By Matt Sanctis - Springfield News-Sun Staff Writer
Ethan Snyder was selling vegetables at farmer’s markets throughout the Columbus area when his dad offered a suggestion that led to the creation of a growing business in St. Paris.
Old Souls Farms, a hydroponic produce farm in Champaign County, has been in business for two years now. But the business is preparing for an expansion this fall after steadily adding clients at restaurants and grocery stores throughout the Columbus area, including Whole Foods. The big change, Snyder said, came when his dad suggested switching from farming outside to growing hydroponic lettuce in a quarter-acre greenhouse.
“My dad came to me and said, ‘I think I have a better idea,’” Snyder said.
For the past two years, Snyder and high school friend Vic Kaczkowski have been studying hydroponic farming techniques to provide lettuce, basil and other herbs to their clients year-round. They went to high school in Delaware County, but built the business in Champaign County in part due to its proximity to other markets like Cincinnati and Dayton. The biggest challenge, Snyder said, was breaking old habits about how to grow produce.
Urbana University will host its 2017 Urbana University Activities Fair on Wednesday, Aug. 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The event will be held outside of the Urbana University Student Center or inside the Urbana University Student Center in the event of rain.
The UU Activities Fair attracts faculty, staff, residential and commuter students, and it provides new and returning students with an opportunity to learn about the many events and activities that are available to them in the Urbana community.
Student groups, businesses and community organizations participating in the event have the opportunity to display information about their organization and even recruit new members or volunteers. Last year, over 70 groups participated in the fair.
The university will provide table space, chairs, water, and lunch to the representatives from participating groups. Information, discount offers, or samples are welcome and encouraged.
Register online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/UUActivitiesFair. The event is free of charge.
Due to the event being held outdoors, access to internet and electricity is very limited and is not guaranteed. Vendors are also encouraged to bring a small pop-up tent for shade.
Day-of information, as well as a map, will be sent prior to the fair.
Those with questions or concerns can contact the Campus Life Office by calling 937-772-9281 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Urbana University
Joshua Keeran | Urbana Daily Citizen, Employees of SVG Motors and Trenor Motors gathered in the Scioto Street dealership Friday during the announcement of a change in ownership. Pictured in the center shaking hands are SVG Motors President Steve VanGorder, right, and Trenor Motors President Roger Tehan Jr., left. VanGorder said the plan is to keep as many former employees of Trenor Motors as possible while also hiring additional staff to join SVG Urbana.
by Joshua Keeran, Urbana Daily Citizen
One of the Urbana’s oldest operating businesses is no longer. Trenor Motors, family-owned and operated since 1926, was acquired Friday by SVG Motors.
Headquartered in Dayton, the SVG auto group consists of two new and used car dealerships – SVG Chevrolet in Greenville and SVG Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Eaton – along with SVG Motors, a used car dealership in Dayton.
Steve VanGorder, president of SVG Motors, said he has been in talks with Roger Tehan, owner of Trenor Motors, for the past two-and-a-half years about the possibility of acquiring the Urbana dealership.
“I’m very appreciative of Roger Tehan and his family for affording me this opportunity to be able to do this,” VanGorder said. “This is an honor to be a Chevy, Buick and GMC dealer. I’m living my dream. This is what I’ve always wanted, and I’m on top of the world right now.”
He added the plan for the 90-plus-year Urbana staple is for it to continue to operate as a Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealership under the name of SVG Urbana.
“We feel this is a great community, and there is no reason why this store can’t sell and service a lot of cars,” he said.
“In my opinion, (this location) is the best piece of real estate in the county – in between the two most traveled roads (routes 29 and 36) going through the county.”
VanGorder said the dealership will tie in perfectly with his other stores, which will allow SVG Motors to continue to be home of the “Superior Value Guarantee (SVG).”
“(The dealership) just seems like it fits what we are doing with the synergies of all our other stores with our marketing and advertising,” he said. “It will allow us to have a larger footprint digitally and on television. We will also be able to offer our customers bigger discounts because we have multiple locations.”
Changes In Store
[READ MORE at UrbanaCitizen.com]
Urbana University has been approved for branch campus status effective Aug. 1 as a division of Franklin University.
Franklin, a private, nonprofit institution, founded in 1902 in Columbus, Ohio, has received approval for its change of status application by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
While the Urbana University name will be maintained, it will now add the descriptor “a branch campus of Franklin University,” or “a division of Franklin University” after its name. In addition, as an element of moving under Franklin’s accreditation, Urbana’s current accredited (probation) status no longer applies.
“This change is of great significance as it positions Urbana to move forward with growth strategies that leverage existing academic strengths, as well as offer new academic programs and athletics that align with the interests, needs and workforce skills necessary for economic prosperity,” according to a statement released Friday by Franklin University.
Franklin acquired Urbana University’s assets in April 2014 to assure Urbana’s ability to continue to serve students effectively. Working together, Franklin and Urbana’s executive leadership have spent the past three years identifying strategies to position Urbana University for short- and long-term success, according to Friday’s statement.
Reportedly investing more than $15 million, Franklin University has provided funding for scholarships as well as a number of improvements to the Urbana campus. Infrastructure improvements have included upgrades to science labs, upgraded security features, resurfacing of all parking lots, installation of new sidewalks and new stadium turf, as well as upgrades to Grimes Hall. In addition, the university is currently in the process of refreshing the dining commons and installing stadium lights.
Through Friday’s announcement, Franklin and Urbana further solidify the foundational support needed to continue efforts to better serve Urbana’s students, alumni, faculty and staff. Under the leadership of Dr. Christopher Washington, Urbana University will continue on its path toward revitalization by assessing organizational needs, and service configurations that leverage the shift to branch campus status, while maintaining a strong focus on Urbana’s unique brand in its own market.
Urbana is distinguished from Franklin’s other offerings because the campus has NCAA Div. II athletics. During an interview with the Urbana Daily Citizen in June, Washington – UU’s executive vice president and provost – affirmed Franklin’s commitment to athletics, saying he is a firm believer in universities supporting opportunities for athletes who choose to pursue higher education.
Franklin will spend the next few weeks updating web content followed by an update of marketing materials to reflect the new accreditation status.
For additional information regarding the branch campus accreditation status, visit this Frequently Asked Questions link: https://www.urbana.edu/about-us/urbana-franklin-university-information