The Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County Honored Leaders in the Business Community

By DAVE DELUCA ddeluca@starbeacon.com

GENEVA — The Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County honored leaders in the business community at its annual Best of the County Award dinner Tuesday.

Some 575 Ashtabula County business leaders, entrepreneurs and others active in promoting Ashtabula County were on hand at the banquet center at Spire Institute for the dinner and award ceremony.


Awards were given in seven categories, including Lifetime Achievement, CEO of the Year, the George H. Kaull Award for Entrepreneurship, Community Vitality, Manufacturing Business Growth and Innovation, Service Business Growth and Innovation, and Workforce Innovation.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Joe Misinec and Ric Selip. The award went to recipients who made significant contributions to community economic development over years, left a legacy others should emulate and mentored younger people. For years, the pair ran Grand River Rubber and Plastics Co. before they retired in March.

"Thank you for this award," Joe Misinec said. "Thanks to my friends and family and my wife and everyone at Grand River Rubber and Plastics and everyone in Ashtabula County. Ashtabula County used to be called 'the best location in the nation' and it still is the best. It's good to have good people helping you."

"I'm happy to be honored by this award," Ric Selip said. "It's a little scary getting a lifetime achievement award, but thank you so much. I hope to continue to contribute as long as I can."
Finalists for the Workforce Innovation Award included Grand River Rubber and Plastics, Molded Fiber Glass and Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus - Industrial Maintenance Pathway of Ashtabula County (IMPCA) Program. The award focuses on firms using innovative techniques with the workforce and in the work place. Grand River Rubber and Plastics took the award.
Grand River Rubber and Plastics President Donny Chaplin said of the award, "It's amazing. It's an employee owned company and we have 200 of the greatest employees in Ashtabula County."
Project Manager at Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County Hattie Grubke-Barnard was also honored at the event. She is leaving her position at Growth Partnership after 11 years to work for Ashtabula County Job and Family Services.

"I feel so grateful to have been part of Growth Partnership," she said. "Its impact on Ashtabula County business has been very positive."

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