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Economic development group honors local excellence

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    More than 200 attend the 2016 Medina County Economic Development Corp.’s business awards program Tuesday at Westfield Insurance’s Blair Conference Center in Westfield Center.



A mix of businesses was recognized Tuesday night by the Medina County Economic Development Corp. in its 2016 business awards program.

Four local companies received special honors and 25 were saluted at the event attended by more than 200 at Westfield Insurance’s Blair Conference Center in Westfield Center.

The nonprofit development group’s executive director, Bethany Dentler, told the audience that the awards program was in its 13th year and is “the most visible event we have.”

She called it a celebration of some of the best work being done among 7,000 businesses in the county.

Dentler said that in the last four years, the development group has helped with capital investment in a variety of areas totaling $265 million and creating 1,500 jobs.

The group fielded 61 nominations for four awards — Business Growth, Outstanding Community Advocate, Capital Investment and Entrepreneur of the Year.

The 61 nominees were pared down to 25 semifinalists.

The winners:

  • Business Growth — ID Images, led by chief executive officer Brian Gale. It was founded in 1995 and has been based in Brunswick since 2000. The label manufacturer employs 192, more than double its total three years ago.

Nominees: All Fasteners USA; Home Appliance Sales and Service of Brunswick; Mapleside Farms of Brunswick.

  • Outstanding Community Advocate — Ameri-Cal Corp. of Medina, a maker of adhesives. Led by operations manager Jessica Heid, the company has supported Cathy’s House, served on the Summit-Medina Workforce Investment Board and hosted the Jack B. Newman Golf Tournament to support the Medina Hospital Foundation.

Nominees: American Hospitality Group; Jeff Holland; Lodi Hospital; Pamela Miller; Ritzman Pharmacy; Spokes Caf←; The Gazette.

  • Capital Investment — Akro-Mils of Wadsworth, which invested $9 million in 2015 and added 62 jobs. The award was accepted by plant manager Jim Daw.

Nominees: Clampco; Environmental Controls; High & Low Winery; North Gateway Tire; Remington Products; Valley City Builders Supply.

  • Entrepreneur of the Year — Lowbrow Customs of Brunswick, an aftermarket motorcycle parts supplier in Brunswick. Founder Tyler Malinky accepted the award.

Nominees: Chill Ice Cream; JMT Group; McJak Candy; Medina Plating Corp.; The Alternative Board Western Reserve.

Judges were Mark Dorman, president of Dorman Legacy Advisors; Barbara Dzur, Gerspacher Real Estate; Travis Crane, TGC Engineering; Bob Businger, Panther Premium Logistics; and Christine Bowman-Fullard, Just Mike’s Jerky.

Westfield Bank was the evening’s sponsor.

The chairman of the organization’s board development committee, Frank Festi, was honored for 30 years of service. He is leaving the board at the end of the year.

During a brief business meeting, the group re-elected Stacy Bonitz, Amy Demlow and Troy Gerspacher to its board. New board members named were: American Hospitality Group; Blair Rubber; First Energy; Pleasant Valley Companies; Rea & Associates; and The Ruhlin Co.

Contact Managing Editor Lawrence Pantages at (330) 721-4065 or

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