Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Proud Magazine 2013

Proud Magazine 2013 - Licking County Chamber of Commerce

Andre Dager is a fourth generation ice cream maker, part of a family business known far beyond Licking County as Velvet Ice Cream. Close to home, she and her husband have found the entrepreneurial environment to be a good one for a business venture of her own! In her own words:


"Velvet Ice Cream has been a thriving business in Licking County for nearly 100 years, and we will celebrate our 100th Anniversary in 2014.  We make over 60 flavors and distribute our products to 26 states.  We feel very fortunate to be a part of a growing community where we employ 125 full time team members and 60 seasonal team members.   There is great leadership in this community and great networking available.  Community banks and businesses have been available for us to help us grow through the years. 


As for Red Oak Pub, that is truly the vision of my husband Michael Sarap and myself.  We began planning in 2011, after we had heard from our customers that Licking County needed a family friendly, clean, upscale pub where people of all ages could relax and enjoy great food, atmosphere and hospitality.  We're giving Licking County what they were asking for!  We employ 60 team members at Red Oak Pub. 


With the economy the way it has been the past few years, we had many people tell us to just franchise, it's too risky to create your own concept.  After much research we never found anything that we really liked or felt was worth the investment.  At that point, we began seriously creating our own concept and hired a chef.  Living and working in a community like Licking County we know that we have the resources to grow our businesses and to become successful, not only for ourselves but for our team members that rely on us for jobs, we couldn't do what we do without them."


Red Oak Pub's menu is what could be described as "gastropub," or "better bar food," with sophisticated wings, hearty soups, a variety of burgers and classic American comfort foods: and of course, Velvet Ice cream in the milkshakes!

Proud Magazine 2013 draft

Proud Magazine 2013 – Chamber Round-up


Excitement is a common theme among our Licking County senior executives. Leaders and boards are looking forward into 2013 and liking what they see, even as they make plans to improve both their businesses, and the local setting where they work.


Park National Bank President David Trautman says "We're excited about serving our communities—schools, local government, aid agencies, businesses and families.  Each year, Park bankers supply thousands of volunteer hours to schools and local non-profit groups. In addition, we help businesses grow and residents thrive. We believe banking is a noble profession and we're always excited to share our time and talents with our community, neighbors and friends. Specifically in 2013, we're also looking forward releasing an updated version of our free mobile banking and other enhancements to our electronic systems that help us our customers manage their money with confidence and ease."


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In Heath, Mark A. Miklos heads up The Boeing Company's Guidance Repair Center as Acting Center Director. From his work as Chief Engineer & Mission Assurance Manager, he states that they "look forward to continued successful performance supporting the nation's nuclear TRIAD through our contracts to repair the Minuteman guidance systems, Air Force bomber navigations systems and the Navy Trident submarine navigator system.  We are expanding our core businesses with new contracts for the Navy Eletrostatically Supported Gyro (ESG) and the Air Force Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) system.  Our Navy customer recognized Boeing's successful transition of work from California to Heath with a ribbon cutting ceremony at our site in April.  We are proud of our energy conservation efforts that have reduce our consumption by over 11% and passing a major safety milestone of over 500 days without loss time due to employee injury."


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Licking County's largest employer, Licking Memorial Health Systems (LMHS), recently added new services that will provide more convenient access to health care for many residents in 2013.  Licking Memorial Urgent Care – Granville opened last fall, and LMHS President & CEO Rob Montagnese explains that its services are perfectly suited for contemporary families' needs.  "Urgent care facilities are designed for patients who have conditions and injuries that are not life-threatening, yet need attention immediately.  Visits to urgent care are, in general, much quicker and less costly than visits to traditional emergency rooms.  Because of these two factors, the Urgent Care – Granville office will transform the way many Licking County families receive much of their medical care."


Licking Memorial Hospital opened a new Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit in January to provide inpatients with individualized plans to treat disabilities caused by illness or injury.  The team-approach to rehabilitation provides convenient, on-site therapy services to help inpatients live as independently as possible upon leaving the Hospital.


Montagnese also notes with pleasure that "Hundreds of Licking County's youth will become more healthy in 2013, thanks to the Active•Fit Program that LMHS and Newark Advocate Media launched last summer.  The program encourages healthy lifestyles for 6- to 12-year-olds by promoting the benefits of exercise, healthy eating and proper rest.  Active•Fit was created as a way for youth and their chosen advisors to set life-long goals for better health."


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Susan Krieger, Vice President – Operations for State Farm Insurance observes that "Twenty-twelve has been a tremendous year for State Farm, both in growth and in our work to meet our customers' changing preferences, expectations and needs. We're excited to continue on this path in 2013 as we deliver significant advances in our mobile and online capabilities our customers have requested. Here in Newark, our 1,200 plus employees are focused on making sure every interaction with our customers is a remarkable one."


Newark Central - Notes from my Knapsack 11-14

Newark Central – Notes From My Knapsack 11-14-12


Your elders had their annual retreat last weekend, cut just a bit short so we could come back and help honor one of our elders emeritus, Joe Higginbotham, for his 90th birthday celebration here at the church building.


While we were at Camp Christian, in the Monroe Lodge, we had the guiding principals of Herald Monroe, legendary regional leader of the 20th century, posted near our gathering space reminding us that the first purpose of Camp Christian is "to build the Beloved Community" (and that counselors have no special privileges "except coffee" . . . Herald was a wise and great man!).


As elders, we were in prayer and reflection to ask how God is guiding us "to build the Beloved Community" outlined in the New Testament at Mt. Vernon Road & Rugg Avenue, for the neighborhood around us and the county surrounding us.


After a time of Bible study led by Dr. Rintamaa, looking at models of creation in the ancient world, in Genesis, and in the Gospels (John chapter 1 begins with a creation story, after all!), we reflected on how our basic understandings about how God is at work in the world shapes how we decide to work ourselves, and that when we are closest to God's purposes is when we are sharing that work of "incarnation," of embodying God's love to the world.


In considering how we are called to embody, or incarnate that love through Newark Central, we put our vision for 2013 into four area where we see healing and renewing needed in our wider community: Family & children, Finance, Health & wellness, and Nature & environment.


At the board meeting towards the end of this month, we will share more detail about where we discern God's leading in addressing these four themes, and how Newark Central can offer a healing and transforming presence in Christ's name.


In grace and peace, Pastor Jeff

Monday, November 12, 2012

Faith Works 11-17

Faith Works 11-17-12

Jeff Gill


Believing in thankfulness



Thankfulness begins with a sense of "well, things could be worse."


In almost any bad situation there's an element that quickly shows itself to be not-so-bad vs. the negative situation as a whole. The car could have broken down farther away, or on a hill; the tumor is operable, or at least treatable.


So you're thankful, even in the middle of a tough situation.


When times are good, as things are working out, we can always see close at hand the ways that it could have gone the other way. I might not have seen the job posting when I did, the other fellow didn't have to stop and help, we almost fought over it before everyone in the room seemed to take a breath together, then someone laughed.


And you're thankful.


There are always those circumstances where thankfulness seems not only implausible, but irrational. The death of a child, the loss of a close friend, a diagnosis that is hopeless. The breaks all went against you, and the worst that you fear is what, in fact, has happened.


So often I see people in those situations still say how glad they are for the time they had, that we all got to say goodbye, and there are smiles even through a steady rain of tears.


It's not a "yes, but…" as much as a "yes, and…I am thankful."


There are people who manage to find the cloud in every silver lining, and the fly in each bowl of soup. Thankfulness does not appear to be a genetic or cultural essential in the human creature, it is a learned response that needs cultivating or it can disappear under a drip-drip-drip of "I never get a break," and "good things always happen to someone else," let alone "everyone is against me."


You might argue that folks in the last category are simply hard-headed realists, who approach the world and life with the skepticism and paranoia it deserves. The cosmos is governed by entropy, the ecosystem is eat or be eaten, and our economy is devil take the hindmost. Look out! And no matter how carefully you look out, you'll be someone's lunch someday, so gather what pleasures you may before the tiger strikes.


Not so thankful (except maybe the tiger).


My own sense is that the a-thankful, ag-not-grateful, anti-hope crowd is a small one. The rest of us find ourselves having to work at thankfulness more at some times than others, but the majority view is that thankful living and thinking is rational, and healthier, and ultimately the more joyful way to live. And we give Mr. Btfsplk a wide berth (that's for all the "Pogo" fans out there, the fellow who walked around with a black cloud over his head all the time).


There's still the challenge from atheist, agnostic, anti-religious adherents who ask "Why do you have to drag your imaginary sky friend into all this? Good things happen, bad stuff hits you, but you can't control it, and most of you God-botherers admit that you can't pray your way to exactly what you want, or even precisely what you need, right when it ought to happen."


A mild "well, we don't always know what's best" usually does not suffice to respond to those complaints. So why is thankfulness usually bound up with a belief in God, a faith in life-beyond-life, a sense of relationship to higher powers? Can't we just see thankfulness as a sort of thinkfulness, a way to train the mind and heart to deal with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune?


In the end, there's just too much about what we're thinking about when we think about thankful that reaches out beyond ourselves. We are thankful because we know in the end we don't even have to be, let alone be happy. If we think there is a reason we're here at all, and a purpose to which we're connected beyond ourselves, it so quickly makes us reassess our likes, our dislikes, our joys, and even our sorrows.


Thankfulness is the prayer I pray when I don't know what else to say to God, to the Cosmos, to my Creator. And it always starts me down a path that leads to peace. May this week take you in that direction, as well.


Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and pastor in Licking County; he will preach for the Newark community Thanksgiving service tomorrow night at 7:00 pm in Trinity Episcopal Church. Tell him what you're thankful for at knapsack77@gmail.com, or follow @Knapsack on Twitter.