Category Archives: Business

Chaco employees ‘Give Back’ on Columbus Day

Chaco Credit Union put its philosophy of “People Helping People” into action during the seventh annual Chaco Gives Back Day on October 12th, 2015.

Each year, Chaco Credit Union employees gather on Columbus Day to volunteer for non-profits around Hamilton, Fairfield, Oxford, and West Chester. This year, more than 500 hours of service were given by 75 volunteers at 12 local organizations.

Giving back to the community is a way of life at Chaco, and Community Enrichment Day is a highlight for the staff.

“Our entire team looks forward to this day.  We are grateful for what these philanthropies mean to our community.  We are happy to help where we can” said Jim Schultheiss, Chaco Credit Union President/CEO. “Our impact can be seen in local scholarships, member rewards, substantial sponsorships, monetary donations, and kindness inside our service centers.”

Chaco’s Community Enrichment Day 2015 included the following contributions:

  • Games with residents at Berkley Square and Butler County Care Facility
  • Landscaping, mulching, and painting at Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities and Mother Teresa Catholic School
  • Cleaning DVD cases and preparing for events at Fairfield and Hamilton Lane Libraries
  • Cleaning cages, garage and animal care at Animal Friends Humane Society
  • Cleaning cars and replacing window screens at Focus on Youth
  • Laundering, packaging clothing and/or working in the clothing store at Oxford’s Woman’s Care Center and Serve City
  • Sorting donations and preparing for events at Open Door Pantry and Shared Harvest Food Bank

Search #chacogivesback on Instagram to view all of our pictures from the day. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for highlight pictures, news, contests, and promotions.

HEY! Hamilton! Shop

Another new business emerges from The Hamilton Mill

The Hamilton Mill has announced its newest startup: RelaxaLights.

RelaxaLights is founded by engineer Derrick Webb. Derrick’s engineering prowess is put on full display with his patent pending design and creation of smart, sensory-immersive furniture.

RelaxaLights’ first product is an intuitive couch that allows kids to be comfortable, yet engaged in hours of entertainment. The couch provides an innovative platform for child learning, entertainment, and relaxation that is both highly customizable and upgradeable.  Additionally, the furniture is built with USB ports, Bluetooth speakers, and remote controlled adjustable LED lighting that allows for interaction without cords.

See yesterday’s post, “Hamilton is Booming!

Inspired by his daughter, Mr. Webb says, “Being a single father of one very special little girl, I am always looking to bring enjoyment to her life in as many different, and unique ways as possible. The engineer in me fused technology, functionality, and excitement into her favorite sofa.”

Additional business inspiration came to Derrick when friends and family inquired where they could purchase one of the couches. Derrick knew then that countless parents would want to provide something just as meaningful to their children.

RelaxaLights is utilizing The Hamilton Mill’s award winning “City as a Lab” program and is currently conducting customer validation tests at various childcare facilities throughout the region.

The sofa is in a development phase, but Derrick has already been approached by potential buyers and investors.

Additionally, RelaxaLights is entered in the 2015 Cincinnati Innovates Competition which showcases technological, artistic, and ingenious innovations throughout Greater Cincinnati.

Chris Lawson, Executive Director of The Hamilton Mill says, “Derrick encompasses the drive, passion, and maker-ethos that we look for in an entrepreneur. On the anniversary of our relaunch, The Mill is honored to assist him in building his company and exploring market strategies for his product. As we enter the age of the connected home curated by smart appliances, Derrick has taken the next logical next step – connected furniture.”

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Hamilton Mill

CLICK HERE to see RelaxaLights’ Facebook page


HEY! Hamilton! Shop

Local business plans to double in size over the next three years

ODW Logistics & Transportations Services (LTS), a leading provider of transportation management services, commits to hire 40 people over the next three years. This will bring their total number of employees to a minimum of 77. The company was originally started in Hamilton’s business incubator and currently operates out of One Renaissance Center in downtown Hamilton.

“The City of Hamilton, REDI Cincinnati, and the State of Ohio have proven to be great partners in facilitating growth in our business,” according to ODW LTS President John Guggenbiller. “ODW (formerly Ohio Distribution Warehouse) has a deep history in the state of Ohio and we cherish the opportunity to grow our team of professionals and giving service back to the community.”

ODW LTS has experienced significant growth since it was established in 2009 and was named one of Inc. Magazine‘s Fast 500 in 2013 as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. Because the company projects continued fast-paced growth, they partnered with JobsOhio, REDI Cincinnati, and the City of Hamilton for assistance on their next phase of growth. The State of Ohio approved a 45% Job Creation Tax Credit for 5 years.

“ODW is a great company and we are very happy they have chosen again to stay and grow in Hamilton,” said Jody Gunderson, City of Hamilton Economic Development Director. “ODW offers quality opportunities for young professionals and we feel lucky to have them in downtown Hamilton.”

Supply chain and logistics has been a growing industry, especially in Ohio, a state that is literally logistically The Heart of it All. ODW takes a unique approach to market, brining value to clients in 3 key dynamics: (1) Culture – hire, train and grow professionals; (2) Solution Development – listen, learn, and build; and (3) Technology – eliminate wasted touches and improve visibility of product and costs. As it relates to business, Guggenbiller says, “Our goal is to provide a service that allows our customers to grow their core business, inspiring innovation and driving the economy.”

The company is one of three segments of ODW Logistics, Inc., which is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Since 1971, ODW Logistics, Inc. provides integrated logistics solutions in multiple industries. ODW is a full service third party logistics (3PL) provider with the technology, infrastructure and personalized service to provide a seamless supply chain experience for customers.

For more information on ODW Logistics & Transportation Services, please visit their website here.

Local Businessman Advises America on Keeping Local Jobs

Local businessman Dave Lippert’s passion for pure American manufacturing doesn’t stop when he leaves the Hamilton Caster office at night.

Lippert dave
Dave Lippert. Click on image to read more about Hamilton Caster.

To empower companies to bring operations back to the United States, Lippert and industry veteran Tim Hutzel have co-written a book that exposes the dangers and hidden costs of offshoring.

Available now at CRC Press and Amazon, “Bringing Jobs Back to the USA: Rebuilding America’s Manufacturing Through Reshoring” provides valuable insight for manufacturers with offshored operations, or those considering sending jobs to China or other foreign countries.

Here’s an excerpt:

Some reasons may stem from the original motivation to offshore. Was it strictly cost? If so, what costs were considered? In many cases, the labor cost was the driving force.
If that is the case, then looking at the current offshore labor costs, as well as the near term labor cost trend, may paint a very different picture from the original. The rapidly rising middle class in China is eliminating that country’s labor cost advantage.

As president of Hamilton Caster for two decades, Dave understands the importance of manufacturing right here in America.

“It allows us to create local jobs, stimulate the country’s economy, hire a more technically advanced workforce, and, most importantly, build the best darn caster in the world,” he said.

Save 20% on the book and receive free shipping when you order from CRC Press. Enter promo code AVN97. Electronic versions (iTunes, Amazon Kindle) will be available soon.

HEY! Hamilton! Shop

Hamilton ‘Shop Hop’ scheduled for May 2

Locals are invited to visit six stores in Hamilton during an inaugural Shop Hop event. It is themed “Discover the hidden treasures of Hamilton.”

Shoppers will enjoy refreshments and sales at each store. Each purchase enters shoppers for a chance to win a $150 shopping spree. Participants must visit each store, according to event organizers.

The event is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat., May 2. Stores involved include Art Off Symmes, Front Room on 7th, Hearts of Hope, Your Homely Sister, Sara’s House and Secretly Shabby.

Get more information online at

The Hamilton Mill vies for global recognition

The Hamilton Mill has made the cut for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress Cities Challenge that will take place next month in Milan, Italy.

In reporting on the competition, this is what the Kaufman Foundation had to say about the Hamilton Mill:

Hamilton, OH: Leveraging its unique characteristics and strengths
The Hamilton Mill business incubator is undertaking a unique approach to revitalizing a traditionally defined “rustbelt” city. With a “cleantech” focus, its public-private startup vision capitalizes on the fact that the City of Hamilton owns and operates all four major utilities – the only city in the state of Ohio that does this. The Hamilton Mill partnership with the city of Hamilton introduced the “City as a Lab” program which allows startups to test their cleantech innovations with the city’s public utilities. This proof of concept approach replaced the typical government subsidy method. Additionally, the city government granted two employees on loan for the project. This permitted the public sector to work in close proximity to the city’s entrepreneurs rather than from a government building.

CLICK HERE to see how the competition stacks up….

New bakery in Hamilton officially opens Tuesday

It’s literally time to make the donuts for a new bakery on Hamilton’s West Side.

Kelly’s Bakery, located at 1335 Main St. (that’s in the same plaza as Liberty Tax and Terry B’s, across the streets from Westover and Noonan’s) will officially open its doors to customers at 5 a.m. Tuesday.

The hours will be 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

To place an order or for more information, call (513) 285-4040.

Here’s a photo of some of Kelly’s donuts, to get your mouth watering in anticipation of the store opening. Enjoy!

Donuts from Kelly's Baker, which opens on Hamilton's West Side Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015.
Donuts from Kelly’s Bakery, which opens on Hamilton’s West Side Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015.

Queen City Angels to partner with the Hamilton Mill

The Hamilton Mill

The Hamilton Mill and Queen City Angels are announcing a strategic partnership to provide complimentary services to the regional startup community. The relationship will provide a pipeline into the Queen City Angels investor network and will potentially offer Hamilton Mill clients expanded funding opportunities.

With the fresh approach that The Hamilton Mill is taking regarding an untapped market opportunity (advanced manufacturing, clean-technology, and water-based solutions), the partnership is a logical fit as it will provide a diversified portfolio of potential investment opportunities for Queen City Angels. In return, The Hamilton Mill will have access to Queen City Angels mentor members and other resources within the regional startup community in which Queen City is entrenched. Queen City Angels was recently recognized by CB Insights as one of the top two private seed-stage venture capital investors in the country.

This partnership adds to the growing list of organizations that The Hamilton Mill is collaborating with to develop its award winning program. “This is a strategic value-add partnership that we are providing to clients of The Hamilton Mill – connectivity with one of the top angel organizations in the United States. In addition, it is another piece in the puzzle for moving our clients through the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem to better ensure their success,” says Rahul Bawa, Board Chair of The Hamilton Mill. “We are extremely excited about cultivating this partnership for our clients and potential prospects considering The Hamilton Mill.”

The Cincinnati-based Queen City Angels (QCA) is a group of more than 50 experienced and accredited investors who provide funding, support, and guidance to early-stage growth companies. Including current and former entrepreneurs and business executives, QCA members draw on their operating and management experience to evaluate opportunities and provide on-going mentoring to young ventures with exceptional growth potential. Since 2000, QCA members have directly invested more than $42 million in more than 70 companies.

Scott Jacobs, Director at Queen City Angels, adds “Our partnership with The Hamilton Mill will further diversify our portfolio of investable companies, especially addressing the advanced manufacturing and clean-technology sector – a sector that has typically been underrepresented at venture firms throughout the region. We are excited to begin our work with The Hamilton Mill and some of their cutting-edge clients. This collaboration is one more way that we can help educate, develop, grow and support the region’s young, innovative companies and contribute to the overall success of the Southwestern Ohio entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

The Hamilton Mill relaunched in July of this year with a renewed focus on advanced manufacturing, clean-technology, and water-based solutions. Since the relaunch, the program has been recognized and awarded for its innovative approach by the Ohio Economic Development Association (Winner, Excellence in Economic Development Innovation) and the International Economic Development Council (Bronze, Excellence in Economic Development Award in the category of Sustainable and Green Development category for communities with a population between 25,000 to 200,000 from the IEDC). The organization was also recognized by the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) for its collaborative approach with the City of Hamilton.

To learn more about the Queen City Angels, please visit

For more information about The Hamilton Mill, please visit

TapouT Fitness prepares for Hamilton west side opening

The owner of TapouT Fitness told the new fitness center is now pre-selling memberships ahead of the store’s opening.

It is located at 1204 Main St., formerly Main Street Market and Marsh grocery store. Anthony Oglesby said it is designed “to eliminate boredom at the gym,” and features several classes including yoga and spinning.

TapouT has more than 65 pieces of cardio equipment with built-in TV entertainment systems, free weights and tanning systems, Oglesby said.

“TapouT Fitness also has a boxing ring, circuit equipment and many other items to offer a significant amount of classes for children as young as 4 to your most seasoned fitness enthusiast,” he said.

TapouT will also have cardio kickboxing, self-defense for women, TRX-styled training and a various set of martial arts classes.

The gym will be opening this month and is open 24 hours a day on weekdays, and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.

Those interested in membership may go online to, visit the store site or call (513) 795-5888.

Click here to see TapouT’s facebook page.