Developer Bob Mills honored for volunteer work in Dayton

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 10:42 AM


            Bob Mills
Bob Mills

Veteran builder and developer Bob Mills Jr. was honored with the Citizen Legion of Honor Award.

The Presidents Club of Dayton said Thursday that Mills is the 67th recipient of the region’s Citizen Legion of Honor Award. Given every year since 1951, the honor is the area’s oldest recognition of volunteer servant leadership in the Dayton region, the club said.

Mills is founder of both Synergy Building Systems and Mills Development, two of the region’s construction and land development companies. His company is responsible for much of the work along the Interstate 75 and Ineterstate 675 corridors, including Pentagon Boulevard in Beavercreek.

“His companies have made a huge impact on the creation of office and residential space for decades,” the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce said in announcing the honor for Mills.

Mills has served as a volunteer on more than a dozen corporate and not-for-profit boards over the last 30 years including Greene Memorial Hospital; the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force; Wright State University Foundation; and the Dayton Development Coalition.

Most recently, Bob and his family created the Gala of Hope Foundation and have raised more than $6 million to fight cancer and improve cancer care in our region.

“Additionally, he and his family worked tirelessly to support Dayton Children’s new patient tower supporting local children’s needs for important health care services,” the chamber said.

He has been recognized by the Dayton Regional STEM School; Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce; Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; the American Cancer Society’s Man of the Year; and with the Mathile Community Award.

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Fuyao labor relations board hearing set for possible UAW vote

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 10:05 AM
Updated: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 10:19 AM

Nearly all seats in the United Auto Workers 696 union hall were filled for a UAW rally in April. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
Nearly all seats in the United Auto Workers 696 union hall were filled for a UAW rally in April. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

The National Labor Relations Board’s Cincinnati office is starting the process of looking at whether to schedule a vote for about 1,500 Fuyao Glass America workers on whether to join the United Auto Workers (UAW).

The union isn’t saying how many signatures of Fuyao workers petitioning for a union representation election have been sent to the NLRB.

Matthew Denholm, assistant director for the NLRB Cincinnati office, said Tuesday morning no election is scheduled yet.

RELATEDFuyao Glass leaders skeptical of union support

But he said “union cards” from the UAW have been received, and the NLRB now must review them to make sure they’re “current” and that cards are signed.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 25 at the NLRB Cincinnati office, at the 550 Main St. federal building.

RELATEDWorld watches as Fuyao pursues historic U.S. investment in Dayton area

But if the union and the company reach agreement on crucial details, that hearing may be cancelled, Denholm cautioned.

Fuyao had not returned messages seeking comment.

Denholm said that before hearings, unions and companies sometimes reach “a stipulated election agreement.” He did not know if that will happen in the case of Fuyao. But he said the sides will try to come to an agreement on the time and place of an election and who exactly will be represented in a new bargaining unit, among other details.

Denholm added that the NLRB assumes that the signatures it has received from the UAW are from workers at the plant. But he said that if Fuyao leaders want the office to check them, the company can make a payroll list available.

UAW leaders said Tuesday they are confident an NLRB-sanctioned election will happen.

“We have workers in that plant who truly need our help,” said Rich Rankin, director of the UAW region that includes the plant in Moraine.

RELATEDFuyao workers seek union election: What we know now

About 1,500 hourly workers are at the Fuyao auto glass plant in Moraine. And “they’re not being paid a living wage right now,” Rankin said in a phone call from Detroit Tuesday.

No one in a UAW conference call would discuss how many worker signatures have been submitted to the NLRB. Federal law requires a 30-percent threshold — signatures from 30 percent of a workplace’s eligible workforce — to schedule a representation election, and Rankin said “it’s safe to assume” the UAW’s number of signatures exceeds that.

RELATEDGrowing pains at Fuyao plant as employees consider union

“It is our policy not to discuss the total number of signatures as they come in,” said UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg. “But this committee feels strong enough that they filed.”

Theodore Searcy, a Fuyao worker for about 18 months, said workers at the plant off Stroop Road are “really looking forward to a time to vote.”

“This has been going on for too long,” he said.

He said employees who have to take time off from work to care for sick children or family emergencies are punished.

“They’re firing too many good workers with no excuse,” Searcy said. “Their point system is terrible, especially if anybody has any kids. It seems like Fuyao has not set us up to win, but more or less set us up to fail.”

“In the workplace, that should never be an issue,” he added. “Family should be first.”

“This is a plant that … has come to Ohio with great public investment,” Rothenberg said. “There has been a lot said how about the workers have been adjusting. There has been a lot of turnover at the plant. There have been a lot of safety issues at the plant.”

He faulted “constantly changing roles and policies at the plant,” among other problems.

The UAW offered no timeline on the next steps.

Fuyao representatives have not responded to messages seeking comment. 

New candy store at The Greene hosting grand opening, giveaways

Published: Monday, October 09, 2017 @ 11:51 AM
Updated: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 9:48 AM

FILE
FILE

A new candy store is set to open at The Greene Town Center in Beavercreek later this month, and it is hosting a grand opening event to celebrate.

La Puf Sweets is hosting its grand opening from 3-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. Swag bags will be handed out, and shoppers will enjoy special discounts, giveaways and more.

» INITIAL REPORT: Candy shop to open at The Greene in Beavercreek

La Puf Sweets caters candy buffets, cotton candy bars, s’mores bars and popcorn stations for parties. The business has been offering catering services in the Miami Valley since 2016, and recently made the decision to move to The Greene, according to The Greene’s general manager Steve Willsaw.

The business announced on its Facebook that it was closer to opening its doors at The Greene, and the store is expected to open next to Panera Bread.

“Finishing up the last of the finishing touches this week and then we have one last walk through and boom, done! I will be announcing a grand opening date soon so stay tuned,” the business posted on Facebook.

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Port Authority to own Levitt Pavilion land

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 3:04 PM

An aerial view of the land where supporters hope to build Levitt Pavilion Dayton. Plans call for a 2,564-square-foot performance pavilion on the 100 block of South Main Street on Dave Hall Plaza, as well as a 2,100-square-foot service building on the 100 block of South Jefferson Street. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
An aerial view of the land where supporters hope to build Levitt Pavilion Dayton. Plans call for a 2,564-square-foot performance pavilion on the 100 block of South Main Street on Dave Hall Plaza, as well as a 2,100-square-foot service building on the 100 block of South Jefferson Street. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority trustees voted unanimously Monday to hold title to land set aside for Dayton’s planned new downtown entertainment venue, the Levitt Pavilion, hoping the move will make development there easier.

Under the arrangement, the Port Authority will own the land set aside for the pavilion at Dave Hall Plaza downtown, leasing it back to the city of Dayton and arranging some kind of operating agreement with the Friends of the Levitt Pavilion Dayton, a group of local supporters and fundraisers for the project.

“We’ll get ownership, and we’ll be protected from liability,” said Jerry Brunswick, executive director of the Port Authority.

RELATED: Downtown pavilion redo: Bids come in much cheaper

Earlier, just one contractor bid on the project and wanted $3 million more than the estimated building budget for the pavilion.

But more recently, the project was rebid and four companies submitted bids more in line with projected building costs — ranging from $5.8 million to over $6.9 million.

Supporters completed a $5 million capital fund-raising campaign this year.

RELATEDPavilion supporters raise $500K for project

“Contractors are obviously spooked by something in the plan because they are bidding so much higher than what the architects have estimated,” said Brad Evers, general counsel for the Port Authority.

The planned outdoor music amphitheater will be built on South Main Street near the Crowne Plaza Dayton and was projected to cost about $5 million. Plans to open the site in perhaps June 2018 will likely be pushed back, Evers said.

Evers believes it’s possible that supporters of the project will meet with contractors at some point to learn more about their bids.

Jeff Ireland, chairman of the Friends of Levitt Pavilion Dayton, said no meeting is planned with contractors. 

“I think it’s fair to say we are working with the city and the Port Authority to see if there’s a way we can facilitate the construction process,” Ireland said. 

The Port Authority legally can hire a contractor without a competitive bidding process. It was the hope of trustees that the Port Authority could somehow speed the process while lowering costs.

“This is what we do,” said Joseph Geraghty, chairman of the Port Authority’s Board of Trustees.

Fuyao workers seek union election: What we know now

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 4:21 PM
Updated: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 8:10 AM


            Some 200 people attended a United Auto Workers rally in April at the UAW 696 hall in Dayton. The UAW hopes to organize Fuyao’s 2,000-worker plant in Moraine. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
Some 200 people attended a United Auto Workers rally in April at the UAW 696 hall in Dayton. The UAW hopes to organize Fuyao’s 2,000-worker plant in Moraine. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

Employees at Fuyao Glass America today filed a request with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a representation election at Fuyao’s Moraine plant, the United Auto Worker said in a statement.

RELATED: Growing pains at Fuyao as workers consider union

“Fuyao employees, whose worries about workplace safety have led to complaints and fines against Fuyao by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), say they now are ready for a voice in their workplace and have filed to form their own union with legal and technical assistance from the UAW,” the union’s statement said.

RELATED: UAW makes case to Fuyao workers

“It has been hard because we are all working so hard for the company,” Fuyao worker Jeremy Grant said in a UAW release. “In return, we come to work facing constantly changing rules, communication barriers with our supervisors and no way to be heard about changes that will help us all win.”

RELATED: Fuyao Glass leaders skeptical of union support

Fuyao Glass America has about 2,000 employees in Moraine, at what the company says is the world’s largest production site for automotive and safety glass.

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