The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jul. 29, 2021

Independent staff and submitted information

OAKWOOD –Cooper Farms announces new, higher pay scale, paid-time-off (PTO) at hire, and a new option for flexible part-time work. The current job market is like nothing most Americans have ever seen, so Cooper Farms’ recently announced changes with the hope they will attract new team members and show appreciation to the team already on board. 

Full-time production team members at the egg and turkey processing locations are now starting out at a competitive wage of $15.25 or higher per hour, with PTO immediately at hire. Farm positions may vary, based on the skill and labor involved, but now start at $14.25 and increase from there.

“Looking at our competition, we think this $15 range is really what people are searching for when they’re exploring new opportunities,” said Gary Cooper, COO of Cooper Farms. “And the lack of paid time off during the first year at many new jobs is always a frustration, so we believe that will be attractive to people as well.” 

With flexibility being such a high demand, especially with the younger crowd, the company is introducing a new Flexible Part-Time position at their St. Henry and Van Wert plants, in which new team members can work whenever they are able on a part-time basis. While the program comes with a lower starting wage and minimal benefits, it will be ideal for many people out there. 

“There are a number of people out there that can’t work a consistent 40-plus hour work week because of many different reasons,” said Cooper. “For example, maybe they’re only available Tuesdays and Fridays, or maybe they want to be home when their kids get on or off the bus for school, but they do want to work. Those are the people we hope to bring in to fill these roles.” 

Cooper believes it’s important to embrace the opportunity for change, rather than attempt to combat it. 

“The market is extremely unique right now,” said Cooper. “We hope by choosing to adapt to the current situation instead of fighting against it, we can really bring in a new, large group of team members to join our team.” 

On top of these new changes, Cooper Farms is also offering new-hire bonuses to CDL drivers and maintenance team members, and a higher referral bonus program. To explore open opportunities, visit cooperfarms.com/joinourteam.

POSTED: 07/21/21 at 9:47 pm. FILED UNDER: Business, News

Staff and submitted information

Terry Simson

Gordon Law Office announces the hiring of Terry Simson as an attorney in the office.

Simson, a 2009 graduate of Van Wert High School, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in international affairs from Eastern Michigan University and her law degree from Ohio Northern University’s Pettit College of Law. She was admitted to the Ohio Bar in December 2020. 

Simson is looking forward to providing legal representation in Van Wert, where she grew up.

Gordon Law Office provides legal representation in criminal defense, domestic and juvenile matters, personal injury, bankruptcy, and other matters. 

“We look forward to expanding the practice and welcome Terry to the firm,” said Scott Gordon principal attorney.

POSTED: 05/08/21 at 12:43 am. FILED UNDER: Business

Staff and submitted information

Local attorney John E. Hatcher announces the relocation of his private legal practice to 120 W. Main St. in Van Wert. 

John Hatcher

The new office is located on the first floor, with the entrance on the Jefferson Street side of the building. Hatcher’s areas of practice include family law, business law, estate planning, personal injury, and civil litigation. He is currently accepting new clients; appointments can be made by calling 419.771.1280, and either he or his assistant, Ashley, will assist callers.

Hatcher is a 1991 graduate of Wayne Trace High School, a 1996 graduate of The Ohio State University, and a 1999 graduate of Petit College of Law at Ohio Northern University. He was a partner in the Hatcher and Hatcher law firm from 2004 until this year, with offices here in Van Wert. Since 2012, Hatcher has also served as the Van Wert city law director. 

POSTED: 04/23/21 at 10:51 pm. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

First Federal of Van Wert announces the election of Patrick J. Jackson to its Board of Directors. Jackson was elected at the annual meeting on January 20, and will join other directors, including Michael T. Cross, Paul Svabik, J. Andrew Czajkowski, Brian Renner, and Randy Myers.

Pat Jackson

Jackson is currently chief operations officer at National Door & Trim. Prior to that, he had worked at Central Mutual Insurance Company for nearly 20 years, holding various management positions including vice president and regional manager.

Jackson is a Van Wert High School graduate and a graduate of Bowling Green State University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, as well as a Master of Business Administration degree.

Jackson and his wife, Shanann, have four children, Allyson, Abbygaile, Tyson, and Nathan.  He and his family attend First United Methodist Church in Van Wert.  

Jackson has been active in the community, which includes being a board member and classroom consultant for Junior Achievement of Van Wert County for over 20 years. 

“The Board and I are excited for Pat to join our organization. He adds a lot of expertise and business experience to First Federal. Pat is a community-minded person that understands our mission to help the Van Wert community thrive,” said First Federal President Brian Renner. “We are proud of our service and commitment to Van Wert and Pat only strengthens that mission.” 

First Federal of Van Wert is a locally owned and operated institution that has been serving the Van Wert community since 1893. First Federal has been ranked as a 5-star financial institution for more than seven years. First Federal was also honored in 2020 as one of the top 200 Healthiest Banks by DepositAccount.com (a subsidiary of Lending Tree).  

POSTED: 02/12/21 at 10:55 pm. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

ROCKFORD — Ohio marketing agency Brand It Marketing has received another first-place award for Best of Region VI through the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA). The Region VI first-place award is for the work the firm produced for its client, Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM), in the category of three‐dimensional direct mail for dealers, distributors, sales reps, or others serving agribusiness category. 

The award‐winning “Party in a Box” direct mail piece was developed — from concept to production to distribution — by the creative team at Brand It Marketing for client ABM, which was celebrating its 20th anniversary of being in business when the COVID‐19 pandemic hit. 

Due to COVID regulations, ABM was unable to celebrate its 20th anniversary in‐person with employees, customers, and friends, so the Brand It Marketing team developed the unique and exciting concept of a “Party in a Box” filled with all things fun and relevant to help celebrate ABM’s milestone anniversary. 

The boxes included everything from branded hats to confetti poppers to peanuts straight from Georgia using ABM’s own highly-sought‐after product. Paired with each item in the box was a handwritten message from ABM’s CEO, which had significant and heartfelt meaning, aiding in the celebrating of 20 years. 

“This project gave us the opportunity to help a client of ours connect and bring extra joy to their own clients in 2020 — which felt like quite the blessing, given the circumstances,” said Twyla Hayes, co-founder and creative director for Brand It Marketing.

The “Best of NAMA” honors and awards the best of the best in agricultural marketing communications. All submissions to NAMA are evaluated for agricultural marketing effectiveness and creativity and are hand‐selected by a panel of roughly 50 industry experts. The Best of NAMA competition originated in 1988 to honor outstanding work by NAMA members, while educating members of the agriculture industry and featuring top‐of‐the‐line advertising. These awards have helped to raise the quality of the agricultural industry’s overall communication efforts throughout the years. 

POSTED: 02/12/21 at 12:07 am. FILED UNDER: Business

BLUFFTON — GROB is searching for highly motivated individuals looking to start their career in manufacturing and is hosting an open interview event on Saturday, February 27, from 8-11 a.m., at its facility in Bluffton. GROB is looking to fill the following positions:

  • Electrical Final Assembly Technician
  • Electrical Panel Assembler
  • Electrical Panel Tagging Specialist
  • Final Assembly Technician
  • Fluids Technician
  • Electrical Debug Technician
  • Sub-Assembly Technician

Those interested in attending the hiring event can learn more and register at www.joingrob.com/interview. Interview timeslots are limited, and pre-registration is required due to COVID-19. 

POSTED: 02/04/21 at 7:47 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Central Insurance has announced the appointment of Romel Salam to its Board of Directors, effective February 22.    

Romel Salam

Salam has over 30 years of actuarial and risk management experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry. In his current position as principal at RubiQon Risk & Insurance Services, Salam is focused on implementing a partnership approach to risk management and creating a means where customers will benefit from both advanced technology and comprehensive risk management solutions within cyber insurance. 

Salam’s previous experience in the industry includes chief risk officer of Validus Holdings, a leading global provider of insurance, reinsurance and asset management services. In this role, he was responsible for the design and implementation of the group’s Enterprise Risk Management strategy, including the management of the group’s expansive catastrophe portfolio. 

He also spent three years as chief risk officer and chief actuary for Validus Reinsurance in Bermuda. Prior to joining Validus Re in 2010, he was a senior vice president for Transatlantic Reinsurance in New York, where he spent 20 years in positions of increasing responsibility spanning the pricing, reserving and business intelligence functions.  

Salam holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Brooklyn College, CUNY. He is a fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. 

The Central Mutual Insurance Company was founded in Van Wert 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 24 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 $1.7 billion. Central’s A.M. Best rating is A (Excellent).

POSTED: 02/04/21 at 7:43 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

The National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC) recently selected Jim Tomlinson, a driver for Store and Haul Inc. of Van Wert, as one of this year’s team of “drivers of the year.”

“As a recipient of his prestigious award, Mr. Jim Tomlinson joins a very elite group that represent the very best of our 125,000 drivers,” said NATCS Executive Vice President Buster Anderson. “Store and Haul Inc. is very proud of their drivers and should be very proud of themselves as well. It says a lot about a company when they can attract and keep employees of this caliber.”

Shown are (from the left) Store and Haul Inc. Safety Director Jeff Hobson, driver Jim Tomlinson, and company CEO David Rager. photo provided

Tomlinson has driven for Store and Haul Inc. for more than 21 years and has accumulated more than 1.8 million accident-free miles.

Because of COVID-19 concerns, the awards ceremony had to be canceled, but NASTC is looking forward to honoring Tomlinson and the other drivers of the year at its next annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee, on November 5.

NASTC represents more than 13,000 trucking companies in the U.S. and Canada that employ more than 125,000 drivers collectively.

POSTED: 02/02/21 at 10:30 pm. FILED UNDER: Business

The employees of Alexander & Bebout Inc. and Kitchens, Inc. held their 13th annual food drive in conjunction with A & B’s Christmas party. Employees collected 188 food items during the drive, while games played at the drive-thru Christmas party netted a $380 contribution to the United Methodist Co-operative Ministries Food Bank, in addition to the food donation. Shown are (from the left) Charlie Salway, Cody Delong, Teresa Parrish, Kristen Lange, Sara Zura, Ann Ream, and Brad Ream. photo provided

POSTED: 01/12/21 at 11:19 pm. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert Manor recently received the President’s Award from HCF Management. HCF Management, Van Wert Manor’s corporate partner, recently presented its annual performance awards. 

The President’s Award is determined by several criteria. Two annual winners are chosen from all Ohio and Pennsylvania facilities. Criteria for the award include customer service, financial performance, activities, the facility’s volunteer program, as well as local community involvement.

Van Wert Manor Administrator Jacque Welch (left) and Director of Nursing Jackie Hernandez are shown with HCF’s President’s Award.

Within the last five years, Van Wert Manor has been awarded the Facility of the Year award; Silver Achievement in Quality award, Deficiency Free award, HCFs Chairman’s award, Humanitarian of the Year award; and the Barb Masella Quality award. Van Wert Manor also received a certificate of recognition for having the lowest employee turnover within HCF Management for 2018. 

“We are excited to receive these awards from our corporate partner, HCF Management,” said Van Wert Manor Administrator Jacque Welch. “Despite 2020 being a challenging year, I cannot be more proud of my team. I want to thank our residents, staff, and community alike for continuing to support us.” 

HCF Management, Health Care Facilities, based in Lima, currently serves nearly 3,000 care community residents and employs more than 4,000 employees. There are nearly 350 employees who have been with the company for 20 years, and 22 have been with the company for 40 or more years.

The President’s Award is determined by several criteria. Two annual winners are chosen from all Ohio and Pennsylvania facilities. Criteria for the award include customer service, financial performance, activities, the facility’s volunteer program, as well as local community involvement.

Within the last five years, Van Wert Manor has been awarded the Facility of the Year award; Silver Achievement in Quality award, Deficiency Free award, HCFs Chairman’s award, Humanitarian of the Year award; and the Barb Masella Quality award. Van Wert Manor also received a certificate of recognition for having the lowest employee turnover within HCF Management for 2018. 

“We are excited to receive these awards from our corporate partner, HCF Management,” said Van Wert Manor Administrator Jacque Welch. “Despite 2020 being a challenging year, I cannot be more proud of my team. I want to thank our residents, staff, and community alike for continuing to support us.” 

HCF Management, Health Care Facilities, based in Lima, currently serves nearly 3,000 care community residents and employs more than 4,000 employees. There are nearly 350 employees who have been with the company for 20 years, and 22 have been with the company for 40 or more years.

POSTED: 01/08/21 at 11:14 pm. FILED UNDER: Business