On Mar. 22, at the Irish American Club, Euclid, Ohio, members of the community, local businesses and dignitaries gathered for the annual chamber of commerce awards presentation. Attendees also were treated to a Taste of Euclid — food and drinks by local restaurants, including Great Scott Tavern, Muldoon’s, Euclid Culinary Bistro, fRed Hot, Mama Catena, Rascal House, Tizzano’s and others.
Eight awards were presented, including:
Large Business of the Year: Lincoln Electric
Small Business of the Year: Laparade Early Learning & Training Center
Organization of the Year: Our Lady of the Lake Parish
Organization of the Year: SS. Robert & William Parish
Person of the Year: Officer Ed Bonchak
Blue Stone Awards: Briardale Greens Golf Course, The Euclid Observer, and HGR Industrial Surplus
Former board members Cheryl Cameron of Action Carstar and Rich Lee of Euclid Hospital, as well as Brian Moore of Moore Counseling and Mediation Services (where the chamber was housed for many years) were also recognized for their service to the chamber.
On Jan. 31, a full house was gathered at Tizzano’s Party Center to hear the Euclid Chamber of Commerce’s presentation of “The Amazon Story” that included Amazon’s plan to tear down the former Euclid Square Mall and build a 655,000-square-foot, $175-million fulfillment center, which will add 1,000 new jobs to the region.
Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail mentioned that the initial meeting in March 2017 at Cuyahoga Community College to discuss the project was the most memorable day during her time as mayor. After that initial meeting, there were ongoing efforts to rezone the property and to secure $1.2 million from the Ohio Department of Transportation toward roadway improvements.
The next speaker, Matt Deptola of JobsOhio, a nonprofit corporation that promotes job creation and economic development for Ohio, shared his organization’s enthusiasm about the reputation of Ohio as a great place to live, according to Forbes and other magazines. He also shared some interesting statistics about Amazon. It currently transfers items from its regional fulfillment centers to a nearby sortation facility to a shipping facility within seven hours. Currently, Amazon has a sortation facility in Twinsburg and a shipping facility in Euclid; so, the fulfillment center in Euclid makes perfect sense. Amazon currently employs 6,000 people in Ohio. Additionally, Amazon offers $12,000 of tuition reimbursement for training in high-demand fields after one year of employment, benefits on Day 1, and an average hourly rate of $13.
Pete DiSalvo with DiSalvo Development Advisors was the final speaker before the mayor returned to the mic to share that Amazon already has made a commitment to the community by giving $10,000 to the HELP Foundation, a Euclid business that empowers individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through residential, day support, vocational, and summer education programs.