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Thread Marketing Group Vice President Jim Rush has been racking up the air miles to make connections for Team Thread and Toledo area businesses.

Rush was off to the Southwest to spend quality time with his old friend Arizona Governor Doug Ducey in April. Ducey is a Toledo native and St. John’s Jesuit graduate (1982). The governor worked as the CEO of Cold Stone Creamery from 1995 to 2007 before being elected to the state’s highest office in 2015. Rush also met with the new incoming President of St. John’s Jesuit - United States Air Force retired Col Mark F. Swentkofske (1984 St. John’s graduate).

St John’s Jesuit intern Joey Gemerchak spent time learning about marketing & advertising spending in May with Jim and the Thread Team.

Next up was a visit and tour of the 180th Fighter Wing, a unit of the Ohio Air National Guard at Toledo Express Airport, and meetings with the longest serving member of Congress - Rep. Marcy Kaptur. Having first taken office in 1983, Kaptur is the longest-serving woman in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In June, Jim was working with Kaptur and her chief of staff Steve Katich along with Bridget Brink, the new U.S. ambassador to Ukraine to create a self-playing videobook on battlefield triage. The videobook - in Ukrainian - outlines triage for critical care for battlefield wounds. Creating the videobook was an effort with another Toledo based company – Potter Technologies & Erika Potter’s Learn Kernel. Kaptur and Katich immediately presented the concept to the leadership at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington DC. And upon completion of the first run the videobooks were dispatched to soldiers in Ukraine.

Kaptur has close ties to Ukraine because of her family’s Slavic roots. She told Rush the Ukrainian soldiers are shop keepers, farmers and truck drivers –“everyday people” with little or no battlefield experience, especially with wound care. Kaptur noted that the video booklet is self-playing and self-contained, with no internet connection needed, therefore cannot be jammed or interfered with by the enemy.

40 Countries and the Old South End

WTOL Channel 11 interviewed Jim in August - appropriately in a hotel room – regarding his world travels as a Advertising and PR executive. Rush has visited over 40 countries in his long marketing career.

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But coming full circle, Rush was thrilled to return and be involved with the Historic South Initiative in the Old South End of Toledo. He orchestrated all of the media relations and press releases for a monumental dedication of the Over The Road Arch on Broadway. Special thanks to Chris Amato and Carl Wagner with Historic South Initiative (HSI) leadership working on this for over three years. Kokosing donated the install which was celebrated by Rep. Kaptur, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz!


Gene Kranz and Toledo's Sister City

Rush and a video crew headed to Houston in August to film an American hero - Gene Kranz, who is a Toledo native and aerospace engineer who served as NASA's second Chief Flight Director, directing the Gemini and Apollo programs, including the first lunar landing mission, Apollo 11. The Toledo Express Airport is named after Kranz.


Rush and the Board of Directors of Toledo Sister Cities will be hosting the Mayor of Ferrara, Italy - Alan Fabbri and his staff September 29 - October 1. Ferrara is Toledo’s newest Sister City. Mayor Fabbri will ride in the University of Toledo homecoming football game parade with Mayor Kapszukiewicz and help with the pre-game coin toss. Rush will then assist the Regional Growth Partnership in presenting “Doing Business in the USA” seminars throughout Italy in October.