Last updated: August 25. 2013 9:07AM - 375 Views

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LIMA — Three area businesses — Ford Motor Co., Tom Ahl Chrysler and Tracy’s Appliances — have received Energy Efficiency Champion Awards from AEP Ohio.

The Lima businesses were recognized for improving energy efficiency within their respective facilities and using incentives made available through an energy-efficiency program offered by AEP Ohio.

Ford, Tom Ahl Chrysler and Tracy’s Appliances were three of the 25 businesses, organizations and educators honored from throughout the state at AEP Ohio’s first Energy Efficiency Champion Awards event. The award recognizes AEP Ohio business customers and partners that have demonstrated a strong commitment to energy efficiency.

“Each of today’s award winners have made outstanding contributions to increasing energy efficiency within their organizations,” said Pablo Vegas, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer. “Their efforts have helped them reduce their energy usage and environmental impact, while saving money. We hope their efforts will inspire other businesses to partner with AEP Ohio and take advantage of our energy efficiency programs.”

Richland Manor recognized as a top employer

BLUFFTON — Richland Manor, owned by Trilogy Health Services, was named one of the 2013 Best Employers in Ohio, created by the Ohio Society for Human Resources Management State Council and Best Companies Group.

Companies from across the state entered a two-part process, using an evaluation of workplace policies, practices and philosophy and an employee survey to measure employee experience. The rankings will be unveiled in a Journal Publications Inc. in May. Trilogy Health Services was ranked No. 18 on the list; the company has been named a Best Employer for four of the past five years.

Peak partners with Northwest Physical Therapy

DELPHOS — A new partnership between Northwest Physical Therapy and Peak 24/7 Community Wellness will provide enhanced fitness club offerings and services at Northwest Fitness Club with the creation of Peak 24/7@Northwest.

Members of Peak 24/7@Northwest will also have access to other fitness facilities, including Peak Community Wellness in Delphos and Van Wert. Peak 24/7@Northwest will offer staffed hours and an expansion of access hours, as member accessibility will be expanded to 24 hours a day. The location, pricing, staff and services (classes, training, tanning, Silver Sneakers and many more program) will remain unchanged.

The facility will operate as Peak 24/7@Northwest to recognize the partnership and enhanced offerings, and current members of Northwest Fitness Club will enjoy a continuation of their membership through their contract year or other terms.

MHCO launches $850,000 construction project

BLUFFTON — Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio began a six-month construction project at the Maple Crest campus’s Crimson Maple Court cul-de-sac earlier this month.

The $850,000 project will create four new independent living duplex units. Each unit has a different floor plan and range from 1,617-1,820 square feet. Floor plans vary between two- and three-bedroom floor plans, but all include cathedral ceilings in the great room, a utility room, kitchen (including all appliances), two baths and a two-car garage.

Three of the four units under construction have been sold. Following the completion of this project, there will be 14 units in the seven-acre Crimson Maple Court addition, with only one lot remaining to construct one more building which will house two additional units.

Pandora Contracting LLC, of Pandora, is the general contractor for the project. RD Neff & Associates of Bluffton is the architect for the project, and New Leaf, of Ada, will be landscaping the project.

'Big Idea' winners announced

BLUFFTON — “The Hot Seat,” “Nike Cleanse,” and “Delicate and Sweet Bakery” are the three winners of the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs’ Big Idea Contest, said Denise Durenberger, BCE director and assistant professor of business at Bluffton University.

The winners represent entries in the Bluffton University division of the contest:

•First place, Robert Beaver, with “The Hot Seat,” $250 prize

•Second place, Maggie Armstrong, with “Nike Cleanse, “$100 prize

•Third place, Jane Virdin, with “Delicate and Sweet Bakery," $25 prize plus $25 Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce gift certificate

“Entries were judged on uniqueness, potential for commercialization and long-term viability in the marketplace,” Durenberger said.

The Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs is a not-for-profit business incubator offering support services and professional guidance to entrepreneurs and small businesses in Allen, Hancock, Hardin and Putnam counties. BCE clients receive customized mentoring, networking opportunities and access to developmental resources including Bluffton University faculty, student interns and affordable office space.

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