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On Wednesday, Libbey Inc. officially opened its redesigned office space in downtown Toledo with a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate 125 years in the Glass City.
"Toledo was changed forever when Edward Drummond Libbey relocated his glass factory here in 1888," said Stephanie Streeter, Libbey's CEO. "He was an amazing leader and innovator who revolutionized the glass industry. We're proud to celebrate his spirit and Libbey's growth to become one of the largest manufacturers of glass tableware in the world."
Over the past 125 years, Libbey has become a global company with six manufacturing operations on three continents. It employs approximately 6,000 associates worldwide, with about 1,200 of them based in Toledo - 180 at the main office. Libbey serves customers in more than 100 countries and has a strong legacy of innovative products, excellent customer service and community stewardship.
Officials from the Toledo Chamber of Commerce, JobsOhio, Toledo Mayor Mike Bell and Toledo Edison Regional President Linda Moss, joined Streeter to cut the ribbon, premiering the redesigned global headquarters located at 300 Madison Avenue.
"The new work space represents our bright future – it's vibrant, fun and energetic. We are certainly appreciative of Toledo Edison and the state of Ohio for joining us on this special occasion. Toledo has been a great place for us to lead our global company and we are happy to continue being an integral part of the community," Streeter said.
In August 2012, Libbey signed a 15-year lease extension, receiving a $1 million grant from the state and a $250,000 grant from First Energy to stay downtown. The redesigned office space in the Toledo Edison building, includes new energy efficient technology and incorporates the use of natural light into various collaborative and interactive work spaces.
"Today it's about celebrating the Glass City in Toledo and our part in that, and making sure the legacy remains," said Streeter.
Many business owners in downtown Toledo are raising their glasses in delight.
Ed Becynski, owner of Focaccia's Deli, says Libbey and its employees are important customers for his business. He's thankful the company is still here.
"They had a choice to move anywhere, they chose Toledo and they chose keeping it in downtown, so it's been good," said Becynski.
Sam Salami, owner of Lazeez Mediterranean Deli, says doing business downtown would be more challenging if Libbey left.
"It's a big effect on every small business downtown. You get a lot of people from these companies who want to eat lunch almost every day," said Salami.
The ribbon cutting and open house is the first in a series of Toledo-area events to celebrate the company's 125th anniversary. On Saturday, community members are invited to celebrate at the Libbey Glass Outlet Store located at 205 South Erie Street from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Select glassware will be priced for $1.25 and there will be balloons for kids, ice cream treats, plus other festivities.
Libbey is also hosting a family day at its manufacturing facility later in August, which will include a picnic for families and retirees.
To celebrate the spirit of the Libbey legacy, there will be tours at the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art and at the historic Libbey House in the Old West End for Libbey families. Edward Drummond Libbey and his wife, Florence, were founders of the Toledo Museum of Art, which was established in 1901. They were also long-time residents of the Old West End community.