Business & Finance

Westlake fitness store prepares beginners for May in Bay 5K

For those who have never participated in a 5K, the prospect can seem daunting. The answer for some may be found at Fleet Feet Sports, which opened last August in Westlake’s Jefferson Square plaza. The store sells running and walking shoes, insoles, accessories and many other fitness products, but considers education as their No. 1 product.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:39 AM, 03.03.2015

Bay Village resident named a VP at Magnificat High School

Director of Alumnae, Director of Events and most recently, Senior Director of Student Life and Parent Engagement, are a few of the titles Mrs. Julie Sims Gibbons has held at Magnificat High School during her 18-year tenure. The 1980 Magnificat alumna is now the school’s first Vice President of Institutional Advancement.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:44 AM, 03.03.2015

Business networking event to be held Feb. 24

Business and community leaders of all types and sizes are invited to attend "Bagels and Business Cards," a before-hours business networking event from the West Shore Chamber of Commerce. On Tuesday, Feb. 24, from 8-9:30 a.m., enjoy networking and a bagel breakfast at Palace Business Centres, Suite 100, 24650 Center Ridge Road in Westlake.

This event is free to all business owners, managers and sales executives and no RSVP is required. All that is required is a desire to network with other business leaders to grow your business and of course, a lot of business cards. There will be drawings and prizes, including a free Palace Business Center office for a month and an Amazon gift card.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 9:09 AM, 02.17.2015

Westlake Animal Hospital welcomes new doctor

Dr. David Love is very pleased and excited to welcome Dr. Allison Riedl into the Westlake Animal Hospital family. Dr. Riedl was born and raised in Cleveland Heights. After graduating from Hawken, she earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Case Western Reserve University in 2001 and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2006 from The Ohio State University. She continued her education through a small animal internship at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital in 2006-2007.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 9:06 AM, 02.17.2015

RITA to hold taxpayer assistance session

The Regional Income Tax Agency is offering help to all taxpayers who are required to file a municipal income tax return for any RITA municipality with free taxpayer assistance events across the state. The Northeast Ohio regional session will be held Tuesday, March 3, 1-7 p.m., at North Ridgeville City Hall, 7307 Avon Belden Road.

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 9:52 AM, 01.20.2015

Bay Village stylist moves to Fairview Park salon

With a family lineage tracing her barbershop roots back to Italy, the newest addition to Rockport Barber Styling, Marie Simeone, is blending that heritage with her love for "All things Cleveland" to create a welcoming environment for all ages. A trip to Marie's chair at Rockport Barber Styling in Fairview Park's Ohliger Drug Store complex promises to be more than just a haircut.  

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Volume 6, Issue 25, Posted 9:38 AM, 12.09.2014

Support small, local businesses this holiday season

There are several reasons why shopping with small businesses and supporting them on Small Business Saturday on Nov. 29 is important. First off EVERY big business started small. Before Target was a chain, it was a single store in Minnesota. McDonald's started out as a food stand near an airport. Every business starts with a single location, product or idea. As the companies grew, expanded and multiplied they changed, becoming more generalized, less personalized and focused on each individual customer and their needs, wants and desires.

When was the last time you went into a big business as they were closing and they stayed open for you, the clerk volunteered to research a product or service for you that the store did not carry, or the owner commiserated with you over an illness or death in your family?

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Volume 6, Issue 24, Posted 9:40 AM, 11.25.2014

New Bay agency offers insurance, financial planning

On Oct. 1, 2014, my team and I launched the Brad Larson State Farm Agency at 654 Dover Center Road, in the Dover Commons of Bay Village, where the previous agent, who is now retired, had a 39-year history with the Bay Village community. 

We now have the honor of providing both existing and new clients the comprehensive insurance and financial solutions that will protect valuable personal and business assets, and provide guidance in meeting financial goals and dreams.

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Volume 6, Issue 22, Posted 9:25 AM, 10.28.2014

Local nonprofit assists mature workers in next stage of life

Career Transition Center (CTC) is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those seeking new career help. CTC teaches classes at libraries around Cleveland, including year-round classes at Westlake Porter Public Library. Beginning in November, CTC will launch its newest program, “The 2nd Stage Institute,” classes which will be held in Rocky River, in addition to CTC’s basic classes and job clubs.

It is a series of reasonably priced specialized classes and group coaching for mature workers in the managerial, professional, technical and upper-level administrative fields to assist them in moving into their next stage of life. Students will learn specific techniques that will help them handle the transition.

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Volume 6, Issue 18, Posted 9:54 AM, 09.03.2014

West Shore announces upcoming chamber events

Annual Golf Outing

The West Shore Chamber's annual golf outing will be held on Thursday, Aug. 7, at Avon Oaks Country Club. Shotgun start is at 1 p.m. This is a joint event with the Fairview Park Chamber of Commerce. There are still openings and sponsorships available. Cost of $150 per person includes golf, cart, lunch and dinner. This event is open to the public. Advance registration is required. 

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Volume 6, Issue 15, Posted 9:40 AM, 07.22.2014

Empowering girls with arts and entrepreneurship

Local organization Tigress is on a quest to empower teen girls to become confident, creative and action-oriented leaders who can change the world.

A Westlake native, I founded this social enterprise after several compelling experiences reinforced how entrepreneurship and the creative arts are unique tools that empower women and lead to social change. It was especially evident while I was living in Latin America, the Caribbean and the UK supporting the growth of micro-entrepreneurs and local organizations founded by Bono of U2, Richard Branson and Ashoka Fellows.

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Volume 6, Issue 14, Posted 10:03 AM, 07.08.2014

Microsoft is coming to Westlake!

On Wednesday, July 9, Northeast Ohio Personal Computers group will host “What’s New @ Microsoft: Devices, Clouds, Games & More!”, a discussion of all things Microsoft with a focus on the new and improved Windows 8.1. Have questions about Microsoft software or hardware? We have an expert here to give answers. Keith Mayer, a technical expert at Microsoft will cover several new updates across the Microsoft ecosystem: Windows 8.1 update, Windows Phone 8.1, Azure, Office 365 and Xbox One.

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Volume 6, Issue 13, Posted 9:14 AM, 06.24.2014

Store for furry friends relocates in Westlake

Trendi Paws! is a locally owned pet bakery/boutique formerly known as Just Dogs! Gourmet. In May, we relocated to the King James Plaza on Center Ridge Road in Westlake. 

We have a wide variety of yummy flavored treats including wheat free, grain free and organic. Our gourmet treats are hand decorated and all are handmade. For the doggies, fun items such as Yappy Meals, Yappy Hours or Tailgating in a Bag are ready to go for the impromptu play date.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 9:44 AM, 06.10.2014

Westlake consignment shop gets fresh start

Are you a thrifty shopper who goes against the grain, craving something different, a style all your own? Look no further than Articles Consignment, Etc. in Westlake. Our recently opened consignment boutique, formerly known as Classic Closet (and under new ownership), has been refreshed and revived.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 9:14 AM, 05.28.2014

Bay restaurant earns nod in regional rankings

Bay Villagers have come to love Greenisland as our hidden gem, tucked away between a gas station and a dry cleaner on an easy-to-miss side street off Columbia Road. After a rocky start, the Irish restaurant is now in its eleventh year of operation and was recently named as one of the top 100 restaurants in Greater Cleveland.

The restaurant’s unassuming exterior on Eaton Way yields to a cozy, welcoming atmosphere where regulars and first-timers are treated as old friends by owner Sean McConnell – who emigrated from the Emerald Isle in 1973 – and his wife, Connie. The friendly waitstaff are eager to explain the nuances of authentic Irish dishes like boxty and shepherd’s pie to the non-Irish among us, while the menu features more mainstream fare to appeal to a wide range of palates.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 9:35 AM, 05.13.2014

Hyland brings Silicon Valley vibe to Clemens Road

Around here we know it as Hyland Software, but globally the Westlake-based technology firm has made a name for itself with its enterprise application, OnBase. To solidify its identity worldwide, the company recently adjusted its marketing approach with new branding. Signage around the campus on Clemens Road has been changed to “Hyland creator of OnBase” and the international brand name of “OnBase by Hyland” was introduced to represent the evolution of the company from its founding more than 20 years ago.

“When we started talking about how our brand would continue to evolve, OnBase took center stage,” Bill Priemer, president and CEO, said in the company’s corporate blog. “Hyland serves as the creator and innovator of OnBase, but OnBase is the star.”

OnBase has more than 12,700 lifetime customers across the globe, a number prominently displayed on a large scoreboard inside Hyland’s headquarters. Every Monday during a company-wide staff meeting, the board is updated with new customers acquired during the previous week.

In celebration of the company’s new direction, Hyland welcomed Congressman Jim Renacci, State Representative Nan Baker, Mayor Dennis Clough and leaders of the West Shore Chamber of Commerce for a tour of its campus April 21.

The Observer was invited to join the group on their afternoon visit with Hyland executives.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:39 AM, 04.29.2014

Andrew Mangels discusses customer service in presentation to Chamber members

On April 8, the West Shore Chamber of Commerce welcomed Andrew Mangels, director of Westlake Porter Public Library to speak at the monthly luncheon. Andrew gave an overview of the Shep Hyken book “Amaze Every Customer Every Time.”

The first impression or experience a customer has with your service or business is "The Moment of Truth" – the checkout line, website, phone call or billboard. Within that moment, customer service is evaluated in one of three standards – mediocrity, misery or magic. In the "Moment of Mediocrity," customer service is neither good nor bad, it’s just OK. In the "Moment of Misery," customer service is mishandled, but can recover. And in the "Moment of Magic," a customer receives something a little better or a little more than they expected.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:51 AM, 04.29.2014

Mobile studio brings yoga to you

The idea to start a mobile yoga business began over a year ago when Rose Sabin, my mother-in-law, and I found ourselves talking about yoga and how it has changed our lives in a positive way. I have been practicing for over a decade and teaching since 2008 and have a degree in health sciences. Rose has owned and operated a successful local advertising agency for the last two decades. Plus, she has four years of yoga experience.

Combining our knowledge and experience, we realized it was time to blow the doors off of yoga and give the people of Cleveland something new. The mobile yoga concept is new to Cleveland, but not new to other cities. Los Angeles, New York and Chicago are already home to many pop-up yoga studios.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:43 AM, 04.29.2014

A slice of Nirvana in Bay Village

She greets every customer with enthusiasm. The aroma of hot pizza welcomes them too. Once inside, however, the captivating blue eyes of owner Andrea Coats keeps them in the door. 

That, and a really great pizza! From a place called Nirvana.

Why Nirvana? "Nirvana represents peace and happiness and that's what I'm all about," Andrea said.

Andrea spent years on the West Coast where she honed her business skills; even more on Cleveland's east side. This past November, she brought it all home to Bay Village. This time with the close support of family.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:50 AM, 04.29.2014

Westlake vets donate to local animal rescue

Westlake Animal Hospital has exciting news! We recently launched a very special Facebook "contest" and we are pleased to announce our first award recipient. Throughout the year we will sponsor local animal rescues or shelters, giving $1 for every new friend on our Facebook page. Last month we sponsored The Rescue Inn in North Olmsted, donating more than $450 to assist with their important shelter work. Take a moment to like Westlake Animal Hospital on your Facebook page and help us raise money toward the local rescues and shelters by encouraging your friends to do the same.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:43 AM, 04.29.2014

Equity Trust opens in Westlake

Equity Trust, a financial services company, opened their new Westlake headquarters to city officials, business leaders and the media on April 8. The company centralized its Elyria and Berea locations last December after completely renovating the former Cleveland Clinic building on Clemens Road.

The 72,000-square-foot facility is bright and modern with colorful art installations throughout and features an in-house masseuse, gym, yoga studio, coffee bar for its more than 400 employees.

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Volume 6, Issue 8, Posted 10:37 AM, 04.15.2014

Fitness facility opens in Williamsburg Square

As owner of My Personal Trainer, a unique fitness facility that provides a personalized and comprehensive approach to healthy living, I would like to take this opportunity to let the local community know about our services and invite you to visit our clean, private, clients-only studio at our new location in Westlake's Williamsburg Square.

At My Personal Trainer, our friendly, professional, certified trainers are dedicated to helping men and women with workouts and dietary packages designed to address the whole person. We take pride in knowing that we are helping people understand and utilize the safest and most effective fitness techniques and offer an affordable program at 70 percent less than the cost of average personal training rates.

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Volume 6, Issue 7, Posted 9:13 AM, 04.01.2014

Toastmasters can help set you apart

What sets you apart in the workplace? What sets you apart from others on the battleground of job seekers? If experience and education are equal, what sets you apart from everyone else out there? Senior leaders, human resource professionals and hiring managers have agreed for years that communication skills (verbal and nonverbal) clearly set people apart from each other. Communication skills are logically linked to leadership abilities.

By joining a Toastmasters club, you will concentrate on building your communication skills and enhancing your leadership abilities. What is your first thought when you are asked to give a presentation? Do you embrace the notion of sharing a message with people or do you feel some fear and anxiety just thinking about speaking in public?

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Volume 6, Issue 7, Posted 9:29 AM, 04.01.2014

Rae-Ann facilities named to U.S. News list

Three skilled nursing facilities in the family-owned Rae-Ann Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Facilities group have been named to the prestigious “America’s Best Nursing Homes” list for 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.

Two of the facilities are located in Westlake – Rae-Ann Suburban and Rae-Ann Westlake – and the third is in Geneva, Ohio. This is the fifth year in a row that Rae-Ann Suburban has earned this distinction and the second year in a row Rae-Ann Westlake has been named to the U.S. News list.

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 9:10 AM, 03.18.2014

Former mayor open real estate office in Bay

Bass Ohio Real Estate, a full-service brokerage and consulting firm, recently expanded into the residential market by opening an office in Bay Village at 419 Dover Center Road.

“We are extremely excited to enter the residential arena by operating an office in our hometown,” said Thomas Jelepis, CEO and broker for the firm and a former Bay Village mayor. “Our focus will be on the Greater Cleveland area. We plan to expand at a slow and steady rate which will allow us to cover more geography as time progresses.”  

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Volume 6, Issue 5, Posted 9:45 AM, 03.04.2014

New westside networking group forming

My name is Karry Trotter and I am an insurance agent/broker. I am starting a new networking group and am looking for interested parties. This group will help all of us help others in ways we may never have considered. 

The meetings are every other Tuesday morning, 7 a.m., at Joe's Deli in Rocky River. The next meeting is March 18. My hope is that we, as a group, can have a large successful relationship with each other. 

The proposed name will be Le Mieux Networking Group and we will only have one person from each industry represented. It is going to be professional but a little on the lighter side as far as rules and regulations. We expect everyone to share at least one lead per meeting so a total of two referrals a month per member and bring in someone they may know from a market not being represented.

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Volume 6, Issue 5, Posted 10:03 AM, 03.04.2014

New sports pub opening soon in Westlake

Construction is underway on Westlake’s newest restaurant, located on the former site of The Boneyard restaurant on Sperry Drive. Hooley House Sports Pub & Grille bills itself as “one fun pub,” serving reasonably priced American favorites with a spotlight on classic Irish dishes.

Like its predecessor, Hooley House’s expansive dining room will provide a multimedia experience, featuring more than 25 big-screen LED TVs and several large projection HD screens broadcasting sporting events in surround sound. Wi-Fi will be available throughout.

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Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 9:30 AM, 02.18.2014

Tri-C offers free tax prep services

Cuyahoga Community College will once again offer a free personal income tax filing service to qualified taxpayers at four of its campuses this year.

In the Westshore area, walk-in assistance on a first-come, first-served basis is available at Corporate College West, 25425 Center Ridge Road, Westlake. The free tax clinics will run between 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays from Feb. 5 through April 2 (except March 12) in Room 203.

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Volume 6, Issue 3, Posted 10:18 AM, 02.04.2014

West Shore Chamber bestows service award

Kevin Lynch, center, from AT&T, was recognized by the West Shore Chamber of Commerce with the 2013 Hugh L. Dawson service award at the Chamber's Jan. 14 meeting. Pictured with Lynch following the award presentation, from left: John Sobolewski, executive director of the Chamber;  Susan Uranker, incoming Chamber president; State Rep. Nan Baker; and Robert Kess, outgoing Chamber president.

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Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 10:11 AM, 01.21.2014

Women's networking group sees growth going into 2014

Women in business in Westlake and Bay Village are finding an answer for building their businesses when they discover the Westside Professional Women's Connection, and WPWC is growing as a result.

The group, which is over 10 years old, has been meeting in the Westlake/Bay Village area for years, and has been meeting at The Copper Cup on Dover Center Road for many months now. With many networking groups finding their membership declining for many reasons, WPWC is growing.

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Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 10:27 AM, 01.21.2014

Westside Professional Women's Connection invites new members

Westside Professional Women's Connection has made Westlake its home for many years, meeting in local restaurants on the third Tuesday of the month for lunch, networking and creating friendships. October begins the annual membership drive, though new WPWC members are welcome anytime during the year, and guests are invited to attend the monthly meetings without a reservation. The door to becoming a member is always open.  

On Tuesday, Oct. 15, women can join us beginning at 11:30 a.m. for our lunch buffet and networking followed at noon with our speaker and our 30-second commercials at The Copper Cup, 680 Dover Center Road in Westlake. Guests do not need to make reservations, and the charge for guests for the monthly event is $20 (cash or checks payable to WPWC).

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Volume 5, Issue 20, Posted 9:41 AM, 10.01.2013

Nordstrom Rack opens in Westlake

The fashionable and frugal alike braved the cool, soggy morning of Sept. 12 to welcome Westlake’s newest retailer to Crocker Park. Nordstrom Rack, the off-price sister store of Nordstrom, opened its second Cleveland-area location on the former site of Borders bookstore.

The earliest shoppers began showing up at 6 a.m. and by the time the store opened its doors three hours later, a line of umbrellas snaked halfway around the building. In a scene reminiscent of the holiday season, a steady stream of cars circled the packed parking lot throughout the day.

The gloom of the morning was left at the door, as customers were met inside the foyer with a “Welcome to the Rack!” from a cheerful greeter before entering the bright and bustling store. Sales associates in neon green shirts zipped up and down the aisles, answering questions, directing shoppers and ringing up purchases with their mobile phones.

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Volume 5, Issue 19, Posted 10:36 AM, 09.17.2013

Westside business networking group meeting in Westlake

There is a new group that meets quietly in a conference room on Detroit Road. Very few people know about it, but every time it meets the numbers grow, and chairs are becoming filled earlier and earlier on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.

Then, from 8 to 9:30 a.m., the group's members share what their business does. Everyone listens intently, looking for an opportunity to help someone else. And there is more...

Yes, it is a networking group. It is The Opportunity Network – Westside. Founded by business coach Diane Helbig, this all started in January of this year. 

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Volume 5, Issue 19, Posted 10:30 AM, 09.17.2013

New Sears home appliance showroom in Westlake now open

The recent opening of a new Sears Home Appliance Showroom Store in Westlake truly “hits home” with parent company executives.

Will Powell, the chief operating officer of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc. just happens to be a longtime resident of Northeast Ohio, currently residing in Bay Village, which means he is holding himself fully accountable to ensure local shoppers receive nothing less than an exceptional shopping experience, featuring personalized customer assistance, shopping by appointment any time of day or night, cookies, coffee and beverages, and a play area for children.

The new Sears Home Appliance Showroom store opened Aug. 23 at 30219 Detroit Road in the Promenade at Crocker Park. The store offers a full suite of home appliance merchandise and mattresses, including all of the top 10 appliance brands.

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Volume 5, Issue 18, Posted 2:58 PM, 08.23.2013

Westlake in-home care business certified to serve Medicaid-eligible seniors

FirstLight HomeCare of Westlake, a non-medical in-home care business that services Westlake residents, has recently become PASSPORT certified to better serve the community. FirstLight provides services to seniors, new moms, those recovering from surgery and to anyone else who just needs a little extra assistance around the house. Services include things such as bathing, grooming, meal prep, medication reminders, travel companionship, respite care for caregivers and more.

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Volume 5, Issue 18, Posted 10:38 AM, 09.04.2013

Westlake business uses art to teach social skills

This summer, the city of Westlake will welcome a new company to the community. DramaSmarts is a literacy-based program that teaches social skills and enhances reading, writing and speaking skills through drama. Using a Reader’s Theater model, DramaSmarts works with students in grades K-5 primarily during the afterschool hours to help them learn how to use Reader’s Theater to turn everyday stories into their own works of art on stage.

Founded by teaching artist, international educator, author and speaker Terré Holmes, DramaSmarts derived out of her quest to teach children about theater, while simultaneously teaching them to work together, improve their focus, increase their attention spans and explore the creative aspects of who they are. 

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 10:43 AM, 06.11.2013

Chamber of Commerce presents Student Achievement Award

The West Shore Chamber of Commerce Education Committee presented the annual Student Achievement Award to Jaclyn Maat at the May 7 Chamber luncheon. Jaclyn is an employee of the Westlake Recreation Center, where she has worked since shortly before graduating from Westlake High School in 2011. The award is given to recognize West Shore Chamber business members and their student employees or volunteers that show an exemplary work ethic.

Jaclyn is a full-time student at Cleveland State, plays volleyball for the CSU club team and still finds time to work at the Rec Center on evenings and weekends. She works year round in the child care room, staffs the monthly "parent night out" program, serves as a summer day camp counselor and helps out with keeping score for the youth baseball program.

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Volume 5, Issue 10, Posted 10:16 AM, 05.14.2013

Westlake's John Lance Ford wins dealership award

John Lance Ford in Westlake is among an elite group of Ford and Lincoln dealerships to be recognized with the 2012 President’s Award by Ford Motor Company. The prestigious award honors dealerships that have excelled in automotive retailing in 2012, by providing exceptional customer service and satisfaction. Less than 10 percent of dealerships nationwide received the award.

“Earning this award is a reflection of our entire staff’s commitment to delivering the best customer experience possible,” said general manager Dean Szalai.

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 10:52 AM, 04.16.2013

Prosperity Money Club announces final three meeting topics

The Prosperity Money Club, started last fall at Westlake Porter Public Library, announced the final three programs on its schedule. The group, which is open to all, meets the first Wednesday of each month: April 3, May 1 and June 5, and runs from 7 to 8 p.m. There is no charge.

Topics for the remaining three months are: April – Using the Internet for Financial Education; May – Reading the Financial News; and June – Finding an Advisor. Facilitated by veteran financial services professional Jan Litterst. For more information, call Jan at 440-263-6176 or email her at litterst_7@hotmail.com.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 10:35 AM, 03.19.2013