FCEDC honors area businesses

The Fulton County Economic Development Corporation honored county businesses and an individual at their second annual meeting in April.

McNeill Chevrolet Buick of Swanton received the Excellence in Retail Award.

McNeill Chevrolet Buick has been a part of the Swanton community since 1932. The company has grown and invested many times in the community and now employs more than 30 people at the dealership.

In addition to their business accomplishments, McNeill continues to proudly invest in the Swanton community through their involvement in Rotary, Junior Achievement, Swanton Public Library and Swanton Parks and Recreation among others.

The Excellence in Industry Award went to Worthington Industries in Delta. Worthington Industries is a global, diversified, metals manufacturing company.

The company has many individuals that give back to the community, including leadership positions with the Delta Chamber of Commerce (President Roger Fisher), FCEDC Executive Board (Jeff Leeper), and former Delta Mayor (Don Gerdes).

Haas Door of Wauseon received the Community Leadership Award.

The Nofziger family began in the garage door industry in 1939 when Ed Nofziger’s father Dennis installed his first garage door on Vine Street in Archbold. Since then, the family has grown two businesses in northwest Ohio, while investing in the communities they live and work in.

Now one of the larger employers in the city of Wauseon, the company is currently expanding manufacturing space to increase production.

One of the most recent notable ways that Ed and Carol Nofziger have been involved in the community is a gift of land they are currently in the process of donating for public use. The Rotary Club of Wauseon has named this the Indian Trails Project.

Sauder Woodworking Company in Archbold received the Business of the Year Award. Founded in 1934, Sauder Woodworking Company has been a fundamental part of the Archbold community and the regional economy for many generations.

Sauder Woodworking Company has recently secured new business opportunities with customers like IKEA and has invested more than $25 million in machinery and equipment to support new production capabilities and growth initiatives. Between April 1, 2014 and January 1, 2016 Sauder has increased its direct, full-time employment by 366 people. Additional job growth is expected in 2016 and future years.

Sauder Woodworking Company prides itself in being a good community citizen and demonstrates that commitment by encouraging employees to participate in local organizations. In addition, Sauder is the cornerstone of the United Way of Fulton County annual campaign with employee contributions and Sauder matching funds representing close to 1/3 of the campaign total.

The Robert Fulton Award was presented to Dennis Howell, Village of Archbold administrator. The Robert Fulton Award recognizes ingenuity, accomplishment and innovative thinking and can be awarded to an individual or business, according to Matt Gilroy, executive director of the FCEDC.

Howell started working for the Village of Archbold in 1976 as a laboratory technician in the water treatment department and has been the village administrator since 1998. Since Howell became administrator, the village has completed construction of the Clyde’s Way underpass, enhanced South Defiance Street to three lanes, extended Lafayette Street and Nolan Parkway to Township Road 24, and updated both the water and sewer treatment plants.

Howell has been involved in numerous economic development projects as a member of the Archbold Community Improvement Corporation, an officer for the Fulton County Community Improvement Corporation and as a member of the FCEDC. During his tenure as administrator, the Village of Archbold has completed more than 50 economic development projects; the last of which was a major expansion recently announced for ConAgra Foods.