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West Side Business News & Notes

7/25/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

WhiteSpace Creative acquires Highland Public Relations

AKRON — Two Akron marketing communications agencies have combined under the WhiteSpace Creative banner as of July 1.

WhiteSpace Creative, a strategic integrated marketing communications agency, is acquiring Highland Public Relations (PR), a West Akron public relations firm. WhiteSpace will retain the entire Highland PR staff, according to company officials. Its president, Robert Zajac, will become executive vice president at WhiteSpace.

This is the second acquisition for WhiteSpace within the year. It acquired Fairlawn-based SmileyHanchulak Marketing Communications in August, retaining a large majority of its staff and clients, according to company officials.

“This acquisition increases our ability and capacity to deliver more comprehensive integrated marketing communications services,” said Keeven White, president of WhiteSpace Creative.

White intends to retain Highland PR’s office on West Market Street. The Highland PR staff will remain at that location, and the public relations staff at WhiteSpace will move there.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our staff, as well as for our clients to have even greater access to top-level integrated communications services,” Zajac said.

For details, visit www.whitespace-creative.com.

Employee of Distinction Award nominations being accepted through July 31

SOUTH AKRON — Goodwill Industries is offering employers in Summit, Medina, Portage, Ashland and Richland counties an opportunity to give their stellar employees the recognition and appreciation deserved through the Employee of Distinction Award Luncheon hosted by Goodwill Industries.

Employers can nominate, at no cost, the employees they would like to publicly recognize. The deadline to nominate employees is July 31. Every honoree is acknowledged at the event, listed in the commemorative program and in the running to receive one of the five 2013 Employees of Distinction Awards. All honorees also will receive two free tickets to a performance at the Akron Civic Theater.

This year’s keynote speaker is Hideo “Hank” Hara, chief technology officer at Bridgestone Americas in Akron.

A panel of independent judges will select the top five employees. The winners will be announced at the event and will be given a special gift from Shulan’s Fairlawn Jewelers.

Employers can nominate as many employees as they wish, and there is no fee for nominations. However, each ticket at the event, including honorees, is $30. Advertising and sponsorship opportunities also are available for the event.

Employers can download the nomination form, make reservations for the luncheon and learn about sponsorship and advertising opportunities at www.goodwillakron.org. Questions about the Employee of Distinction Luncheon can be directed to Tracy Keenan at 330-786-2573 or tkeenan@goodwillakron.org.

The luncheon will take place Sept. 4 at 11:30 a.m. at Guy’s Party Centre, 500 E. Waterloo Road.

DFWR receives tax credits for economic development

SUMMIT COUNTY — Ohio Development Services Agency Director David Goodman recently announced the Development Fund of the Western Reserve (DFWR) is one of four Ohio Community Development entities that have been allocated Ohio New Markets Tax Credits to spur economic investments in Ohio’s low-income communities.

The program is designed to help finance business investments in low-income communities by providing investors with state tax credits in exchange for delivering below-market-rate investment options to Ohio businesses.

The Ohio New Markets Tax Credit program leverages the Federal New Markets Tax Credit Program to attract additional investments to Ohio. The DFWR is a private nonprofit community development entity controlled by the Development Finance Authority of Summit County (DFA).

This current distribution of Ohio New Markets Tax Credits provides a total of $10 million credits to the Finance Fund, Cincinnati Development Fund, the Dayton Region New Market Fund LLC and DFWR.

DFWR will receive $2 million in tax credits for a minimum of $5.1 million for project investments. The DFWR service area covers 18 counties in Northeast Ohio. DFWR received its first allocation from the Federal New Markets Tax Credit program in 2012 totaling $20 million. DFWR has helped finance projects such as the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center in Kent and the Lorain County Health & Dentistry Clinic.

Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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