News and Events

FCEDC Participates in Manufacturing Day Event

Northwest State Community College and the economic development organizations in Fulton, Defiance, Henry, Paulding and Williams Counties collaborated to host a Manufacturing Day event on October 14th at Northwest State Community College. More than thirty manufacturing companies had the opportunity to introduce themselves to nearly 300 high school students in the five county area that are interested in a career in the manufacturing industry. A panel composed of young employees of several area manufacturers discussed with the students how they earned their positions, what to expect in the industry and what opportunities there are for professional and career growth in manufacturing. Students also had the opportunity to view machinery in the manufacturing environment to learn how they work and had the opportunity to speak directly with Human Resources Managers at several manufacturers to learn about available career opportunities.

Schindler Toledo Region 20 Under 40 Recipient

Toni Schindler, Marketing Director for Fulton County, was nominated by the FCEDC for the 20 Under 40 Toledo Award. More than 160 nominees attended the awards ceremony on September 26th. Mrs. Schindler was selected as one of only 20 recipients for the award. Matt Gilroy, the writer of the nomination stated, “Competition for this award is immense. There are young people throughout the Toledo region that are doing amazing things. The nominees include innovators, business and government leaders, entrepreneurs, physicians, clergy, non-profit leaders and many more; the 160 people that were nominated are all deserving of recognition. That said, in my opinion Toni deserved the hardware. Her dedication to her job, her church and the various activities that she does to help others is such a great asset to Fulton County and the communities we serve.”

FCEDC Hosts 2016 Golf Classic

The Fulton County Economic Development Corporation hosted 136 golfers at Valleywood Golf Club in Swanton, Ohio on September 15th. The golf day was beautiful and the course was in immaculate shape! Golfers enjoyed a round of golf with FCEDC members and friends and appetizers after the tournament. Three golfers had a chance to take a shot for $1 million! The day was a terrific opportunity to have fun and network with other members of the FCEDC. Thank you to our sponsors: Linde North America, Worthington Industries and McNeill Chevrolet Buick!

Gilroy Attends Clean Energy Conference

Matt Gilroy, Executive Director of the FCEDC, recently attended the Clean Energy Conference in Washington D.C. as an invited guest of the Young Conservatives for Clean Energy Coalition. Senator Graham, Senator Grassley and several other Congressmen spoke at the conference about the need for clean energy development and exploration. Experts in the energy industry expressed concern that the federal government has no clear energy plan and expressed their opinion that energy exploration in the U.S. and renewable energy will enhance national security.

The FCEDC Visits Nature Fresh Farms

The FCEDC hosted our quarterly Social Event for members on June 7 at Winchesters Restaurant and Saloon. More than 75 members had the opportunity to take a shuttle bus to nearby Nature Fresh Farms to take a tour of their commercial greenhouse operation. To protect the tomato crop from insects and disease, all tour participants received a snazzy outfit (picture below). Tour participants learned that there are 91,000 tomato plants in the 15 acre greenhouse and that two additional 15 acre greenhouses are under construction and will be in operation by the end of the year. Participants also learned that each tomato vine will grow to about 40 feet in length. Doing some quick math, it was pointed out that, at full growth, if the tomato vines were placed one after another they would measure more than 3.6 million linear feet or more than 650 miles of vines in just one greenhouse!


Department of Labor Final Ruling Made Public

A recent ruling made by the United States Department of Labor (DOL) will affect many local, regional and national businesses and their employees. The DOL increased the pay level for an employee to be eligible for salary exemption from $455 per week to $913 per week ($23,660 to $47,476 annually). If you have employees that are considered salaried, but do not meet this pay threshold you will likely need to either increase the employee’s pay or change his or her status to hourly which will make the employee eligible for overtime pay if he or she works more than 40 hours per week. If you are concerned that this new rule may affect your business, the FCEDC recommends that you seek help from an expert. Contact Matt Gilroy at to receive contact information to FCEDC members that can help you determine next steps for your place of business.

Gilroy attends Hannover Messe

The world’s largest industrial trade show takes place annually in Hannover, Germany. Matt Gilroy, Executive Director of the FCEDC, attended the trade show from April 25-April 29 and met people from all over the world that are developing new technologies and new systems for manufacturing. “It’s amazing to see the technology being manufactured throughout the world. Companies that manufacture drones, medical equipment that is being made with 3-D printers, batteries that could provide power to residents and industry, and robots that could nearly fully automate warehouses were only some of the technologies on display. In one of the 26 buildings the size of a Kohls department store I saw an electric car that had a body completely built with a 3-D printer. One of the most intriguing aspects of the industrial fair was that companies like Google, Intel, Microsoft and Hewlett Packard were notable exhibitors; it was obvious that the high-tech companies see opportunity in industry and manufacturing,” stated Mr. Gilroy.

Mr. Gilroy also noted that he left Hannover Messe with names of potential customers and vendors for companies in Fulton County and with four or five solid leads on potential economic development projects for Fulton County. “Overall, Hannover Messe was a terrific opportunity for the FCEDC,” Gilroy stated. “We built stronger relationships with important partners like Regional Growth Partnership, the University of Toledo and Jobs-Ohio, we walked away with potential business opportunities for companies in Fulton County and we built a pipeline for the potential attraction of new businesses into the county.”

FCEDC Hosts Leadercast on May 6

The FCEDC  hosted Leadercast at the Northwest Ohio Education Service Center in Archbold on Friday, May 6, 2016. Leadercast is the largest one-day leadership development event hosted in the world. More than 120,000 people attended the event by live-streaming from thousands of locations across the world. Internationally recognized speakers such as Steve Wozniak, founder of Apple, Kat Cole, Group President of Focus Brands, Andy Stanley, Author of several books on leadership, and Nick Saban, Head Coach of the University of Alabama football team, discussed various leadership related topics throughout the day on May 6.

More than 180 people participated at the Fulton County site.

FCEDC Hosts Annual Banquet & Awards Ceremony

The FCEDC hosted its Annual Banquet & Awards Ceremony at Founders Hall in Archbold on April 21, 2016.  The speaker, Nathan Weaks, Chief Financial Officer at Automatic Feed Company, discussed the state of the U.S. and world economy and his forecast for the near future. Mr. Weaks is a nationally recognized speaker on economic and financial issues and has made more than 100 presentations across the nation on the topic.

More than 250 people attended the event.

FCEDC Announces Annual Awards

Many businesses throughout Fulton County have excelled during the past year and many contribute to their community in numerous significant ways. The FCEDC annually recognizes some of these businesses for their excellence and their efforts to enhance their community as a corporate citizen. We are thrilled to announce that the following companies and individual will be recognized at the FCEDC Annual Banquet & Awards Ceremony on April 21, 2016:

Excellence in Retail – McNeill Chevrolet Buick


Community Leadership – Haas Door Company


Excellence in Industry – Worthington Industries


Business of the Year – Sauder Woodworking Company

Kevin Sauder (2)

Robert Fulton Award – Dennis Howell, Administrator, Village of Archbold

Dennis Howell

Congratulations to all of the award recipients!

Wauseon High School Hosts Career Day

Twenty two businesses had the opportunity to participate in Career Day at Wauseon High School on April 20, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Students had the opportunity to meet business people from many different industries and many students took the opportunity to interview for actual positions at these businesses. Students were also able to learn interviewing and resume writing tips in a classroom setting and were able to ask business people questions about their career path.

2015 a Great Year for Economic Development in Fulton County, Ohio

Site Selection Magazine, a publication known and respected to most in economic development, recently recognized Ohio as one of the top states for economic development. Annually, Site Selection Magazine awards the “Governor’s Cup”, which is given to the state with the most eligible economic development projects completed in the previous year. Ohio finished second, behind the state of Texas, with 517 eligible projects completed in the state. Gary Thompson, Chief Operation Officer at the Toledo-based Regional Growth Partnership, stated that the recognition serves as an important validation that Ohio continues to offer what developers are looking for.

Fulton County Economic Development Corporation did its part to support Ohio’s efforts to compete in the Governor’s Cup. Six projects were completed in Fulton County, Ohio in 2015. These projects totaled an investment of $124,600,000 and 303 new jobs will be created thanks to these investments. Matt Gilroy, Executive Director of the FCEDC, stated, “Economic Development success in Fulton County during 2015 was tremendous, we recorded the second highest investment total last year when compared to the last 25 years. Only 1995 was higher; that was the year North Star / BlueScope Steel and Worthington Industries announced their projects. I am confident that 2016 will be another strong year for economic development in Fulton County. Our goal is to best 2015’s strong numbers.”

Fulton County Receives Foreign Trade Zone Designation

The Fulton County Commissioners have partnered with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority to expand the port authority’s foreign trade zone into Fulton County. The Foreign Trade Zone Program is a trade program that provides financial benefits to manufacturers that rely on importing raw materials or component items in their manufacturing process. A Foreign Trade Zone is a  secured area located near or in U.S. Customs Ports of Entry, but are legally considered to be outside of customs territory.

If you import goods for your business, please contact Matt Gilroy at (419) 337-9270 to learn more about the benefits of Foreign Trade Zones.