Technology and equipment considered outdated by one company might be useful for another company.

CANTON  One company's electronic junk pile might be the perfect fit for another company.

Midwest ComTel is in the business of determining how old computers, telephone systems and other electronic equipment can be used, repurposed or recycled.

The company formed in 2012 and has been located on 12th Street SW since 2015. Kristen and Ken Dixon, wife and husband, started the business as a technical asset management operation for telecommunications companies. Knowing that other companies used similar equipment and had similar needs, the Dixons worked to expand their customer base.

Midwest ComTel has customers nationwide, as well as outside the United States, said Kristen Dixon, company president. Its customer base is throughout Ohio and in parts of Pennsylvania and Indiana. The company offers services helping customers manage electronic assets, maintain legacy networks and recycle electronic equipment.

"Basically it's finding a new life for something that would disappear," Ken Dixon said of the operation.

Kristen previously worked as a sales representative for IBM, while Ken worked for companies that provided asset management services for telecommunications customers. The couple opted to launch a business with their family. Early on the company obtained ISO 9001-2008 and TL 9000 certifications, Kristen said, gaining the ISO rating in record time following incorporation.

Equipment reclaimed by Midwest ComTel might find a variety of uses.

The company will test equipmeny to determine if it can be used again. The machines might be sold to another company or could be saved until needed by someone.

Often equipment deemed obsolete by one company can been used by another customer, so assets such as mother boards can be cleaned and stored until needed. Sometimes specific parts are gleaned from equipment and reused. There also are instances when equipment is recycled to recover the plastics and metals for future use.

Kristen Dixon said the company has benefited from programs offered by area organizations, including career training services offered through Stark State College. Two of the company's employees started as interns through the Stark State program.

For more information about Midwest ComTel, visit the company's website at

Going global?

Travelers will have an opportunity to use Akron-Canton Airport as a place to enroll in the Global Entry program offered by the Transportation Security Administration.

The airport will serve as a temporary Global Entry enrollment center on May 8 to May 10, but the deadline to register is March 27. Frequent travelers are invited to enroll in the program, which allows expedited clearance through TSA at select airports around the country.

Pre-approval is needed in order to participate in the Global Entry enrollment center at Akron-Canton. Travelers must create a trusted traveler program account through the U.S. Customers & Border Protection website. Cost to apply is $100. Applicants will need to use a code — 4EN3C8945 — at the enrollment center site.

For more information about the programs, visit

New location

Friends & Family Credit Union, based in Massillon, is making a move east by opening a branch in the Acme Fresh Market store in the Hillsdale Shopping Center.

The new full-service branch is set to open March 28 inside the recently remodeled and enlarged grocery store at 2905 Whipple Ave. NW in Jackson Township.

Acme officials are happy to see a financial institution set up at the store. Friends & Family Credit Union will provide customers with an additional convenience and make the store a "one-stop shop," spokeswoman Katie Swartz said in an email.

When the new location opens, Friends & Family Credit Union will begin closing its Wales Square Shopping Center branch at 2056 Wales Road NE. That location will maintain drive-thru service until the end of May. The credit union will maintain its other Massillon locations at 46 Federal Ave. NW and 3920 Erie St. S.

Stand alone

Martin's Pizza Rolls opened at its a new home this past weekend.

The business, formerly Dough Ray Me, moved from Hartville Marketplace & Flea Market down the street to the Grinder's Plaza at 1214 W. Maple St., in Hartville. Megan and Christopher Martin have owned the business for two years. Megan Martin said the new location will allow the business to expand, offer a wider variety of rolls, and do more for fundraisers and catering orders.

"I want to keep the mom-and-pop shop idea that we have had for so long," Martin said in an email. "I am very excited to have our own storefront, be a stand alone store and be able to keep my prices affordable."

Plans are for the shop to be open Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 330-587-4744.

Working parent scholarships

The website has now awarded more than $25,000 in scholarships through its Working Parent Scholarship program.

Scholarships are presented to recognize the efforts of students across the country who are balancing parenthood, a job and taking classes. Earlier this month the business, which is based in Canton, awarded $1,000 scholarships to parents in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Tennessee. Since 2013, the business has presented scholarships to students in Ohio and 17 other states, as well as in Canada.

The scholarships are a way the company can help reduce some of the financial strain on families, Doug Crawford, president of, said in a press release.  "There is no shortage of expenses for parents, particularly when they are returning to school to help improve their education."

You can see winning essays here:

Reach Edd at 330-580-8484 or

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