Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Brandon Little regarding Wrapping Clermont Together who shared the following:

To care for people in our local community by extending long-term, meaningful help through a variety of purposeful, collaborative efforts.

A program was begun over 20 years ago in Milford, OH by Marlene Baker & David Hammock
Once called THE H.A.N.D.S. & later Hillcrest Community Services of Bethel, OH it eventually closed
Like many poverty relief efforts, they closed due to lack of funding & inadequate management
Landmark Ministries assumed & restructured the Christmas program in the early 90s & continues to develop it each year through partnerships.
Landmark is a separate, stable organization funded independently from Wrapping Clermont Together

WCT is designed to bring greater collaboration to Clermont County poverty & rehabilitation efforts
We work with schools, organizations, government agencies, businesses, individuals (see list)
We collaborate with other county agencies to cross-check all participants to help ensure we serve those truly in need, preserve valuable resources & redirect those who attempt to abuse the system.

We scaled the program down & began offering pre-wrapped gifts & $50 gift cards
Eventually we learned to honor parents by giving unwrapped gifts, wrapping paper, bows & tape
A partnership w/Freestore Foodbank allowed us to turn $50 gift cards into 10 separate food drops
We've also been able to give away home needs, health & beauty aids, pet food...a growing list of items
Local students are even connected with business professionals to enhance learning & life experience

We start by offering help and hope during the Holidays.
We desire to meet the physical needs of Clermont County families while providing opportunities for them to grow beyond their current situations
Above and beyond any gifts we give away, our desire is to build trust & offer relationships such as mentoring, free counseling and free professional financial education.
The end game is to create a large network of true collaboration for the good of Clermont County

The Batavia Rotary Club provides a meal for the recipients at the event which allows folks to get to know and value one another.

Next week we will hear from Brian Switzer who will speak about school funding

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Shirley Reilman of SpectraTech, a Batavia, OH based firm which makes circuit boards.

About 17 years ago, Shirley retired from P&G. Shirley's son asked her to help him purchase an oven so he and some friends could buy an oven to produce circuit boards. The cost of the oven was around $35,000! As they considered the cost and assessed their situation, they realized their startup equipment was pretty much junk, so they sent it all back to Texas.

On the personnel side they knew their team was first class...Greg, one of the partners, could fix anything. Jason another partner, was a computer guru. Her son was an electrical engineer. So Shirley decided to take out a small business loan and help them begin the right way. They got started as a company and have been growing ever since even through the loss of business to countries such as Canada and China. There was also an unfortunate but short period where they had to conduct layoffs for a couple months. Many positive years have followed and last year business increased 25%!

As a local company, they invite the community to stop by and take a tour to discover more about what they do.

Next week we will hear from Brandon Little regarding Wrapping ClermontTogether

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Cindy Gramke of Clermont Senior Services.

The Clermont Senior Services levy was first passed in November 1982, and was the first countywide senior services levy in Ohio. This levy must be on the ballot every five years. It was most recently passed in May 2006. The current levy will expire in December 2011 and a ballot issue must pass on November 8 for funding to continue for the period 2012 through 2016. Otherwise, Senior Services would have to close its doors since 75% of its funding comes from this levy.

The levy is 1.3 mills and the current cost is $37.87 per $100,000 of valuation, which is only $3.16 per month. Since this is a renewal levy, it will not raise taxes. The agency also receives funds from the United Way, State and Federal funding through the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio and other sources. The Senior Services Levy is a the local match for State and Federal funds; without the levy virtually all other funding would also end December 31, 2011.

From 2000 to 2010 the older population of Clermont County increased by over 30% from 23,000 to over 30,000. This number will increase by another 66% to over 50,000 by 2020, as the Boomer Generation reaches retirement age. Also, the over 80 age group is the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population.

Over the past several years, Senior Services has worked hard at reducing costs while not sacrificing services. The organization is in great shape financially.

Next week we will hear from Shirley Reilman of SpectraTech

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Eric & Greg Holman of Holman Motors in Batavia, OH

In 1945 Glen Holman opened a Buick dealership in Batavia. In 1970 Glen & Mary Holman bought the first 1.5 acres and opened for business in 1971. As the years went by they acquired a total of around 33 acres. The original building was just knocked down over the past week. Fences, barbed wire and a full-time night watchman help ensure the property & inventory remain safe.

The Holmans recently built a min-mountain outside their facility and it grew larger than expected because several local businesses needed a place to dump their dirt. An antique canon was placed upon the top of the mountain and they even fired it recently which rattled the glass in both showrooms. On Veteran's day they plan to fire it again. There are also plans to place an antique truck

Holman Motors employs slightly less than 100 people and they are planning to add additional space toward Elick Lane. Their parents established a culture of customer and employee care. It is important to them that every new employee they hire is promotable. Many employees have been with then for over 20 years.

The internet has been an amazing tool for their sales. It is not unusual for Holman's to sell 8-10 campers per day to 6 or 7 different states. They have even shipped campers to New Zealand and Australia. Even though there are rumors they may begin selling Buicks, they intend, for now, to continue selling GMC and campers. 

Next week we will hear from George Brown who will speak about the Senior Services Levy