Leadership Award Winners | Frank Pilato, Community Connection

We are excited to introduce our Leadership Award Winners that we will be recognizing Tuesday, February 23 at the Hartville Kitchen.  Part one in our Leadership Award Winners Blog Series features Community Connection Award winner Frank Pilato.

The Community Connection Award is presented to a person who goes above and beyond to connect the community for a specific purpose that benefits both the community and the parties involved.  Frank Pilato was chosen as the 2016 recipient, for his efforts in creating meaningful connections between Lake High School students and the community, specifically through marketing projects that provide the students with hands-on business experience and tangible benefits.frankheadshot

At Lake High School, Frank has been a prime example of what the Community Connection Award embodies. As a Career Tech Prep teacher, he has helped students learn valuable, real-world, marketing skills. Every year he hosts projects involving real money, real business and real scholarships. The two largest projects are the Lake High School Prom Fashion Show and the Classroom Apprentice. The Prom Fashion Show takes place every spring and students advertise, plan and work at the show, which raises money for the prom committee and Lake Local Schools.  Additionally, Classroom Apprentice gives students the opportunity to work their way through a series of challenges. When just two students remain, they compete in a sales competition in which the winner takes home a scholarship.  Additionally, some of the students’ assignments are related to public safety and are used to promote awareness, such as participating in Safe Auto’s campaign to encourage drivers to keep both hands on the steering wheel.

Other projects or events which connect students to the community include: a Shark Tank project in which actual professionals invested in student’s ideas, networking with local businesses, promoting awareness for the school levy, and a social media project which allowed students to advertise the finding of a golden ticket.

Frank was born in the Macedonia area and attended Nordonia High School.  He later studied at Walsh University, where he obtained his B.A. in Education and his MBA.  He has been teaching since the 2006-2007 school year and more recently has joined Lake Local schools as their Career Tech Prep teacher. Personally, he has three children, Giada, Guilianna and Giacomo, with his wife Christine, whom he has been married to for seven years.

In addition to teaching, Frank Pilato helps coach the Lake High School football team and runs an AdvoCare business with his wife and a business named SpiritHogz which specializes in making sports themed wall decals.

For more information on Lake High School’s Career Tech Prep programs, go to this link or attend their Open House on February 2.   To attend the Leadership Awards Dinner in recognition of Frank and his fellow award winners, go to www.lakechamber.com/annualdinner.

 

 

A Young Person’s Perspective on Lake Township

I have lived in Hartville/Lake Township my entire life and I, like many of my peers, swore one day making my way to other areas of the country and out of this little midwestern town. When College came around, I chose to go as close to the edge of the state as possible in an attempt to help myself become acclimated with the distance I would put between myself and home one day. What moving away taught me was to make yourself as Sam Tornow internship photomarketable as possible for your career and to create your own opportunities, but never being so prideful as to never ask for guidance. Through that ideology, and with the help of lucky connections, I found myself with the chance to intern at the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce this winter, and now with it coming to end, I can say with confidence that my view on this town has changed in more ways than one.

For those of you who don’t know what a Chamber of Commerce is, it is a business network and non-profit organization that has the aim of promoting and helping local businesses grow. I could go on and on about how much I learned related to my journalism major, but that is not the most important thing I took away. Yes, I did write a lot of blog posts. Yes, I helped manage multiple social media accounts. Yes, I attended meetings. Yes, I learned fantastic marketing and social techniques. Yes, I made more phone calls than my introverted self would of hoped. Yes, I learned how to make those phone calls less painful. Yes, I networked and gained references from some amazing people. But what this internship taught me most about, was a sense of community.

Lake Township is a small, but mighty township. It’s not hard to miss on the map or to drive by on a roadtrip, but to us, it is home. However, I am not deaf to the comments my friends, peers and even myself (not anymore) make about it, and the conversation which always unfolds:

  • “I’m bored, there is nothing to do around here.”
  • “We’ve done everything around here.”
  • “Everything fun is at least a 20 minute drive.”
  • “That’s way too far.”
  • “Let’s just go watch a scary movie in someone’s basement.”

board of directors 2015 holiday board meeting at quails coveyThis constant conversation is ludicrous. There is plenty to do in Lake Township, however people have to be willing to look and open their eyes to new possibilities. Remember when the Flea Market was on the corner of Market and 619? That was when there was less to do around here. While I have nothing against poor quality horror films (trust me, I’ve seen more than I care to admit), and there is nothing with wrong with finding things to do outside of the community occasionally, there is much more to this town. In my time at the Chamber, I have had the opportunity to connect with businesses that I didn’t even know existed, or have been around for years, but I never tried out. I could write a list or make a flowchart of neat things to do in a 15 mile radius, but all that would do is send every reader into information overload and leave them with nothing but a list of businesses, which they would ultimately never glance at again. Rather, I challenge you all to explore your town and begin thinking locally.

The most common problem I see, is the willingness to write off local businesses in favor of those in other townships. Why drive to out of the township connect with us image for cc social mediafor a cup of coffee when we have plenty of great coffee shops in town? Why scour the state for thrift shops when your town has a massive list of them? Why drive nearly an hour to go to a park when we have multiple (I know you all haven’t been to them all)? I am not saying you shouldn’t take advantage of all the state has to offer, but the fact is, if you spend $1.00 at a business in Lake Township, $0.68 will be put back into the local economy, if you spend the same amount in a different township, it is doing nothing to help this area continue to grow. That is staggering. Even in the last 19 years, Lake Township has grown immensely. You can continue to make this town bigger and better, but you need to invest in it first.

DHV map jpegLake Township has multiple hidden gems. I know most of my peers have an itch for exploration, but why not explore the place you live and find out what it truly has to offer?  The Chamber offers resources such as their blogs, Facebook pages, community calendar of events and their tourism website named Discover Hartville, which is dedicated to showcasing our area assets. The site also includes a downloadable map which helps tourists and locals navigate our area with ease.

I, like many of peers, swore to eventually get away from this community. The Chamber has not changed that, I still want to see the world. However, no city started as the behemoth it is today. It started as a small town like Hartville, Uniontown or Greentown. No matter where you travel, no matter where you wander, no matter if you stay or go, this place will always be your home, and we should treat it as such.

-Sam Tornow

Lake Township’s Year in Review

2015 was a fantastic year of growth for Lake Township and we look forward to a prosperous 2016!

Business Openings:

A Niche in Time (Historic Downtown Hartville) – March – Great estate finds await you at this shop, located in Historic Downtown Hartville

Comfort Suites: Hartville – April – 81 suites available to help all your friends and family come visit the area

Yoder Medical – June- Newly remodeled and rebranded, Yoder Medical offers fashionable scrubs, shoes, and supplies

261 Boutique (Uniontown Square) – July – Fashionable and sophisticated, a great addition to any shopping spree

Arukah Market Health and Restoration – August- A plentiful selection of healthy foods awaits at this Uniontown-based market

Peace, Love & Little Donuts (Historic Downtown Hartville) – August – Offers a variety of 20+ kinds of delicious donuts

Uniontown Community Park – August – A new playground has been added to help kids get out and be active

Uniontown Police Department– August – UPD has relocated and gained new facilities

upd ribbon cutting

Cocoa Concepts – September – Learn the history and process of making chocolate at this location, they also specialize in small parties. Cocoa Concepts hosted the largest Business After Hours event yet at 125+ peopleHartville Children’s Boutique – November – Has a great array of baby gear and toys, the perfect shop for anyone with a child in their life

hv childrens boutique for year in review

Chamber & Community Events:

SCORE Canton: Business After Hours – January – Highlighted SCORE Canton’s free and confidential business counseling, hosted at Grinders

Annual Leadership Awards Dinner – February – The Chamber’s annual dinner, hosted by Hartville Kitchen, which featured Pro Football Hall of Fame President, David Baker and Leadership Awards for five community leaders

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POPS Hullabaloo & YMCA Kid’s Day April – An event where parents of young children could tour area preschools, while local businesses, aimed at children, could network

Speed Networking – April – A lightning-fast networking event, hosted by Elite Sports Uniontown, with the North Canton and Green Chambers

STAR Training – April/September – A two part series, with VisitCanton.com, training front line employees to be tourism ambassadors 

Get Your Businesses Online with Google – July – A Google sponsored workshop, which promoted getting our area on the map

gybo presenters

MAPS Air Museum – September- Small Business Showcase with North Canton and Jackson/Belden Chambers

Second Saturday – June through September – A Historic Downtown Hartville event, taking place between June and September, which featured live music, art, food and more

Tailgate Party and Pep Rally – September- Hosted by the Hartville Marketplace & Flea Market, this event helped bring the community together for the Lake High School band, cheerleaders and football team

Leadership Stark County Bus Tour – Highlighted the great features of Lake Township to area colleagues from Leadership Stark County

Homecoming Parade -October- A parade to celebrate Lake High School’s Homecoming, hosted by PNC Bank

One Bite – October – A Chamber taste event featuring local restaurants and businesses

1One Bite 2015 Best Bite WinnersEvening the in Village – December – Hartville’s annual, festive occasion hosts a plethora of activities, such as music, vendors, and the Ride the Fire Truck with Santa contest

eiv collage for year in review

Holidays at the Hollow Luncheon  December – Chamber’s Annual Holidays at the Hollow Luncheon featured One Bite Taste Event winners The Pierogi Lady, Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant, and Quail’s Covey Bed & Breakfast at Quail Hollow Park

All Year – Morning Connections Networking was hosted at Consumers National Bank on the first Wednesday of each month for a networking & education series

Press and Features:

Southwest MagazineThanks to Southwest Magazine for featuring our area in a well represented manner

About Magazine –  Thank you About Magazine for your piece on Downtown Hartville

Akron Life – Thank you Akron Life for featuring Hartville

New Day Cleveland –  Thank you New Day Cleveland for your piece on Hartville shopping, for the holidays

Stark County Visitor’s GuideThank you VisitCanton.com for featuring our area in the guide

Gift Local this Holiday Season!

We are inspired everyday by the work of our community emergency assistance program, named Lake Township F.I.S.H. (Faithfully I Serve Him).  This Holiday season, FISH is giving back in a number of ways to people in need in our community.  You can give them a helping hand throughout the season by participating in the Affordable Christmas program, as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas food drives.

What is Affordable Christmas?  As a Chamber of Commerce, we look at this program as a gift not only for those in need, but a gift back to our local community as well when gifts are purchased locally.  Affordable Christmas is a local shopping event on December 13 for lower-income, working-class families to provide their children fun and exciting gifts during the holiday affchristmasseason. Families are invited through partnering community organizations such as Lake Local Schools, Lake Township FISH and Stark County Family Council to attend the event and purchase new, unused gifts at 1/10 the cost of their original price. All gifts are intended for children and teens ages 0-16 years old.  Volunteer on Sunday December 13 from 3-6pm for this program, hosted at RiverTree Christian Church Lake Campus.

Local businesses are invited to place their own stock of toys and clothes at registers and encourage customers while they are checking out to purchase an extra item to donate to Affordable Christmas or host their own toy drive.  For a list of items Fill stockings for FISHneeded, click here.  Hartville Collectibles‘ new Children’s Boutique (located on the second floor) is participating in this program as well and toy drop-off locations are Best Bib and Tucker and Peace, Love and Little Donuts of Hartville.

On Tuesday, November 24, a group of local churches led by Hartville Mennonite Church gathered together to provide all of the ingredients of a traditional Thanksgiving meal to Lake Township residents referred by Lake Township FISH, Lake Center Christian School, Lake Local Schools and Greentown Elementary.   GentleBrook Event Center hosts the event and the children can make Thanksgiving cards while their parents select their ingredients.  Donors that made this event possible are Hartville Kitchen, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Hartville Church of the Brethren, Advent Lutheran Church, Bethany Mennonite Church, Church Upon the Rock, Adventure Place, Rivertree Lake, Maple Grove Mennonite Church, Uniontown United Methodist Church, East 12108809_741787219285765_8812601852599261478_nNimishillen Church of the Brethren, FISH, Solid Rock Church, St. Jacob’s Lutheran Church, Hartville Mennonite Church, Pole Position Marketing, GentleBrook and New Life Episcopal Church.  

Lake High School National Honor Society student Megan collaborated with FISH and local volunteers and employees from Pole Position Marketing and Best Bib and Tucker in our community to make 180 stockings that have been distributed throughout Lake Township shops to fill with donations.  Twice is Nice and Best Bib and Tucker are collecting items until November 30.  Those donations will stock the pantry shelves for the winter months when need is greater.  On December 7, the giving continues as a “Breakfast Food Drive” at Lake High School fills the stockings with the makings of a wonderful Christmas morning breakfast!

Lastly, stop on out to Evening in the Village in Historic Downtown Hartville on Sunday, December 6 from 4:30-7:00pm for a Lake Township tradition!  Tree lighting, visit with Santa, wagon rides, choirs, children’s activities, and downtown shops open! A collection site for Affordable Christmas and donations for Lake Township FISH will be available during the event.

Lake Township is known for its generous and giving nature.  Thank you, especially during this Thanksgiving week, for making this a great community for all!

 

Yoder Medical Gives Back

Yoder Medical, located in the Edison Park Plaza, has been “Outfitting The Medical Community And Beyond” since 1992.  We are a one-stop destination for medical supplies, uniforms, footwear and accessories.  We are also a family owned and community-minded business that has recently re-branded into a specialized community minded uniform boutique.  We pride ourselves on the ideology of giving back through our partnership with local non-profits such as the “Ronald McDonald House of Akron” and “Banded”.
We invite our customers to stop by “Annabelle’s Corner” for a Dansko shoe fitting; where each pair purchased results in a personal contribution made to the Ronald McDonald House of Akron on Annabelle’s behalf.  Annabelle is the name of owners’ Titus & Carla Yoder‘s granddaughter whose immediate family had an excellent experience with the organization while she was undergoing medical treatment.
Our accessory department shines with the addition of our Banded headband products.  This organization provides both fashionable and functional headbands while giving back through their partnership with Amazima Ministries.  For each product purchased, 3 meals are provided for the children in Uganda, making a difference for them.  As of June 2015, 1.8 million meals have been provided by Banded’s retail partners and consumers!IMG_0211
Why not make your purchase count by making a difference in someone else’s life?  We have enjoyed the concept and hope that you will too!  Stop by and see us at our Edison Park Plaza location and visit our Facebook page for our “Scrubs of the Week, Wacky Wednesday and Fun Fact Friday” posts to find out more about our promotions and new products!

Lifetime Achievement Award – Ellis Erb

Lifelong Lake Township resident Ellis Erb will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce at their Annual Leadership Awards Dinner on February 17, 2015, at the Hartville Kitchen. His keen philanthropic interests, combined with his business skills and building photo (3)knowledge, have enabled Mr. Erb to promote positive interests in our community for residents of all ages.

Founder of Ellis Erb, Inc., his commitment to our community remains strong.  He is currently serving his fourth term on the Board of Lake Township Trustees.  Even so, Mr. Erb’s desire to make a positive difference has been multi-generational.

His career began as a building contractor in residential and church construction. He was instrumental in the founding and development of the Lake Senior Center, serving as its first president.  He was one of the community leaders who helped purchase and design the Lake High School Athletic Complex.  He worked on all of the Lake Local Schools facility designs. Mr. Erb and his team built the 7-acre Alumni Field 2 lake high schoolHartville Hardware,  America’s largest independently owned hardware store.  Some of his other local well-known buildings are the Hartville Village Hall, Lake Center Christian High School, the Chapel in Marlboro, Consumers National Bank, Grinders Above & Beyond and Schoner Chevrolet.  The additions to the Hartville Church of the Brethren and Advent Lutheran Church are his work. He built the Edison Park Plaza, which included the True Value Hardware, and the nearby residential area. He developed the Indian Village residential allotment and the Cheviot Court Condominiums.ellis buildings

Mr. Erb served as Street Commissioner for the Village of Hartville for fifteen years. He was an active member of the Hartville Lions Club. Currently, Mr. Erb is a voting member of the Stark County Regional Planning Commission and the Stark County Township Association. He is a member of the National Association of Home Builders.

He and his wife Janice are members of Grace Brethren Church.  They have four children, ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

 

Contributions by:  Penelope Frederick, The Hartville News

Community Service Leadership Award – Crissy Mudd

Crissy Mudd continually  inspires her Teen Leaders at the Lake Community YMCA through her work as the Teen & Family Director.  The Lake Chamber will Crissy Mudd Community Service Awardhonor her with the Community Service Award at their Annual Leadership Award Dinner on Tuesday, February 17 at the Hartville Kitchen.  The Leadership Award is presented to an individual that has distinguished herself by selflessly demonstrating an act of community servitude, a spirit of volunteerism, uniting the community in a common goal, or raising awareness of an issue.

Mudd and her Teen Leaders partnered with GentleBrook clients to “Disable the Label” and Teen Leader Hunter Bussey stated  “We are making a difference and spreading the awareness to others about their choice of words that they use.  One small act of kindness can spread the wordmake a huge difference in someone’s life.  I am thankful to be in YMCA’s Leaders Club to take a stance!”

The majority of Crissy’s role at the Lake Community YMCA is with the Teen Leaders program.  Teen Leaders is a Middle School and High School program that meets bi-weekly to impact the community through service projects and volunteering.  They gain personal growth through experiencing leadership roles and responsibilities.  Last school year the program had over 2,400 service hours recorded.  Mudd stated, “We have one of the largest, if not the largest, Teen Leader programs in the state of Ohio. The best part is splatter scatter 1having the teens realize that no matter what it is that we do it is fun to help others and that we receive so much more than we give!  True happiness is found when you are serving others! ”  Mudd has been married to her high school sweetheart, Mark, for 24 years.  Together they have four children.

The family attends Rivertree Church where Mudd and her daughters serve in Treehouse Kids nursery, caring for children.

Contributions by:  Penelope Frederick, The Hartville News

 

Community Impact Award – Debbie Marshall

Lake High School Guidance Counselor Debbie Marshall impacted the Lake Township area and surrounding communities with the creation of Lake Community Cares.  Lake Community Cares is an educational support series to help families dealing with the crisis of addiction in our community.

Debbie Marshall Community Impact

When Lake High School counselor Debbie Marshall accepts the Community Impact award at the Lake Chamber of Commerce Award dinner on February 17, she has quite a story to tell about the need for intervention and education. Her involvement began with conversations with her friend and former colleague Jan Miller regarding the growing crisis. Certainly, Mrs. Marshall has been a driving force to educate our community. She attests to bringing on a broad range of professionals to help fight against addiction’s grip. As a result, in 2014 Lake Community Cares was formed.

To educate and support families about substance abuse in our community, the group had created a series of topics. “Gone but Not Forgotten” held in November, featured three Lake High School seniors, who had each lost a brother to heroin overdoses within a year. From L Taylor Alaina Amanda“Hidden in Plain Sight” held in January of this year was an interactive exhibit, showing more than 150 items, which may be found in a teenager’s room and may reflect addictions and risky behaviors. On February 23 the group will host a town hall meeting featuring Sheriff Maier and Judge Forchione. In addition, a support group for those suffering from addiction is in the planning stages.

The Stark County SOLACE (Surviving Our Loss And Continuing Everyday) group will be in Hartville for the next three months. Uniontown Police Department now has a drug drop off box. She hopes to continue providing educational support programs.

faces of the community for debbie marshall video

Mrs. Marshall has been with Lake Local Schools since 1997 and currently works with Junior & Senior Career Tech/Prep students.  She is a graduate of Kent State University, and has a Master’s Degree from Malone University in school counseling. She and her husband Joe have two children.

Congratulations to Debbie Marshall!

Contributions by:  Penelope Frederick The Hartville News

Economic Impact Award – Downtown Hartville Second Saturday Series

This year we have the privilege of honoring an organization of merchants who collaborated in a grassroots economic impact photo with titlescampaign to showcase and highlight the Historic Downtown Hartville area.  For its downtown revitalization efforts and support of arts and history, Tara Wiederman, Megan Wise and Emilie Ketcham representing the Downtown Hartville Merchants Association, are the recipients of the Economic Impact Award for the Second Saturday Series.  The trio will be honored at the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce Annual Leadership Awards Dinner on Tuesday, February 17 at the Hartville Kitchen.

The organization’s goal for the Second Saturday Series is to showcase the arts and history of their community and to create a gathering place for residents and visitors of all ages. Last year, they sidewalk sale Collage 1increased downtown visitors by 10% over the previous year’s project and 400% compared to a typical Saturday, translating to a 100% sales increase at downtown businesses during the event.

cars
This year, Arts in Stark has awarded grant dollars to help the organization further their goal to position Downtown Hartville as the history and arts center for the Village.  2015’s themes include sidewalk sale, Old Fashioned Days & Car Show, Get Out and Play Day and Art & Music Fest.  For more information on upcoming events, visit them at their website or on Facebook.

 

Contributions by Penelope Frederick, The Hartville News

 

Outstanding Business Professional of the Year – Sue Grabowski

We’d like to Congratulate and give a glimpse into the work of our Outstanding Business Professional for 2014, Sue Grabowski, President of Grabowski & Co. in Uniontown.  Sue will be honored at the Lake Township Chamber Leadership Awards Dinner on Tuesday, February 17 at the Hartville Kitchen.  Hands down, this is my favorite event of the year because it showcases the amazing community we serve and the incredible support these leaders receive from their colleagues, clients, family and friends.

Sue’s business has experienced incredible growth and accolades since the inception of Grabowski & Co. in 1997.  She remains humble and dedicated to her mission of staying true to helping her clients tell their stories through the power of the written word.

Sue is a Canton native and a 1991 graduate of Malone University with a degree in Communication Arts with a concentration on journalism. Early on, she gained experience at a local newspaper, Babcox Publications and Covington Communications, an Akron-based marketing communications firm, before joining Progressive Insurance in 1995 as a senior communications representative.

Sue left Progressive and launched Grabowski & Co. in 1997 in her home. Today, Grabowski & Co. is a strategic marketing communications firm that employs 21 and serves Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and nonprofits. Clients include The Timken Company, TimkenSteel, Veyance Technologies, Akron Children’s Hospital, Malone University, Premier Bank & Trust, Kenan Advantage Group and Morgan Engineering. In the past seven years, Grabowski & Co.’s work has garnered more than 60 local ADDY® Awards, including three “Best of Show” and four “Judge’s Award” honors.

Grabowski & Co. has been included on the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Weatherhead 100™ list of fastest-growing organizations in northeast Ohio. The company also received a 2010 Business Excellence Award from the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Sue is a graduate of Leadership Stark County. She currently serves on the board of Pathway Caring for Children, Mobile Meals of Summit County, Absolute Hospice and Indigo Ink Press. She is on the Development Committee at Lake Center Christian School. She  also is a member of the Business Excellence Award Committee of the Canton Regional Chamber of  Commerce and formerly served as Board Secretary for the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce.

Sue has been married to Leonard for 20 years. Her proudest productions are her three children – Abbi, 17;  Mitch, 14; and Zane, 10. The family lives in Uniontown.