Central Ohio business briefs


Staff Reports



About City of Columbus, Ohio

The City of Columbus is the 15th largest city in the United States with a population of approximately 850,000 residents. The Columbus economy is balanced with a combination of education, technology, government, research, insurance and health care entities as major employers within the region. Columbus is gaining nationwide recognition for its historic neighborhoods, booming downtown arts and sporting districts, open attitude and a noticeably affordable quality of life. Learn more about the City of Columbus at www.columbus.gov/development/Economic-Development/.

Secretary Husted Announces March as “Women-Owned Businesses” Month

COLUMBUS– Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced the Ohio Business Profile program will feature women-owned businesses throughout the month of March.

On average, more than 16 new women-owned businesses start each day in Ohio. At over 300,000, Ohio ranks 8th in the nation for the number of businesses owned by women.

According to the National Association of Women-Owned Businesses (NAWBO), Ohio’s women-owned businesses generate over $43 billion in sales each year.

“Female entrepreneurs are leading our state in healthcare, education, construction and so many other important industries,” Secretary Husted said. “As the father of two bright young women, it is important to me that my daughters see these successful role models and know that their futures in Ohio and in America are very bright.”

Companies profiled this month include:

  • MJP Trucking, LLC (Brunswick, Ohio) is a construction-based trucking company in Northeast Ohio focused on providing professional and timely service.
  • Paper Trails of Rocky River (Rocky River, Oho) is a specialty paper boutique with an extensive selection of unique merchandise. Their top products include wedding invitations, greeting cards and personalized stationery.
  • Cleveland City Dance (Cleveland, Ohio) was started in 1965 and offers a wide variety of dance classes for ages three to 78. Through disciplined focus and training, dancers are taught skills to be successful and motivated in every area of their lives.
  • Sweet Designs Chocolatier (Lakewood, Ohio) has been making and selling over 80 styles of gourmet, European-style chocolates in Northeast Ohio for over 20 years.
  • Gross Electric (Toledo, Ohio) was started in 1910 and is the oldest independent, family-owned lighting and electrical supply distributor in the area. With 72 employees, they are able to provide electrical products to commercial, institutional and residential markets.
  • Warnick Consultants, LLC (Powell, Ohio) offers bookkeeping services with the goal of taking the administration of your business off your plate so staff can focus on what they love most about your business and the services you provide.
  • Patty Beery’s Energy Arts (Marysville, Ohio) has provided performing arts training to students of all ages and abilities since opening in 1990. They are dedicated to not only teaching students how to dance, but also witnessing them develop mentally, physically, emotionally and artistically.
  • Your Management Team, Inc. (Westerville, Ohio) provides micro-business consulting and business development training for entrepreneurs wanting to grow their company.

From 2010 to 2016, Ohio saw a 30.1 percent increase in the number of newly-registered businesses with 2016 being the seventh-consecutive record-breaking year for new businesses in the state.

Since taking office in 2011, Secretary Husted has made it a priority to offer better services to Ohio entrepreneurs and businesses at a lower cost. In 2013, he launched the Ohio Business Central, which allows businesses to be created online with a significantly quicker turnaround time. This efficiency allowed the state to cut the fees associated with starting a new business by 21 percent in 2015. That same year, Secretary Husted began a partnership with Google’s “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” program making it easy for new businesses to access free tools to help them get off the ground.

Ohio Business Profile was launched in 2011 making people aware of Ohio companies that are creating interesting products, offering outstanding service, contributing to their local communities and employing Ohioans in the process. Each month, a handful of diverse businesses linked together by a common theme are featured on the Secretary of State’s website, where Ohioans are encouraged to submit companies they feel are deserving of recognition in future months.

Columbus Region Ranks No. 8 Metro Area by Site Selection Magazine

Site Selection magazine announced March 1 that the Columbus Region took the No. 8 spot on the magazine’s ‘Top 10 Metro Areas’ list based on new and expanded facilities in 2016. This is the fifth year in a row that the Columbus Region has been in Site Selection’s ‘Top 10 Metros’ list.

Also for the fifth consecutive year, Ohio’s 515 new projects earned the state the No. 2 spot in Site Selection’s overall Governor’s Cup state ranking – second only to Texas. Ohio also took the third-place spot in the per capita ranking, with Nebraska and Kentucky taking the top one and two spots, respectively.

“We are proud that the Columbus Region has been included among Site Selection’s Top 10 Metro Areas for the fifth year in a row,” said Kenny McDonald, president and chief economic officer, Columbus 2020. “The Columbus Region’s continued presence on this list is a testament the hard work that our community does to grow and attract companies.”

The Columbus Region earned the ranking among metropolitan areas with populations greater than 1 million, with Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston occupying the top three spots. New facilities and expansions included in the analyses had to meet at least one of the three criteria: involve a capital investment of at least U.S. $1 million, create at least 20 new jobs, or add at least 20,000 square feet of new floor area.

In addition to Columbus, other Ohio cities recognized include Cincinnati, Celina, Dayton, Defiance, Findlay, Portsmouth, Toledo and Wooster.

Site Selection magazine has awarded the Governor’s Cup annually since 1988, based on new and expanded corporate facilities as tracked by the proprietary Conway Projects Database.

Rocket Code to Expand in Columbus, Adding 30 New Software Development Jobs

Columbus, OH – Rocket Code, an e-commerce agency whose design and development efforts electrify how brands and customers experience one another, announced that it is expanding in Columbus, creating 30 new software development jobs. Hiring is expected to begin in Q1 2017. Rocket Code will invest $50,000 in building costs and software development.

Formed in 2014, Rocket Code provides customers with tools and insights to help them increase their revenue. Its strategy, design and development efforts allow e-commerce companies to test different variables on their online platforms to improve customer experience, and thereby improve sales. Its clients include a number of Columbus-based retailers.

“Rocket Code is excited to continue our growth in Columbus,” said Jonathan Poma, CEO, Rocket Code. “We love this city. Its strong retail ecosystem provides us with a deep pool of prospective customers and talent.”

“Rocket Code’s growth in the last few years demonstrates that startups can thrive in Columbus, can attract top talent and can attract international attention,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, City of Columbus. “We’re proud to see Rocket Code build and grow its team in our city.”

Japan-Based Jefferson Industries Corporation Invests $18 Million in Madison County Expansion

Columbus – Jefferson Industries Corporation, an automotive components manufacturer, announced its plans to invest $18 million to expand its U.S. headquarters in West Jefferson, OH. The expansion, which will add 61,000 new square feet to its existing 844,000 square foot facility, will increase the company’s manufacturing capabilities, capitalize on growing production volumes due to the growth of an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) client and diversify product offerings. The expansion will add 20 new jobs to the existing 600 positions at the company, with hiring set to begin in early 2017.

“We are thrilled to continue our growth here,” said Hassan Saadat, vice president of business operations, Jefferson Industries Corporation. “We are thankful for the collaboration between Jefferson Local School District, Tolles Technical Career Center, Village of West Jefferson, Jefferson Township, Madison County and Columbus 2020. Without their support our expansion would not be possible here.”

Headquartered in Japan, Jefferson Industries Corporation established Ohio operations in West Jefferson in 1988, starting with a 166,000 square-foot facility that has expanded 12 times during the past 28 years of operation. The company manufactures auto body components that play an integral role in protecting automobile drivers and passengers. The company actively pursues automotive research and development and new production methods, including lightweight car body production, in Ohio.

“We are proud to support Jefferson Industries Corporation,” said Madison County Commissioner David Dhume. “The expansion of a global automotive supplier in Madison County creates good jobs and demonstrates that our county is home of successful manufacturing companies. We thank Jefferson Industries Corporation for its commitment and partnership.”

“I could not be happier to congratulate Jefferson Industries Corporation on this expansion,” said Village of West Jefferson Mayor Ray Martin. “We all worked together to support this project in order to help the company grow and provide job opportunities for our residents. Jefferson Industries Corporation continues to be a model corporate citizen.”

With several centers of automotive production within the Columbus Region and around the state, Ohio has a significant edge in the supply of production and maintenance workers compared to other states. The Columbus Region’s automotive industry has a robust and talented workforce with nearly 18,000 employees – a share of employment four times greater than the U.S. average.

JobsOhio, City of Columbus and Columbus 2020 Support West-Ward Pharmaceuticals Growth

West-Ward Pharmaceuticals Corp., one of the leading generic prescription medication providers in the U.S. and a wholly owned subsidiary of Hikma PLC, announced that it is growing its existing Columbus facility by adding new machinery and equipment and making facility improvements. The company will also add 65 jobs over the course of 2017.

The expansion will allow the company to accommodate new and expanding product lines. West-Ward also has a 276,000-square-foot distribution facility in Obetz that broke ground in 2016 and will employ 30 once complete.

“Growing our manufacturing presence in Columbus will help us continue to improve our ability to deliver consistent, affordable quality products to patients across the U.S.,” said Brian Hoffmann, president, West-Ward. “Columbus’ strategic location plays a key role in our domestic presence, providing us with easy market access to our U.S. customers.”

West-Ward offers both oral solid and injectable pharmaceuticals to chain stores, wholesalers, distributors, health systems and government agencies. The company currently employs 1,255 in Columbus and has additional operations in Ohio, Tennessee and New Jersey.

“West-Ward’s recent expansion shows its continued commitment to our community,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, City of Columbus. “As one of the largest manufacturers in the Columbus Region, West-Ward benefits from access to customers, talented workforce and lower-than-average operating costs.”

The Columbus Region is home to more than 1,700 manufacturers, which employ more than 86,000 people.

Sarnova Expanding Shared Service Center in Columbus Region, Adding 39 New Jobs

Sarnova, the leading specialty distributor of healthcare products across the continuum of care, announced it is expanding in the Columbus Region, investing $300,000 in a facility adjacent to its Dublin, Ohio facility and creating 39 new jobs. Hiring for the administrative, call center and shared service positions will begin in Q2 2017.

Sarnova is comprised of four major business units: Bound Tree Medical, DXE Medical, Emergency Medical Products and Tri-anim Health Services. Together, Sarnova offers more than 100,000 healthcare products to thousands of national emergency care providers, hospitals, advanced patient-care facilities, schools and universities, businesses and federal government agencies.

“Sarnova is thrilled to continue our growth in Dublin,” said Jeff Prestel, president and CEO, Sarnova. “As we expand, we’re confident that the Columbus Region’s diverse workforce and vibrant economy will continue to offer us the resources needed to support our advancement.”

“The City of Dublin is proud to remain a committed partner to Sarnova and we congratulate them as they continue to grow in our community,” said Dublin Mayor Greg Peterson.

This expansion is not the company’s first in the Columbus Region. In 2012, Sarnova announced that it was investing $150,000 into an expansion at the Dublin facility, creating 55 new jobs.

FloQast Names Todd Ellwood Vice President of Sales

Company to Open New Office in Columbus, Ohio to Accommodate Rapid Growth

COLUMBUS, Ohio & LOS ANGELES—(BUSINESS WIRE)— FloQast, Inc., a provider of close management software created by accountants for accountants, announced the appointment of Todd Ellwood to the post of vice president of sales. Furthermore, the Company announced it is opening an office in the Columbus, Ohio area during the first quarter of 2017, which Ellwood will head. The Company’s soon-to-open office is located at 545 Metro Place South in Dublin.

Ellwood brings more than 25 years of software sales experience to FloQast. Most recently, he held sales leadership roles with increasing responsibility at Dell, including solution sales leader, Americas, where he set the strategic direction for the Dell Software Group’s systems management portfolio. He also served as worldwide vice president of sales for endpoint systems management and senior regional sales director. In each of these positions, he was responsible for leading sales efforts as well as building and managing large teams of sales professionals.

Previously, he was a division vice president of sales for Quest Software, Inc., which was acquired by Dell. At Quest, he oversaw all inside and field sales selling Windows management, SharePoint and virtualization solutions. Prior, he also was director of inside sales and a regional sales manager at Quest. Ellwood joined Quest through the acquisition of Aelita Software, where he was director of inside sales.

Earlier in his career, Ellwood held various sales leadership roles at Sterling Commerce, Inc., Information Dimensions, Inc.; and, AT&T Information Systems, where he began his sales career.

“We are pleased to welcome Todd to our management team. As a veteran sales expert with more than 25 years of software sales experience, his knowledge and skills are invaluable as we scale FloQast to accommodate our rapid growth. Todd’s proven track record building enterprise sales teams and keen focus on understanding finance and accounting technology needs is the perfect fit,” explained Michael Whitmire, FloQast chief executive officer and co-founder.

“At the same time, we are excited to expand FloQast’s operations and mark our entry into a new state with the opening of our new Midwest office. Todd will lead that operation, which will complement the efforts of our Los Angeles-based team and headquarters. We look forward to the contributions Todd will make in his new role,” Whitmire added.

Ellwood commented on his new role: “Since FloQast was created by accountants for accountants, it truly understands the challenges accounting teams experience at the month-end close, and its software was designed to eliminate these headaches. By helping these organizations quickly and more accurately close their books, FloQast is changing the way accounting teams work, and the industry is taking notice as evidenced by FloQast’s continued rapid growth. I am thrilled to be joining the Company at this very exciting time in its history.”

Ellwood earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. He is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa honor society and lives with his family in Columbus, Ohio.

Whole Foods Supports American Lung Association Efforts

DUBLIN — Programs and services from the local office of the American Lung Association in Ohio will benefit from a $ 9,548.15 donation from Whole Foods Market as the result of a 5% special shopping day held at three area stores on February 22.

Overall, nine Ohio stores and two Kentucky locations participated in the event for a net to the American Lung Association of $31,364.45.

The locally participating stores were:

  • Whole Foods Market Dublin: 3670 W Dublin Granville Rd, Columbus, OH 43235
  • Whole Foods Market Easton: 4100 Easton Gateway Dr. Columbus, OH 43219
  • Whole Foods Market Upper Arlington: 1555 W Lane Ave, Upper Arlington, OH 43221

The American Lung Association in Ohio has a local office at 5900 Wilcox Place, Dublin. Their mission is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.

“As a result of this promotion, the American Lung Association has started an exciting new partnership with Whole Foods Market,” said Barry Gottschalk, CEO of the American Lung Association locally. “We are looking at additional ways that we can work together to benefit our communities in the coming months.”

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Staff Reports

About City of Columbus, Ohio

The City of Columbus is the 15th largest city in the United States with a population of approximately 850,000 residents. The Columbus economy is balanced with a combination of education, technology, government, research, insurance and health care entities as major employers within the region. Columbus is gaining nationwide recognition for its historic neighborhoods, booming downtown arts and sporting districts, open attitude and a noticeably affordable quality of life. Learn more about the City of Columbus at www.columbus.gov/development/Economic-Development/.

About Columbus 2020

As the economic development organization for the Columbus Region, Columbus 2020’s mission is to generate opportunity and build capacity for economic growth across 11 Central Ohio counties. In 2010, hundreds of business and community leaders developed the Columbus 2020 Regional Growth Strategy, and the Columbus Region is now experiencing the strongest decade of growth in its history. The Columbus 2020 team conducts business outreach, promotes the Columbus Region to market-leading companies around the world, conducts customized research to better understand the Columbus Region’s competitiveness, and works to leverage public, private and institutional partnerships. Funding is received from more than 300 private organizations, local governments, academic institutions and JobsOhio. Learn more at ColumbusRegion.com.

About Columbus 2020

As the economic development organization for the Columbus Region, Columbus 2020’s mission is to generate opportunity and build capacity for economic growth across 11 Central Ohio counties. In 2010, hundreds of business and community leaders developed the Columbus 2020 Regional Growth Strategy, and the Columbus Region is now experiencing the strongest decade of growth in its history. The Columbus 2020 team conducts business outreach, promotes the Columbus Region to market-leading companies around the world, conducts customized research to better understand the Columbus Region’s competitiveness, and works to leverage public, private and institutional partnerships. Funding is received from more than 300 private organizations, local governments, academic institutions and JobsOhio. Learn more at ColumbusRegion.com.