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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Jan. 16, 2017

Submitted information

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 www.lelandsmith.com.

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

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The Central Insurance Companies were recently awarded the prestigious Pinnacle Award from Applied Systems at the Applied User Group National Convention held in Orlando, Florida.

The Pinnacle Award recognizes Applied’s best customers and business partners for technology innovation and business success. Of the five Pinnacle awards given out this year, Central was the only carrier out of several hundred in the industry to receive this recognition.

Central’s Sr. Vice President of Information Technology John White (right) accepts the Pinnacle Award from Reid French, CEO of Applied Systems. (photo submitted)

Central’s Sr. Vice President of Information Technology John White (right) accepts the Pinnacle Award from Reid French, CEO of Applied Systems. (photo submitted)

“Central has been a great partner with Applied and IVANS, and we are proud to recognize them as one of this year’s Pinnacle Award winners,” said Reid French, CEO of Applied Systems. “Central’s technology strategy embraces automation to increase internal productivity and ease of doing business with agency partners through technology like commercial download, IVANS Market Appetite, Applied Rating, and ACORD eDocs, enabling Central to provide a greater customer experience to both agents and the end insured. In this digital world, connectivity is critical to enhancing competitive advantage and driving growth, and we applaud Central’s efforts to drive digital transformation throughout the insurance industry.”

“Applied, IVANS, and Central share a common vision to provide the best user experience for our partners in the independent agency system,” said Central’s Senior Vice President of Information Technology John White. “Working together in a digital world, we can enable agents and insureds with the information necessary to quickly and accurately satisfy their daily needs. Our technology and service capabilities are critical in providing the competitive edge our partners need to realize growth and profitability in their organization.”

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, Ohio 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: 10/26/16 at 7:19 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News

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CINCINNATI — First Financial Bancorp announced financial results for the third quarter 2016. For the three months ended September 30, the company reported net income of $22.9 million, or 37 cents per diluted common share.

These results compare to net income of $22.6 million, or 36 cents per diluted common share, for the second quarter of 2016 and $18.7 million, or 30 cents per diluted common share, for the third quarter of 2015. For the nine months ended September 30, First Financial had earnings per diluted common share of $1.05, compared to 89 cents for the same period in 2015.

Return on average assets for the third quarter of 2016 was 1.09 percent, while return on average tangible common equity was 14.08 percent. These compare to a return on average assets of 1.11 percent and return on average tangible common equity of 14.49 percent in the second quarter of 2016 and a return on average assets of 0.97 percent and a return on average tangible common equity of 12.33 percent in the third quarter of 2015.

Third quarter highlights include:

  • First Financial Bank logo-color-2-2014Loans increased $88.3 million, or 6.2 percent on an annualized basis, from the linked quarter
  • Stable net interest margin of 3.61 percent; 3.66 percent on a fully tax equivalent basis
  • Provision expense declined $2.4 million consistent with stable credit quality
  • Noninterest income included $0.4 million of gains on sales of investment securities
  • Noninterest expense included $0.8 million of severance costs, $0.2 million of gains related to branch consolidation activities and a $0.2 million legal recovery
  • Efficiency ratio of 59.6 percent
  • Effective tax rate of 30.7 percent included seasonal adjustments

“We are extremely pleased with another quarter of solid results, which produced our 104th consecutive quarter of profitability, said First Financial CEO Claude Davis. “Solid demand in our metropolitan markets resulted in annualized loan growth of 6.2 percent for the quarter.

“Net interest margin remained stable and our third quarter results reflect continued discipline in managing expenses as well as a steady credit environment,” Davis added. “As we look to close 2016 on a positive note, we will focus on continuing the momentum generated through the first three quarters and delivering on our stated goals of top quartile performance and being a premier business bank.”

POSTED: 10/24/16 at 2:37 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

The Marsh Foundation has hired Melissa Gearhart, LSW, as the agency’s new supervisor of its foster care division. Gearhart will oversee consultation, recruitment, licensing and maintenance of The Marsh’s foster care program.

Melissa Gearhart

Melissa Gearhart

Gearhart holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Defiance College and is a Licensed Social Worker. After beginning her career at The Marsh as a family teacher in the residential group home program, she went on to serve as a foster care consultant at Adriel for nearly five years.

“Over the past several years, foster care has been my passion. I love connecting kids to families as well as connecting these families to kids,” Gearhart said. “I am so excited to be able to do this back in my hometown.”

She also said that she is looking forward to her new position.

“My goal here at The Marsh Foundation is to grow our foster program to not only be able to help a wider variety of kids, but also to be able to offer our foster families a bigger network of support and services,” Gearhart added. “We already have many exciting things in the works for the foster program and I can’t wait to see them take shape.”

Originally from the Van Wert area, Gearhart is a Lincolnview High School graduate. She enjoys spending her time away from work with her 2-year-old daughter, Elliot.

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children’s services agency that provides behavioral treatment in a variety of settings. Services include group homes, family foster care for children 0-18, an intensive treatment program and independent living.

The mission of The Marsh Foundation is to inspire hope, to teach and to care for children and families. For more information about The Marsh, visit www.marshfoundation.org.

POSTED: 10/19/16 at 6:53 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News

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The Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce has announced nominees for this year’s 2016 Salute to Small Business Awards Luncheon, to be held at noon Friday, November 4, at Willow Bend Country Club in Van Wert.

The nominees are divided into seven separate categories, as follows:

Spirit of Entrepreneurship — Alliance Automation, KAM Manufacturing, McCoy’s Flowers, M&M RV Electronics, Times Bulletin Media

VW Chamber logo 3-19-10Charitable Non-Profit — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer, Auglaize & Van Wert County, First United Methodist Church, United Way of Van Wert County, Van Wert Humane Society

Service Industry Showcase — Laurie’s Naturescapes, Moore Insurance Service, Wallace Plumbing & Underground, Westwood Car Wash

Retail Excellence — BHS Gunshop, Chuck & Deb’s Bait Shop, MOD Boutique, The Bridge

Palate Pleaser — K & K Country Meats, Ohio City Express Carryout, Truly D’vine Bread Company, Wild Hare BBQ, Willow Bend Country Club

Community Champion — Hair to Stay, Lee Kinstle GM Sales & Service, L & S House of Pastries, Purmort Brothers, Quality Painting & Roofing

Enterprise Recognition — Anytime Fitness, Apex Clean Energy, Eberle Photography, Gen-X Training Studio, Kitchens & Bath Plus, Schrader Realty LLC, TAG Menswear.

Tickets for the luncheon are $18 for an individual and $135 for a table for eight. Deadline to register at the Chamber office, 419.238.4390, is Tuesday, November 1.

POSTED: 10/19/16 at 6:50 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News

ppec-ceo-lays-wreath-at-tomb-10-2016

Paulding Putnam Electric Co-op (PPEC) CEO George Carter had the great honor of escorting three veterans to lay the wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C., September 22. Carter was asked to do so, after Paulding Putnam Electric Co-op Employees raised more than $160,000 for the Northeast Indiana Honor Flight Chapter, which also serves Northwest Ohio. To see pictures of the September 22 Honor Flight, visit www.PPEC.coop. With the funds raised, PPEC was able to sponsor two whole flights. The next flight will be October 12. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 10/04/16 at 8:09 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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Area residents who are proud pet owners or would like to be, should mark their calendars for Saturday, September 17, when the Tractor Supply Company store in Van Wert will be celebrating their furry friends for Pet Appreciation Week’s main event.

The main event on September 17 will include pet adoptions, with community groups, samples, giveaways, drawings for gift cards, and other family friendly activities. In addition, deals on pet products, from food and treats to toys and crates, will be featured from September 14-18.

Tractor Supply Company logo 6-2016“Pet Appreciation Week is a time when our love for animals really shines,” said Peter Owsley, manager of the Van Wert Tractor Supply store. “It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate the love of pets, find great homes for local adoptable animals, and showcase the community partners and rescues who care for these animals year round.”

In addition to supporting community groups in their work to find good homes for dogs and cats, Pet Appreciation Week, September 14-18, helps raise awareness of the importance of spaying and neutering pets and provide information on proper pet care and nutrition.

Pet Appreciation Week is open to the public — and all leashed, friendly pets — and will take place at Tractor Supply, 1122 S. Shannon St.

Several activities will take place during the main event, including Pet Adoption and Cookout and Bunny Hoppers 4-H group.

Community partners for this year’s Pet Appreciation Week include: Shelter Pets, First Friends Church in Van Wert, and the Bunny Hoppers 4-H Club. All will be on-site from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. September 17.

 

Contact the Tractor Supply store at 419.232.4862 for pet adoption details and other planned activities. For more information on Pet Appreciation Week, visit Facebook.com/TractorSupplyCo or TractorSupply.com.

POSTED: 09/07/16 at 7:40 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Four Central Insurance Companies employees have been awarded the professional insurance designation, Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) from the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters.

Ken Dwyer

Ken Dwyer

Ryan Beacher

Ryan Beacher

Central employees earning the designation include Ryan Beacher, Angie Gibson, Ken Dwyer, and Dustin Looser.

This is a professional credential recognized throughout the risk management and insurance business. All four Central employees have completed a rigorous eight-course program of academic, ethical, and experience requirements.

Beacher resides in Ohio City with his wife of 10 years, Deena. He is active with the Relay for Life and the Warrior Bike Trail Committee in Ohio City. He is also active at Central, serving on committees and most recently assisting as an instructor for Central’s Information Technology TechCamp for seventh and eighth grade students.  Beacher holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems from Mississippi State University in 2007.

He started his career at Central in July 2014 as a development analyst before becoming a development specialist in Information Technology a year later.  That same year he was promoted to supervisor in Personal Lines IT.  Beacher also holds the Associate in General Insurance (AINS) designation.

Dustin Looser

Dustin Looser

Angie Gibson

Angie Gibson

Gibson lives outside Convoy with her husband, Berry, and four sons: Dallis, 22; Lucas, 20; Casey, 18; and Trevor, 16.  Gibson also serves on the Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, where she is a member of the Executive Committee as treasurer. She is also a member of the local chapter of the International Association of Insurance Professionals.

She has attended Sugar Ridge Church of God for 27 years and served as church treasurer for five years.  Gibson is a 1988 graduate of Van Wert High School and a 1992 graduate of the University of Saint Francis with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting.

She began her career with Central during college, working part-time in the Mail and Supply Department and Home Office Claims Services. In 1993, Gibson was hired full-time as an accounting examiner in the Financial Accounting Department. In 1994, she moved into the role of accounts receivable manager before becoming customer services manager in 2004. In her current position, she is responsible for the Accounts Receivable and PL Services departments.

Gibson also holds the Associate in Management (AIM), Associate in Services (AIS), and Associate in General Insurance (AINS) designations.

Dwyer resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with his wife, Katie, and three children: Nathan, Luke, and Rylee.  He holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne and a law degree from the Indiana University School of Law, where he graduated summa cum laude. 

Dwyer is a drummer for four Big Band-era groups that enjoy performing to support local community events, as well as playing in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

(more…)

POSTED: 09/01/16 at 7:31 am. FILED UNDER: Business