Greater Medina Chamber

From The Desk of Dave Mueller, Chairman of the Board

Dave Mueller Picture


Would Your Business Survive a Major Disaster?

According to the Insurance Institute for Business, an estimated 25 percent of businesses do not reopen following a major disaster.  What happens to your business after a disaster often depends on what you do before a disaster.  For small businesses, surviving a disaster doesn't begin with cleaning the debris and returning to work.  Surviving begins long before a disaster strikes with proper planning. 

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan should make us all realize just how fragile life can be, and how powerful the forces of nature are. Events like these are both unpredictable and unforgiving.  Japan was, and remains to be, one of the best prepared countries in the world when it comes to earthquakes and tsunami preparedness. 

I shudder to think how a natural disaster would impact not only my business, but other businesses in Medina County. The only piece of mind is preparedness. An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure or, to put it in business terms, a relatively small investment in time can more than offset a tremendous amount of expense.


Let me be the first local business to admit...(click here for full article)

Leadership Excellence Ad

From the Desk of Debra Lynn-Schmitz, President Debra Photo


Collective bargaining, $8 billion deficit, state and federal funding cuts, new census information, education reform, fuel prices, Japan. We are constantly overwhelmed with information and if you are a news addict, as I am, it is even more challenging to try and link all of these together and look at cause and effect, unintended consequences and possible opportunities and long-term threats in our area, region and even the world.


At an American Chamber of Commerce Executives meeting in Durham, NC last week I had the opportunity to hear from Chamber Executives from around the country. At the board meeting we discussed the communication revolution, the need for community connectivity, a renewal in corporate-civic engagement and many other issues that make the Chamber of Commerce's role in the community even more important today.


You must focus on your business but we know that the environment in which you locate and invest can be a critical element in your success. The Chamber knows that our role in this environment is to identify, influence and participate in problem-solving and decision-making. Your support of the organization, whether you can attend functions and events or not, provides the resources to carry out YOUR mission; to.....(click here for full article)

Modernize Your PC 

Come learn how to Modernize your Business PCs.     


Join us for an informative look at how to make the most of your current and future technology investment. 


Modern PCs and current software can help you get the most value from your technology by providing: 


· Fast, reliable, and highly secure experiences for users. 

· Diagnostics and troubleshooting tools help you solve problems yourself. 

· Navigation makes it easy to find and use built-in features. 

· High performance means you will spend less time waiting for your computer to catch up with you.    


When: Thursday, April 21, 2011

Time: 11:30am to 1:00pm 

Location: Medina County University Center, 6300 Technology Lane, Medina, OH  44256 


Speaker: Michael Warner, Jr., Warner Technology, Inc.


At this event you'll also get a firsthand look at Microsoft® Office 2010 and Windows® 7. We'll have live demos, and a chance to win a great door prize. 


Plus, event attendees and members will receive a certificate that will allow them to register for complimentary online software training when they purchase Office 2010 and/or Windows 7. 


Don't miss this fun and exciting event. Space is limited so be sure to register today!  


Register online through the event calendar

Cost:  $10 for Chamber members

$20 for Future Chamber members

City of Medina Update


Coldstone Creamery made an application to Planning Commission for site plan approval. 
Maximum Potential Chiropractic is planning renovations for a new facility on Northland Drive. 
A new nursing home facility is coming back to Planning Commission April 14, 2011.


Annual Mini Golf Event

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

5:00pm to 8:00pm

Mini Golf Sponsorship Form

Sign-up to play mini golf


Annual Golf Outing

Monday, August 8, 2011

10:00am Shotgun Start

Golf Sponsorship Form

Sign-up to golf

Volume 37, Issue 4


April 2011 Edition

Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce

Join Our Mailing List

Chairman's Message
President's Message
City of Medina Update
New Members
Feature Article
teca Medina Entrepreneurs Club
Member News
Safety Council
Calendar of Events

2011 Board of Directors  

Dave Mueller, BPR/Rico Equipment, Inc., Chairman of the Board

Valerie Rapp, Homestead Insurance, Chair-Elect

Keith Hughes, Dyer, Hughes, Roche & Wilson, Secretary/Treasurer

Mike Baach, Philpott Rubber Company, Past Chair

Chad Wilson, Chad Allan Technology, Vice Chair, Business Advocacy

Brian Harr, Western Reserve Bank, Vice Chair, Economic Development

Michael B. Miller, FirstMerit Bank, Vice Chair, Member Services 


 Jani Davis, Westfield Insurance

Amy Demlow, Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston

Dr. Tim Earley, Medina Vision & Laser Centre

George Hudnutt, The Medina Gazette

Delmar Jones, Jonesy's Classic Cleaners

Coleen Morlock, VCS Salon & Spa

Bob Thompson, Town & Country Co-Op

Mark Williams, Williams On The Lake


Ex-officio Members  

Jim Bigam, Medina Hospital

Jim Conrad, Conrad & Dowdell Productions

Jim Gerspacher, Gerspacher Real Estate Group 

Bert Humpal, Dyer, Hughes, Roche & Wilson 

Ray Seaman, Seaman Financial Services 

Don Simmons, Simmons Brothers Construction


New Members


Duplaga Inc., dba Ashley Place

3875 Pearl Road

Medina, OH 44256


Mary Jane Duplaga, James Duplaga,

Specialty Shop


Ferrell Whited Physical Therapy

700 E. Washington St.

Medina, OH 44256


Jason Graf

Free standing outpatient Orthopedic Physical Therapy Clinic

Sponsor - David Breudigam - Dorman Farrell


Finish Line Construction, Inc.

P. O. Box 163

Spencer, OH 44275


Jim Clark

Roofing, all types of construction & general contracting.

Sponsor - Dave Mueller


Holland & Muirden

P. O. Box 345

Sharon Center, OH 44274


Alison Myers

General practice law firm


ICNS Technology

5522 Indian Wells Drive

Medina, OH 44256


James Fretwell

ICNS services networks, phones, surveillance, wireless, access control, voice & data cabling. Fiber optics

consulting services.

Sponsor - Mike Warner,,LLC


Slate Rock Safety, LLC

650 W. Smith Road C-14

Medina, OH 44256


Heidi Sweeney, Chad Wilson,

The company focuses a significant portion of its efforts on online sales, possesses prime vendor contracts with various governmental organizations & works intimately with its manufacturers.

Sponsor - Chad Wilson


Chamber Staff


Debra Lynn-Schmitz, President

Tina Gienger, Member Services Manager

Karen Whitaker, Administrative Professional

Susan Murawski, Safety Council Administrator



Ohio Use Tax: It's Not If, But When, You'll Have to Pay


Ohio's Department of Taxation is stepping up efforts to enforce its use tax law in 2011. If your company does not have a use tax account, it's no longer a question of if, but when, the department will contact you.


What Is Use Tax, and How Is It Identified?


Use tax is a tax that wasn't paid, but should have been, on taxable property or services your business purchased. It most often occurs when a business purchases goods in-state, out-of-state or over the internet, and the retailer does not collect Ohio sales tax. In other words, if your company bought a taxable item or service which was used in Ohio and paid Ohio sales tax on it, you do not owe Ohio use tax.  However if your business purchased a taxable item or service which was used in Ohio and did not pay Ohio sales tax on it and there is not a statutory exemption, exception, or exclusion from taxation, you may owe Ohio use tax. With today's computerized systems, every business has a documented, verifiable electronic footprint. Ohio's tax department is able to cross-reference its records of tax accounts against use tax and other types of state records. As a result, they will find businesses that don't comply with the use tax law.


Through August 1, the department will be working to educate businesses about Ohio use tax through presentations, meetings, seminars and workshops. The department has developed a number of publications to assist small and medium-sized businesses in understanding the use tax law. The department's website includes publications for contractors, manufacturers, retailers and service providers. In addition, the department provides publications explaining examples of potential use tax exposure due to purchases from out-of-state vendors, storage, snow removal, maintenance contracts, lawn care and landscaping; employee safety shoes, gloves, hard hats and respirators; and display fixtures, shelving units, cash registers and furniture, to name a few


However, the focus will shift to enforcement of the use tax law after August 1, 2011. The department has identified 380,000 companies in Ohio without use tax accounts. Starting in August, the agency will send letters to these companies.


Pay Now or Possibly Much More Later 

If your business doesn't have a use tax account, take action quickly to help avoid penalties and a longer look-back period. The agency set up a voluntary disclosure agreement program, or VDA, that is more favorable if entered into before the state contacts your company. 


Here's how it works:





Enter VDA now through August 1

3 years


Enter VDA after department contacts you

4 years


Ignore notice and don't enter a VDA

7 years; company will be audited or the dept. will estimate your liability

Up to 50 percent of the amount owed


A use tax audit would be time-consuming and costly for your business.  An inquiry from the state forces you and your staff to search through receipts of purchases your business made over the past seven years. And the tax, interest and penalties can quickly add up.


One Ohio optometrists' office praised its office manager for her ability to purchase items sales tax-free.  Items ranged from eye patches to computers to furniture.  The office manager purchased these items over the internet through vendors that did not charge sales tax and from small in-state vendors, saving the office the 7 percent sales tax costs on a tremendous amount of purchases over the years. The savings stopped, however, when the practice received an Ohio use tax audit. The audit went back seven years and cost the practice more than $60,000 in back taxes and penalties.


Another small business that made all of its purchases on credit cards to earn cash back and bonus points didn't save the sales receipts from purchases at area department stores and office supply businesses. After the small business had thrown away its receipts, the state of Ohio conducted a use tax audit. The state charged that the company was unable to prove it had paid sales tax on any of its purchases, and charged the business more than $20,000 in use tax, interest and penalties.


An Ohio manufacturer learned that the voluntary disclosure agreement it entered helped it save between $100,000 and $300,000 in back tax and penalties. The company owner knew that the business had use tax liability, and entered into a VDA one week prior to receiving a use tax notice from the State of Ohio. The VDA shortened the company's look-back period from seven to three years and saved it a sizable amount of interest and penalties.  


How To Get In Compliance
If your company doesn't have a use tax account, act quickly to avoid facing penalties and a longer look-back. Contact your accounting professional as soon as possible so that he or she can help you enter in to a VDA agreement with the department.


Keep in mind you will need to review your company's purchases for the 36 months prior to the date you notified the state of your use tax obligation, and determine what use tax you owe. Your accountant will help you through the taxability review and the VDA process.


Chad Bice, CPA, is a principal with Rea & Associates, Inc., a regional accounting and business consulting offices. He specializes in federal, state and local tax issues for privately-held businesses in the service, distribution and manufacturing industries. He can be reached in the firm's Zanesville office by calling 740-454-3198 or email

 TECA Header

 Medina Entrepreneurs Club 

Speaker:  Nobby Lewandowski


Nobby firmly believes that, "Change is Inevitable - Growth is Optional."  His long and varied personal and professional experiences have led him to a point where he helps others see opportunities for significant growth within the context of constant change.


His success evolved one step at a time, always aided by his natural insight which helps him identify where potential and possibilities exist. 


Thursday April 21st

11:30 - 1:00 PM


Medina Library
210 South Broadway
Medina, OH 44256


$16.48 pre-register

$20.00  at the door


Questions:  email

Register Here 


Hassler Group Ad



     Campaign for Jobs - and something businesses in Ohio have been increasingly vocal about - is regulatory reform. Fortunately, Gov. John Kasich, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and the Ohio Legislature are looking at ways to review and improve Ohio's rule making process.  In order to collect ideas from you for removing barriers to job creation, Lt. Gov. Taylor recently launched a new website and email address for CSI Ohio, the "Common Sense Initiative." CSI Ohio is available online at or via e-mail at  The user-friendly Internet site and e-mail address allow visitors to share common sense solutions and sign-up for periodic updates on the progress of CSI Ohio.  If you have any concerns about specific rules or regulations, please visit CSI Ohio on the web at or submit ideas to CSI Ohio via e-mail at  

     United Way of Medina County would like to announce they offer Free Tax Help clinics.  Please call for an appointment at (330)725-3926.  The next clinic will be held on Saturday, March 5 at Medpoint Campus Center.  Requirements:  $60,000 or less, no self-employment, no capital gains, no city taxes.  Individuals seen by appointment only. 

   Medina Creative Housing would like to invite you to a Magical Evening.  Help them "Raise the Roof" for individuals with disabilities.  Plan to travel to the Caribbean Islands with them at Weymouth Country Club right here in Tropical Medina.  Saturday, May 21, 2011 from 6:30 - 10:30pm.  Sponsorship opportunities are available and auction item donations would be greatly appreciated.  For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Diana Riley at 330-273-8877 or Sharon Biggins at 330-591-4434.  

      The American Red Cross of Medina County is looking for real heroes from Medina County.  Do you know someone who has performed an extraordinary act of courage to save someone's life?  Or maybe you know someone who commits countless hours to a special cause?  An advisory committee of community leaders will select the heroes to be honored.  Those nominees selected as heroes will be invited to the Heartland Heroes Celebration brunch for recognition on Sunday, May 1.  Deadline for hero nominations is March 21.  Nominations, sponsors and silent auction donors are needed.  For more information  contact Beth Kilchenman at the Medina County Chapter at 330-723-4565 or toll free at 1-877-441-4565.  Proceeds from this event help local families prevent, prepare for and cope with emergencies. 

     Westfield Bank has named Kurt Kappa as new Senior Vice President and Market Leader, responsible for leading sales efforts in the Medina region, including Cuyahoga and Medina counties.  Kurt came to Westfield Bank in 2003. 

     Leadership Medina County is on the lookout for candidates who possess a strong desire to serve the community and are interested in being part of a nine month long program that equips participants for community involvement and leadership. Through intensive study of community issues and interaction with decision-makers, participants increase their effectiveness as community leaders.  Individuals must live or work in Medina County in order to apply.  Application materials and additional information can be found the Leadership Medina County web site at . The application deadline is April 30.  Applications can also be obtained by calling the Lucy Sondles or Kathy DeLoss at the Leadership Medina County office, 330-721-7118.

     Audio Video Interiors is proud to announce their most recent accomplishments.  They were awarded 5 prestigious awards at the Orlando Electronics House Expo.  The 2011 Electronics House Magazine awarded Audio Video Interiors 2 prestigious categories: "Home Theater of the Year" & "Amazing Application"!  Their 2010 Home theater entry was awarded Silver in its category and featured in the publication as "Vegas Light Show Gives Theater the Blues", citing the theater's unique use of LRD lighting around the screen.    

     CONGRATULATIONS!  For the fourth year, Healthcare Innovative Solutions has been selected as a Leading EDGE Company.  An awards ceremony will take place on May 18, 2011 at Cleveland State University's Student Center.    

     Mark Miller, RE/MAX Crossroads Properties has earned the Real Estate industry's Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, having completed extensive training in foreclosure avoidance and short sales. This is invaluable expertise to offer at a time when the area is experiencing a steady increase of homeowner's facing default.

      Best Western Medina Inn would like to invite you to Best Western's 65th Birthday Party and Best Western Medina Inn's Grand Reopening on Wednesday, April 20 from 3-7PM.  Local area businesses will be on hand to hsare their food, drinks, goods and services.  For the children, the Easter Bunny will be on-hand.

     Mighty Auto Pro is proud to announce IN-HOUSE PAYMENT PLAN.  No need to put off that much needed repair.  This in-house payment plan allows you the opportunity to spread your repairs over 90 days with no credit check.  This gives you the freedom to take care of those much needed repairs.  For additional information call (330)723-6692.      

     Westfield Insurance has announced that Joseph C. Kohmann will be promoted to Group Finance Leader (CFO) and Treasurer at Westfield Insurance effective April 1, 2011.  He replaces Robert Krisowaty who retires with more than 10 years of service.  In July of 2010 Kohmann assumed the position of Assistant Group Finance Leader. He joined Westfield in 2000 as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Westfield Bank, a subsidiary of Westfield Group. 

     The Gerspacher Real Estate Group has once again been recognized by Crain's Cleveland Business as the largest commercial real estate brokerages in Northeast Ohio. Ranked 19th in 2010, the firm has risen to 14th in 2011. They would like to thank all their clients who have helped them achieve this honor.

Transfer Title Ad 


Each year the BWC's Division of Safety & Hygiene recognizes the best Safety Councils in Ohio. 


For the year  2010 Medina Safety Council will receive Honorable Mention as one of 8 out of  the 90 safety councils  in Ohio, who excelled in providing occupational safety and health education, resources and networking opportunities In our local community.



For outstanding effort in safety by operating without a lost time accident for at least 500,000 hours and at least six months


BPR/Rico Manufacturing  658,642 hours worked

Corrpro -Regional Division  1,044,997 hours worked

Corrpro-Waterworks Division  571,448 hours worked

Die Guys Inc. 511,275 hours worked

Diversified Employee Solutions  2,914,543 hours worked

Do It Best Corporation  515,192 hours worked

EBO Group, Inc.  580,859 hours worked

Highland Local Schools  520,717 hours worked

Industrial Chemical Corp.  579,702 hours worked

M & G Polymers USA, LLC  671,364 hours worked

Medina City Schools  1,154,350 hours worked

Medina Co Career Center  1,894,514 hours worked

Medina Co Schools ESC  995,469 hours worked

Medina Village Retirement Community  891,829 hours worked

Ohio Wholesale, Inc  712,145 hours worked

Owens Corning Fiberglas  665,986 hours worked

Plastipak Packaging Development Group  622,647 hours worked

Sandridge Food Corp.  619,385 hours worked

Superior Roll Forming  1,109,792 hours worked

Wolff Bros. Supply  2,405,063 hours worked



  Medina Village Ad




April Membership Meeting

Larry Johns, McJak Candy Company 

Williams on the Lake    

11:30am to 1:00pm



Business & Technology Training  

Blogging for Business

Medina Co. University Center    

11:30am to 1:00pm



Trip to Greece and The Sunny Med

 Informational meeting

Medina Chamber Office

6:30pm to 8:00pm



Medina County Young Professionals April Social

Sidelines Bar & Grille

5:30pm to 7:30pm



Medina County Safety Council Meeting   

Annual Awards Banquet

Weymouth Country Club    

11:30am to 1:00pm 



Networking Wow!  

Fox Meadow County Club    

7:30am to 9:00am



Business & Technolog Training

Moderize Your Business PC - Windows 7/Office 2010

Medina Co. University Center    

11:30am to 1:00pm



Smith - Lake Improvement Project

 Informational Meeting

Medina County Engineering Center

791 W. Smith Rd, Medina

8:00am to 10:00am



Business After Business    

OfficeMax/Giant Eagle

945 N. Court St, Medina

5:00pm to 7:00pm

Tina Gienger, Newsletter Editor

Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce 

145 North Court St, Medina, OH  44256

Hours of operation:  Monday-Friday 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m.

Phone:  330-723-8773

Fax:  330-722-6844

73 Years of Serving Medina Area Businesses


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Our mission is to serve member investors and promote business interests through economic development, business advocacy and member services, which benefit the Greater Medina Community.