By: Colleen Kardasz, Director, Ohio SBDC Export Assistance Network
When I was leaving Germany just about one month ago I overheard a number of conversations with fellow travelers who had also been attending the Hannover Messe Trade Fair. I had spent some time talking with the six companies who had attended with the Ohio Export Assistance Network and the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, and wondered if there might be a trend among the American companies who attended this show for the first time. I openly admit to having eavesdropped on a number of conversations in each airport. While in no way a scientific study, I did notice a common theme. I kept hearing American companies say “It was a great show. We had a wonderful week, met a lot of people, but we’re not sure if we’ll go back.” I was troubled by this response. Why would a company who could sit and rave about a trade show and all it had to offer still be ambivalent about returning? The answer, I think, has more to do with culture than the show itself.
The annual EPIC Toledo Leadership Golf Outing was an enormous success! Nearly 80 Toledo business and community leaders and EPIC Toledo members split into foursomes for a morning of golf at the Toledo Country Club.
Thank you to event chair, and former EPIC Toledo Advisory Council Chair, Melissa Freeman and our sponsor STS Management for your contributions to another incredible outing on the golf course. The weather was beautiful and EPIC members enjoyed the opportunity to establish meaningful connections throughout the community.
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Updates on the Current State of Solar in the Toledo Region
By: Emily Dammeyer, Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce
Last week, Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce members had the opportunity to attend Coffee and Connecting hosted by First Solar. A unique experience, members enjoyed a full breakfast and a complete tour of the First Solar Campus. Additionally, representatives from First Solar and GEM Energy collaborated to give a presentation focused on the growth of solar within the Toledo Region. It was a wonderful morning for members to connect and a privilege to tour the largest solar manufacturing plant in North America.
"Hosting area business leaders and educators as part of this Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce event was a privilege. It's important to share community spirit and take pride in such fruitful and blossoming partnerships.” - Jay Lake, Manufacturing Workforce Development Community Relations Manager, First Solar
By: Emily Dammeyer, Communications Manager, Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce
In the heart of National Small Business Week, area manufacturers got together for lunch to share industry news, get an idea of where manufacturing is headed in Northwest Ohio, and to help forecast the future in order to help impact buying decisions.
The event, held at American Manufacturing, was hosted by the Toledo SBDC and the SBA. In addition to the 15 manufacturers in attendance, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Gil Goldberg, Cleveland District Director of the SBA, Teresa Smith, Toledo Lucas County Port Authority, Jessica Ice, Research Analyst Federal Reserve, and staff of the Toledo SBDC and Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce were in attendance.
A lively discussion followed lunch, and each attendee had the opportunity to share their challenges and successes, as well as seek advice from the group. Many shared that they are incredibly busy, and while busy is great for business, they all share the challenge of filling their workforce. The manufacturing industry as a whole has found that skilled trade workers are hard to find and that the time and cost that goes into screening new employees is staggering. This industry too, is feeling the impact of drug abuse in relation to filling the workforce.
Nearly 600 young professionals came out to Hensville to celebrate 9 years of EPIC Toledo in our community!
By: Colleen Kardasz, Director, Export Assistance Network, Ohio SBDC at the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Eighteen months ago when the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Export Assistance Network started planning for Hannover Messe 2016 the idea was simple: provide an opportunity for small Ohio companies to exhibit at the world's largest industrial trade show.
The implementation of this simple idea became eighteen months of intricate, and detail-oriented work that resulted in 6 unique companies from all over the state boarding planes and heading off to Hannover, Germany just four days ago.
Travel to Spain with your Chamber this Fall
The Toledo Regional Chamber offered its first travel opportunity in 2010 when we offered a week-long trip to China, visiting Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai. This same itinerary was offered again in 2011 and 2012. These trips were made available to chambers of commerce by Citslinc, a preferred vendor of the Association Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). At the time, China was a destination not a lot of people had visited and the idea of traveling with others from the Toledo Region, plus a very affordable price tag, made these trips popular. A destination like China is unique and overwhelming at the same time -- the language is not widely known to us, we cannot read signs, and the country is so big it is difficult to select a few spots to visit in a week's time, much less try to navigate on your own. When you have a tour operator selecting your flights, hotels, meals, handling your luggage, and getting you from Point A to Point B, all of a sudden China is not so daunting. A tour guide was always with our groups all day long in China and shared the history, culture, and insights about life for the local population. Our travelers basically showed up in the morning and the rest of the day was taken care of.
Updates from the April FOCUS on Business Lunch
It was a full house last Wednesday at the FOCUS on Business Lunch at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Salon. 175 Chamber members from around the Toledo community came together for lunch, networking, economic updates from our partners the Regional Growth Partnership and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, and of course, to listen to a presentation from our featured speakers Randy Oostra and Robin Whitney from ProMedica.
28 Locals Complete Leadership Academy Toledo Program
The Six Rungs to the Leadership Ladder
According to The Honorable Judith Ann Lanzinger, Justice, Ohio Supreme Court, leadership is a ladder. She presented the featured keynote address at the 2016 Leadership Academy graduation ceremony in March. The event was held at the Stranahan Theater.
Justice Lanzinger described leadership as an abstract concept and outlined “The Six Rungs to the Leadership Ladder.” She urged graduates to build on the ladder, hone their strengths, and continue to grow throughout their leadership journey.