surrounding communities.

“We want every customer interaction to be a great banking experience at First Federal. With a knowledgeable, friendly staff, we strive to make that happen with every customer,” Renner added. “With that company goal, we expect to be around for another 125 years.”

POSTED: 01/08/18 at 8:40 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News

VW independent/submitted information

LIMA — The apprentices of Lima Electrical Professionals have donated $3,012 and approximately 200 pounds of food to the Veterans Food Pantry of Northwest Ohio.

The organization collected food and monetary contributions in December and also conducted a 50/50 drawing to raise the funds.

“We chose the Veterans Food Pantry to be the recipient of this year’s holiday fundraiser because of the service and sacrifices the veterans of this great nation have provided for us,” says organizer Kyle Hanes. “With a lot of work and dedication our apprentices were able to raise some much needed money and food.”

Lima Electrical Professionals represents the pre-eminent electrical contractors in Allen, Auglaize, Van Wert, Shelby, Logan, Wyandot, Putnam, Hardin, and Mercer counties who partner with IBEW Local 32 for their labor.

For further information, contact Hanes at 937.726.8440.

IBEW electrical apprentices donate food and money to the Veterans Food Pantry. photo submitted

POSTED: 01/03/18 at 9:07 am. FILED UNDER: Business

The employees of Alexander & Bebout Inc. and Kitchens Inc. held their 10th annual food drive in conjunction with A & B’s Christmas Party. The employees collected 130 food items during the drive. Games played at the Christmas Party netted a $475 contribution, along with a company match, allowed for a $950 donation to the United Methodist Cooperative Ministries Food Bank, in addition to the food donation. Shown are (front row from the left) Charlie Salway, Kristen Lange, Teresa Parrish, Sara Zura, and Tom Alexander; (back row) Charlie Wilkin and Stan Hitchcock. photo submitted

POSTED: 12/23/17 at 9:14 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Flat Lands Supply employees Ava Scheidt and Amy Schroeder recently attended Basco University in Mason, home of Basco Tub and Shower Door Enclosures.

Flat Lands Supply employees Ava Scheidt (left) and Amy Schroeder view a variety of shower door enclosures and tubs at Basco University in Mason. photo submitted

Included in the program is a factory tour showing the start-to-finish process of manufacturing a Basco shower door. This involves hands-on processing by 60 different Basco employees. Basco video records the entire progression for accuracy and quality control purposes.

The schooling also entails proper door and trim measurement methods, installation techniques, and familiarization with all of Basco’s products and features in the Basco showroom. Instruction in online ordering procedures completes the training.

Flat Lands Supply invites area residents to contact it for assistance in designing and ordering a custom Basco tub or shower door enclosure. Flat Lands Supply is an electrical, plumbing, and data wholesale and retail distributor and showroom located at 1220 E. Jackson St. in Van Wert.

POSTED: 12/18/17 at 8:50 am. FILED UNDER: Business

Submitted information

Buckeye Insurance Professionals, a chapter of the International Association of Insurance Professionals (IAIP) recently joined forces with members from Purmort Brothers Insurance Agency. Together, they were able to raise a total of $600 for hurricane relief. The funds were donated to the American Red Cross during IAIP’s recent Ohio Council meeting held at Central Insurance Companies November 3-4.

IAIP is a professional association open to individuals in the insurance and risk management industries. IAIP is best known for providing insurance education, skill enhancement, and leadership development to its members. Buckeye Insurance Professionals meet at Central Insurance on the second Tuesdays during the months of September through May, starting at noon.

For more information on IAIP or Buckeye Insurance Professionals, contact Rebecca White at 419.238.5551, extension 2799, or through Facebook

Shown are (front row, from the left) local Red Cross Executive Director Derek Stemen, and Rebecca White, president of Buckeye Insurance Professionals; (back row) Leah Purmort-Treece (Purmort Brothers), Brittany Bigham (program chair with Buckeye Insurance Professionals), Michelle Purmort-Mooney (Purmort Brothers), and Mitch Price (Purmort Brothers). photo submitted

POSTED: 11/28/17 at 9:15 am. FILED UNDER: Business

Submitted information

The Central Insurance Companies have announced the election of Evan Purmort to its Board of Directors, as well as his appointment to the Executive Committee of the Central Companies.

As regional vice president, Purmort oversees the day-to-day operations of the Northeast Regional office, including all underwriting, marketing, and claims functions serving Central’s independent agents in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York.

Evan Purmort

Purmort joined Central in 2002 during high school as a prep chef at Central-affiliated Willow Bend Country Club and moved on to the Mail and Supply department in Central’s Home Office the following summer.

After graduating from Miami University in 2008, he became a commercial lines technician in the Southeast Region. He was promoted to commercial lines underwriter before transferring to the Southwest Region in 2011 as the marketing manager for Arizona.

He was promoted to the Southwest Management Team in 2012 as a commercial lines supervisor and was then promoted to the position of personal lines manager in 2014. Most recently, he held the position of assistant vice president of the Northeast Regional Office.

Purmort resides in Boston with his wife, Claire, and daughter, Frances.

Central Mutual Insurance Company was founded in 1876 and has evolved into the Central Insurance Companies, a successful property and casualty group providing insurance for more than 350,000 automobiles, homes, and businesses in 20 states. Central is based in Van Wert and operates regional offices in Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, and Van Wert.

The Central group of companies has combined assets of over $1 billion. Central’s A.M. Best rating is A (Excellent).

POSTED: 11/06/17 at 3:48 pm. FILED UNDER: Business

Submitted information

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer is announcing a recall of various packaged Meijer brand produce items due to a potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms like high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, a Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The recall affects certain products sold in Meijer stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Wisconsin purchased September 27 through October 20. The items will be in plastic containers or foam trays with printed labels with various sizes and weights.

POSTED: 10/24/17 at 7:49 am. FILED UNDER: Business

Submitted information

Leland Smith Insurance Services announces the addition of Josh Hahn, a licensed life and senior health agent, to its staff.

Josh Haun

Born and raised in Antwerp, Hahn is a graduate of Antwerp Local High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies from Northern Kentucky University.

Hahn recently moved back to Antwerp after spending five years in Cincinnati. He is an avid sports fan and history enthusiast, and also enjoys hiking, hunting, kayaking, and traveling.

Stop by to welcome Hahn and see if he can help with any of one’s insurance needs. He is happy to serve at all six office locations.

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

POSTED: 10/17/17 at 6:35 am. FILED UNDER: Business