Miller Boat Line wins business of the year Featured

Back row (L-R): Lee Janik III (Clutch Tactical Fly Rods), Joe Rudolph (Clutch Tactical Fly Rods), Greg Peiffer (WPCR), Bob Babjack (Chipmatic), Chuck Miller (Baumann’s), Jeff Sondles (Lib. Aviation Museum), Brad Corbin (Sloopy’s). Front row (L-R): Cheryll Rose (Miller Boat Line), Marie Babjack (Chipmatic), Loretta Paul (accepting on behalf of Ray St. Marie w/ Rayz Café), Jan Pugh (Packer Creek Pottery)

On Thursday, April 3, the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation held their 2014 Business & Industry Awards. Overall, the Business of the Year award was presented to Miller Boat Line. Other categories of awards included Small, Medium and Large Business of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Economic Development Partner of the Year, the Bill Mack Award, Personal Achievement Award and Volunteer of the Year. The awards were made by Ferguson Gallery in Marblehead and Mary’s Blossom Shoppe in Port Clinton provided the center piece flower arrangements for the awards.

Nominated for Small Business of the Year were WPCR-Port Clinton Radio and Sloopy’s Sports Café. To qualify for a small business there must be 1-25 employees. WPCR is the North Coast’s only radio station heard on the internet. After their first year on the web, WPCR had over 203,000 visitors with regular visitors from 36 states. WPCR also did live stream television coverage of the Battle of Lake Erie Reenactment. Sloopy’s Sports Café is a locally owned business in Lakeside. Sloopy’s competes in pizza competitions throughout the United States. They are part of the U.S. Pizza Team and have recently won Best Pepperoni Pizza at the fourth annual Rotary Pizza Challenge.

WPCR-Port Clinton Radio won the title of Small Business of the Year.

Medium business nominations included Biro Manufacturing and Chipmatic Tool and Machine. A medium business is defined by 26-75 employees. Biro Manufacturing produced the first BIRO Power Meat, Fish and Bone Cutter. Today, Biro Manufacturing manufactures reliable food processing equipment. They will be participating in the annual American Association of Meat Processors convention at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. Chipmatic Tool and Machine provides a range of customized services and specializes in tool and die, production machining and custom machine design and build. Starting out with only 8 employees, Chipmatic Tool and Machine now employs over 70.

Chipmatic Tool and Machine won title of Medium Business of the Year.

Miller Boat Line and Baumann Auto Group were both nominated for Large Business of the Year. A large business marks 75 or more employees. Miller Boat Line transports passengers and vehicles to Middle Bass Island and Put-In-Bay. It is a great partner for the Lake Erie Islands promoting information on activities, attractions and events throughout the region. The Ohio State University Marching Band traveled on the Miller Ferry for the Battle of Lake Erie events. Miller Boat Line also sponsored the Flagship “Niagara” during the Battle of Lake Erie Celebration in 2013. Baumann Auto Group has dealerships in Port Clinton and Genoa in Ottawa County. Baumann’s raised $73,090 at its 2013 Annual Big Charity Raffle. Over the past 11 years, Baumann’s Charity Raffle has raised $678,937 for local charities. Baumann’s was awarded the 2012 Mark of Excellence Award from Buick and Cadillac.

Baumann Auto Group won title of Large Business of the Year.

Other awards

Economic Development Partner Award

•Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton

Entrepreneurial Award

•Clutch Tactical Fly Rods in Portage Township

Bill Mack Award

•Ray St. Marie of Rayz Café in Genoa

Personal Achievement Award

•Jan Pugh of Packer Creek Pottery in Genoa

There was also an award honoring the contributions of the late mayor of Elmore, Lowell Krumnow. Mayor Lowell Krumnow served as Elmore’s Mayor for 22 years and was a great supporter for the community. He was the founding member of the Elmore Historical Society and created Grub’n’Suds Motorcycle Rally in effort to raise money for the historical society. He also created the Tombstone Derby which has been held for the last 9 years and reflected Krumnow’s love of Halloween. Mayor Krumnow will always be remembered for his love of Elmore and Ottawa County.

Criteria for these awards include: quality of products and service, customer satisfaction, employee benefits and training, marketing initiatives, expansion efforts to create and retain jobs, community involvement and overall excellence.

Executive Director, Jamie Beier Grant stated that the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation is a strategic resource for business leaders. They have a revolving loan fund program, an economic garden which addresses strategic growth issues; they also help with hiring and training needs as well as help with communications.

For more information about the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation visit

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