Lake Township Year in Review | 2016

2016 was a year full of many exciting additions to our community and an abundance of growth for Lake Township. Not only have we witnessed tremendous community accomplishments this year, but also the addition of a two new logos and our new slogan “A warm welcome every time!”  We are looking forward to releasing our new Discover Hartville website and a flourishing 2017 in a new office location and partnership!

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Openings, Expansions & Ribbon Cuttings:

Meet the Mayor – JanuaryIntroduction of Hartville Village‘s new Mayor and tour of Village Hall and the Hartville Police Department.

Family & Community Services of Hartville – February – The RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) is now in Hartville and is a great new addition for seniors!

Beginnings Salon & Day Spa – March – Celebration of the newly expanded salon services at this beautifully restored barn.

Snags & Wags Barkery (Historic Downtown Hartville) – April – Offers a wide range of healthy dog treats and fashionable pet-wares.

Lynn Michelle Design (Historic Downtown Hartville) – April – Architecturally salvaged pieces and antiques can be found at this new, timeless shop.

Pizza Bogo (Historic Downtown Hartville) – April – This new pizza shop offers a variety of world gourmet-pizzas ranging from the BBQ chicken to the Morocco pizza. 

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GentleBrook’s Young Adult Center – May – A new space for young adults 15+ that is host to areas for basketball, volleyball, and a space for live music. 

Sommers Market – June – Rebranded from R Grocery Outlet and renovated, Sommers Market is home to discount groceries, produce, a deli, and convenience items.  

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Sarah’s Market Fresh Grill – July – The newly renovated Sarah’s Market Fresh Grill features cafeteria style dining which includes hot food, grab-and-go meals, quick snacks, and refreshing beverages.

Erin’s Euphoria – August – The renovation features a new space for yoga that is both full of energy and serenity. 

Lake High School “H.O.T.” Spot (Hands-On Technology) – SeptemberA tour of the new technology program at Lake High School and a highlight of the Career Tech Programs available to students.

Pegasus Farm’s Country Store and Gardens – October – The new expansion features naturally-grown vegetables which generates revenue for Pegasus Farm’s programs.

Eaton Travel – November – A full-service travel agency that provides a free service for world-wide travel for packages booked.
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Events: 

Annual Leadership Awards Dinner – February –  The Chamber’s Annual Leadership Awards Dinner, hosted at Hartville Kitchen, featured news anchor Robin Swoboda and honored five community award winners. 
View More: http://rachelelisabethphotography.pass.us/chamber-of-commerce

Second SaturdayJune through September – A multi-themed Historic Downtown Hartville event that showcased local art, food, vendors and a Youth Music Showcase.

Hall of Fame Village Tour – JulyWe enjoyed a special sneak peek at the progress of the exciting Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village project at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

FAM Tour – July – We welcomed visitors from the Visit Canton FAM Tour and shared the highlights of a visit to Lake Township!

Uniontown Lions Festival and Bicentennial Celebration – July – The Uniontown Lions Festival partnered with the Bicentennial Committee to celebrate the township’s 200th birthday with a parade, performances, and a family-fun festival.

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Step Back to the 1940’s Swing Dance Event – July  Hartville Hardware, Hartville MarketPlace, and the Chamber teamed up to present a Bicentennial-themed event at the Uniontown Lions Festival.

Member Appreciation Party – August – Hosted at the MAPS Air Museum, the member appreciation party brought together members from the Lake, North Canton and Green Chambers for a networking event. 

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Lake Community Tailgate Party – September – Taking place at the Hartville Marketplace & Flea Market, this event helped bring the community together in support of the Lake High School band, and youth cheerleaders and football team.

Groundbreaking for Lake Local Schools – September – Lake Local’s new Grades 2-6 building and improvements and renovations at Uniontown Elementary, Lake High School and Lake Middle School are underway and the 2018-19 classes will enjoy new or renovated facilities for the 21st century learner!

Leadership Stark County Bus Tour -April & October – We welcomed guests from Leadership Stark County’s Class and professionals from Stark County to highlight the economic development and industry in Lake Township.

One Bite Taste EventOctober – A Chamber taste event featuring local restaurants and businesses.  This year we welcomed twice as many guests and added an exciting panel of culinary professionals to judge the “Best Bite.”  First Place was award to Quail’s Covey Bed & Breakfast in both the Judge’s Choice & People’s Choice Awards, with Kat’s Bake Shop and SOL Pie Pizza placing second and third, respectively.

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Evening in the VillageDecember – Hartville’s annual, festive occasion, which features a plethora of activities, such as tree lighting, music, vendors, story time on the train, and the Ride the Fire Truck with Santa contest.

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Holiday Luncheon – December – A chamber networking event hosted at Quail Hollow Park, catered by the One Bite Taste Event winner, Quail’s Covey Bed & Breakfast.

Stakeholder – January, May, and September – A breakfast update between the Board of Directors of the Lake Chamber and approximately 50 stakeholders within the community.  Our hosts in 2016 included Cocoa Concepts, Inc., 650P Office Suites Small Business Center and Hartville Tool.com.

Meet our Community Workforce Development Leadership Award Winner, Men’s Challenge

The Lake Township Chamber presents the Community Workforce Development award for the creation of Men’s Challenge, a local non-profit organization that serves a population in need in our region.  Part six in our blog series honoring our Leadership Award recipients focuses on this Christ centered multi-step program which empowers men to take up their God-given roles as providers and protectors of the family.

Men’s Challenge was launched in February of 2012, when three Christian men, Ray Hall, Paul Dykshoorn and Gil Goodwin, felt led to pray for an avenue that would help bring men to the understanding that God has placed in them a purpose for their work. Ed Carter, current Chairman of the Board, was asked to pray for an organization that would engage experienced, hard-working men to pour into young men who hadn’t Mens'sChallengePaulyet learned the blessings of working.  The vision was to create a place where these seasoned men could invest in the next generation of employees. “But it was going to be more that that…it was a place where those men could pour into them the love and teachings of Christ. I have been a mentor, a teacher, board member and now I am currently the Chairman of the Board,” Ed stated. He continued, “Many men don’t understand the principle of hard work, they are not taught this; They view work as something evil, a means to an end even. But God never intended that to be the case, God intended man to work, to find pleasure…yes it would be hard, but it would be purposeful. To provide, to achieve, to accomplish…those are blessings of God found in our work.”

The concept was church-focused from the outset. The Men’s Challenge founders view the local church as the hope of the world and a natural partner to Men’s Challenge. They believe that the church body consists of quality older men with Christ at their core, who are equipped to mentor the program’s participants.  DSCN0087The organization, currently supported by four local churches, gives credit to Consumers Bank for understanding the unique financial and legal situations of the men participating in the program and for offering services that are custom-tailored to their needs. Ed noted, “Consumers Bank is rooted in this community and committed to its success.”

“We really believe that God is doing great things through Men’s Challenge, and in both Alliance and Canton, we have been openly received,” stated Ed. The organization has seen great growth since day one and they are currently streamlining their processes and identifying ways to be more effective in helping participants. They note plenty of growth opportunities in surrounding areas such as Massillon, Akron and others, but have Chainsaw Classresisted the temptation to grow too fast. They believe they must be sustainable if they hope to continue to impact the communities where they are active.

Men who are interested in involvement, either as mentors or as participants, can call one of the offices in Canton, 330-754-6203, or Alliance, 330-821-6367. There is an intake process that needs to be completed to help identify any barriers to employment, but interested men are also welcome to attend any class on a walk-in basis. They currently have a need for mentors at both locations.

For more information on Men’s Challenge, visit their website.

Meet our Economic Impact Award Winners | Troyer Corporation, Comfort Suites Hartville

We are excited to introduce our Leadership Award Winners, who will be recognized Tuesday, February 23 at our Annual Leadership Awards Dinner held at the Hartville Kitchen.  Part four in our Leadership Award Winners Blog Series features the Troyer Corporation, this year’s recipient of the Economic Impact Award.  The Economic Impact Award is presented to David Troyer, President and Nathan Stambaugh, Director of Operations in recognition of their vision, commitment and dedication to the community which impacts job growth, enhances tourism and sustains the economic growth and viability of Lake Township.

The Troyer Corporation was initially attracted to the Hartville area 10 years ago, after taking note of the destination presence of the HRM Corporation, through Hartville Hardware, Hartville MarketPlace and Hartville Kitchen, which together attract 2 million visitors to town, annually.

Hotel2With 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, The Troyer Corporation’s hospitality expertise brought to life a vision for having a hotel in Hartville and Lake Township that would enhance the tourism experience here. The addition of Comfort Suites Hartville is one that will impact the community and local economy for years to come.

Demonstrating a strong commitment to the community and a willingness to collaborate with local businesses, parks and community organizations as well, The Troyer Corporation epitomizes all that is valued in this community. Because of their contribution to the community, through the willing participation of employees and management, and the sincerity and generosity of the entire organization, they are our 2016 recipient of the Economic Impact Award.

“This property’s guest service is exceptional due to our staff’s demonstration and understanding of the culture of the community, stated David Troyer, President.  Our high expectations have been exceeded.”  He continued, “they understand and identify with the guests, which provides a valuable connection.”  

After opening in May 2015, guests were able to see examples of their high standards: Instead of ordering standard hotel furniture (made overseas) through a supplier, the Troyer Corporation was determined to procure locally-made furniture, and other building materials through local businesses. While this increased the overall cost, they felt strongly about the local community partnerships and that the excellent craftsmanship sets them apart from others. The quality finishes in the hotel reflect the history and culture of Hartville and Lake Township. They credit our Chamber as a part of their successful entry into our community, citing the connections and support it has provided since day one.

LobbyDuring the planning, David Troyer and Director of Operations, Nathan Stambaugh, were involved in every aspect, making specific changes to the architectural plans to increase operational excellence and efficiency and other key changes toward enhancing the guest experience, the guest- staff connection and overall morale. They made additional alterations to enhance the guest experience by increasing the soundproofing between adjacent rooms and in the ceilings between the four floors.

Guests enjoy access to a park adjacent to the hotel, as well as the driveway leading to the Hartville Kitchen and HRM campus.  Guests who visit the hotel are provided with a Discover Hartville map and Visitors’ Guide and can access an electronic ExploreBoard to plan their itinerary and get directions to local shopping, dining and attractions.

 

For more  information on Comfort Suites Hartville, visit their website or Facebook page.  

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.

 

 

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

 

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.

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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.

A Networking Story: ONE Bite Taste Event – A Year Later, Partnerships have Grown & Prospered

As we started planning this year’s One Bite Taste Event for the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce, the same theme kept popping up in our brainstorming session.  It was the absolute success of the networking that occurred at last year’s event.  Introductions were made, mutual interests were realized, partnerships were created.  Like I’ve never seen in my 7.5 years at the Chamber.

What is it about our members that made this so naturally occur?  I’ve said this for a while now, and it’s pretty simple.  They’re here to see what they can give, not what they can get.  They don’t come with a mindset of what’s in it for them, they’re genuinely interested in who they will meet and what they can learn.  It’s a beautiful thing to watch.  And it makes me so proud to be a part of this business community.

I’d like to share a story from that evening of a partnership that has grown and prospered over the past year with two of our member businesses.  Lisa & Alan Frank, owners of Ermanno’s Pizza in North Canton, connected with Rudy Moyer, Master Gardener at GentleBrook Farms during the event.  Lisa tells their story below:

alan rudy at gentlebrook“This was an opportunity that worked out the way all great things do—unexpected and at just the right time. We met Rudy Moyer at One Bite, an event through the Lake Chamber. As he talked excitedly about his parsley pesto (It’s seriously some good stuff!) and explained to us what he did and his connection with GentleBrook, we knew the stars had aligned, and we had met someone who was not only a master in his field, but had a true passion for making a difference through his work. We learned about GentleBrook and the delicious things they were planting and harvesting. This connection literally helped pave the direction we were heading. We wanted to source locally, support locally and work with others who were just as passionate in our business.  This sums up Rudy and his GentleBrook horticulture team perfectly.

You almost just want to capture Rudy’s love for his horticulture team and his work in a photo. We can taste this local love and hardworking passion in the lettuce, basil, spinach and arugula that Rudy and his GentleBrook team grows and harvests for us. We are continuously collaborating with Rudy and his team on different, unique items for our pizzas and salads. Do you know how many different kinds of basil there are? Do you know that arugula just isn’t “arugula”? There are different kinds based on where you live? Have you ever tasted a Mexican Sour Gherkin or seen a tie-dyed tomato or nibbled on Swiss chard straight from the garden, bit into a ghost pepper (Now that will wake you up!)

After a morning with Rudy and his team, we felt like we had just traveled the world and took our palates on a wild ride. We use arugula, basil (Arat, Genovese, Thai and Purple Ruffles), cilantro, lettuce, spinach and a variety of dried herbs all year and seasonal items when available. But we are actively working with10533271_704886176213310_5631071886302582614_n Rudy and discussing our needs for year-round produce. We are so excited about how much this beautiful partnership has blossomed in just one year and can’t wait to see how it evolves in years to come.

All this in just ONE BITE of Rudy’s parsley pesto? OK—we may have eaten way too much of that parsley pesto! But it was so worth it!   In more ways than one.  That’s why we will return to the One Bite event this year!”

For more information on Ermanno’s Pizza, go to www.ermannospizza.com (they are changing their name soon to SOL Pie Pizza) and GentleBrook, go to www.gentlebrook.org.  Interested in attending or participating in the One Bite Taste Event?  Call Christa Kozy at 330.877.5500 or visit Lake Chamber’s website.

ermannos to sol