The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Jan. 19, 2018

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

VW independent/submitted information

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has offered updated information for consumers following the recent announcement by Equifax of a major data breach affecting over 5 million Ohioans. Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting bureaus, has stated that its system was compromised between May and July of this year and includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers.

Mike DeWine

“The news of the Equifax breach was, and remains, absolutely shocking,” Attorney General DeWine said. “It’s important for consumers to understand the new information that has come to light in recent days so that they can make informed decisions moving forward, and I will continue to press Equifax to do the right things to help affected consumers.”

Attorney General DeWine offered the following updates that can be found on Equifax’s website:

  • Arbitration Clauses:  Equifax has stated enrollment in “TrustedID Premier” — their product offered in response to the breach — will not subject an enrollee to mandatory arbitration.  According to Equifax, the arbitration clauses originally included in the Terms of Use on the site have now been removed, and the Terms of Use on do not apply to the TrustedID Premier product being offered to consumers as a result of the breach.
  • Waiver of Rights: Equifax has also stated that the Terms of Use do not create a waiver of class action rights.  Specifically, Equifax states, “to be as clear as possible, we will not apply any arbitration clause or class action waiver against consumers for claims related to the free products offered in response to the cybersecurity incident or for claims related to the cybersecurity incident itself.”
  • Charge for Security Freeze:  Equifax has agreed to waive fees for placing and removing security freezes through November 21.  Additionally, consumers who paid for a security freeze starting at 5 p.m. on September 7 will receive a refund. Note that consumers are still required to pay for security freezes through TransUnion and Experian should they choose to place a freeze there; to do this, consumers must contact TransUnion and Experian directly.


POSTED: 09/21/17 at 6:04 am. FILED UNDER: Business

Submitted information

Van Wert Manor, an HCF Management Inc. skilled nursing center, has received a deficiency-free survey from the Ohio Department of Health.

Each year, therapy and skilled nursing care communities in Ohio are subject to unannounced surveys by the State’s Department of Health. The inspection team evaluates all aspects of resident care, procedures and practices, assessing the compliance of the facility with hundreds of state and federal standards.

The survey is intended to ensure that each healthcare center is meeting all requirements to maintain quality patient care. In today’s regulatory environment, it is rare to be deficiency-free but the staff at Van Wert Manor continuously work together as a team to ensure their patients receive exceptional quality care.

“It is a great achievement to receive this rating,” said Jacque Welch, licensed nursing home administrator at Van Wert Manor. “The results show that our team is dedicated to not just meeting a high standard of quality care, but exceeding those expectations each and every day.”

Located at 160 Fox Road, Van Wert Manor has been providing a tradition of caring for the Van Wert community and the surrounding areas for over 45 years. The care community offers long-term care living, assisted living, short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing services.

For more information or a tour of Van Wert Manor to experience their recognized quality care, call Jacque Welch at 419.238.6655.

POSTED: 08/31/17 at 7:42 am. FILED UNDER: Business, Lifestyles