November kicks off the holiday season with visions of turkey dinners and sugar plum fairies, Santa visits, family & friends, hugs and kisses, holiday shopping, and holiday movies (Hallmark has already started airing them).

This year is different. Maybe not so many hugs and kisses, maybe not a big family gathering for Thanksgiving, no group singing at the annual holiday tree lighting ceremony or sitting on Santa’s lap at Oberlin Cable Co-op. We will miss these things, but we should remember that we are following safety guidelines to help get us through the pandemic, to slow the infection rate so our hospitals will not be overwhelmed, to help keep our loved ones virus free and alive. Our attitude should be “We Care and We Can do what it takes to take care of each other.” Just think of how impatient our society has become – how we don’t want to be inconvenienced – how we expect instant gratification. Sometimes waiting for something makes it much more gratifying when we achieve it. I have faith that our patience and positive attitudes will help prepare us for a better future.

I just participated in a Zoom meeting with David Covell, Lorain County Health Commissioner and President of the Ohio Health Commissioners. He encouraged everyone to follow safety guidelines to protect our health and the health of others. Organizations are working on the creation of an effective vaccine – there is an end in sight. So, be diligent, smile even when people can’t see you smile behind your mask, count your blessings every day and look to the future when much-missed personal connections will be even more appreciated!


EAT, DRINK & WIN – Chance to win $100 in gift certificates to Lorain County restaurants. Several Lorain County Organizations including OBP launched a promotion to help drive business to our member restaurants as the weather trends to colder. The promotion provides $100 in Gift Certificates per week for 12 weeks – From October 12 through December 31, 2020. People who visit participating restaurants can turn in their receipts every week for a chance to win the $100. Participating Oberlin restaurants are 1833, The Feve, The Local, Lorenzo’s Pizzeria, ThiNi Thai, Show Train Café, and Sterks Brickyard Bar & Grill. Go here for more information: Download the Daily Explorer app at to upload your visit and receipt to the contest. Winners are being announced on Facebook Live – schedule is on the Eat Drink Win website.

SHOP SMALL SATURDAY – November 28, 2020. Shop Small Saturday is a chance for you to purchase holiday gifts from Oberlin small businesses. Check our the OBP Facebook page for updates on what is happening on that day.

OBERLIN GIFT CERTIFICATES are perfect for everyone, anyone, especially those hard-to-buy for people. Help us keep money in Oberlin and support your local businesses. You can purchase the certificates in the OBP Office, 23 East College St. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays or online here: There is also a link on that page to a list of businesses that accept the certificates.

SANTA ARRIVES ON THE FIRE TRUCK! Saturday, November 28, starting at 10 a.mThanks to OBP, the City of Oberlin, and the Rotary Club of Oberlin, Santa will be taking a ride around town on the firetruck on Saturday, November 28, starting at 10 a.m. He will have treats (thanks to the Rotary Club) for kids who greet him along his route through the neighborhoods. We will publish the route on our Facebook page closer to the event.

WANT TO WORK ON A FUN PROJECT?  Calling all artists and people with ideas and landlords with empty store fronts. Let’s make Oberlin even more beautiful for the holidays by decorating the empty store fronts. If you would like to participate, call me 440-503-5031 or email me and let’s get this project going.

OBP Board Member Profile:
Dennis Mavrich, OBP Board of Trustees
Tell me a little bit about your business. My wife Ellen and I started this business as a “Scratch Insurance Agency” in March 2014 after spending over 30 years in the insurance industry. My 
background is on the regulatory side and hers in risk management. In addition to selling P&C insurance, we still offer regulatory consulting and risk management services.

Tell me a little bit about you. I was born and raised in the tiny village of Strabane located in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Strabane’s population was about 1,200 with 80% of the residents being of Slovenian descent. Like my parents, I became immersed in the cultural activities of the Slovenian society by joining the Slovene National Benefit Society (“SNPJ”) club. Growing up, the Club was the center of my universe. I learned how to bowl, sing, dance and drink there.

Why did/do you volunteer to be a board of trustees’ member? In addition to the above described activities, I was also the financial secretary of the Club for over 20 years and also involved in planning dances, bowling and golf tournaments. So being an OBP Board Member was a way of continuing to volunteer for the good of an organization.

What have you learned through your board membership involvement? There are many good hard-working people in this town.

Would you encourage others to become involved as a board member, committee member, or program or event volunteer? If so, why?  I encourage others to volunteer in any capacity. It’s a lot of work but after a successful event, the feeling of accomplishment makes all the work worth it.

What is one piece of advice or input you would like to share with our readers?  Keep an open mind and don’t ever let it get old.
Member Profile:
Barbara Thomas, CEO of Kendal at Oberlin, and Active Community and OBP Supporter
Tell us about your business. Kendal at Oberlin is a nonprofit, life plan community for older adults. Lifeplan and nonprofit means residents can count on Kendal for support as they age and will never be asked to leave Kendal for unforeseen financial circumstances out of their control. We have approximately 340+ residents that moved to Oberlin from more than 35 States and the District of Columbia.

Our location, less than a half-mile from town,is important to connect with the larger community whether for auditing a class, biking to the library or volunteering for many of the area nonprofits. Kendal residents and staff recorded over 53000 volunteer hours in 2019. 

Tell us a little bit about you. I have been an “old soul” from a young age. My first job was at Margaret Wagner House in Cleveland Heights working in their pharmacy and answering the phone on the weekends. Being drawn to senior living out of college was a natural and has been a good fit for more than 40 years. When I’m not at my day job, I am never without a zillion things that I love to consider away or at home: travel to kids in Colorado and Wyoming; extensive gardening, reading, rooms to remodel/redecorate and always tennis year-round with my spouse Bill (and Kendal residents who are darn good!)

Why did Kendal decide to come to Oberlin? Kendal at Oberlin came into being because Oberlinians never really wanted to leave Oberlin as they aged in place but needed more services. Karl Heiser, a professor at OC was the inspiration to build Kendal when he and his wife Ruth reluctantly moved away. From there, Jeptha Carrell brought his good friend Lloyd Lewis, executive director of The Kendal Corporation, into the picture. The planning began to build here in Oberlin. That was in 1987 and Kendal at Oberlin finally opened in October 1993.

Why did you join the Oberlin Business Partnership? From our opening, Kendal views its relationships with the town as critically important. As is evident from meetings hosted by the OBP, residents, staff and even board are likely to participate. Our residents and staff are invested in contributing and helping Oberlin be the best place to live, learn and work. I think it’s a great way to connect with existing businesses, and citizens and know what’s ahead. 

Would you encourage others to join? If so, why? Most people find a small town attractive because they like connections. OBP offers an easy way to get connected, make contributions, know what is going on. On top of that you can shape where you live and work by contributing. What’s not to like? 

What is one piece of advice or input you would like to share with our readers – especially during the COVID-19 challenges? Oberlin is resilient in so many ways and has done very well despite difficult changes and impacts on our small town. While COVID-19 has presented so much uncertainty, there has not been a limit of creativity and determination of like-minded people. When there is a will there is a way and we will continue to solve problems to cope with whatever is ahead by reaching out and doing it together. Stay well!
Volunteer Profile:
Robin Ward
Elizabeth Elrod interviewed Robin Ward for this month's volunteer highlight. Robin grew up in Lorain County and has been involved in Oberlin's community for many years. She especially enjoys volunteering for Oberlin Business Partnership because she finds the social environment so welcoming. She made a point of saying how much she likes working with Janet, other OBP staff members and our other loyal volunteers. She added that we make the events fun. We of course, love having Robin as one of our faithful and dependable volunteers.
When asked which event she prefers, Robin responded that the Holiday Bazaar we hosted for four years was her favorite followed by Leadercast Women, even though that involved making coffee for 200 attendees! She has also enjoys volunteering at the annual Family Fun Fair and Classic Car Show in August.

Robin says that she absolutely would volunteer again and looks forward to when we are able to return to hosting in-person events​. She finds volunteering to be very rewarding and encourages others to share their time and skills with the Oberlin Community by signing up for an OBP event.

 ​When she's not at one of our events, look for Robin on the golf course. ​​She's an avid golfer and also works part-time at the Willow Creek Golf Club in Vermilion.  
Thursday, November 12, 2020
via Zoom

EVERYONE IS INVITED! Featured in November are students from Oberlin College's Environmental Studies program to update us on upgrades and changes in the environmental dashboard.

To receive monthly invitations, send your email address to
RSVP for Good Morning Oberlin
Online - Zoom

11/12/20 9:00am - 11/12/20 10:00am

We'll send you a Zoom link prior to the event.
I'll be there!
I can't make it
November 28, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

This Saturday event is an opportunity for Oberlinians to support our small businesses and to be eligible to win Oberlin Gift Certificates. We will list activities on the OBP Facebook page starting the week of November 16th.  
on the FIRE TRUCK 
Saturday, November 28, 10–11a.m. 
Santa is making a list and checking it twice! He has treats for children along to route. See more information on the OBP and City Facebook pages. .
by Megan Apple
2020 has seemed a decade long for many of us, but now is a great time to reset, energize, and plan for 2021. 
3 key programs focused on your success will be launching before the end of the year because CoWork Oberlin is committed to providing programming that helps you move forward with confidence and soar in 2021. Stay tuned for details and registration information. 
Have a particular topic in mind or specific need for your business. Reach out – we can help. Email: or call: 216.704.6568
Megan Apple, CoWork Oberlin business advisor and coach.
Beginning Wednesday, December 2, 2020
5:30 – 6:30 pm
Six weeks to fall in love with marketing and sales and become a client attraction magnet.
Via Zoom with a break on December 23, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Workshop will be completed first two weeks of January.
Profit Joyfully Intensive 
How to design your business, your life, your way. A 90-day group programming beginning January 5, 2021
Profit Joyfully Network for Women
Beginning January 5, 2021 at 9:00 am – 10:30 pm  
A twice monthly coach facilitated group for female entrepreneurs to provide support, networking opportunities and business coaching and advising. 

The health, safety and well-being of Oberlin employees, residents and businesses is our highest priority.  Although City buildings are still closed to the public, Oberlin services are still operational. Please visit for information how to contact City offices, information on services, state of Ohio orders/advisories, assistance options, etc. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up to date information!

Thanksgiving Holiday: City Offices will be closed on Thursday, November 26th and Friday, November 27th in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Emergency services and regular refuse/recycling pick-up are always available.

City Board & Commission Vacancies: The City of Oberlin is accepting applications to fill vacant positions on City Boards & Commissions. Click HERE for more information and to apply.
Sustainable Transportation Survey: The Office of Sustainability would like to thank the Oberlin community for the over 650 responses to our Sustainable Transportation survey. Please feel free to review the summary and analysis of the survey HERE.

City Office Changes: The City’s Engineering Division (City Engineer, Engineering Technician and Storm Water Coordinator) has moved to Oberlin City Hall at 85 South Main Street to join Public Works Administration offices. The City’s Human Resources Administrator, Administrative Coordinator of Communications and Sustainability Coordinator has moved to the 2nd Floor offices at “Old City Hall” at 69 South Main Street. All phone numbers and email addresses for these employees remain the same.
City Email Updates: Keep up to date on important City announcements, including City programming and service updates, job openings, event announcements and more! Sign up today:

Emergency Notification System: Members of the local workforce are encouraged to register for the Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS). This system is used by the City of Oberlin and Lorain County to alert the community about emergency situations, such as boil alerts, power outages, street closures, weather alerts, etc. Alerts can be received via email, text message and/or voicemail. Register HERE. For more information, contact the Oberlin Fire Department at 440-774-3211 or
City of Oberlin COVID-19 Emergency Working Capital Loan Program for Businesses: Loans up to $10,000 at 0% interest for rent/mortgage payments, employee payroll, utility payments, inventory or essential supplies. Must retain 1 employee, which could be the sole proprietor. See the Program Guidelines or Contact Planning Director Carrie Handy for more information (440-775-7250 or

City of Oberlin Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) COVID-19 Emergency Working Capital Loan Program for Businesses: Loans up to $10,000 at 0% interest for rent/mortgage payments, employee payroll, utility payments, inventory or essential supplies.  Must retain at least 1 low to moderate income job and at least 51% of all employees retained must be low to moderate income. See the Program Guidelines or Contact Planning Director Carrie Handy for more information (440-775-7250 or