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Business briefs: Primrose, federal contract, Firelands Electric, Norwalk Furniture – Mansfield News Journal

Primrose of Mansfield named Community of the Year

Primrose Retirement Communities, L.L.C. has named Primrose of Mansfield one of its Communities of the Year. The announcement was made Aug. 17 during the company’s virtual awards ceremony.

President BJ Schaefbauer says each year the company recognizes Primrose communities that have excelled at fulfilling their mission of creating happy and healthy living environments for their senior population.

Primrose Retirement Community of Mansfield consists of 36 independent living apartment homes, 32 assisted living apartment homes and 14 townhome villas.

Since the opening of the first Primrose community in Aberdeen, South Dakota, in 1991, Primrose has grown to include over 40 locations in 19 states.

Local resident awarded federal contract

Andrew J. Zeigler of Mansfield has won a federal contract award for $59,900 from the Defense Logistics Agency, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for plumbing, heating, and sanitation equipment to support troops.

Legislators to address members at electric cooperative ACRE breakfast

NEW LONDON — Several hundred co-op members, along with the employees of Firelands Electric, are expected to attend a legislative update at the 2021 ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action recognition breakfast. The event will be hosted on Sept. 17 at Firelands Electric Cooperative’s facility in New London.

Legislators representing portions of Firelands Electric’s four-county service territory will speak about federally-funded projects benefiting rural Americans. Local and state government officials attending include State Representative Marilyn John.

Invited guests will be updated on legislative issues that are affecting electric cooperatives across the Buckeye State and nationwide. Topics will also include federal assistance for rural electric utility infrastructure projects that are necessary for improved electric reliability and resilience.

In addition to invited local and county officials and local media, the cooperative’s nearly 400 members participating in ACRE will be receiving a formal invitation in the mail.

Firelands Electric Cooperative has also announced a new Back-to-School Photo Contest.

The cooperative invites members who have school-aged children living in the home to submit their most creative back-to-school photos for a chance to win a grand-prize package worth up to $100. The package will include a selection of books, games and other activities focused on electricity and energy. A runner-up family will also be selected to receive a $30 prize package.

Photos may be submitted via email to [email protected] (maximum file size of 10 MB) or sent to the cooperative through Facebook Messenger. Entries may also be mailed to Back-to-School Photo Contest, Firelands Electric Co-op, P.O. Box 32, New London, OH 44851. Be sure to include the children’s names, along with the co-op member’s name, service address and contact information.

Entries can also be made by visiting

Entries must be received by 4 p.m. Sept. 10 and are limited to one per member-family. Winners’ names and photos will be published in a future issue of Ohio Cooperative Living magazine and posted on Firelands’ social media accounts.

Firelands Electric Cooperative is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric utility serving more than 9,100 homes and businesses in rural areas of Ashland, Huron, Lorain and Richland counties 

Norwalk Furniture plans to transition ownership to its employees

NORWALK — Norwalk Furniture, an industry leader in custom upholstered furniture, said it has entered into an agreement to give ownership to its employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Effective Sept. 1 and each year thereafter, all full-time employees will be given shares in the company through their retirement savings. The benefit is funded entirely by the company and requires no out-of-pocket investment by employees. The value of the shares at retirement will depend on the long-term performance of the organization.

Norwalk will continue to be led by its current executive team. Dan White will chair a newly formed board that includes internal and outside directors and Caroline Hipple will continue to serve as president. 

Lazear Capital Partners, a leading financial services firm based in Columbus, is managing the transaction process. The company is also working with the Benesch Law Firm, Reminger Law Firm, Payne/Nickles CPA and Civista Bank to complete the transaction. Civista played an integral role in the development of Norwalk’s financial restructuring in 2008 and will continue to be part of the company’s new ESOP program moving forward.

Dayton Freight honored with quality award

For the 12th consecutive year, Dayton Freight won the Logistics Management 2021 Quest for Quality award in the Midwest/North Central Regional LTL category.

The Quest for Quality awards are voted on by readers of Logistics Management magazine and are considered one of the most important measures of customer satisfaction and operational excellence in the transportation industry. Each year, this survey evaluates and measures service providers across the nation utilizing criteria such as on-time performance, value, information technology, operations and customer service.

Dayton Freight has more than 60 service centers in 14 Midwest states, including one in Mansfield.

New business creation remains strong in Ohio

COLUMBUS — Ohio recorded 15,230 new business filings in the month of July, continuing Ohio’s torrid pace of new business creations for 2021 and following 2020’s record setting year.

New business filings are classified as forms filed with the Ohio Secretary of State that declare the formation of a business entity, including for-profit, non-profit and professional corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships. Filing as a business in Ohio does not guarantee the company will begin operations, be profitable or create jobs.

In the first seven months of 2021, 126,665 new businesses have been created. New business filings through July of this year show a 32% increase from the first seven months of 2020. New business filings in 2020 totaled 171,073, beating 2019’s previous record of 130,621.