Big things can grow from small beginnings. Just ask Zoe, the cartoon (and real) canine mascot of The Laptop Guy. The computer-repair shop began with a rented counter in a toy shop, where the company's founder and his dog sold laptops to passersby. His dedication to his customers and Zoe's playful nature brought in more and more customers, until the repair and sales shop could no longer fit next to the action-figure aisle. More than 10 years later, The Laptop Guy has grown into a multi-store business that solves customers' smartphone, Apple, Android, and PC issues with online support, in-house repairs, or onsite troubleshooting. Cartoon Zoe and her owner still greet customers on the company's website, and the real-life versions can be found in one of the repair shops on any given day.
Nurse and educator Michelle Kay understands that, when it comes to life's most challenging problems, a little assistance can make the difference between thriving and just treading water. Whether she's helping clients work through a weight-management plan, work through a troubling divorce, or curb anxiety and depression, she teaches them tactics for improving their situation in a healthy, constructive manner.
The headquarters of the nonprofit Ohio Historical Society, the Ohio Historical Center abounds with exhibits and activities that showcase the state's diverse social, natural, and archeological history. Built in 1970, the museum's towering Brutalist edifice is a piece of history itself, lauded as "bold" and "imaginative” by the American Institute of Architects. Inside, a 15,000-square-foot gallery explores pivotal moments in the Buckeye State’s past, examining everything from Ohio’s role in the Civil War to Boomer Esiason’s stint as Secretary of State. A natural-history exhibit regales guests with interactive displays of animals, plants, and geography. In addition to its permanent exhibits, the center hosts an ever-changing selection of featured exhibits and special events.
Outside the museum sits Ohio Village, a re-creation of a Civil War–era town. Costumed villagers bustle about the square, performing chores and activities of the era, such as churning butter and checking wooden PalmPilots. The town's 15 buildings showcase the height of 19th-century architecture and include a Gothic-revival church, a large town hall, and an open market. The village is also the home of the renowned Ohio Village Muffins, who regularly compete in games of baseball played by 19th-century rules.
One man crouches low, weapon resting on his shoulder. Another stands erect, a pair of binoculars held to his face. An entire military squad of toy soldiers stands ready for eternal battle within a shadow box crafted by Neal Raffensberger. The shadow box is one of 4,000 framing options showcased inside Raffensberger Photography & Framing's red-brick façade, where professional photographer and custom-framing specialist Neal and his assistant help patrons conserve their most beloved mementos. Multitudes of frames, mats, mountings, and glass—including conservation glass that blocks 99% of color-dulling UV rays—come together to display anything from photographs and posters to jerseys and wisdom teeth. Neal, who first dabbled in photography at the age of 5 in his father's basement darkroom, also flaunts his artistic eye behind the camera in the store's onsite studio. Families, couples, and proof-seeking Bigfoots can capture history in portrait sessions, which use digital photography to allow for immediate viewing after each shoot.
Publisher Emeritus of CIO magazine Gary Beach founded Tech Corps in 1995 to build technology infrastructures in public schools. Since its inception, it has organized more than 10,000 volunteers to help institute new technology in K–12 schools. Programs including a computer grant, afterschool clubs, and a summer Techie Camp provide youth with access to technological resources and train them in modern skills that will help make them competitive in the workforce. Techie Camp and Techie Club immerse elementary- and middle-school students in hands-on curricula that teaches them to build or work with Lego Mindstorms NXT robots, expanding their knowledge of topics related to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
Armed with 21 years of training in various athletic disciplines and multiple certifications through organizations such as the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Jason Yun helps clients to mow down calories. With his assistant coaches Rick Locke, Stephanie Woodrow, Gabe Flores, and Jevon Sanders, he bolsters the physical prowess and mental focus of students during multi-week boot camps. In addition to the camp, he teaches classes such as Improvement Warrior Yoga and Kettlebell Khaos and the blazingly fast-paced YunFit. In the latter, Yun shouts out a series of cardio and strength-training commands such as ?pushup,? ?squat,? or ?go home and make a wheatgrass smoothie.?