At a time when many communities across the state are encountering the challenge of how to renovate, refurbish and reuse existing older buildings – rather than demolish and build new – the presentation provided some much needed direction and guidance.
The OCCD Spring Meeting was well attended both in-person and virtually this year in its first hybrid meeting held in Columbus, Ohio.
The Ohio Conference of Community Development, Inc. (OCCD), is a statewide member association of community and economic development professionals. OCCD members include cities, counties, nonprofits and consultants from across the State of Ohio.
Since 1965, OCCD members have dedicated themselves to making their communities better places to live, work and enjoy life. Members are provided the opportunity to connect with professionals who understand the unique challenges of working in community and economic development programs. For more information about OCCD, visit their website at www.occd.org
Treasurer Karen Hart is a new addition to the Champaign Economic Partnership bringing years of banking experience to the board. Karen is President and CEO at the First Central National bank where she is responsible for the overall direction and administration of products provided to customers as well as the institutions financial performance, risk management and regulatory compliance. She is on the committee for “Our Town - St. Paris” and enjoys being active in Champaign County 4-H programs. Karen looks forward to connecting with CEP investors and working to promote economic development in Champaign County.
The Champaign Economic Partnership Board would like to give the previous Executive Committee a big “Thank You” for the hard work that they put in to make numerous projects successful. Kyle Hall, Todd Michael and Dave Snyder will remain on the CEP board where they will continue to strive to move Champaign County forward.
"It was also nice to see our storefront repairs finish painted. Very proud of that arched sheet metal corner." says Blind Eye Restoration.
CEP was proud to be a part of this project and we are grateful for the partnerships that have been created!
“Entrepreneurs deserve all the credit – plain and simple. They’re the ones putting in the long hours, building their product, providing the services, and most importantly – taking the big chances,” said LaRose. “With great resolve, Ohioans have stood in the face of unpredictable headwinds and sent a loud and clear message to the nation – I want to do business in Ohio.”
Those looking to start a new business should take advantage of quick-and-easy online filing through Ohio Business Central by visiting OhioBusinessCentral.gov. You can also contact the CEP by visiting cepohio.com or calling (937)653-7200. Champaign County is OPEN for business!
Ohio entrepreneurs can visit OhioSoS.gov/BusinessResources to discover the helpful opportunities available to them that can help them start and grow their business.
NOTE: New business filings are classified as forms filed with the Ohio Secretary of State that declare the formation of a business entity, including for-profit, non-profit and professional corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships. Filing as a business in Ohio does not guarantee the company will begin operations, be profitable or create jobs.
“Richard Ebert as the incoming Executive Director will be a welcome addition to the Champaign Economic Partnership,” Bailey said. “His previous work experience and knowledge of the community is a vital asset to this position. Richard is a lifelong resident of Urbana/Champaign County and will have the best interest of the community in this new role. I look forward to seeing Champaign County continue to flourish.”
As a lifelong resident of Urbana, small business owner and fervent servant of his community, Ebert knows the importance of making connections that benefit the community.
“We have experienced a tremendous amount of growth over the past few years. I want to continue assisting with that growth and look forward to finding solutions for our county businesses,” explained Ebert upon the announcement of his appointment.
Ebert goes on to share that working with Bailey certainly influenced his plan to expand current economic development. “My goal is to continue to grow CEP, create new opportunities and continue to look for ways to make connections between entities that benefit so many people.”
Ebert’s roots run deep in his community. He is both an alum of Urbana High School and the former Urbana University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Human Service Leadership.
While serving professionally in many capacities, he most recently worked under the umbrella of the Champaign County Clerk of Courts as an Assistant Manager with the Champaign County BMV. He currently owns an entertainment business, Ebert Entertainment, where he is the DJ/Master of Ceremonies, served as an elected official for Urbana City Council and he and his wife have both owned small businesses located in Monument Square. His volunteer work includes being a member and chair for the City of Urbana Planning Commission and Urbana City Schools as the voice of the Urbana High School Marching Band.
Ebert says he has always had a calling to work within the business community of his hometown. “What Marcia has created, in essence, is a dream job. Our local county businesses are so vitally important. Being able to better serve them and the county communities is something I feel very strongly about.”
Kyle Hall, President of The Hall Company and President of CEP Board of Trustees shared his excitement for the future of Champaign County with Ebert onboard, “Richard has demonstrated a passion for Champaign County’s success over the years and is excited to get started. We look forward to seeing continued growth for our county and its towns and cities as we move forward.”
Ebert plans to hit the ground running.
“I am looking forward to meeting and talking to the business leaders and employers in our community. I am also excited to meet with the county villages and find out their hopes and dreams for their economic development,” he said. “I look forward to finding where I can be of the most assistance and really talk about strengths and opportunities where CEP can benefit those we serve.”
“What we really pride ourselves on here is being able to act as liaisons between government and business,” said Bailey. “Being a resource that can join those kinds of entities together and look at the bigger view is important.”
She believes that when businesses and government work together, it’s a recipe for growth for the whole community.
“There’s not a silver bullet to any one particular way that’s better than not, but I think for us and our community, it needs to be that collaborative partnership with public and private.”
Bailey has been with the CEP since its inception seven years ago following a discussion with Pioneer Rural Electric Co-op, the Champaign County Commissioners and the city of Urbana.
“I was able to get the office up and running, hire a staff person, get the CEP board created and organized, create the CEPohio.com website and the newest addition ChampaignWorks.com. The first big accomplishment was making this economic development agency a reality,” she said. “It’s through the support of the county commissioners, city of Urbana, villages of St. Paris, North Lewisburg and Mechanicsburg, and then private industry, helping to support this agency as a whole.”
Some of the projects Bailey has worked on include the clean-up, new ownership and redevelopment of the former Q3 building on Miami St., bringing the Cobblestone Hotel to Urbana under local ownership, Advanced Technology Products expansion to Mechanicsburg and the Sutphen Corporation announcement to consolidate three facilities into a new building in Urbana.
She was also instrumental in implementing a housing survey that she hopes will convince developers there’s a need for more housing in Champaign County.
The Legacy Place project (North and South elementary buildings and Douglas Hotel) are examples of housing redevelopment of landmark buildings in the community.
In addition to bringing new businesses and talent to the area, Bailey has worked to expand existing businesses, adding more jobs to the area and acted as a liaison to help existing businesses serve the local community in new ways.
Bailey was also instrumental in the creation of the Champaign County Manufacturers Council and the addition of a CEP Business Liaison that connects local students to the businesses through career exploration, internships and paid employment.
She hopes that the person who is hired to replace her will bring his/ her own ideas about how to help Champaign County grow and their enthusiasm and knowledge for existing projects like the redevelopment of Urbana University’s campus.
Overall, Bailey leaves behind a legacy of hope, perseverance and the belief that neighbors should look out for one another and help each other to grow.
“I’m so appreciative that I’ve been given the opportunity to put this all together and be the first director of this agency,” she said. “I’ve had so many opportunities to meet so many people, sit down with them and learn about their businesses in Champaign County, their products, their international commerce and the skills needed by their workforce.
“I’m also extremely grateful to the CEP Board members and the investors for their continued support of me and the agency, I will miss everyone immensely,” Bailey said.
Bailey’s colleagues on the CEP board know that her shoes will be tough to fill.
“Marcia has done an immense amount of work. She’s worked tirelessly to get this thing up and running,” said CEP Board President Kyle Hall. “We’re really going to miss having her here. She’s done a great job.”
He doesn’t believe anyone can truly replace Bailey, but he hopes that the next Director of the CEP will continue to respond to the business community’s needs and that he/ she will work to find solutions for the area’s need for housing.
CEP board member Dave Snyder said that Marcia has been instrumental in bringing together public and private entities. “She’s done a good job of bringing entities together like counties, townships, villages and the private sector with new and existing businesses,” Snyder said.
He expects that finding the right person to take over as director of the CEP will be a difficult task.
“It’s going to be hard to find somebody with her skill set and her personality,” he said. “We’re not going to try to recreate her, but we’re going to try to find someone with those skills.”
When asked about working with the CEP, Taylor had this to say, “With our community at an inflection point, I'm very excited to apply my knowledge, skills, and understanding of public policy to complement the CEP's great work towards the positive growth and creation of opportunity for Urbana and Champaign County.”
We look forward to working with Taylor over the next few months and urge you to give him a warm Champaign County welcome when you see him out in our community!
In 2011, with the assistance of Hull & Associates, the city obtained a grant from the Ohio Department of Development through the Clean Ohio Assistance Fund for assessment work at the site.
In 2014, the city filed an expedited foreclosure application with the county Board of Revision. The following year, no one bid for the property at public auctions and the property was forfeited to the city.
In 2017, the city took title to the property and, later that year, TIS Properties LLC partnered with the city to clean up and redevelop the site. The city and TIS both committed funds toward that end, and the Champaign Economic Partnership assisted in obtaining grant funding.
In 2020, the city transferred ownership of the east side of the property to TIS Properties LLC.
The city still owns the west side of the property, west of Dugan Run and the Simon Kenton Trail. City officials say remediation has been completed on the west side and that a covenant not to sue will be requested from Ohio EPA. At that point, the city hopes to find an end user.
The city, TIS and the Champaign Economic Partnership continue work to redevelop the property.
Information provided by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the city of Urbana and the Champaign Economic Partnership.