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Pro Football Hall of Fame partners with Goodyear 'Blimpworthy' program

By Jim Mackinnon Published: October 31, 2016

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton is “Blimpworthy” under a new arrangement with Goodyear.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. on Monday announced a new sponsorship agreement with the Pro Football Hall of Fame that ties into the company’s Blimpworthy marketing program.
The Hall of Fame and Goodyear said the new program will celebrate “the spirit of football – hard work, grit and determination – on and off the field.”
The Akron tire maker coined the term Blimpworthy in 2011 to draw attention to its brand by asking sports fans which college football game the Goodyear blimp was worthy of covering.
Goodyear said it will tap into the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s archive and share what it calls Blimpworthy stories through Hall of Famers and events that transformed their careers.

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New Myers Industries CFO has a Ferrari background

By Jim Mackinnon Published: October 19, 2016

Myers Industries Inc.’s new chief financial officer, Matteo Anversa, will be coming to the Akron polymer products maker and tool distributor via Fiat Chrysler Automobiles -- including a stint at Ferrari --  where he was a vice president.
Myers Industries on Wednesday announced the hiring of Anversa as its new CFO, executive vice president and corporate secretary effective Dec. 1.
Myers Industries said Anversa has an extensive background in operational finance, planning and analysis, internal audit, controls and compliance.
“He possesses both the leadership qualities and operational finance experience essential to establishing and achieving our strategic goals,” David Banyard, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “His unique combination of skills and experience, combined with his disciplined approach to financial reporting and analysis, cash management and internal controls will be considerable assets to Myers and our businesses.”
Anversa said he looks forward to joining Myers “as we finalize and implement a new enterprise strategy that creates shareholder value through profitable growth and a disciplined financial approach.”
Anversa is a 1996 graduate of the University of Parma. He previously worked for General Electric, including being CFO for some of its subsidiaries. He joined Fiat Chrysler in 2013 as CFO of Ferrari SpA and helped the company prepare for its IPO; the spinoff was completed in January.

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2 Chinese nationals ordered to prison for defrauding Goodyear

By Jim Mackinnon Published: October 13, 2016

Two men from China will go to prison for more than two years and have to pay $1.5 million in restitution for defrauding Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland said in a press release:

"Two Chinese nationals were each sentenced to more than two years in prison for defrauding Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company out of $1.5 million, said U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Cleveland office.

"Xin Franco Fan and Rex Xu Yu both pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud. Both were sentenced to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution.

"Fan and Yu will be deported upon their release.

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FirstEnergy sends 390 workers to Florida to aid in Hurricane Matthew restoration efforts

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: October 7, 2016

Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. has sent 390 workers to Florida to aid in Hurricane Matthew restoration efforts.

Crews from nine of FirstEnergy's utilities, including Ohio Edison, began leaving for Florida on Thursday, with all expected to arrive in the Lake City, Fla. staging area by Saturday. Crews include linemen, damage assessors, forestry crews and support personnel.

"FirstEnergy employees are commtited to assisting what is likely to be a massive power restoration effort in Florida," said Steven Strah, senior vice president and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "While we're not expected that Hurricane Matthew will impact any FirstEnergy service territories, we have carefully assessed conditions and are confident we have the personnel in place to maintain reliable operations for our customers."

FirstEnergy is a member of multiple electric utility mutual-assistance groups that work cooperatively to restore service to custoemrs when a natural disaster causes large-scale power outages.

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Public can go online to view Goodyear airship christening Oct. 21

By Jim Mackinnon Published: October 7, 2016

Goodyear’s christening on Oct. 21 of its newest airship, Wingfoot Two, will not be open to the public.
Instead, the public can watch the event on the web by going to
The ceremony will take place beginning at 4 p.m. at the Akron tire maker’s Portage County blimp base at 841 Wingfoot Lake Road in Suffield Township. The ceremony is open only to Goodyear employees and invited guests.
Akron native Savannah James, wife of Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, will christen Wingfoot Two and take a flight aboard the airship following the ceremony.

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Thomas Sullivan retires after 55 years with RPM International

By Jim Mackinnon Published: October 6, 2016

Former head of RPM International Inc. Thomas C. Sullivan officially retired Thursday as a director of RPM after 55 years with the Medina company. The retirement took place at RPM's annual shareholders meeting.
Sullivan, son of company founder Frank C. Sullivan, joined RPM’s predecessor, Republic Powdered Metals, in 1961 as a divisional sales manager. He assumed leadership of the then-$11-million company in 1971 when his father unexpectedly died.
When he retired as chief executive officer in 2002, RPM’s annual sales were more than $2 billion; they now are nearly $5 billion.
“Tom shaped RPM’s corporate culture, established its core operating principles and has been a key driver of its growth and success. If you made a $1,000 investment in RPM on May 31, 1971, near the start of Tom’s leadership, and reinvested the dividends, your investment would have grown at an incredible rate to $510,190 by the end of our 2016 fiscal year. The same investment in the S&P 500 over a comparable timeframe would be worth $81,100,” his son, Frank C. Sullivan, said in a statement. Sullivan is RPM’s chairman and chief executive officer.
“Tom leaves a lasting legacy that will continue to reward our shareholders and guide our current management team,” Sullivan said. “We are extremely grateful for the mentorship and guidance he has provided.”
Also Thursday, four directors were elected to three-year terms that expire in 2019: David A. Daberko, retired chairman of the board and CEO, National City Corp., now a part of PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.; Thomas S. Gross, retired vice chairman and chief operating officer for the Electrical Sector of Eaton Corp. plc; Craig S. Morford, chief legal and compliance officer of Cardinal Health, Inc.; and Frank C. Sullivan, chairman and CEO of RPM.

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RPM International increases dividend by 9.1 percent

By Jim Mackinnon Published: October 6, 2016

RPM International Inc. increased its quarterly dividend by 9.1 percent to 30 cents per share. The higher dividend is payable on Oct. 31 to stockholders of record as of Oct. 17. The Medina company previously paid a quarterly dividend of 27.5 cents.
The action announced Thursday is RPM’s 43rd consecutive year of increased cash dividends. That puts RPM among less than half of 1 percent of all 19,000 publicly traded U.S. companies. Only 44 other companies, besides RPM, have consecutively paid an increasing annual dividend for this period of time or longer.

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American nonstop flights from Akron-Canton to Chicago's O'Hare, second flight to NY starts tomorrow

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: October 5, 2016

Starting tomorrow, American Airlines starts its new nonstop service to Chicago from Akron-Canton Airport and adds a second flight to New York.

The twice daily service to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport will be operated by Envoy Air Inc 50-seat ERJ-145 regional jets.

“Both business and leisure travelers will love this new service aboard American Airlines,” said airport President and CEO Rick McQueen in a press release. “Chicago O’Hare is an excellent way for travelers to get to their favorite west-bound destinations with one easy stop. The connectivity aboard American Airlines at CAK is outstanding and proves their commitment to quality of service for our community.”

“Two daily flights to Chicago will allow customers in the Akron-Canton area to make a day trip to Chicago for business or leisure, or connect through this key international gateway to more than 100 destinations throughout the American Airlines and oneworld alliance global network,” said Michael Barich, senior manager of Network Planning for American Airlines.

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RPM International's first quarter sets a company record

By Jim Mackinnon Published: October 5, 2016

RPM International Inc. reported record first quarter results Wednesday and reaffirmed its earnings outlook for fiscal 2017.
The Medina business, which owns companies that make coatings, adhesives and related products, reported record net income of $112.8 million, or 83 cents per share, on sales of $1.25 billion – also a first quarter record. That compares to earnings of $99.8 million, or 74 cents per share, on revenue of $1.24 billion a year ago.
Earnings beat analyst expectations while revenue fell short.
Shares of RPM were down $1.73. or 3.3 percent, to $51 as of 1:22 p.m. Shares are up 15.6 percent since Jan. 1 and are up 16.4 percent from a year ago.
RPM said it was able to get strong results despite what it called “continued strong headwinds” from currency exchange, soft global energy and heavy equipment industries, and a sluggish global economy.
“We continue to generate growth across most RPM businesses despite many market and economic challenges, and our operating units were able to leverage this modest sales growth into very strong EBIT growth,” Frank C. Sullivan, RPM chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “ ... We are maintaining our guidance for diluted earnings per share in fiscal 2017 of between $2.68 and $2.78.”
First quarter industrial segment sales declined 0.2 percent to $675.8 million from $677.1 million a year ago.
Specialty segment sales grew 3.8 percent to $176.3 million from $169.9 million a year ago.
Consumer segment sales rose 1.1 percent to $399.9 million from $395.6 million a year ago.
“RPM continues to be in a strong financial position to fund a growing cash dividend, acquisitions and internal growth investments,” Sullivan said.

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GOJO, maker of Purell, expands to surface disinfecting, sanitizing category

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: October 4, 2016

Akron-based GOJO Industries, the inventor of Purell instant hand sanitizer, is expanding to a new category: surface disinfecting and sanitizing.

The company has launched Purell surface and disinfecting and sanitizing products in the foodservice, healthcare and professional markets. The products are also available for consumers via online retailers such as

“People and businesses want to effectively clean and disinfect their work environments, but with products that are good for them and the planet,” said Steve Ashkin, a leader in the Green Cleaning Movement in a press release.  “With its science-based approach, GOJO changed the way we think about cleaning our hands, and now is  revolutionizing the surface spray category with products that offer powerful germ kill for MRSA, the cold and flu virus and norovirus within 30 seconds, a no rinse food contact surface formula in addition to its Design for the Environment Certification.”

Before launching the Purell Surface Products into the market, the privately held, family-owned company said it worked closely with scientific and sustainability thought leaders, like Ashkin, as well as customers and key decision makers in the food, healthcare and professional markets to understand the market needs and gain feedback to deliver the right solutions. 

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Dominion monthly SCO rate goes up slightly for October

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: October 4, 2016

The monthly natural gas price for residential customers who are on the Standard Choice Offer (SCO) will go up slightly for the month of October.

    Effective Oct. 12, Dominion East Ohio's SCO rate will be $2.90 per thousand cubic feet (mcf). That's 10 cents/mcf or 3.6 percent higher than the September rate of $2.80/mcf.

    The price is also 32 cents/mcf or 12.4 percent higher than the price of $2.58/mcf a year ago.
The SCO is a monthly rate determined by a state-approved formula.

Under the company’s filing, the average SCO residential customer’s bill for the month of October will be $46.97, up $4.14, or 9.7 percent, from $42.83 a year ago.

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White Barn Candle coming to Belden Village Mall

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: October 4, 2016

 Belden Village Mall is getting a new retailer: White Barn Candle Co.

The Jackson Township mall said it is Canton's first location for the candle store.

Celebrating its grand opening on Oct. 14, White Barn Candle began as a store-within-a store at Bath & Body Works, and its popularity inspired the brand to expand into its own, connected storefront.
“We are delighted the company chose Belden Village for this expansion. Our guests love Bath & Body Works and the White Barn line did extremely well here. The new store offers an even greater selection to choose from, which is sure to make it a must-visit destination during the holiday shopping season,” said Belden Village Mall’s General Manager Katrina Barton.

The store will be in the Dillard's wing.

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Moochie & Co. pet chain, with location in Summit Mall, acquired by competitor

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: October 4, 2016

Moochie & Co., a mall-based pet supply store with a location in Summit Mall, has been acquired by an Illinois-based competitor.

Bentley’s Pet Stuff, a natural pet food retailer with 33 locations, has acquired Moochie & Co with its 11 stores in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

“Moochie & Co. has created a fun, festive place for pet owners to conveniently shop for their furry family members. They are also highly involved with rescue and community advocacy. It’s simply a great match for our stores where customers are like family and product quality is an obsession,” said Giovanni Senafe, co-owner of Bentley’s Pet Stuff. 

“Joining together will allow Bentley’s to further our mission to educate owners about optimal nutrition for their pets in vibrant, high-traffic settings. It’s a win-win.”

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Kent State to host Sky Hack; university among latest recipients of grants from Hudson foundation

By Katie Byard Published: October 4, 2016

A new kind of hackathon — aimed at aviation — is among programs getting a total of nearly $700,000 in grants from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation of Hudson.

The hackathon called Sky Hack – innovation is designed as a way to celebrate next year’s 50th anniversaries of the Morgan Foundation, which promotes entrepreneurism in the region, as well as Kent State University’s flight technology program.

Students from any academic institution will be welcome to participate in the weekend-long event. Hackathons typically involve computer-code savvy participants using open source data to address issues in a limited period of time.

The Morgan Foundation said the hackathon will be the first of its kind in the country.
Prize money of at least $21,000 will be awarded.  The event is slated for Oct. 13-15, 2017.

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Area companies can apply for training funds; state program reimburses employers

By Katie Byard Published: October 3, 2016

Employers can apply for matching funds under the state’s popular program that helps them pay for training of existing workers.

The funds are available to Ohio businesses under the fifth round of the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program.

Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and businesses can begin submitting their online applications at 10 a.m. Oct. 14.

Businesses can go to see the application now at and determine what information is needed to complete the application.

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Goodyear sponsors college contest to create high IQ tires

By Jim Mackinnon Published: October 3, 2016

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. imagines a world where it makes tires with high IQs – in a sense, recreating the wheel.
Does this mean there is a set of GeniusTred tires in your future? Or perhaps tires named SmartTred? BrainTred? How about Mensa Max?
Who knows? All smart-ass naming speculation aside, the Akron tire maker is turning to a Northeast Ohio university for help in exploring the future of tires with built-in intelligence.
Goodyear is sponsoring a design and innovation competition, the Goodyear Innovation Challenge, with the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University “to redefine the tire for the Internet of Things”. The “Internet of Things” means products, in this case tires, that can send and receive data.
The Goodyear-Weatherhead competition invites teams of four to five business school graduate students to submit an intelligent tire business case by Oct. 10. Five teams will get a chance to compete in a two-day hackathon at Case Western Reserve’s Larry Sears and Sally Zlotnick Sears think[box], a center for innovation and entrepreneurship.
“There is no question that you can improve vehicle performance by adding intelligence to tires. It’s already happening,” Jim Euchner, vice president of global innovation at Goodyear, said in a statement. “The question is what are you sensing, and how do you integrate that data with the vehicle in a way that adds value not only for the automaker, but also for the driver.”
Five team proposals will be selected to participate in the Nov. 10-11 hackathon in Cleveland. Students will be asked to design a service by validating user needs, brainstorming concepts, prototyping the best fit, and developing “back of the envelope” business model calculations.
Teams will have access to 3D printers, laser cutters and other equipment.
“We believe it is time to reinvent the wheel, literally!” the contest brief says in part. “We want your help reinventing tires in the digital economy so they become part of the connected world. ... What we mean by reinventing the tire is not to redesign a product but to rethink the user experience of mobility in a connected world for a company like Goodyear.”
This is not like a typical app development contest, Case Western Reserve design and innovation professor Youngjin Yoo said.
“We are seeing a moment where an industry is literally being reimagined,” Yoo said. “It is as real as it gets when it comes to digital innovation.”
Goodyear executives and Weatherhead professors will select the first, second and third place winners for awards of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000, respectively.
The first place team will have the opportunity to interview for a position on Goodyear’s global innovation team.
To enter the contest, go here.

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