The Ottawa County Improvement Corporation held its annual Business and Industry Awards recently at the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton.
“We look forward every year to gather and celebrate the diverse industries that make up the Ottawa County business communities,” said Ken Williams, OCIC Board President.
Dan Halley, founder of Catawba Island’s Coastal Swing Golf & Bar, was named Entrepreneur of the Year. Halley’s passion for the golf inspired him to find a way to make it his livelihood. Today, his business Coastal Swing Golf & Bar on Catawba Island, gives players near and far the opportunity to play the game year-round.
Coastal Swing includes GOLFZON simulators which offer more than 200 courses from around the world, an indoor lounge area, a fireplace, practice putting green, multiple televisions and an outdoor patio with a firepit. In November 2021, a second location opened in Sandusky. Craig Trick, OCIC Board Past-President, presented the award to Halley.
Lake Erie Shores & Islands was awarded the Economic Development Partner Award. Last year brought major organizational accomplishments through Lake Erie Shores & Islands, including a new strategic plan and destination branding approach. Both initiatives involved input from a wide spectrum of stakeholders along with several months of work from their board and staff teams.
Lake Erie Shores & Islands has remained a strong, vibrant partner of tourism industry partners, powerful advocate of our Great Lake, and supporter of the Ottawa County business community. They also play an integral role in our regional partnerships, particularly with our neighbors to the East in Erie County. Rebekah Zimmerman, OCIC Board Member, presented the award to Larry Fletcher, President of Lake Erie Shores & Islands.
The Bill Mack Business Leader Award was presented to Gail McWatters, owner of Makers on Main in Genoa. When the storefront boutique opened in 2019, it was filled with her own handmade products. The shop now features an eclectic mix of handmade work from a variety of local artists, which she calls “makers.”
The store brought new connections with community members. McWatters has welcomed area food trucks and others to operate outside her business to encourage residents and visitors to shop downtown. McWatters has given over 40 “makers” the opportunity to sell their handmade products. Justin Moore, OCIC Board Treasurer, presented the award to McWatters.
“I am so honored to be recognized for this award,” said McWatters, owner of Makers On Main. “Makers on Main isn’t a job to me, it’s my little place of peace. The makers, the customers, in Genoa and surrounding communities make this dream so much fun, even on the hard days I’m reminded.”
Spa Catawba was named Business of the Year. Originally located in Port Clinton’s Knoll Crest Shopping Center, Spa Catawba’s new building in Marblehead opened in May 2021. Since opening in May, Spa Catawba has created 16 new jobs and invested $1.5 Million into the existing property and $175,000 in equipment. Spa Catawba has plans for more wellness expansions in 2023 and 2024.
The new location allowed Spa Catawba to expand its current offerings and be more accessible to the local communities. Spa Catawba is an all-encompassing wellness center, complete with a classroom, wellness therapy rooms, a relaxation lounge and a cafe. Spa Catawba offers a full schedule of yoga classes, wellness workshops, and they have also expanded their Café offerings. Nick Marsico, OCIC Board Member, presented the award to owner Stephanie Sprenger.
“We are so grateful and honored to receive the 2022 Business of the Year award,” said Stephanie Sprenger, owner of Spa Catawba. “The dream of Spa Catawba was born from a personal health issue in our family that changed our daily behaviors.
“We sought alternative treatments and changed our eating habits. In 2018, I decided to leave my corporate career to pursue my passion of wellness and skincare. We are so excited to see the impact our dream is having on the community.”
The OCIC Volunteer of the Award was presented to Jim and Heather Stouffer of the Catawba Island Club. The Stouffers serve on a number of boards in our area that work together to help improve Ottawa County and the region.
Their passion and dedication for our community and county is not only evident, but also infectious. The Stouffers devote much of their time to serving the community while also running their business and spending time with family.
Chris Singerling, OCIC Executive Director, presented the award to the couple. During the awards event, they joined event attendees via Zoom on the big screen in the Liberty Aviation Museum hangar in Port Clinton. The Stouffers will celebrate 25 years of marriage later this year.
Prior to the awards ceremony, OCIC Executive Director Singerling introduced the completed OCIC Strategic Plan.
“This OCIC leadership is pleased with the holistic approach taken to create this plan and the direction in which we are headed,” said Singerling. “However, efforts like this are only successful when entire communities are involved in their implementation. We are fortunate to have committed community leaders across Ottawa County who have embraced this approach and the plan.”
The Strategic Plan is a living, breathing document with measurables that will be reviewed and updated annually. A fifth Pillar was added to the Strategic Plan: Comprehensive Community Development. To view the Strategic Plan, visit www.ocic.biz.
I just read the OCIC Strategic Plan and for once, I think I’m seeing some evidence the OCIC may be wanting to do something and finally giving the taxpayers of Ottawa County their money’s worth. I hope it gets implemented. Mr. Singerling, I see you’ve done a lot more in the short time you’ve been in the OCIC than its previous Director ever did the entire time she was there. There is so much more I can say but I can’t do it here. Congratulations to the winners of the awards. And thank you to the business owners who have faith in doing business in Ottawa County.