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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Jul. 21, 2017

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Purmort Brothers Insurance was named the winner of the Blue Streak Circle of Achievement Retention Award.

The Retention Award is Central Mutual Insurance Company’s annual recognition of agencies that do an outstanding job of serving customers’ insurance needs. Purmort Brothers Insurance has consistently achieved commendable results in this area. The agency goes all-out for excellence in all areas of the insurance industry, not only in service, but with knowledgeable staff and efficient technology.

Purmort Brother Insurance has been recognized as one of the most trusted locally owned insurance agencies in northwest Ohio. For more than 140 years it has built strong and loyal relationships with its customers, companies, and the community.

POSTED: 07/15/17 at 6:56 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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Van Wert Federal Savings Bank recently hired George Scott as its new mortgage banking officer.

George Scott

Scott, originally from Circleville, met his wife while attending college and relocated to Van Wert with her in 2005. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo and a master’s degree from the University of Findlay.

While in and following college, Scott served a six-year term with the United States Air Force Ohio Air National Guard 180th Fighter Wing in Toledo. Most recently, Scott was employed by Van Wert City Schools as a high school teacher. Beyond the classroom, he assisted with the district’s learning management system and sponsored various clubs and organizations.

Additionally, Scott has coached the Van Wert boys’ soccer and Van Wert girls’ soccer teams, as well as several YMCA youth sports teams.

Scott attends Trinity United Methodist Church and resides in Van Wert with his wife, Laura, and their three sons: Owen, Wyatt, and Oliver.

POSTED: 06/24/17 at 6:51 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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Auto-Owners Insurance is pleased to announce the Leland Smith Insurance Services Inc. of Van Wert has been named one of the Top 10 growth agencies for the company in the state of Ohio for 2016. The agency was recognized at a luncheon meeting in Lima, and at 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.

Jeff Harrold, chairman/CEO of Auto-Owners, thanked the agency for its support and its business. “Their growth and support only help to make the entire community stronger and more secure,” Harrold said. “We are grateful they choose to do business with us.”

Auto-Owners Insurance was founded in 1916 and has served Ohio since 1936. It is a Fortune 500 company and the 17th largest property/casualty insurance company in the nation, based on written premium. Auto-Owners Insurance is one of 12 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 42,000 licensed agents in its 26 operating states. The company, which provides auto, home, business and life insurance to more than 3 million policyholders, is headquartered in Lansing, Michigan.

POSTED: 06/21/17 at 3:40 pm. FILED UNDER: Business

At the recent 137th Ohio Funeral Directors Convention held in Columbus, local funeral director James Brickner was recognized for 50 years of practicing as a funeral director/embalmer in Ohio. Shown are Brickner (left), receiving his 50-year plaque from Ohio Funeral Directors Association President Bradley Chute. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 06/21/17 at 3:38 pm. FILED UNDER: Business

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Jacque Welch, administrator at Van Wert Manor, has successfully completed the Certified Executive for Assisted Living (CEAL) certification program offered through the Ohio Centers for Assisted Living (OCAL), and has passed the NAB (National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards) Residential Care/Assisted Living Administrators Examination to earn the CEAL designation.

Jacque Welch

Jacque Welch

CEAL is a comprehensive certification program designed to elevate the skills and professionalism of assisted living administrators in Ohio by providing a national certification, along with Ohio’s most comprehensive state specific training.

Following the four-day CEAL training course, candidates must complete the NAB Examination to be awarded the CEAL designation. The Ohio CEAL is awarded to candidates based on 100 percent class participation, including completion of in-class quizzes, testing, and successful passage of the NAB Examination.

Since 2013, OCAL has trained more than 100 students nationally who have earned their CEAL designation. The program is designed for experienced assisted living executives looking for a competitive edge in the marketplace, or those interested in obtaining the necessary skills to successfully lead an assisted living building in Ohio or nationwide.

Welch has worked at Van Wert Manor for 18 years. She and her husband, Rob, reside in Van Wert with their six children.

Van Wert Manor has been a part of the community since 1970 through the tradition of caring. With the addition of assisted living apartments to Van Wert Manor’s facility, Van Wert Manor offers assisted living, transitional care and skilled nursing.

For more information about Van Wert Manor, please call 419.238.6655.

POSTED: 06/17/17 at 7:17 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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ST. MARYS — Chad Klaus has earned the Safety Supervisor Series certificate from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Klaus, crew leader and first class lineman for Midwest Electric, attended courses on supervising, conflict negotiation, time management, effective communications, and motivating employees.

POSTED: 06/12/17 at 7:03 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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Neighbors across the country will soon have an exciting opportunity to help change their communities for the better through State Farm Neighborhood Assist®. State Farm® recently began an effort — Neighborhood of Good™ — to inspire and empower people to get involved in their communities to create a positive, sustainable, and measurable social impact. As part of this platform, State Farm Neighborhood Assist® is back for its sixth year.

Forty causes will be awarded $25,000 each to assist neighborhoods. Anyone in the United States can submit a cause at from June 7-21 or when 2,000 submissions are reached, whichever comes first. Ultimately, voters will decide which community improvement projects win big.

Neighborhood Assist logo 6-2017 copyState Farm Neighborhood Assist asks individuals to identify causes that would help make their communities safer, stronger, and smarter. The State Farm Review Committee will then narrow down the field, using a scoring rubric to identify the top 200 submissions. The public will have a chance to vote 10 times a day, every day for 10 days from August 16-25 for its favorite causes from the list of finalists. Voting will take place at the above website.

The 40 causes that receive the most votes will each win a $25,000 grant. Winners will be announced on Good Neighbor Day, September 28.

Since the program began, State Farm has awarded $5 million to communities across North America, supporting a wide variety of causes, including fighting childhood hunger, helping homeless veterans, revitalizing parks, improving literacy, and offering athletic programs for children with disabilities.

“State Farm has a rich history of giving back to the communities where we live and work, helping make life go right,” said Kellie Clapper, State Farm assistant vice president. “From identifying an important cause to rallying your community to vote for it, this program is all about neighbors helping neighbors.”

Last year, people cast millions of votes for their favorite causes, selecting winners from small towns and big cities.

Key Dates for 2017 State Farm Neighborhood Assist:

  • Submission phase: June 7-21 or when 2,000 submissions are reached, whichever comes first
  • Voting Phase: August 16-25
  • Winners Announced: September 28

POSTED: 06/05/17 at 7:11 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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Eric Hurless knows the value of a comfortable pair of shoes. That’s because he has been introducing himself to residents in Van Wert.
Hurless is a financial advisor for the financial services firm Edward Jones, and his neighborhood visits demonstrate the Edward Jones way of doing business — face to face.

Eric Hurless

Eric Hurless

Before new Edward Jones financial advisors even can open an office, they must spend several months introducing themselves to residents and businesspeople in the community.

“At Edward Jones, we don’t expect anyone to invest with us until they know our investment philosophy,” Hurless said. “I believe I have a responsibility to understand the unique financial needs of each and every client, and that’s why I’m paying them personal visits.

“That’s one of the things that drew me to this firm,” Hurless said. “Edward Jones values the individual investor and understands that people still want to do business with someone they know and trust.”
Hurless also had to complete one of the most rigorous training programs in the financial services industry.

And although he is well-versed in the technical aspects of investments, the training isn’t over. Edward Jones places a lot of emphasis on continuing education, and its financial advisors train literally throughout their careers.

“I know my clients want a financial advisor who is up to speed on investments and someone they know. That’s why we do things the way we do at Edward Jones,” Hurless said.

Hurless will work out of the office of Ryan Lindemann,  707 Fox Road, over the next several months. He will then continue serving investors throughout Van Wert from a new office. He may be reached at 419.238.5581.


POSTED: 06/03/17 at 7:52 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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Central Insurance Companies were recently awarded the prestigious Best Practices Award of Excellence from the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”). This is the 10th consecutive year the company has received this award.

The award recognizes those companies that have made imaginative, outstanding, and unique contributions in advocating Best Practices philosophies that enhance the independent agency system. The Big “I” Best Practices Program provides performance benchmarks and business strategies that serve as a guide to improving agency performance. Central was one of only three carriers nationwide to receive the award.

Central revised logoCentral has long been a supporter of the Best Practices program, sharing Best Practices concepts with its agents through education and business consulting, its website, and monthly agency newsletters.

Central’s Vibrant Personal Lines Program, in consultation with Reagan Consulting Inc., uses Best Practices studies to educate agencies on developing and growing their personal lines books of business. Throughout the years, the response has been very positive and the program has proven to be beneficial to both Central and participating agencies.

“Since 2005, through numerous company-wide and online initiatives, Central Insurance Companies, a Trusted Choice® company, promotes the philosophies of the Best Practices through agent education and countless innovative efforts,” said Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president/CEO. “We applaud Central’s long-standing dedication and leadership.”

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: 05/31/17 at 8:12 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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CARF International announced that Westwood Behavioral Health Center, Inc. has been accredited for a period of three years for the following programs:

  • Case Management/Services Coordination: Integrated: AOD/MH (Adults)
  • Case Management/Services Coordination: Integrated: AOD/MH (Children and Adolescents)
  • Outpatient Treatment: Integrated: AOD/MH (Adults)
  • Outpatient Treatment: Integrated: AOD/MH (Children and Adolescents)

The latest accreditation is the fifth consecutive three-year accreditation the international accrediting body, CARF, has given to Westwood Behavioral Health Center Inc.
This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a three-year accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process, demonstrating to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality.
Westwood Behavioral Health Center Inc. is a private not-for-profit organization with offices located at 1158 Westwood Drive in Van Wert, 501 McDonald Pike in Paulding, and 150 N. Jefferson St., Suite 2, in Delphos.

Westwood has been providing mental health and substance abuse services in Van Wert County since 1976, expanding to Paulding County in 2007 and the city of Delphos in 2015.
CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of the persons served.

Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.

For more information about the accreditation process, visit the CARF website at
For additional information, contact Westwood Behavioral Health Center Inc. at 419.238.3434.

POSTED: 05/23/17 at 7:51 am. FILED UNDER: Business