AM Center Needed, Not Enough Commercial Inventory

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – This week the dynamism of the Ohio’s businesses and institutions was on full display.

At the forefront of technological progression, the ‘Impact Ohio’ panel underscored the importance and potential of the state’s commitment to advanced manufacturing with the push for an AM Innovation Center in the Mahoning Valley. Such a center would propel the region into a leading role in the advanced manufacturing industry, officials said.

In executive shifts, the financial sector is set to witness a significant transition with the announcement of the impending retirement of the CEO of 717 Credit Union, Gary Soukenik. The organization is poised for continuity and growth as a new president and CEO has been named.

Similarly, Berk Enterprises is embracing its legacy while looking to the future, with its third-generation CEO taking the helm and guiding the firm.

Additionally, the commercial real estate market is facing the challenge of robust demand but limited inventory, prompting a potential recalibration of strategies for investors and businesses alike. Meanwhile, the banquet industry is adapting to contemporary tastes, with a trend towards customizability gaining momentum.

On the health care front, a significant agreement was reached between Mercy and Anthem to serve Medicare Advantage and Medicaid recipients. The accord marks an essential step in ensuring that residents continue to receive comprehensive health care coverage.

Here’s a look at those stories and other top stories this week from

‘Impact Ohio’ Panel Makes the Case for AM Innovation Center

Right to Left: George Nelson, The Business Journal; John Wilczynski, executive director of America Makes; Mark Lamoncha, president and CEO of Humtown Products; Pamela Szmara, owner of Pamton 3D Commercial Printing.

CANFIELD, Ohio – A panel of three specialists say that a regional innovation center dedicated to research and workforce development in additive manufacturing is key to capturing new opportunities for the Mahoning Valley.

“At some point, we’re going to have to plant flags,” said John Wilczynski, executive director of America Makes, the Youngstown-based national hub designed to facilitate adoption and research in additive manufacturing.  “We have to show we’re going to lead this for the state and for the country.”

Wylczynski joined Mark Lamoncha, president and CEO of Humtown Products, and Pamela Szmara, owner of Pamton 3D Commercial Printing and workforce instructor at Eastern Gateway Community College, for a panel discussion on the merits and challenges of additive manufacturing. READ

Mercy, Anthem Reach Agreement for Medicare Advantage, Medicaid

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Mercy Health and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio announced this morning that they have reached a multi-year agreement providing Anthem members with continued access to care at all Mercy Health hospitals, outpatient care centers and physician offices.

As a result, all Anthem Medicare Advantage and Medicaid health plan members will have continued in-network coverage at Mercy Health. Anthem has agreed to cover any claims that patients may have incurred during the period of time that Mercy Health was out of network with Anthem Medicaid since July 1.

“I’m proud that both organizations continued to focus on our shared priority: the communities we serve,” said Anthem Ohio President Jane Peterson. “We worked together to creatively address affordability for our members and the financial needs of an important care provider. This agreement provides long-term stable access to care at Mercy Health without cost increases for our members and employers.” READ

Third Generation CEO Guides Berk Enterprises

Reilly Berk
Reilly Berk, CEO of Berk Enterprises, holds the “Fun at the Fair’ paper plate.

WARREN – Reilly Berk, CEO of Berk Enterprises in Warren, says seeing the company’s products being used by concessionaires at fairs was one of the factors that brought her into the family business at a young age.

Berk Concession Supply, a division that provides items like souvenir cups, novelty plates and novelty drinkware to concession stand operators, represents just 15% of the family business. But it is her favorite part of the business “just because it’s the most fun,” she says.

“The packaging is fun and most of the time everyone’s in a pretty good mood when they’re going to a fair, carnival or circus,” she continues. READ

Head of 717 Credit Union to Retire; New President, CEO Named

WARREN, Ohio – John Demmler will become the new president and CEO of 717 Credit Union on Nov. 1.

Demmler will replace Gary Soukenik, who is retiring after 46 years at the helm of the credit union.

Demmler, an Ohio native, began his career in the financial service industry nearly 25 years ago. He will return to Ohio from Austin, Texas, where he has served as the chief lending officer and senior vice president of corporate strategy at A+ Federal Credit Union. READ

Good Demand, Not Enough Commercial Inventory

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Alan Friedkin will have a perfect view of the new inpatient rehabilitation hospital being developed by Mercy Health – Youngstown and Lifepoint Rehabilitation.

Ground was broken Aug. 31 at a long-vacant property last occupied by Kmart, across the road and just south of Burgan-Friedkin Commercial Group’s offices at 3223 Belmont Ave. in Liberty.

It’s a project that “should stabilize the area,” Friedkin, who brokered the sale of the property, says. READ

Legal Strategies: Will Drilling Come Back?

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – I am constantly asked, “Will the oil and gas shale boom ever come back to Mahoning County?” Alas, it depends on a number of tricky factors.

As with any business, oil and gas drillers look for maximum profit. Just as a farmer wants to plant the most profitable crop, oil and gas companies evaluate drilling opportunities in terms of the bottom line. So, the first thing a driller considers is the price of hydrocarbons. When the value of oil is high, operators will drill in “oily” areas. When natural gas trades up, they will move into dry gas territory. READ

Other Top Stories

Plenty of Options to Plan Dream Weddings
New Psychiatry Office in Howland Helps Fill Need
Film Made by Valley Director Is Available to View
Banquet Industry Embraces Customizability Trend
Students Find their Musical Voice Through Technology
Grant Aims to Help Those with Developmental Disabilities Earn Credentials
Columbiana Port Authority Plans ‘Spec’ Building in Leetonia
Newton Falls Banquet Center Sold for $900K
Cortland Creates Façade Grant Program

From Around Ohio

Ohio Issues $600M Onshoring Grant to Intel Corp.
Ohio OKs Tax Credit Assistance for New Viega Project
Bipartisan Ohio Commission Unanimously Approves New Maps that Favor Republican State Legislators
Ohio Schools Experiment with Sensory Rooms

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