To celebrate a summer of hard work and collaboration, the Geauga Growth Partnership held their 2018 Internship Program Recognition Dinner on Aug. 2, at St. Mary’s Banquet Hall in Chardon. (above, some students not pictured, names do not corollate with photo) Students, their school affiliation, and 2018 sponsoring businesses: Aaron Miller, Cardinal, Mercury Plastics; Andrew (Drew) Williams, Chardon, ASM International; Michael Snyder, Hawken, Ronyak Paving Co.; Justin Wesen, West Geauga, Hexpol/Burton Rubber Processing; Ryan Tien, Kenston, Mercury Plastics; Drew Crandall, Berkshire/Auburn, Mercury Plastics; Josiah Cheung, Berkshire, Mercury Plastics; Carson McCandless, ISTEM, Mercury Plastics; Brendan White, Cardinal, Troy Chemical Industries; Tim Cermak, NDCL, ASM International; Agnes Prosser, Beaumont, Metzenbaum Sheltered Industries; Christiana (Tia) Speece, Kenston, Cibik’s Dairy Island; Antonia Mysyk, NDCL, Geauga County Court of Common Pleas; Sofia DiCillo, NDCL, Penco Industrial Supply Co.; Jacob Smetana, ISTEM, Rescue Village, Geauga Humane Society; Catherine Clawson, Kenston, NMS Certified Public Accountants; Evan Ditchman, Hawken, Kinetico; Henry (Will) Grendell, Kenston, Great Lakes Cheese; Luke Jourdain, Kenston, Company 119; Kaylee Klepper, Cardinal, Company 119; Samuel (Sam) Markel, Kenston, Sheoga Hardwood Flooring & Paneling; Elise Markley, Kenston, United Way of Geauga County; Margaret (Maggie) Murray, Hawken, Geauga Growth Partnership; Ryan Sauder, Kenston, ASM International; Riley Schultz, Berkshire, University Hospitals Geauga Campus and Hanna Traggiai, Cardinal Metzenbaum Sheltered Industries.


To celebrate a summer of hard work and collaboration, the Geauga Growth Partnership held their 2018 Internship Program Recognition Dinner on Aug. 2, at St. Mary’s Banquet Hall in Chardon.  This program invites Geauga County high school juniors and seniors and businesses to participate. At this event, each intern presented a slide show recapping their summer employment experience.  Hannah Traggiai from Cardinal was assigned to Metzenbaum Sheltered Industries and was assigned the work place of  the Special Hands Shop in Middlefield. Hannah mentioned in her recap that she is not planning to pursue business study in her future but is hoping to study biochemistry. At the shop, she was assigned a job involving knowledge of the various adult disabilities and found herself curious about the differences in brain activity where disabilities are involved. “When I first got this internship, I wasn’t too excited,” she said, “but I now have to thank Georgia, the GGP team and Metzenbaum for hiring me. I learned some great information this summer and am very grateful for this opportunity.”  

Every year, GGP hosts a fundraiser to support the Internship Program and other Youth Training Programs. This year on Aug. 12, Homegrown Geauga, a fabulous event was again held at the picturesque ASM International Headquarters in Russell Township. 

Middlefield was well represented at the GGP Homegrown event at ASM International on Aug. 11.
(l-r) Mike Timas, Felicia Timas, Trishå Neikirk, Tommy Neikirk, Monique Hauser and Dave Hauser.

Three hundred and seventy-one business owners, managers and representatives enjoyed food and spirits provided by participating local chefs and restaurants, notably Blazin’ Bills, Burntwood Tavern, DiBlasi’s Bakery, Element 41, Adams Reserve Cheddar, Loretta Paganini School of Cooking, Sirna’s Pizzeria, Tom’s Foolery, University Hospitals, Warren’s Spirited Kitchen and Welshfield Inn. 

Music and entertainment included the band No Moss and the St. Helen’s Unicycle Team.

United Way Services of Geauga County was one of many valued sponsors. UW representatives: (l-r) Claudia Toth, Monica Lennon, Kimm Leininger, Karen Cronin, Monica Bricker-Thompson, Victoria Pate and Rick Chambers.

The students who participated in the Internship program facilitated ticket selling and support for the event. Magic Mike  strolled the grounds and mesmerized with comedy, hypnosis and illusions.

Vitki Kopacz provided tarot card readings sharing personal insights helping many continue development to more fulfilled and enriched lives.

Caricature artists from Kaman’s Art sketched caricature portraits as a memento from the event.

GGP hosted a silent auction for which all bidding took place on the guest’s cell phones. In addition, GGP sold raffle tickets for a $5,000 cash prize. 

Funds raised benefit GGP’s Youth Workforce Development programs, provided to Geauga students with the goal of “Preparing Tomorrow’s Workforce Today.” GGP’s Youth Workforce training programs have reached more than 3,500 students since the program’s inception in 2012. Students in seventh through 12 grades are introduced to career options, learn soft skills required in the workplace, develop resumes, practice interviewing, and are given the opportunity to apply for the GGP High School Summer Internship Program. Students report feeling more confident and prepared, and career paths are empowered through skills learned. 

For More Information, Visit 

GGP expresses deepest gratitude to the following sponsors: 


Diamond: Great Lakes Cheese

Platinum: ASM International, Richard & Christie Frenchie & The Frenchie Consulting Group, Kinetico Inc. and University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center.

Gold: The Arms Trucking Company, Hexpol Compounding/Burton Rubber Processing, Huntington Bank; Junction Auto Family,  KeyBank and Patterson Farms.

Silver: Company 119; Covia (formerly Fairmount Santrol), Honest Scales Recycling, HR Strategies & Solutions, Kent State University at Geauga, Middlefield Banking Company, POV Solution, Sheoga Hardwood Flooring & Paneling, Chris & John Steigerwald, Thrasher, Dinsmore & Dolan and Waste Management.

Valet Sponsor: Geauga County Maple Leaf

Bronze: Mark And Sheryl Clemson, Ebert, Owen  Associates, Exscape Designs, Federal Improvement Company, Heinen’s, iSTEM Geauga, Newbury Business Park, R43 Limited and Ronyak Paving Inc.

Patron: Bechem Lubrication Technology LC, r. Patra Duangjak, Electrolock, Inc., Geauga Mechanical, Great Lakes Growers, Hess Engineering, Tracy & Bonnie Jemison, Sarah LaTourette, Ondrey for Judge, paid for by Friends of Ondry; Matthew Rambo for Judge, paid for by Rambo for Judge; NMS CPAs, Representative John Patterson, Red Maple Inn, Spooner Inc, United Way Services of Geauga County, Upward Solutions Coaching & Consulting, The Wealthcare Group of Raymond James, Committee to elect Chuck Walder for Auditor, Karen Walder, treasurer; and John Wilhelm.


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