Newsletter: AES Ohio names new CEO and president

Hey, Dayton: Welcome to another edition of your business newsletter.

From advanced manufacturing to an energetic retail and restaurant scene, local entrepreneurs have been keeping our team of reporters busy. This is where we’ll talk trends, changes and analysis of what’s happening in the region.

Thank you for reading. You can reach me at and (937) 681-5610. Drop me a line, tell me what’s going on.

AES Ohio quickly named a new CEO today after Kristina Lund announced she was leaving the company as chief executive in late July.

Familiar executive named new CEO at AES Ohio

The AES Corp. has named Ken Zagzebski president and chief executive of AES Ohio and chairman of the boards, the electric utility said Tuesday.

Zagzebski may be a familar name locally. He joined AES in 2007 and has served in a variety of leadership roles, including as president of Dayton Power & Light. and Indianapolis Power & Light. (AES Ohio was formerly known as Dayton Power and Light, or DP&L.)

Enhanced Use Leases aren’t exactly new. But in the Dayton area, they seem to be an idea whose time has come.

Sometimes called an “EUL,” it’s a lease of federally controlled land to a private or public user. The Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense have been making them available for years, but the term seems to come into vogue around 2001.

Locally, both the VA and the Air Force have been opening the door to new EULs.

A pair of parcels near Wright-Patt positioned for possible development

Most recently, the Wright Patterson Air Force Base Regional Council of Governments turned the spotlight to a pair of parcels where EULs might be put to work: One is south of Colonel Glenn Highway, west of the Interstate 675 ramp to Col Glenn, and east of Mission Point Boulevard in Beavercreek.

Another parcel is on the west side of National Road, south of Wright-Patterson’s gate 19B.

But first: Before these properties get that far, environmental studies must be conducted, a Dayton Development Coalition executive recently told the council.

Game shops, publishers, and hometown designers: Inside the heart of Dayton’s board game renaissance

You can tell when a reporter is writing about a subject she loves. Here’s a richly researched story from Reporter London Bishop on gaming.

An industry hotbed: “The Midwest has a huge gaming presence,” John Stacy, executive director of the Game Manufacturer’s Association (which is based in Columbus), told Bishop. “The southern Ohio area has so many people that are interested in games and playing games and designing games. It’s really a hotbed of our industry, which is phenomenal.”

Steve Nordmeyer, owner of Puzzles Plus at the Greene Town Center, has seen a mix of growth.

“When we bought the store back in 2017, the store did about 75% to 80% jigsaw puzzle sales. Now, about 40% to 45% of our business is the board games and other stuff. Our jigsaw puzzles are now still over half of our business, but only just over half.”

Cornerstone Research Group CEO outlines plans for new facility

When I interviewed Cornerstone Research Group (CRG) CEO Patrick Hood in June, I had the same feeling I usually have when I speak with him: An hour-long interview isn’t enough to get all the news.

Reporter Eric Schwartzberg tells us that Hood is following through on his pledge to build a 25,763-square-foot, 2-story facility next door to its 123,000-square-foot office and manufacturing facility at 8821 Washington Church Road in Miami Twp.

The new building will support not only CRG, but various busines offshoots and allied companies.

Vision: “It provides flexible office space for staff who are operating businesses as they get launched, whether it’s part of CRG or part of the commercial side of this,” Hood told Schwartzberg.

Shrinking Five Oaks could get 260 new ‘innovative’ workforce housing units

Employers need workers. Workers need housing. So employers might take heed of this next story from Reporter Cory Frolik: Dayton’s Five Oaks neighborhood could get 260 new apartments that officials say will provide much-needed workforce housing at a unique and promising location.

Hard to find: “This is a really special site,” said Tony Kroeger, Dayton’s planning manager. “Sites like this are hard to find not just in Dayton, but anywhere.”

U.S. Steel rejects $7.3B buyout offer from Cleveland-Cliffs

When I covered what was AK Steel in Middletown in the late 1990s and early 2000s, U.S. Steel Corp. was among the bigger American steel companies, even if its best days were behind it.

So it caught my eye when JournalNews Reporter Rick McCrabb reported that U.S. Steel rejected an unsolicited $7.3 billion buyout offer from rival Cleveland-Cliffs — which now owns and operatates Middltown Works.

Change: The deal would have altered the steel industry, according to the two companies. U.S. Steel is not the powerhouse it once was, but it remains an historic company — and an important steel producer.

Save the date:

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Team WPAFB and the AFA Wright Memorial Chapter are hosting the 76th anniversary Air Force Ball Sept. 9 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Attendance is capped at 700. Anyone in the community who wants to celebrate the Air Force is welcome.

Sponsorships are also welcome. They are available at the following levels: Land of the Free Partners $7,500; Home of the Brave Partners $5,000; and Patriot Partners $2,500

For more information, go to

Business moves

Ace Hardware acquired Detmer and Sons, Inc., Detmer said last week. Matt Detmer will continue to help manage the heating and air-conditioning business that was started by Frank Detmer Sr. and Frank Detmer Jr. in 1978.

Detmer will now be able to rely on “Ace’s skill and scale on a wider assortment of products at lower cost with the award-winning service for which Ace and Detmer have become famous,” Detmer said in an announcement on the acquisition.

Ace Hardware was founded by and continues to be owned by local, mostly family-run businesses, the companies said.

Quick hits

Remembering Ned Sifferlen: “A professional and personal mentor to so many at Sinclair and in the community.”

Fall is coming: Timely looks at the upcoming high school and college football seasons.

Peace out: Doug and Elizabeth Mann sell the former home of the Dayton International Peace Museum.

The Flyers went to Paris: Coach Anthony Grant liked what he saw.

Mark it on your calendar: Taco John’s targets an Oct. 16 opening of a site under construction at 4045 Wilmington Pike.

About the Author