Those Who Hustle Honored at Annual Meeting

CINCINNATI, OHIO (January 8, 2020) — We held our largest ever Annual Meeting & Business Development Awards Ceremony on Wednesday January 8, 2020 at the Sharonville Convention Center, to celebrate organizations and individuals who have partnered with us to help build the local economy “one business at a time.” The room was filled with banking partners, entrepreneurs, government leaders and many from all facets of the the startup ecosystem.

This year, eight individuals and organizations were celebrated for their success and contributions to our community. 

  • Veelo Technologies
  • Amanda Forsee- Peoples Bank
  • Angelica Johnson- First Financial Bank
  • Heritage Bank
  • Midwest Best BBQ & Creamery
  • The Modal Shop
  • Kelly Kolar- Kelly Kolar
  • Mark Lacker- Miami University

The recipient of the Client of the Year is Veelo Tech, a 2019 graduate from our Incubation program with a new home in Woodlawn.  They develop cutting edge advanced materials and manufacturing technologies that improve the sustainability and performance of the world’s most demanding composite aircraft and weapon systems.

We celebrated two Lending Advocates of the Year, Amanda Forsee from Peoples Bank and Angelica Johnson from First Financial Bank. Each obtained approval for three 504 SBA Loans. The 504 Lender of the Year recipient was Heritage Bank. They obtained approval on four 504 SBA loans. These efforts will have a long term positive impact on our community’s economic development.

Midwest Best BBQ & Creamery was celebrated as the Business Lending Project of the Year. They had outgrown their space and struggled to find financing for a larger space in order to grow. They were able to secure a loan based on projections, and are exceeding their 3 year projections after their second year.  The company is located at the Wards Corner exit from I-275 in Clermont County.

The recipient of the Ronald Schallick Economic Development Award this year was The Modal Shop for their exemplary growth fueled by participation in multiple programs. The Modal Shop was a 2002 graduate of the Incubator program and will soon make its home in a 100,000 square foot facility in the AeroHub District in Evendale, Ohio with its now 80 employees.

The Todd Portune Innovation Champion Award went to Kelly Kolar of Kolar Design, Inc. Kelly is an inspiration in her field and has experienced growth by leveraging award-winning insights and brand innovation to create data-driven design solutions for her clients. She gives back to the industry through mentoring, board roles, teaching at DAAP and championing for female founders. She is a true innovation champion here in Hamilton County.

The last award, the Larry Albice Entrepreneurship Award went to Mark Lacker of Miami University. Mark is a three-time entrepreneur and now serves Miami University  as the John W. Altman Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship. He is a true entrepreneurship champion helping the entire startup ecosystem thrive.

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