Andy Bednar

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9 02, 2018

Bednar is Recognized as a Community Star

By | 2018-02-12T16:57:18-05:00 February 9th, 2018|Categories: Employees, Leadership, News|Tags: , , |

WARREN — The very best examples of community service and the people who do those good deeds will be honored March 20 at the 17th annual Community Star awards dinner.

Co-sponsored again this year by the Tribune Chronicle and Trumbull 100, the Community Star program celebrates local volunteers who go above and beyond to make a measurable impact in the lives of others without expecting anything in return.

“It was a difficult task narrowing down the 47 nominations to the final 12 because of all of the outstanding contributions in the community,” said Sue Shafer, community events coordinator for the Tribune Chronicle. “This year’s winners are so inspirational, and have a tremendous impact in the community in so many ways.”

The 2018 Class of Community Stars is:

  • Andrew Bednar of Warren, president of the Warren Rotary Club. He was chairman of the Howland Local Schools Community Collaboration Committee that led to the creation of the Howland Community Scholarship Foundation, which awards scholarships to seniors graduating from the district.
  • Sam Covelli of Warren, owner / operator of Covelli Enterprises, which is the largest franchisee of Panera Bread. Covelli was nominated for his philanthropic efforts, which include his work for Panerathon, which has raised more than $2 million to support the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital.
  • Debbie Hayes, clothing coordinator for Basement Outreach Ministries, an organization that provides community outreach to local residents. She also volunteers at the Sahara II Community Resource Center, St. William Church in Champion and Friends of the Greenhouse Consortium at Packard Park.
  • Katylu Herriman of Warren. Her volunteer activities include giving time at First Presbyterian Church in Warren, Trumbull County Historical Society, the Upton Association, Sutliff Museum and Trumbull Mobile Meals.
  • Joyce Jones of Kinsman for her work as a member of the auxiliary at American Legion Post 506 in Kinsman, her effort to bring the circus to town and Christmas in Kinsman, which was Jones’ idea. She also volunteers at American Red Cross blood drives and coordinates the effort to make sure the graves of veterans in Kinsman Cemetery are decorated with flowers and flags before Memorial Day.
  • Bonnie Loomis of Warren. Loomis has been a troop leader in the Girl Scouts for more than 50 years, sometimes for as many as four troops at once.
  • Mary Lou and Sal Mormando of Warren, who have spent nearly 25 years ministering to inmates at the Trumbull Correctional Institution.
  • Joyce Polenick and Jennifer Economos Sudzina, who created Light up the Square in downtown Warren, a project done to honor Jennifer’s father, Jim Economos, to carry on his memory.
  • Teresa Webb of Bristol. Webb’s volunteer activities includes time at Bristolville United Methodist Church, for which she raises money through an annual craft show. She was also recently instrumental in raising more than $8,000 for a local family who lost their home in a fire.
  • Jay Wonders of Warren. He organized a bike ride in Trumbull County to raise money for scholarships for local students after his son, Garrett, was killed in 2004 while on a training ride for the 2004 Olympic trials. He also campaigns to keep the roads safe for bicyclists and encourages drivers to share the road.

Full profiles of each person will be featured in a special section that will be published March 21 in the Tribune Chronicle.

Tickets for the dinner at St. Demetrios Community Center in Warren are available at the newspaper office, 240 Franklin St. SE, by phone or by an order form that will run frequently in the pages of the Tribune Chronicle. For more information, contact Shafer at [email protected] or at 330-841-1696.

The event is open to the community.

Copyright 2018 Tribune Chronicle, Warren, Ohio.

12 11, 2015

Howland superintendent says reorganization will ‘homogenize’ district

By | 2018-02-07T16:48:14-05:00 November 12th, 2015|Categories: Archived|Tags: , |

Andy Bednar, an architect with Baker, Bednar, Snyder and Associates, described the need for a ramp or elevator at North Road Elementary because it is two stories tall. He said H.C. Mines also needs more restrooms and a covered walkway.


From the Vindicator:


Several officials from Howland local schools unveiled a reorganization plan Wednesday that Superintendent Kevin Spicher says is intended to “homogenize” – equalize – the district’s four elementary schools.

“We’ve always had a perception that there were two sides of town,” said Spicher, who graduated from Howland in 1986. He said everyone in the school district needs to “feel good about being educated in Howland, no matter what side of town you’re in.” In Howland’s case, it’s a north-south division.

Currently, students in the northern part of the township attend Howland Glen for kindergarten to grade 2 and H.C. Mines for grades 3 to 5. Students in the southern part of the township attend Howland Springs for kindergarten to grade 2 and North Road Elementary for grades 3 to 5.

The plan being proposed calls for students in grade 1 to attend Howland Springs, grade 2 at Howland Glen, grades 3 and 4 at H.C. Mines and grade 5 at North Road. Kindergarten would be split between Howland Glen and Howland Springs because there isn’t enough room for all to be together, Spicher said. Programs such as cognitive disabilities would remain at their present site.

Twelve-year board member Scott Lehman said he “totally agrees” with the reorganization.

“I have felt for many years we would be better if we could have our kids go through their whole school career together,” he said.

Another reason to combine students of the same grade level into one building is to improve administrative efficiency because they all would have the same principal, Spicher said.

The plan would not affect the middle school or high school, would involve only modest changes to the elementary buildings and is intended to become effective with next school year, Spicher said.

Bid and Buy
Spicher said the change will not cause students to have longer bus rides than now or increase transportation costs.

Kindergarteners next year will attend a full day, Spicher said. Howland is the only district in the county with half-day kindergarten now, he said.

The reorganization also will eliminate the need for any of the four trailer classrooms now in place at the North Road school and four trailer classrooms at H.C. Mines.

The project would be paid for with existing funds and would not involve an additional levy, Spicher said. He didn’t know how much the reorganization will cost, he said.

Implementation of the plan will begin as soon as early 2016 with the bulk of the move occurring next summer unless there is an “outcry from the community,” Spicher said.

The plan was written after receiving input from the community through surveys and conversations, but a community committee also is being formed to review the plan, Lehman said.

Andy Bednar, an architect with Baker, Bednar, Snyder and Associates, described the need for a ramp or elevator at North Road Elementary because it is two stories tall. He said H.C. Mines also needs more restrooms and a covered walkway. But neither of those will be completed in time for next school year, Spicher said.


29 10, 2015

BBS involved in the big changes planned for Howland Schools

By | 2018-02-12T16:57:19-05:00 October 29th, 2015|Categories: Archived|Tags: , , |

From WFMJ:

HOWLAND TWP., Ohio – A plan for reconfiguration will bring big changes for Howland schools, and one key element will give the district something it has wanted for a long time.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Howland Superintendent Kevin Spicher said the strategic planning initiatives are designed to move the district forward.

“I think this is one of those times when we need to realize we’re not the schools of yesteryear anymore,” Spicher said.

As part of the strategic plan Howland will reconfigure it’s four intermediate schools to teach all students in the same grade under one roof. For example, North Road School will be all fifth graders.

School leaders say it will end a long standing system where students have been separated geographically on two sides of the district and met for the first time in middle school.

“Where it wasn’t until sixth grade that everyone met everybody else within the township,” School Board member Justin Kaszowski said. School leaders say one grade under one roof will also benefit teachers.

“Our teachers will be able to meet on a daily basis to drive their instruction, develop a plan, and work together,” said Curriculum Supervisor Erin Pierce.

The changes will also free up space so that Howland will be able for the first time to offer all-day everyday kindergarten. Something Spicher says is needed for Howland to be a viable district going forward.

“We can’t entice all of our students and parents who want to come and stay in Howland schools if we can’t start them here in Howland schools,” said Spicher.

The lack of all day kindergarten has had an impact on Howland enrollment.

“That’s a big factor, we’ve lost a lot of open enrollment students that would have stayed in the district, Board member Kaszowski said.

Another positive from reconfiguration will be the elimination of modular classrooms, which were intended to be only temporary. No schools will be closed and the overall plan will not add any cost to taxpayers. The superintendent says they plan to begin the changeovers at the end of the current school year.

“Because it’s basically an initiative of moving materials, supplies, staffing, and students to the buildings there’s very little else that has to to be put in place to make that happen, that’s why it’s a good thing,” Spicher said.

The reconfiguration will require changes in bus routes but no additional busing. News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

20 10, 2015

Baker Bednar Snyder & Associates Featured in Business Journal

By | 2018-02-12T16:57:19-05:00 October 20th, 2015|Categories: Archived|Tags: , , , , |

From The Business Journal:

HOWLAND TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Almost as soon as you reach the limits of Howland Township, it’s impossible not to know where you are.

Along state Route 46, heading into the township center, whether from north or south, you see an array of signs in front yards that declare support for the Howland High School football team. At the Route 46-state Route 82 interchange, large, concrete signs simply read “HOWLAND” on both sides of the expressway.

If you come in from the west along East Market Street, you see Howland banners that feature tiger tracks – the tiger is the high school mascot – in black and orange. Black and orange – the school colors – adorn light posts almost the entire way to Howland Corners, the intersection of Market Street and Route 46.

The community obviously has an abundance of pride, which permeates into the businesses that call the township home. For instance, at Baker Bednar Snyder & Associates, an architecture, engineering and design firm, all three principals are graduates of the Howland school system who returned home after college.

“Howland is home. And that means a lot to all of us who have chosen to come back here,” says Andy Bednar. “We’re all very committed to the community. Both Randy

[Baker] and Dave [Snyder] are past presidents of the Howland Rotary, so they’ve been very involved philanthropically.”

Bednar also serves as the president of the Howland Community Scholarships Foundation, which last year awarded 52 scholarships that totaled more than $42,000.

The architectural firm has completed several projects in the township, including its government center, the new Akron Children’s Hospital pediatrics unit on Market Street, the Howland Schools athletics complex and the Howland branch of the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library. [the firm has also completed the following projects in Howland Township: Akron Children’s Hospital Multi-Specialty Office, Eye Care Associates – Howland, Shepherd of the Valley Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Facilities, Shepherd of the Valley Independent Living Neighborhood, Seven Seventeen Corporate Headquarters]

Click Here To View These Projects in Our Portfolio


“It’s a very rewarding feeling,” Bednar says of the work his firm has done. “With our involvement, we have gotten to know a lot of people and leaders. Because of our reputation of getting things done on time and on budget, that’s where their service comes back to us and where the desire to work with us comes from.”

As a township that experienced most of its growth over the past couple of decades, the small-town atmosphere still holds strong as residents are just as likely to turn to a neighbor’s store as go to a chain.

“We like doing business in Howland. The customers give us a lot of support,” says Stephen Sprague, owner of Sprague’s Vacuum Plus. “Of course, with it being a very local community, we try to help out with kids’ sports and the schools, along with the fire and police departments.

“Both [the police and fire departments] buy some of their equipment from us,” Sprague continues. “The people in this community like to support local businesses and we appreciate that.”

Howland, many others note, has always been receptive to new businesses opening within its boundaries. Almost six years ago, during the Great Recession, Stella Angelo opened The Cake Boutique on North River Road.

Customer response was phenomenal from the beginning, Angelo says. What helped customers and her business was that both had to work within the confines of strained budgets.

“We had to have a budget for everyone, which we still do, and that draws people to us. Starting in the recession taught us how to ride the market,” Angelo says. “I have a little more knowledge and a better feel for what I need to do to keep afloat.”

At the beginning of September, Richard Alberini, owner of the former Alberini’s in Niles, opened Alberini’s Trattoria on Market Street in Howland. Almost instantly, the restaurant was full and has enjoyed steady business since, he says.

“The demographics give us the potential for a lot of carry out,” Alberini says. “There are a lot of school sports and things going on where families can come by and grab a pizza or stop in for some pasta while the parents grab a beer.”

Even better than the foot traffic, he notes, is the relatively low volume of traffic that passes his restaurant. While fewer cars go by, the less daunting traffic attracts more customers.

“The location is much better here than on Route 422 because of the traffic. The accessibility here is wonderful,” he says. “The surrounding rooftops and families are something we really want to appeal to.”

Longtime shops have developed and kept a base of loyal customers over the years. At the intersection of Route 46 and Market Street, Andrews Shopping Center has been a mainstay of Howland since before World War II.

“We’re certainly seeing a new group of people come in, but the old adage of ‘If you can’t find it anywhere, you can find it at Andrews’ is still something I hear from people,” says owner Harmon Andrews.

“The older people in the community like the fact that nothing changes. They can come here and it’s the same as it was 30 years ago.”

With the arrival of big box stores such as Lowe’s and The Home Depot, Andrews has had to adjust to a shrinking customer base. Andrews has become a Lionel model train franchise and it now offers antiques.

“When Lowe’s and Home Depot came in, they took a big piece of the pie, so I started looking at other things to do,” he says.

“I’m not sure that we are as relevant as we once were. It’s basically word of mouth [that keeps us going]. We have a pretty loyal following that’s getting aged, for sure. We’ve got the antiques and other things that give us a pretty nice draw, too.”

Often mentioned as what distinguishes Howland from other communities in Trumbull County is the mix of residential and commercial properties, not just in number but location.

“Part of the difficulty in these developments is that you have homes next to office buildings on the main drag. That’s just the way older communities develop,” says Carter Lewis, CEO of Lewis Construction. “In planned communities, everything is in a proper place. We have a healthy mix; it’s just the nature of being a community that started in the 1800s.”

Lewis is quick to point out that his company often looks to do business with others in the township, a shared value in Howland.

“We make a genuine effort to do business with local companies. The obvious answer is for the convenience,” he relates. “Beyond that, it’s because they’re the people you know outside of work and want to help support. I believe a great deal in reciprocity.”

Among the companies Lewis has worked with is Baker Bednar Snyder. The two have worked together on four projects in Howland, including Akron Children’s Hospital and on the Howland Tiger Pride project. That project renovated several athletics and extracurricular facilities for the school system.

“I’ve always enjoyed being able to give back to the community,” Lewis says. ”It’s probably an overused phrase, but I like to ‘pay it forward.’ Giving back has always been important to us. I didn’t just do it for my kids, I did it for the greater good of the community.”

And that sense of community continues to attract families and help business in Howland, says Baker of Baker Bednar Snyder.

“There are quality schools and a good quality of life to raise our families in. For me, another reason is because of my dad being a contractor in Howland,” Baker says. “That created a familiarity with the contractors, suppliers, subcontractors and other people in the business. So when I graduated and was choosing a location to establish a new firm, Howland just made a lot of sense.”

12 05, 2015

BBS Principal Andy Bednar presented 62 scholarships totaling $46,500 to Howland graduates

By | 2018-02-07T16:50:16-05:00 May 12th, 2015|Categories: Archived|Tags: , , , |

As President of the Howland Community Scholarships Foundation, BBS Principal Andy Bednar presented 62 scholarships totaling $46,500 to Howland graduates. Here, he is seen honoring long-time educator Barbara A. Wright for her accomplishments and her inspiration to the students of Howland.

The mission of the Howland Community Scholarships program is to award scholarships to Howland High School’s graduating seniors annually through direct donations and the proceeds of the Howland Community Scholarships Foundation, Inc. Thanks to the generosity of the community, the Foundation has been able to award 372 scholarships totaling $247,750 since it began in 2006. Congratulations to all this year’s deserving recipients!