The Ottawa County Improvement Corporation held its annual Business and Industry Awards at Gideon Owen Wine Company last Thursday evening, honoring the stellar efforts of community businesses and leaders.
Lakelynn Design was named Entrepreneur of the Year. When the pandemic hit and small businesses were informed they had to shut down, owner Abbie Fox had to think fast and come up with a different way to reach her customers.
An “out of the box” idea came to her: “Since my customers can’t come to me, I’ll come to them.” Fox drove all throughout Ottawa County and dropped off boxes filled with handpicked quality boutique items. Thus, Lakelynn Design’s Sail Box was created.
Lakelynn Design in downtown Port Clinton features gifts, jewelry and accessories made by other small businesses. Justin Moore, OCIC Board Treasurer, presented the award.
Three Ottawa County healthcare partners were awarded the Economic Development Partner Award. The Ottawa County Emergency Management Agency, Ottawa County Health Department and Magruder Hospital teamed up to go above and beyond to keep the local business community, as well as the public, well-informed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Throughout the vaccine distribution process, Ottawa County consistently lead Ohio with the highest population percentage vaccinated. This was no easy task, but suffice it to say, because of the efforts of the three organizations, Ottawa County got it right.
Jim Stouffer, OCIC Board Secretary, presented the award to Mike Drusbacky with the Ottawa County EMA, Jerry Bingham with the Ottawa County Health Department, and Nick Marsico with Magruder Hospital.
Bayside Comfort was named Business of the Year. Bayside Comfort wanted to do its part to support the same communities that have supported them over the last 30 years. Bayside Comfort reallocated their marketing funds to put together a Shop Local campaign to help the businesses that had been affected by the coronavirus.
For every gift card purchased from a local restaurant, nail salon, hair stylist or gym, Bayside matched it. Its campaign was a huge success and $16,000 was put back into the local business community.
Bayside Comfort provides homeowners and business owners with professional home comfort services including HVAC, indoor air quality, and water heaters. Craig Trick, OCIC Board Past-President, presented the award to owner Andy Schlotterer.
The Bill Mack Business Leader Award was posthumously presented to Joy Roth, founder of the Ottawa County Community Foundation. Her passion for the mission of Ottawa County Community Foundation and her infinite energy have grown it into a vibrant Community Foundation with $10 million in assets and over 90 established funds.
Ken Williams, OCIC Board President, presented the award to Joy’s husband Jeff, their daughter Alison, and their son Walker. Williams reminisced about Joy, who passed away unexpectedly last Summer.
“Whenever we (OCIC) had an idea that we thought could work, the first thing Joy would ask . . . Is it going to benefit Ottawa County? While explaining the idea to her, without hesitation, she would respond with: We’re in,” Williams said. “Joy truly was a shining star, and we are forever thankful for her efforts towards making Ottawa County a better place.”
The OCIC Volunteer of the Award was presented to Quinton Babcock, the Mayor of Oak Harbor. Mayor Babcock’s constant communication efforts with the community and active participation with the OCIC did not go unnoticed.
Mayor Babcock hosted multiple Covid-19 updates through LIVE Facebook videos and was actively engaged with the public on social media, as everything had gone virtual. He created a Oak Harbor Area Covid-19 Briefing infographic that was shared amongst the community and business leaders, and found time to assist with and direct Ottawa County businesses with loan and grant applications, including OCIC’s RISE Grant Program. Chris Singerling, OCIC Director, presented the award to Mayor Babcock.
This was the first large event for the OCIC since March 2020. Prior to the awards ceremony, OCIC Director Singerling gave a brief update on current activities. Singerling then introduced Glenn Grisdale and Ben Kenny of Reveille and their involvement with OCIC’s Strategic Plan. Grisdale informed attendees about Reveille, their organization development approach, and the next steps. Afterwards, State Representative D.J. Swearingen provided an update on activities at the state level.
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