Business briefs

WE LAUNCH TO LAUNCH: The next cohort of WE Launch, phase two of the WE Accelerator Program, begins June 9 and includes 10 weeks of classes focused on the fundamentals of owning and operating a business.

The primary goal of WE Launch is to assist women who have started their own business but need assistance in launching their product into the market.

To qualify for WE Launch, your business must be woman-owned, be registered with the state and have an existing business plan.

The virtual meetings will be 6 to 8 p.m. June 9, 16, 23 and 30; July 7, 14, 21 and 28; and Aug. 4.

Go to ybi.org, the website for the Youngstown Business Incubator, to learn more.

WCBA GROUP FINISHES 2ND: The Student Investment Fund in the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University placed second for the second consecutive year in the Undergraduate Growth Portfolio Competition.

The fund’s portfolio is benchmarked against the S&P 500 Index and has outperformed the index 10 out of the last 11 years. In 2020, the fund’s portfolio yielded a total return of 30.4 percent compared to the S&P 500, which grew 18.4 percent.

The fund started in 2008 with $250,000 provided by the YSU Foundation’s endowment fund. From 2008-2013, the fund received an additional $50,000 each year from the YSU Foundation to invest. The students meet regularly to research and invest in specific stocks, learn from investment professionals, and track their investments. The portfolio has grown significantly over the years. As of April, the group was managing a portfolio worth $2.4 million.

The competition was sponsored by the Global Asset Management Education Forum and hosted by Quinnipiac University of Hamden, Conn., in March.

HUNTINGTON AWARDED: Huntington Bank has claimed the highest ranking in customer satisfaction with consumer banking in the North Central Region of the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study. The achievement is the sixth time in nine years for the bank.

The study is based on responses from 94,784 customers of the largest banks in the United States about their experiences with their bank. It was conducted from April 2020 through February 2021. Regional banks are those with $55 billion-$259 billion in domestic deposits. The study measures customer satisfaction with banks in 15 geographic regions.

It measured account opening, communication and advice, channel activities, convenience, problem resolution and products and fees.

CHAMBER ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP: The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber has partnered with Optimally Business Performance to offer members a program to help reduce their operating expenses.

Some of the overarching expense categories the Optimally team looks at are telecom / software, human resources, treasury, insurance, utilities, waste, advertising, supplies and transportation.

Optimally will provide chamber members a free analysis.

CONTINUED GROWTH AT AIM: Girard-based Aim Integrated Logistics, a division of Aim Transportation Solutions, more than doubled its business development staff, most recently bringing on industry expert Bryan Bilchik to help identify and adopt new opportunities in the southern region of the United States.

Bilchik has a background in transportation and software.

In addition to internal growth, Aim Integrated recently has moved up from the 2020 position of 23rd to the 2021 position of 22nd in Transport Topic’s 50 Top Dedicated Contract Carriers list. This list is regarded widely as the most comprehensive rating system in the transportation industry within the United States.

RV CENTER MOVES: Homestead RV Center, a recreational vehicle dealer and service center, moved into its new location, 6700 Belmont Ave., Girard, on April 12. It features a larger service facility, more service techs, a larger parts store and better parking.

The previous location in Hubbard closed on April 16.

People on the move

NEW HIRE, PROMOTION AT 717: Paul Bush recently joined 717 Credit Union as the collections and recovery manager.

In his new position, Bush, who comes from BFG Federal Credit Union, will oversee collection of delinquent accounts while minimizing losses to the credit union. Bush will also manage the recovery activities on all charged-off loans and shares in accordance with established policies, procedures and legal requirements.

Also, Kim Wiery has been promoted to assistant loan servicing manager. The primary role for Wiery, who has been with 717 for 20 years, is to assist the loan servicing manager in overseeing all activity related to the servicing of loans after approval.

LEVY GARDENS BRINGS DIRECTOR: Nicholas Hargate joined the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation as director of Levy Gardens Assisted Living in April.

Hargate brings 10 years of health care experience to the position. He earned a degree in long-term care administration from Youngstown State University. His last position was community relations manager for Canfield Place.

Levy Gardens is a residential center of the federation that offers services through Heritage Manor Rehabilitation & Retirement Center, as well as supportive programs through Jewish Family Services and the Jewish Community Center.

PRACTICE ADDS SURGEON: Ohio Pain & Rehabilitation, a chiropractic and physical therapy center in Warren, has brought on orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brad Picha to its medical team.

He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He will focus on improving the health and well-being of patients through nonoperative or operative options at Ohio Pain & Rehabilitation.

Picha specializes in both operative and non-operative conditions of the spine as well as general orthopedics.

Submit items for Business Briefs, New Businesses and People on the Move to business@tribtoday.com, fax to 330-841-1717 or online at www.tribtoday.com. The deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday.


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