Lakewood Chamber of Commerce Announces 2013 Outstanding New Member & 2013 Business Person of the Year

Members of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce have selected Maria Shinn (Maria L. Shinn LLC) as the 2013 Outstanding New Member and Ralph Lukich (Omni Lakewood Ltd.) as the 2013 Business Person of the Year.

Maria Shinn, Maria L. Shinn LLC

Maria Shinn has been serving Lakewood and Northeast Ohio as an attorney for over 15 years. She is the owner of Maria L. Shinn, LLC, a law firm in Lakewood specializing in estate planning, probate administration, elder law, and non-traditional families.  She is very active in the Lakewood community, serving on the boards of LakewoodAlive and The Lakewood Foundation, as well as holding various positions with the Lakewood PTA Council and Harrison Elementary PTA.   Maria is a member of several bar associations and serves as the Secretary of the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland. She speaks to various community groups about legal protections for non-traditional families.

Maria has been a member of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce since November of 2011. Since joining, she has been a regular attendee at Chamber meetings, seminars, and networking events. Maria is a member of the Chamber’s Economic Development Task Force and was recently elected to the Chamber’s 2013-2014 Board of Directors. A fellow Task Force member describes Maria as someone who “has contributed significantly to the development of programs that benefit businesses in Lakewood.”

Ralph Lukich, Omni Lakewood Ltd.

After working in supervisory and management positions for the Lake Erie Screw Corporation for 14 years, Mr. Lukich managed plant consolidation efforts and completed the shutdown of the Lakewood facility at the corner of Halstead and Athens Avenues in 2005. Mr. Lukich now manages the eighteen-acre multi-tenant facility at 13000 Athens Avenue, known as The Lake Erie Building, Templar Industrial Park – more commonly referred to as the Screw Factory. As the Omni Lakewood Facility Manager, Ralph oversees the leasing, project management, and maintenance of the complex.

The Lake Erie Building leases industrial, commercial, warehouse, studio and event space. Under Mr. Lukich’s management, the multi-building facility has become the home for nearly 100 businesses - from startups to long-standing companies - including an inflatable sports entrance tunnel manufacturer, a screen-printing & promotional products company, a lawn service company, a producer of honey wines, the headquarters of a college student painting company with 13 branch offices, a 3rd generation moving company, several fitness and strength & conditioning-related businesses, a ship chandler that supplies goods & food to commercial ships on Lake Erie – and more. The complex has also become a home to a burgeoning artists’ community; According to Gina DeSantis of Gina DeSantis Ceramics, Ralph is “a great landlord and supporter” of the 37 Screw Factory artists who work and teach at the facility,

The Lake Erie Building was originally built nearly 100 years ago as the production facility for Templar Motors Corporation. Several of the “Superfine Small Cars” are preserved in the Templar Museum located on the 3rd floor of the building. Lakewood Chamber member Dave Buehler, curator of the Templar Motors Factory Display, credits Mr. Lukich for redefining Lakewood’s Historic Birdtown District through his management of the facility. “The Lake Erie Building has become a hub for commerce, the arts, and has also evolved into Lakewood’s de-facto community center, due to the efforts of one Mr. Ralph Lukich.”

Chamber member Alyssa Wilmot, owner of The Movement Factory at The Lake Erie Building – commends Mr. Lukich for “bringing young startup businesses to the Screw Factory in Lakewood and combining art & business in a unique way. Ralph is extremely supportive and understanding, and gives new businesses and young people a chance to be successful and follow their dreams!”

Annual Awards Luncheon

Maria Shinn and Ralph Lukich will be honored at the Chamber's Annual Awards Luncheon on Friday, June 21st at Vosh. Non-members are welcome to attend. Visit the Chamber's website for more details.

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