Year in Review
“Bugman” Glen Courtright shows off one of his million-plus helpers, a black soldier fly, whose larvae he cultivates to produce a high-protein feed. The flies themselves feed off distillers grains, a byproduct of the brewing and biofuel industries. (Photos by Lauren Heaton)

After several years of experimentation, Glen Courtright feels he has discovered a way to produce a high-protein animal feed that could revolutionize the world’s food system, using the larvae of the black soldier fly. Courtright is shown with one of the flies at his new business, Enviroflight, located at MillWorks. (News archive photo by Megan Bachman)

The year in review 2012: The economy — MillWorks hosts bugs, breweries

Creative Memories closes

Creative Memories closed its Yellow Springs manufacturing plant at the end of April, concluding The Antioch Company’s 86-year presence in the village. Thirty-eight employees lost their jobs at the Creative Memories production facility at 888 Dayton Street, which manufactures paper packs, stickers and other embellishments for the scrapbooking supplier.

At its peak in 2003, about 175 employees worked at that facility, according to former CEO Lee Morgan.

YSI growing

Since being acquired in late 2011 by Xylem, a $3.8 billion global water technology company headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., YSI has continued double-digit revenue growth, added 21 local jobs and launched two major new product lines from its Yellow Springs facility, according to a recent interview with its general manager, Ron Geis.

Xylem is also investing in YSI’s Brannum Lane manufacturing space and consolidating operations at YSI with plans for the village’s largest employer is to continue to grow locally, Geis said. Another consequence of acquisition, the YSI Foundation was closed in the fall and its assets were spent down.

WYSO builds up local capacity

Local public radio station WYSO underwent several changes in 2012. At the beginning of the year WYSO learned it was one of 10 public radio stations across the nation awarded $100,000 to produce local media as part of Localore, a $2 million project of the Association of Independents in Radio. In May, the station moved across the street from the Sontag-Fels building owned by Antioch College to the ground floor of the Antioch University’s Kettering building, where new studios and offices were built at a cost of $1 million.

New leader at credit union

In August YS Federal Credit Union Chief Executive Officer Karen Wolf resigned from a position she had held for 12 years. while Sandy Hollenberg took over as interim CEO. Wolf oversaw a period of change at the credit union, which increased its assets from a steady $8 million to $15 million during her tenure.

ISP Servlet changes local hands

Servlet Internet Services Company was sold in March to a group of local investors, including the co-owner of one of Servlet’s biggest customers, e-Health Data Solutions. Roi Qualls, director of operations at e-Health, Cyprian Sajabi and several of their friends and family members purchased the local internet service provider from its founder and CEO, Bruce Cornett, who founded the company in 1997. Then, in December, Cornett bought the company back with plans to oversee the data centers and network. Servlet has continued to operate at its location on Xenia Avenue.

CBE sees gains, setbacks

Progress continued at the Center for Business and Education, a 35-acre commerce park slated for the west end of the village, even though federal funding was cut in 2012. In July the Village broke ground on the center’s first phase of construction, the creation of an intersection of Dayton-Yellow Springs Road with the CBE’s internal roadway, to be called Gateway Drive. But in the fall Community Resources, the group backing the park, learned that federal grant funds for road construction were withdrawn when a federal earmark of $344,000 previously committed through the Ohio Department of Transportation was unexpectedly redirected to another project. The loss of funding cuts the CBE’s infrastructure budget by over 20 percent. Community Resources leaders and Village officials are looking for alternate sources of funding to continue the project.

In August Nate Cornett and Lisa Wolters launched their new business, the Yellow Springs Brewery, at MillWorks, the second brewery to open at that location. The couple aims to sponsor beer tastings in the summer of 2013. (News archive photo by Megan Bachman)

In August Nate Cornett and Lisa Wolters launched their new business, the Yellow Springs Brewery, at MillWorks, the second brewery to open at that location. The couple aims to sponsor beer tastings in the summer of 2013. (News archive photo by Megan Bachman)

Bugs, breweries at MillWorks

Several startup businesses that make their home at MillWorks on Walnut Street geared up production in 2012. Two breweries made preparations throughout the year, including Vitruvian Brewing Company, the vision of local couple Shane and Jacqui Creepingbear, and Yellow Springs Brewery, started by another local couple, Nate Cornett and Lisa Wolters. Both breweries plan to open for pint-size tastings and retail sales in 2013. Later in the year, S and G Artisan Distillery officially opened for quarter-ounce liquor tastings and sales of its first product, an apple pie moonshine.

After three and half years of research and painstaking trial and error inside the facility he has built at MillWorks, Glen Courtwright’s business Enviroflight is taking off, he told the News in September. Courtright invented a way to use black soldier fly larvae to produce high-protein feed for fish, chicken and other animals at a cost he believes could revolutionize the world’s food system.

Little Art to get a makeover

The Little Art Theatre announced in August that its board raised nearly a half million dollars for a digital projector and a complete theater renovation — the first in the theater’s 83-year history. Coming soon to the theater in 2013 will be cushy seats with cup holders, a steeper floor incline for better viewing, a new screen, handicapped-accessible doors and bathrooms, an expanded concession area, a host of upgrades to the mechanical systems of the historic building and a crisp, clear digital picture.

In other business and economic news:

• In January the Springs Motel erected 20 solar photovoltaic panels on its roof. The 4700-watt solar array will replace about 20 percent of the motel’s electric load.

• In February, physician Dr. Alan Fark, who is associated with the Springfield Regional Medical Group, started a new family medical practice at 716 Xenia Avenue.

• Yoga Springs expanded into Springfield in April.

• Springs Survival Store opened in May in the back of King’s Yard.

• Food carts began popping up all over Yellow Springs this spring but sparked controversy when the Village received a complaint from a downtown shop owner. Planning Commission took steps to regulate mobile food vendors in April, saying that while the presence of such vendors was a net good for the community, established businesses need to be protected.

• In June, Asanda Imports owners Molly Lunde and Lee Kibblewhite, who are married, with Brendan Comerford and Christy Lewis, another local couple, bought the property at 228 Xenia Avenue, now home to Asanda and Iona Boutique.

• In June, Council cancelled the Village’s contract with SolarVision, a Westerville company that had been slated to build a 2.5-megawatt solar array on the Village-owned Glass Farm.

• Xenia couple Debi Yawn and David Lee purchased Main Squeeze in July.

• La Pampa, an Argentinian grilling and catering business conceived by local resident Mariano Rios, opened in July.

• David Flowers spoke with the News in July about his business crafting handmade eyeglasses using renewable lumber.

• Sam & Eddie’s Open Books moved to a new location in King’s Yard in October. The book and gift shop operated at its former site for 17 years.

• Yellow Springs Senior Center Director David Scott resigned his position in October after two years at the helm of the organization, citing personality differences between himself and the board of trustees.

• Villager Kira Lugo opened Iona Boutique at 232 Xenia Avenue, the space vacated by Sam & Eddie’s Open Books, in November. The new retro clothing store merges fashion and music from the 1940s to 1980s, with brand new clothing for sale in vintage designs.

 

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