Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce

Time to sign up to join BG Holiday Parade

From BOWLING GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE The Annual Bowling Green Parade Project Team announces the 2018 Community Holiday Parade to take place Saturday, Nov. 17, starting at 10 a.m., in Downtown Bowling Green.  The theme this year is “Our Best Hometown Holiday” complementing the award given to Bowling Green by Ohio Magazine.  Come and join community groups, businesses, bands, and Santa for some fun this year. With many local participants, this can be your year to join in on all the excitement. Unit Registration & Sponsorship forms are now available in the Chamber office or at  The deadline to register units for the 2018 Annual Bowling Green Community Holiday Parade is 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5. Registration is $50 for Non-Investors, $25 for Investors and $15 for Non-Profits, with the fees supporting band stipends, parade publicity, general administrative costs, as well as the cost of WTOL broadcasting the Parade. Sponsorships and/or donations to help offset expenses of the parade are also appreciated.  Sponsorship and unit registration forms can be downloaded from and mailed to the BG Chamber at 130 S. Main St., Bowling Green, Ohio 43402.  Sponsorship forms must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, November 5th to be recognized in the media outlets. The 2018 Annual Bowling Green Community Holiday Parade is brought to you by the Presenting Sponsors, Julie’s Dance Studio, Rosenboom Custom Crafted Cylinders, Regal Beloit and the City of Bowling Green.  And WTOL Channel 11 will be broadcasting the parade live this year! The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce supports an environment for the development and success of business within the Bowling Green area.  The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Celebrates, Educates, and Strengthens its Investors through Business Improvement Events, Grants, Services, Leadership, Legislative Updates and Group Savings Programs.  We are your Community Connection via ‘The Morning Show’ radio program WBGU 88.1FM, Wood County Safety Council, Annual Awards, Holiday Parade and Fireworks.  The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce is Celebrating 82 years; Established 1936.

Mary Hinkelman named new director of BG Chamber

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Mary Hinkelman – who has made Bowling Green her business – will soon take on a broader workload. She is going from being a cheerleader and advocate for downtown businesses to meeting the needs of 450 businesses in the entire Bowling Green community. Hinkelman has been named the new executive director of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, a position held by Earlene Kilpatrick for the last decade. She relishes the challenge. “You never tell me that I can’t do something,” Hinkelman said with a smile. The common denominator with her old job and new position is the focus on local businesses. “Doing things with the businesses is the favorite part of my job,” she said. Hinkelman admits she won’t miss the 6 a.m. phone calls from the downtown groundskeepers, or cleaning the streets on some Saturday mornings. But she is looking forward to continuing working side-by-side with businesses. As Downtown BG director, she represented about 175 businesses in the downtown area – everything from retail and restaurants, to law offices, medical services, and non-profits. As chamber director, Hinkelman will be spreading her skills to the entire business community. She knows the job will be a challenge. “I know that the way people do business is very different than 10 or 15 years ago,” she said. “Are we still meeting the needs of the chamber?” Hinkelman would like to focus on the creation of a business incubator space in the city to help entrepreneurs get started. “This is still in its infancy,” she said. “It would be a place for someone to launch a product and see what the interest would be.” The chamber of commerce announced Hinkelman’s hiring Friday morning. She was one of 65 applicants for the position. “It was very humbling,” she said. Hinkelman is proud of her two-plus years as downtown director. “I saw there was a difference being made,” she said. During her tenure, the downtown initiated a Chocolate Crawl. “That was wonderful,” she said. The Downtown Farmers Market has expanded and is expected to have more than 100 vendors next year. A winter market is being started, which is “super exciting.” The Art Walk was revived with the addition of the “one-bite competition.” “The numbers were dwindling, but people love food,” she said. And the summer Firefly Nights were so successful the event is continuing into the fall. The downtown is also working with some BGSU architecture students on making the “dog-leg alley” by Finders, on North Main Street, a usable space. With the addition of some outdoor seating, Hinkelman hopes to see an area for pop-up artists. Hinkelman believes the new creative ideas for the downtown are encouraging others to get involved. “When you see a good thing, everybody wants to get in on it,” she said. In her new role as chamber director, Hinkelman plans to continue attending City Council meetings. “I’m excited. I’ll still be working closely with the city. I love that process,” she said. And she sees opportunities to build on the chamber’s success. “It’s an amazing community. There is always something going on,” Hinkelman said. “We are still continuing to grow. There’s a lot of investment in the community. This is a great place to live.” Hinkelman takes over her…

Coach Robyn Fralick brings her winning ways to BGSU women’s basketball

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News With the losses piling up over the last few seasons for the women’s basketball team, Bowling Green State University has turned to someone who knows about winning. Robyn Fralick comes from Division II Ashland University where her teams racked up 104 wins in her three seasons as head coach, including a Division II record of 73 wins in a row. In her time there – seven as an assistant coach and three as a head coach – the team won two national championships and was runner-up twice. She wants to bring those winning ways to Bowling Green. Fralick talked about her aspirations for her team Thursday as the speaker at the Chamber of Commerce’s Mid-Year Awards Program. Making the move to Bowling Green was not easy. The Michigan native enjoyed her decade at Ashland. “I feel I grew up there.” Fralick met and married her husband in Ashland, and that’s where their two children were born. But they found in Bowling Green “a community we not only could, but wanted to raise our family.” “We’re very, very excited to be part of the community. We love a place where kids can ride on their bikes and feel safe and comfortable.” At Ashland, she had a mentor in Sue Ramsey, the head coach who hired her. Two of Ramsey’s core beliefs, Fralick said, were: “Take care of people and take care of details. … She lived it out every day. You cannot steal her joy.” Fralick said she also learned from Ramsey to never let how people treat you dictate how you treat them. She carried those lessons with her as she took over as head coach. The 73-win streak was “cool,” she said. “It was less about the number. It was everything about the how and why.” It showed what could be accomplished “when a group of people decide that working hard matters, when a group of people commit every day.” “It’s not about who you’re playing, it’s about playing the game in the right way for 40 minutes.  … When those things are in place good things happen.” She’s hoping to impart those lessons at Bowling Green. One of her core values is toughness. At Ashland her team scored a 100 points a game. “We played really hard and played at a pace that required a level of toughness not every team willing to do.” For the Falcons that’s a change “for them play with that pace and play the right way.” When recruiting “we want to take players who are every-possession players. You can count on them every possession in the game.” She also wants players who will take advantage of what’s available to them at BGSU. Noting that the Stroh Center is open to players 24 hours day, seven days a week, she said if an athlete leaves the school and is not a good player, it’s on them. Fralick said she recently had a conversation that pleased her. The athlete told her that in her first two seasons she was only excited about what she could do. This season she was excited about what the team can do. The players “have an absolute obligation to this community,” Fralick said. She was impressed when 200 people turned out recently for a…

Hundreds of volunteers share in Black Swamp Arts Festival’s I Love BG Award

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A volunteer enterprise that knows how to show the community a good time won the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce’s I Love BG Award. The Black Swamp Arts Festival received the award at the Chamber’s Mid-Year Meeting and Awards Program. Given the number of volunteers, as many as 1,000, with some seated in the luncheon audience, festival vice chair Jamie Sands dubbed the honor the “We Love BG Award.” The Black Swamp Arts Festival will be staged Sept. 7-9 in downtown Bowling Green and feature visual arts, music, and more than a dozen youth art activities. In his introduction, Clint Corpe, of the Morning Show on WBGU-FM, recalled talking to Floyd Craft, one of the festival’s founders, about the event’s soggy start. Craft recalled that first year organizers pulling down tents with rain coming at them from all directions and knowing they had lost thousands of dollars that they’d put into the festival. They asked: What next? The answer was: “Let’s do it again.” And they did. Again and again and again. Last year’s the festival marked its 25th year. In the spirit of the founders, the festival committee wondered after 25 years what was next, said Bill Donnelly, who chairs the festival committee. “What’s our vision for the next 25 years?” The festival’s mission is to foster a relationship between members of the community and the arts, he said. Donnelly said he’s researched other events and he could not find another festival of this magnitude that is totally staged and funded by community volunteers. Among those volunteers is Earlene Kilpatrick, the executive director of the chamber. She’s served on the festival’s artist hospitality committee. Donnelly said if he asked her to show up at 4:30 a.m. on the Saturday morning of the festival, she was there. This was the last major chamber event Kilpatrick will preside over. She is retiring on Oct. 1 after 10 years in the job. “The chamber has grown,” she said, “and I’ve grown as part of the chamber.” Heritage Corners, which won the Customer Service Award in 2017, was honored with the Small Business of the Year Award. Monica Manley, daughter of founders Mark and Debra Manley, said she applied for the award this year because her parents are retiring, and this would be the last year they could celebrate the honor as a family. On receiving the award, Monica Manley said, “it’s easy to live in Bowling Green because of everyone in this room.” Her brother Mat Manley said he was surprised to be honored again. He thought he’d come to present the Customer Service Award. He did do that. The honor went to Wood Haven Health Care, another business that serves the elderly. Jeff Orlowski, the director, said that all employees go through empathy training, and they think of themselves not simply as workers, but as super heroes who daily can make a difference in people’s lives. The chamber also awarded its scholarship winners: Jared Bechstein, high school,  and  Andrew Slembarski, college. (The guest speaker was Robyn Fralick, new women’s basketball coach at Bowling Green State University. A story on her talk will be forthcoming.)  

Earlene Kilpatrick leaving BG chamber after decade of service

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News After 10 years on the job as executive director of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, Earlene Kilpatrick still gets goosebumps when the awards for individuals and businesses are handed out. The July 20 Mid-Year luncheon will be her last time to preside over such festivities. She’s leaving her job with the chamber on Oct. 1, exactly 10 years from the day she started. That was on the cusp of an economic crisis that gripped the country. Bowling Green wasn’t spared, but it has bounced back. Looking back, Kilpatrick said: “It’s been smooth. It’s been truly a fantastic experience.” That’s despite long hours, and the occasional disappointment. Twice in recent years the Holiday Parade has been canceled. Her husband, Claude Kilpatrick, has teased her that those will be her legacy. That’s hardly the case. “She’s really done an amazing job of growing the chamber to what it is today,” said Jerid Friar, president of the chamber’s board of director. “I would have to say things are more clearly defined than they were. The direction we’re headed is a very positive one.” He praised the way she’s developed new programs, such as the Michael Brown personal development workshops and events such as the business after hours gatherings. This has helped strengthen participation, Friar said. The organization’s annual golf outing, its largest fundraiser raised a record amount this year. Kilpatrick said that overall the membership has increased slightly, though she feels investors’ engagement with the group has increased. “It’s a very intense job,” she said. It can involve 50 to 60 hours a week. “But it’s very rewarding … You create friendships along the way.” She feels satisfaction in working with the chamber’s project teams, or city ad hoc committees, and university town-gown efforts. And she’s proud of the more than 3,400 volunteer hours people devoted to the chamber as well as the efforts of ACT BG raising money for charities. The opening of the Four Corners Center in the former Huntington Bank has lived up to its goals. The building houses the chamber, Downtown Bowling Green, Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Bowling Green Community Development Foundation. The arrangement allows the agencies to better collaborate and direct business from one to the other. Kilpatrick arrived at the chamber from Main Street BG, now Downtown Bowling Green. During her 10 years leading that group the city completed Heritage 2000, a downtown revitalization project. Her role was to keep open the lines of communication between the city and the business community. Now some of those changes are having to be updated. “We still see a lot of entrepreneurs, and as a community we are blessed to have generational businesses that are still strong. We still have a vibrant downtown,” she said. “We see positive dynamics between the town and university.” But, she said, that “maybe after 10 years it’s time for new leadership to take the chamber to the next level.” Kilpatrick said her decision to leave her job was prompted by her husband’s decision to retire after 31 years with the Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities. “Claude’s retirement got me thinking about what our future would be like together,” she said. They have parents in their 80s, and two grown sons, Quentin, completing…

BG Chamber seeks nominations for mid-year awards

From BOWLING GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Nominations are currently being sought for the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce’s Mid-Year Awards. The public is invited to submit nominations for these awards. Nomination forms, including criteria and submission information, are available from the Chamber of Commerce, Four Corners Center at 130 S. Main St., and can also be obtained from the Chamber’s website at Completed nomination forms should be returned to the Chamber of Commerce office by June 18th, 2018; no late submissions will be accepted. For questions contact the Chamber of Commerce office at 419-353-7945 or These awards will be presented at the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Mid-Year Meeting to be held on Friday, July 20th, 2018 at Olscamp Ballroom 101, at Bowling Green State University. I LOVE BG AWARD – The I Love BG Award was established in 1988 to recognize an individual or organization for their efforts in increasing the visibility and promotion of the City, and improving the quality of life for Bowling Green residents. OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD – The Outstanding Customer Service Award is to honor businesses that demonstrate exceptional customer service. To publicly promote, showcase and congratulate those businesses who are excelling in customer service. To maintain and strengthen Bowling Green businesses including for-profits and non-profits as outstanding providers of exceptional and quality customer service. The Business must be an Investor of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce at the time the award is presented. The Business must be in operation at least one year. Nominations are encouraged from satisfied customers who feel they have received exceptional service from a Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Investor. Businesses can self-nominate. SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD – The Small Business of the Year Award is to honor businesses located within the Bowling Green city limits that demonstrate achievement in management and workplace excellence, product innovation, and community and social responsibility. To acknowledge publicly the vital contributions made by area companies to business growth in Bowling Green. To illustrate the depth of talent that exists in the Bowling Green business Community by highlighting nominees’ success stories. The nominated business may be any for-profit business headquartered in the city limits of Bowling Green. Businesses must meet the definition of a Small Business as defined by the Small Business Administration. Businesses must be financially stable and operational for a minimum of five years. Businesses must be an Investor of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce at the time the award is presented. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce supports an environment for the development and success of business within the Bowling Green area. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Celebrates, Educates, and Strengthens its Investors through Business Improvement Events, Grants, Services, Leadership, Legislative Updates and Group Savings Programs. We are your Community Connection via ‘The Morning Show’ radio program WBGU 88.1FM, Wood County Safety Council, Annual Awards, Holiday Parade and Fireworks. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce is Celebrating 82 years; Established 1936.

BG Chamber: Issue 1 is “sensible, fair and positive state-wide change to the redistricting process”

The Board of Directors of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce is joining the bipartisan coalition that is supporting State Issue 1.  It is our belief, the same as the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters, that State Issue 1 would establish a new process for how Ohio handles congressional redistricting.  Under the current system, a simple majority of the General Assembly determines the new congressional districts by passing a bill that the governor then signs into law. State Issue 1 would replace the existing process by providing bi-partisan approval of a map; requiring compact districts; restricting the current division of counties into several districts; ensure a transparent process by allowing the public to submit a map; and requires lawmakers to host public hearings. Although state lawmakers will continue to control the map-making process under the new proposal, it will require a bipartisan supermajority and includes other checks and balances that guard against partisan gerrymandering. Vote Yes on State Issue 1.  It is a sensible, fair and positive state-wide change to the redistricting process allowing voters to choose their legislators, not legislators choosing their voters.   Earlene Kilpatrick, Executive Director Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce: “All of us will benefit from an enhanced, state-of-the-art  school district”

The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has voted to endorse the School Bond issue.  From the business and economic development perspective, there is a strong link between quality schools and local commerce.  We know from first-hand experience that new business, whether it has one employee to 500+, often the quality of the schools factor into the decision to locate or not in our district. We know recruiting and retaining a skilled and diverse workforce is a major factor that determines our economic growth.  A quality district with state-of-the-art facilities is often a priority for new hires who are looking to move into our area. If these new hires stay, they add to growth of our housing, retail, churches, parks and more. All of us who live in the BG School District benefits from that commerce as well.   We also recognize that time is of the essence.  Based on the 4/26/2018 Bowling Green City Schools Tax Analysis, compiled and presented by Rockmill Consulting Firm, the costs of the proposed project will only continue to rise. Mr. Conley noted that since the November 2017 election, the cost of our project has already risen by 4M.  The cost is predicted to continue to increase due to interest rates, inflation, and the rising construction costs. To curb costs, waiting is not an option. And to the current and future Bobcats, our community owes you state-of-the-art facilities and opportunities to become the best you can be in a very competitive world.  And for the future, we want you to continue the cycle of investment and commerce in BG, where you too will be assessing the quality of the school district for your own children. The bottom line is this, all of us will benefit from an enhanced, state-of-the-art  school district that is competitive to area school districts. Such a school district is a powerful attraction to new business and the domino effect of strengthening local commerce, the workforce, and the  over-all quality of life…the long term reward far exceeds the cost.   Respectfully, Earlene Kilpatrick, Executive Director Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce

The Stacked Deck offers gaming fans a new place to gather in downtown BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Joe Busch was in high school, playing Dungeons and Dragons had a “Cheetos in the basement” stigma attached to it, so he and his friends used the school chess as a cover. Now role playing games and the card game Magic are more popular and accepted. Busch is out in the open with his love for the games as the new owner of The Stacked Deck, a gaming shop in downtown Bowling Green. Busch said he first got into gaming in junior high. Like many others in his generation Pokémon served as the gateway game. He and his friends heard about Magic the Gathering, which was more complex with deeper back story, so they started playing that. Busch said he loved writing and telling stories, so in high school, he started his own Dungeon and Dragons campaign, conducted under the cover of the chess club, and continued through his college years. The New Jersey native, Busch attended Rowan University where he studied journalism. Summers he’d come home and muster his friends and resume the campaign. That’s the appeal of role playing games in the world of fast paced video play. Video games may have good stories, he said, but those tales are created by someone else. “Dungeons and Dragons moves with you,” he said. “It’s writing a story but with a group of five people all contributing. You can do whatever you want. You’re just having fun telling the story together.” Whether engaged in role playing, another board game, or a Magic, the social aspect of people gathering for fun and camaraderie is part of the attraction. From the beginning Busch knew he wanted to do more than sell games and cards, but wanted to have a place where people could play uninhibited without the questioning looks of people wondering what they were doing rolling those strange dice and talking about fireballs. “It’s not like you’re an outsider doing something like that here,” he said. The appeal is broad. “You can have anybody play with anybody.” Fathers bring in their kids to get their first starter deck of Magic cards. He had a man in his 70s stop by. He’d seen YouTube videos about Magic, and was thinking about taking the game up. When Busch went to the bank to set up his business account, the banker was excited because he played Magic. He introduced him to one of his co-workers who was also a fan of the game. This is the kind of place Busch missed when he first moved to town about four years ago to take an editing job. When the owner of that company cashed out, he took a job in the frame shop at Ben Franklin. He liked the job, but felt he was in a rut. Busch, 28, admired what his friends Jon and Kayla Minniear were doing with their shop Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Retro, and thought he’d like to do something similar. Then they told him a spot was open on the alley across from their store’s back door. Busch did some research into the gaming shops that have come and gone in town. Given the number of stores in Toledo, he was surprised none existed in Bowling Green, He discovered they didn’t close because…

ACT*BG’s Amazing Race to benefit Montessori School

From BOWLING GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE On Friday May 18, 2018, The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce ACT*BG Project Team will host their annual event, Amazing Race Bowling Green with proceeds benefiting the Montessori School of Bowling Green. Participants can sign up a team or sign up alone and be placed on a team and make some new friends! Tickets are $25 per person & May 17th is the deadline for registration. Participants can RSVP to the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce by calling 419-353-7945 or email Marissa Muniz at The event will begin at 6:30pm on May 18th at Bowling Green Performing Arts Center located at 530 W. Poe Road in Bowling Green, Ohio. Complete Challenges and solve puzzles around BG to win the race! Join us at Howard’s for the after party catered by Brookdale BG, featuring Pizza Pub 516 & Chipotle favorites! The party will include heavy Hors d ’Oeuvres, a cash bar and entertainment. For more information, contact Marissa Muniz or checkout the flyer on the BG Chamber website. ACT*BG (which stands for Active – Community – Teamwork) is a highly active Project Team of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce. ACT*BG has a mission to attract and retain professionals in the Bowling Green, Ohio area. The focus is connecting active professionals to each other and to the community through social, civic, charitable, educational, and professional development events.

Leadership BG to raise funds for Habitat, CASA

From BOWLING GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Leadership BG Class of 2018, a program of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, invites you to join us for an evening of fundraising and community building benefitting Habitat for Humanity of Wood County and Wood County CASA. This event will take place on Friday, May 11th, 2018 from 6:00pm-9:00pm at Campus Quarters on 107 State Street. We will have Dennis Hopson as a special guest to talk and mingle with guests. Dennis is a former NBA player and past Assistant Coach for the BGSU men’s basketball team. Also attending will be Commissioner Craig LaHote as a VIP Bartender donating his skills and tips! Come enjoy the nacho bar, raffle items, music and fun! Habitat for Humanity will be building homes in our county over the next 3 years. They need our support to give the new homeowners the best start they can get. We will be collecting both donations and a list of home owner items that can be found on the event’s Facebook listing. These items include rakes, snow shovels, and more. Wood County CASA supports the best interests of some of the youngest in our community. As Court Appointed Advocates for minors, they need help compiling ice breaker bags. These bags, which include games, puzzles and other activities for kids of a variety of ages, help the Child Advocate build trust with the ones they need to support and advocate for. They are in need of a number of items (see list in event post on Facebook) and or monetary donations to go toward purchasing these items. Come on out to support this worthy cause and help raise money for Habitat for Humanity Wood County and Wood County CASA! For more information contact the BG Chamber at (419) 353-7945 or visit The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce supports an environment for the development and success of business within the Bowling Green area. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Celebrates, Educates, and Strengthens its Investors through Business Improvement Events, Grants, Services, Leadership, Legislative Updates and Group Savings Programs. We are your Community Connection via ‘The Morning Show’ radio program WBGU 88.1FM, Wood County Safety Council, Annual Awards, Holiday Parade and Fireworks. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce is Celebrating 82 years; Established 1936

Hospital, chamber team up to offer blood analysis screenings

From BOWLING GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Wood County Hospital and the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce will host their 14th Annual Blood Analysis Program on Saturday, April 28 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the Wood County Hospital. This comprehensive blood analysis screening is for multiple health risk indicators including but not limited to kidney function, electrolytes, liver function and lipid profile and requires a 10 hour fast. Additional available tests are PSA for men and TSH (thyroid) for men and women. Cost of the program is $50 for BG Chamber Investors and $60 for Non-Investors, with $25 each for the additional tests. Blood pressure checks are also offered. The results of this fasting blood test should be used as a guide to determine your current health status and to make positive changes in diet, exercise or lifestyle to enhance your well-being. The screening should not take the place of routine physicals. Although normal ranges are listed, only you and your physician can establish what is normal for you. A report providing all test results will be sent to the participant or his/her physician. Proceeds from the event will go to support the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce and Wood County Hospital Foundation Scholarship Funds. The Wood County Hospital Foundation Scholarship is designated for full-time undergraduate students at BGSU. The scholarship is awarded annually to one student. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Scholarship is a $2,000 award that is given annually to one Chamber-affiliated student for their study at BGSU. Appointments are required. Starting now, you can call the Chamber office at (419) 353-7945 to schedule an appointment. Registration will be taken until April 13th, or until all spots are filled. Prepayment is required at time of registration by cash, check or credit card, and must be paid prior to event.

Chamber sponsoring webinar on sexual harasssment, Feb. 28

From BOWLING GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce announces a Webinar presented in partnership with The Employers’ Association. This Webinar will be held February 28th at 8 a.m. Registrants can participate from anywhere via personal devices. “Let’s Talk About Sexual Harassment, Baby! Moving Beyond Compliance to Creating a Culture of Respect and Civility in the Workplace” During this webinar, participants will learn: • How to promote respect and civility in the workplace • The importance of Leadership and Accountability in preventing harassment • How to avoid the perils of “Complicit silence” • Tips for updating your company’s sexual harassment training The wave of recent sexual harassment scandals has prompted many companies to evaluate their sexual-harassment training programs. The allegations have shown how ignoring this problem can have devastating effects on victims as well as bystanders, can destroy organizational culture, and damage your company reputation. But, workplace harassment training that simply focuses on eliminating unwelcome or offensive behavior based on characteristics such as race or gender is not enough. To stop harassment, companies must go beyond compliance training and make a commitment to promote respect and civility in the workplace. This is a free event, but reservations are required by Monday February 26. On February 26 registrants will be given a call in code for the Webinar. RSVP by contacting Marissa Muniz at or by calling (419) 353-7945. This event is presented by the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Business Council in partnership with The Employers’ Association.

BG chamber honors citizens for leaving lasting legacies

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green gave its most cherished awards Saturday to a woman whose students became part of her extended family, and to a man who extended his family to many in need. Dolores Black and Tim Harris were named Citizens of the Year at the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Dinner in BGSU’s grand ballroom Saturday evening. Black was recognized as a true advocate for equity in education for all – at all levels of public schools and higher education. Black approaches life with zest – from teaching, to competitive dancing, to sending postcards from around the world to former students. She was one of the founders of the library set up for inmates at the Wood County jail, and was fundamental in the operation of Wood Lane Special Olympics. She was volunteered with the Wood County Historical Society, the Wood County Humane Society, the Wood County Task Force on Battered Women, the Bowling Green Community Foundation and the Save the Woods organization. “Her legacy is lasting,” Shirley Woessner, last year’s recipient of the citizens award, said as she introduced Black. “What a surprise,” Black said as she accepted her award, surrounded by her family on the stage. She thanked Wood Lane and the community for giving her opportunities to give back. “I’d like to thank the teachers I had,” Black said. And she extended that appreciation to her students as well. “They taught me everything.” Black urged those in the audience to open their eyes to the needs of others. She invited them to stop by the jail library. “Visit your community. Go see the other half,” she said. Much like Black, Harris was awarded for reaching out to those in need, especially people with disabilities. Harris helped establish the Leadership BG Program for the chamber, and is a past president of the library foundation. He has served as a volunteer with the Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Wood County Department of Human Services, BG Optimists, Jaycees, youth hockey and the chamber. He and some buddies from the former Jaycees have created their own group called the “Wild Hogs.” Harris and his wife, Margie, have been foster parents to eight children. “He is a person we are proud to know,” said last year’s award winner, Chet Marcin, as he introduced Harris. Harris was joined on stage by many family members. “These guys behind me – my family – they make it all possible,” Harris said. And they didn’t give away the surprise, he said after he left the stage. “They were home dressed in sloppy clothes when I left.” And as for those “Wild Hogs,” well they are much tamer than the movie version, Harris admitted. The chamber of commerce also bestowed awards for local residents who have helped women succeed. Janet Parks was given the Athena Award, and Jeff Orlowski was given the Zeus Award. Parks was recognized as being a feminist from a very early age. Throughout her career in education, she taught vital leadership skills and spoke on gender equality. She dedicated volunteer time to Bowling Green Parks and Recreation, the Cocoon, voting rights and Save the Woods. Parks, known for her gentle southern accent, has proven to be a force to reckon with on women’s…

BG Chamber awards dinner set for Jan. 27

From BOWLING GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce will host its Annual Meeting Dinner and Awards on Saturday, January 27 beginning at 6 p.m. in the BGSU Bowen-Thompson Student Union Lenhart Grand Ballroom. The 2018 theme is “There’s No Place Like Our Best Hometown.” This event is the community’s opportunity to celebrate business, honor two Outstanding Citizens, an Athena award recipient, a Zeus award recipient, with the chance to take a retrospective look of the year in action. Social hour will start at 6 p.m. with cocktails, dinner will be served at 7 p.m. and the program will begin at 8 p.m.. The cost for the evening is $50 for Investors and $60 for Non-Investors. Any community member is invited to participate. Reservations can be made by submitting RSVP cards to the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce. RSVP cards can be found on our website, or by calling the office at 419-353-7945. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce supports an environment for the development and success of business within the Bowling Green area. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Celebrates, Educates, and Strengthens its Investors through Business Improvement Events, Grants, Services, Leadership, Legislative Updates and Group Savings Programs. We are your Community Connection via ‘The Morning Show’ radio program WBGU 88.1FM, Wood County Safety Council, Annual Awards, Holiday Parade and Fireworks. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce is Celebrating 81 years; Established 1936.