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ANNUAL CHAMBER MEETING: The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber will hold its annual meeting on April 13 from 7:30 am to 9:00 am at the Eastwood Event Centre, 5555 Youngstown Warren Road, Niles.

The event marks the 30th anniversary of the Chamber, which will present its annual awards to three local individuals.

The Spirit of the Valley Award will go to Rick Rajaie, vice president of Foxconn EV System, LLC’s North American EV business. The Spirit of the Chamber Award goes to Jim Kinnick, Executive Director, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments and the Valley Champion Award goes to Tom Mosure, Chairman of the Board, MS Consultants Inc.

The Chamber’s President/CEO, Guy Coviello, will also provide an update on the organization’s recent achievements and what’s next.

Entry fee is $40 per member and $50 per non-member.

WRTA ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN: The Western Reserve Transit Authority launches its second annual “Give small businesses a lift” Campaign.

The campaign aims to promote small business by highlighting 12 local businesses that exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic of the Mahoning Valley.

Small businesses in Mahoning County can fill out a short form on to nominate themselves. Nominations will be accepted until March 31st.

A group of three community leaders, acting as co-chairs, select the winners from the nominations. Featured companies will be publicly announced and their awards presented at the launch event on April 20th at the Concept Studio in downtown Youngstown.

Selected companies will be advertised on WRTA buses, the downtown digital sign and elsewhere.

New business

RESTAURANT COMING TO THE AREA: A new Southern-style restaurant, Savannah Joe’s, is planning to open in Youngstown at 2905 Glenwood Ave.

A pre-opening is scheduled for March 24th and 25th from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The grand opening is scheduled for March 28 at 11 am with a ribbon cutting ceremony. On this day it is open for customers from 1 p.m.

The restaurant is owned by Joseph Bowers, who is a native of Savannah, Georgia.

people on the move

MILLWOOD HIRES CFO: Vienna-based Millwood, Inc. has filled the position of Chief Financial Officer with Howland’s Bruce Krarup, who has 22 years of finance and accounting experience.

Prior to joining Millwood, he was CFO of Nelson Labs, a division of Sotera Health, where he was responsible for overseeing the company’s financial operations and helping drive growth and profitability. He previously spent six years at Cardinal Health and 13 years at General Electric.

As Millwood’s CFO, Krarup is responsible for managing the company’s financial strategy, overseeing financial operations and ensuring financial targets are met. This includes financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, financial reporting and managing the company’s financial relationships with lenders.

He replaces interim CFO Tom Paskert, who is resuming his role as Senior Financial Advisor at Millwood.

TWO APPOINTED TO EGCC BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Carlton K. Ingram and Lois E. Thornton, both of Youngstown, have been appointed to the Eastern Gateway Community College Board of Trustees by Governor Mike DeWine.

Both terms began on March 10th. Ingram’s term ends in October 2024 and Thornton’s term ends in October 2027.

Eastern Gateway has locations in Youngstown and Steubenville.

AIM PROMOTED: Justin Battisti has been appointed controller of the Aim Transportation solution.

In this role, Battisti, who was hired to Assistant Controller in 2021, will work closely with Paul Slater, who was recently promoted to Vice President, Corporate Controller, in all accounting functions, including high-level bookkeeping and management accounting.

Born and raised in Struthers, Battisti is a graduate of Youngstown State University. He has also completed his training as a chartered accountant.

CANFIELD-NATIVE JOINS BURGAN: Canfield’s Morgan Hoover recently joined Burgan Real Estate, based in Youngstown, as an agent.

SPEARS JOINS FARMERS: Canfield-based Farmers National Bank has hired Chelsea Spears as their digital and communications strategist for their marketing department.

Spears worked on local television news for almost six years.

Spears is a Columbus native and a graduate of Ohio State University. Since 2017 she lives and works in the Mahoning Valley.

VALLEY NATIVE OFFICER ELECTED: Youngstown native Richard L. LaRocca, a certified club manager and certified chief executive, was recently appointed Secretary and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Club Management Association of America at its 2023 World Conference and Club Business Expo in Orlando, Florida.

He was elected to the board in 2018 but joined the club in 1986.

LaRocca, a graduate of Youngstown State University, has served as the General Manager/Chief Operating Officer of Beechmont Country Club near Cleveland since 2019.

Founded in 1927, the association is the largest professional association for member club managers with more than 7,000 members in the United States and internationally.

LEADERSHIP CHANGE: The Hanna Family of Companies recently announced that Kris Burdick has been promoted to President of Brokerage Operations. Burdick has been with Howard Hanna Real Estate Services since 2004 and will step down as President of Northern Ohio and Michigan.

Burdick also served as regional sales manager and vice president for the Ohio South and Ohio East regions.

Alicia Kosec will step down as vice president and regional leader for the Eastern Ohio region to assume Burdick’s role as President of Northern Ohio and Michigan.

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