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BUSINESS UPDATES | Akron Children’s Hospital adds new pediatric surgeon

Among the business updates this week: Youngstown Business Incubator, Blue Wolf Events, Mercy Health Foundation, 898 Marketing, Farmers National Bank, WRTA and the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.
Douglas Potoka 01242020
Dr. Douglas Potoka, a pediatric surgeon, will be treating patients at Akron Children’s Hospital’s Beeghly Campus in Boardman. (Photo courtesy of Akron Children’s Hospital)

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BOARDMAN — Pediatric surgeon Douglas Potoka has joined Akron Children’s Hospital and will treat patients at the Beeghly Campus, 6505 Market St.

Dr. Potoka earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, according to a news release. He completed his residency in general surgery at University Health Center of Pittsburgh and a fellowship in pediatric surgery at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. He also has a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Before joining Akron Children’s, Dr. Potoka was an attending surgeon at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. He also has been an associate professor of surgery at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. 

Dr. Potoka lives in the Pittsburgh area with his wife, Dr. Karin Potoka, and three children.

Farmers National Bank announces
fourth-quarter financial results

CANFIELD — Farmers National Banc Corp. on Wednesday reported financial results for the three months and year ended Dec. 31, 2019.

Net income for the three months was $9.7 million, or $0.35 per diluted share, which compares with $8.7 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2018, and $9.2 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, for the linked quarter. 

Annualized return on average assets and annualized return on average equity were 1.58 percent and 12.78 percent, respectively, for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, 2019, compared with 1.50 percent and 13.65 percent for the same three-month period in 2018, and 1.51 percent and 12.49 percent for the linked quarter. 

Net income for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2019, was $35.8 million, or $1.28 per diluted share, compared with $32.6 million, or $1.16 per diluted share, for the same 12-month period in 2018.

Youngstown Business Incubator to host
Capital Readiness Workshop Series

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown Business Incubator is hosting a Capital Readiness Workshop Series to help startups get ready to raise capital. 

The four-week series is designed to help founders develop the critical components necessary to apply to one of Northeast Ohio’s various accelerators or pre-seed funders.

All sessions take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at YBI, 241 W. Federal St. The sessions are:

  • Feb. 7: Course introduction, value proposition, market sizing and introduction to pitch strategy.
  • Feb. 21: How to draft a go-to-market strategy, pricing considerations, sales funnels.
  • March 6: Introduction to financial modeling, metrics and financial strategy and sample pitches.
  • March 20: Participants pitch their startup to a panel of entrepreneurs and investors for feedback and guidance.

There is no cost to participate, but space is limited. Anyone interested in attending is asked to fill out an application form here.

For more information, contact Gianna Serra, Client Services manager at the Youngstown Business Incubator, at or 330-746-5003.

Blue Wolf Events putting
finishing touches on renovation

YOUNGSTOWN — Blue Wolf Events, a banquet center and catering service at The Maronite Center, 1555 S. Meridian Road, is putting the finishing touches on the renovation of its 12,000-square-foot facility. 

New flooring, wall modifications and the installation of contemporary art and decor are part of the $60,000 facelift, with a new outdoor patio expected to be completed by spring.

“As busy as we are with all of the foot traffic coming and going, it’s imperative to be proactive in keeping the facility in tip-top condition, and so when guests arrive, we want them to enter a place that looks immaculate and feels brand new,” Stacey Rzonsa, owner and director of events, said in a news release.

Mercy Health Foundation to unveil
newest mobile dental clinic

YOUNGSTOWN — Mercy Health Foundation will unveil a new mobile dental clinic at 1 p.m. today (Jan. 31) at St. Elizabeth Dental Clinic, 1001 Covington St.

The new $450,000 mobile dental clinic, which is scheduled to hit the road Monday (Feb. 3), will be on display and open for tours. Parking is available in the lot adjacent to the dental clinic.

The new mobile clinic features two dental treatment areas that will be used for routine preventive care as well as more complex dental procedures. It will increase capacity of Mercy Health’s mobile dental fleet by as much as 25 percent and replaces a 19-year-old medical van retrofitted to provide dental services, according to a news release.

Collectively, Mercy Health mobile dental clinics visit more than 125 different locations each year and provide dental services to 1,700 patients — preschoolers through senior citizens — throughout Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana and Carroll counties.

898 Marketing adds
digital integration specialist

CANFIELD — 898 Marketing, 5721 Shields Road, Suite A, has added Ryan Peplowski as a digital integration specialist. 

Peplowski, an Ursuline High School graduate, joined 898 Marketing in June 2019 for its inaugural summer intern program. Peplowski received a bachelor’s degree in general studies with a minor in marketing from Youngstown State University. He was part of the web design team for YSU’s student newspaper, The Jambar. 

“Ryan not only brings a unique technical presence to our team and clients with his understanding of web design, SEO and analytic acumen, but he understands how all of the digital channels a company possesses can integrally work together to create an approach that helps deliver an experience customers enjoy and businesses need to unlock the full potential digital solutions can deliver an organization,” Jeff Ryznar, president of 898 Marketing, said in a news release.

“I enjoyed my internship over the summer getting first-hand experience working directly with clients,” Peplowski said. “I’m thrilled to officially be a full-time member of the team continuing to help our clients cultivate and maximize their digital presence. Websites are an integral part of doing business, and, these days, many people visit your website before even thinking about setting foot inside your front door.”

WRTA website, documents
now available in Spanish

YOUNGSTOWN — The Western Reserve Transit Authority’s website can now be viewed in Spanish.

Clicking on the Spanish link in the upper-right corner of any page will immediately show that page in Spanish. Any subsequent pages also will be displayed in Spanish until the preference is changed back to English.

In addition, PDF documents on the website also can be viewed in Spanish by clicking their associated “version en español” link. These include the WRTA Riders Guide and documents related to ADA service and Civil Rights (Title VI) issues.

Regional chamber to host
Good Morning, Mahoning County!

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber will host Good Morning, Mahoning County! From 7:30 to 9 a.m. Feb. 21 at B&0 Station Banquet Hall, 530 Mahoning Ave.

The event will include:

  • One of the Mahoning County commissioners (TBD);
  • Art Daly, vice president of Eastern Gateway Community College;
  • A representative from Tribune Chronicle/The Vindicator
  • Erin O’Donnell, director of partnerships and community relations at America Makes; 
  • A representative from the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, who will deliver an economic development update;
  • Representatives from breakfast sponsors Phantom Fireworks, Continuing Healthcare Solutions and B&0 Station, who will give brief updates on their respective organizations.

Cost is $20 for members and $30 for nonmembers. To register, click here.