PREMIER FINANCIAL CORP. NAMED TO LIST: Premier Financial Corp. has been named to the Piper Sandler Sm-All Stars Class of 2023, a list of the top-performing small-cap banks and thrifts in the country.
To earn the status, companies needed to have a market cap below $2.5 billion as of Sept. 15 and clear numerous hurdles related to growth, profitability, credit quality and capital strength.
Premier Financial Corp. is one of 31 banking institutions, just 9% of all banks screened, that met Piper Sandler’s criteria for inclusion in the list.
SNOWPLOW CONTEST OPEN: The Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission will take submissions for its third annual Name-a-Snowplow contest through Nov. 15.
Commission officials will select 30 names for a public vote. The voting period runs Nov. 20 to Dec. 6, and the eight snowplow names receiving the most votes will be announced as the winners Dec. 11.
Each winner will receive a $100 gift card, courtesy of the Ohio Turnpike. Winning names from the previous contests are not eligible.
The names will be assigned to snowplow trucks in service at the eight maintenance buildings on the 241-mile turnpike: Pioneer, Swanton, Elmore, Castalia, Amherst, Richfield, Windham and Canfield.
Go to ohioturnpike.org and click on the Media tab for details or to enter.
YSU GROUP AWARDED: The student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management at Youngstown State University has been awarded the 2022-23 Superior Merit Award for providing exceptional growth and development opportunities to its student members.
Winning marks the sixth time in seven years YSU SHRM Chapter has received the national recognition.
The SHRM award program encourages the development of student chapters and recognizes outstanding activities and projects. Chapters receive recognition based on operations, chapter programming and professional development of members, support of the human resource profession and SHRM engagement.
CPA FIRM HONORED: Packer Thomas has secured the top spot on AccountingToday’s 2023 nationwide Best Firms for Women list and a prominent position on the acclaimed Best Firms to Work For list.
According to Packer Thomas, the No. 1 ranking on the Best Firm for Women list “underscores the firm’s dedication to promoting gender equality and creating a diverse, inclusive and empowering workplace environment for all team members.”
Claiming a spot on the Best Firms list “reaffirms the firm’s commitment to fostering an exceptional workplace culture that values teamwork, innovation and continuous learning,” a release states.
The firm, which is marking its 100th year in business this year, has offices in Canfield and New Castle, Pa.
717 A TOP PLACE TO WORK: For the second year in a row, 717 Credit Union has been named a Northcoast 99 award winner by the Employers Resource Council.
The council chooses 99 northeast Ohio organizations for building and maintaining exceptional workplaces through policies, practices and benefits that attract and retain top performing talent.
Northcoast 99 winners participated in an application process and were ranked on how they address top-performer attraction, development and retention in the areas of organizational strategy, policies and benefits; talent attraction, acquisition and onboarding; employee well-being; employee engagement and talent development; total rewards; and diversity, equity and inclusion.
NorthCoast 99 covers a 22-county region of northeast Ohio. 717 was one of two companies in the Mahoning Valley to earn the distinction.
717 also was ranked a top 100 Credit Union in the U.S. and No. 1 in Ohio by S&P Global Market Insights for the second year in a row. Forbes also recently named 717 to their list of Best-In-State Credit Unions.
APPLICATION PERIOD OPEN: The application period for High School Tech Internship Intermediaries, which serve as the point of contact for businesses and education entities during the high school tech internship process, is open through 5 p.m. Nov. 3.
The High School Tech Internship program allows employers to receive reimbursement of up to $5,000 per intern for establishing a recruitment pipeline by hosting high school interns in tech-related roles. The goal of the program is to provide businesses with the tech talent they need while providing students with valuable work experience at an early age.
The selected intermediaries will allow the program to be administered more collaboratively between the state, educational entities and businesses. Examples of intermediaries include economic development organizations, workforce and education partnerships and other community-based groups. The selected intermediaries will have several responsibilities to support the growth and administration of the high school tech internship program.
Learn more at workforce.ohio.gov/hsti.
YSU CHEM DEPARTMENT GIVEN GRANT: The National Science Foundation has given an Early-Concept Grant for Exploratory Research award of $300,000 to continue Youngstown State University chemistry professor Doug Genna’s research, in collaboration with SUNY Albany, on recycling of lithium-ion batteries.
EAGER awards are a type of proposal to support exploratory work, but potentially transformative research, in its early stages.
Prior to this, the NSF awarded the lab a Research Undergraduate Institution grant of $350,000 for the study of metal-organic frameworks.
Genna used his initial findings of MOFs, a porous crystalline compound of metal clusters, to better understand the purification process of water, removing drugs, lead and simulated oil spills. With the EAGER award, he hopes to use these same methods to understand how to pull lithium back out of dissolved “black mass” from recycled lithium batteries, according to a release.
As a collaborative effort, half of the awarded funds will go toward researchers at SUNY Albany, where they will research the possibility of pulling other metals from the recycled material.
KOMARA MARKS MILESTONE: Komara Jewelers has reached its diamond 75th anniversary.
Stephen Komara opened the first Komara Jewelers in 1948 on State Street in Struthers. In 1977, his oldest son, Robert, opened the second Komara Jewelers in Cornersburg, and in 1985, Stephen’s youngest son, Tom, opened a third location in Boardman. In 1993, the Cornersburg location moved to its present location in the Coal Creek Plaza in Canfield. After many changes over the years, the Komara location in Canfield now is run by Robert’s children, Brianna and Rob.
In addition to jewelry in-store, Komara also offers custom designs, diamond recutting, jewelry appraisals, engraving, insurance and repairs and watch repairs.
BROUSE McDOWELL CERTIFIED: Akron-based Brouse McDowell, which has an office in Youngstown, has achieved Midsize Mansfield Certification, the goal of which is to ensure the path to leadership within the firm is open and transparent to all qualified lawyers.
It includes hiring and promotions to client pitch teams and committee appointments.
The Mansfield framework helps the firm take an inclusive, structured and data-driven approach to leadership advancement, and ensures the approach is consistent across offices and practice groups.
People on the move
WARDLE JOINS UNIVERSAL IFM: Universal IFM recently announced Mike Wardle as company president.
Wardle’s career spans more than three decades in HVAC and utility management. Starting in 1990 at Roth Bros. Inc., Wardle served as regional sales consultant, director of national service sales / marketing and director of operations.
When Roth was acquired by FirstEnergy, Wardle transitioned to business director for FirstEnergy Solutions, then became vice president of national services. Roth was later acquired by Sodexo, and Wardle became vice president of national solutions, developing a new division called Energy Efficiency. That division grew to become the most profitable for Roth Bros. Inc. in its 100-year history.
Universal IFM in Youngstown specializes in commercial HVAC, refrigeration, electrical, lighting and ground maintenance.
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