TFP, WSPD team to cover Bell’s Germany tripWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Toledo Free Press Managing Editor Sarah Ottney will travel to Germany to cover Mayor Mike Bell’s expedition to the Hannover Fair, an industrial trade show, from April 10-15.
Ottney will write about her trip for Toledo Free Press and also provide updates on 1370 WSPD, as well as social media forums for both media outlets.
The group traveling to Germany includes Bell, Deputy Mayor of External Affairs/Economic Development Paul Syring, Finance Director Patrick McLean, Public Information Officer Jen Sorgenfrei, attorney Tim Greenwood, Associate Director of the University of Toledo’s Undergraduate Admission Mark Schroeder, Executive Director of Toledo Sister Cities International Susan Miko, private individual Christine Luttmann and Vice President of International Development at the Regional Growth Partnership D. Paul Zito. The group will also spend time in Toledo’s sister city Delmenhorst.
Ottney said of her upcoming travels, “I appreciate the opportunity to represent Toledo Free Press and WSPD on this trip. I will do my part to help keep Northwest Ohioans informed about Bell’s efforts and potential opportunities for this region.”
Michael S. Miller, Toledo Free Press editor in chief, said, “Ottney has been to Germany before and is an insightful journalist. Her work for us on trips to Washington, D.C., and Ground Zero in New York City proved she is gifted at following unfolding events and reporting fresh angles to news stories.”
Kellie Holeman-Szenderski, regional market manager for Clear Channel, parent company of WSPD, said, “1370 WSPD is thrilled to become news-generating partners with Toledo Free Press on this important economic mission for the City of Toledo. We believe together we will be able to provide valuable insight into the mayor’s trip by utilizing the immediacy of daily on-air updates on 1370 WSPD, in-depth reporting in Toledo Free Press and the ongoing strength of our combined websites, social media platforms and civic pride.”
Zito has attended the fair for the past 15 years.
“The Hannover Fair is the world’s largest industrial trade show, featuring 5,000 or more exhibitors from 90 countries around the world and attracting a quarter million or more visitors from around the world,” he said. “It’s a very broad industrial trade show so the sectors and the companies that are there fit very much to the strengths of Toledo and Northwest Ohio.”
Sectors represented at the fair will include energy, renewable energy, automotive, industrial automation, robotics, machine tools, plastics and polymers and many more, Zito said.
Meetings for the mayor have been arranged with at least six companies so far, and Zito plans to meet with more before and after the mayor’s trip.
The mayor traveled to China in September 2010, May 2011, September 2011 and November 2012. He also traveled to India in April 2011 and visited Japan in May 2011 as part of his trip to China.
Chinese investors Dashing Pacific purchased The Docks and Marina District after Bell worked with them. Bell said one reason for going on trips is to make companies aware of Toledo.
“I believe the only way you can establish yourself with these international cities is you have to be able to make contacts there,” he said.
When asked if he’d received any criticism for his travel expenses, Bell said, “It’s not that much for the amount of money, considering what we’ve gotten in return.”
Bell said other major Ohio cities have attended the fair in the past and that Toledo needs to do the same to draw in new business.
Representatives from Akron, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton and Wapakoneta are expected to attend this year’s fair, Zito said.
Ottney said, “The Hannover Fair and other events planned with Toledo’s sister city of nearby Delmenhorst will offer opportunities for the mayor and other local leaders to be exposed to new ideas, network with like-minded world citizens and business people and form connections that will hopefully ultimately benefit Toledo and Northwest Ohio.”
While the group is in one of the sister cities, Toledoans at home will have a chance to attend the fourth annual Toledo Sister Cities International Festival from noon to 8 p.m. April 13 at UT’s Student Union.
Tickets are $5 in advance and available in the Student Union, at Rocket Copy, room 2525. Admission is $7 at the door for the general public and $5 for seniors (65 and older) and students with ID. Children 10 and younger can get in for free.
For more information on the Hannover Fair, visit the website www.hannovermesse.de.
Tags: Christine Luttmann, Clear Channel, D. Paul Zito, Delmenhorst, Hannover Fair, Jen Sorgenfrei, Kellie Holeman-Szenderski, Mark Schroeder, Michel S. Miller, Mike Bell, Regional Growth Partnership, Sarah Ottney, Susan Miko, Tim Greenwood, Toledo Free Press, Toledo Sister Cities International, University of Toledo, WSPD