Meet Ren Carlisle, who helped spearhead the comeback of the Historic Ashtabula Harbor. Carlisle’s family has been in Ashtabula since 1835 and for decades owned the department store chain Carlisle-Allen. Now he and his wife, Toni, run Carlisle’s Home in the Harbor in a former brothel on Bridge Street. (Look up and you can see…

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Meet Jason Kolar, a mate on a Great Lakes freighter. Kolar, of Cleveland, is the guy right below the captain, who takes care of payroll, manages the deck crew and plan how to load and unload the ship. Kolar, 28, who grew up in Olmsted Falls, spent his summers on Catawba as kid. His uncle…

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Meet Matthew Golga, an insurance adjuster who this summer is launching Sunset Cleveland, private boat cruises on the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie. Golga, 44, of North Olmsted was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in September. In October, he bought a 26-foot, 1969 wooden Lyman Express Cruiser. “You talk about someday, and someday never comes.…

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Meet Jennifer Troiano-Breudigam, who flies to South Bass Island every day to work as the kindergarten teacher at Put-in-Bay School. Troiano-Breudigam, 48, has been commuting for the last 17 years of her two decades at the small school, where she averages a half-dozen kids in her class every year. Yes, it’s difficult. She pays for…

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Meet Micah Roberts, who on New Year’s Eve fulfilled her life goal of launching her website for Erie & Anchor, a Lake Erie lifestyle brand. “I wanted for years to open a store, and I thought this might be the best way to go, so I would be able to tweak it, put my energy…

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Meet Dustin Shaffer, owner of Island Air Taxi, the only airplane company based in Put-in-Bay. In the winter, he may fly 20 flights a day, back and forth from South Bass or Kelleys islands to the mainland of Port Clinton, chauffeuring people, groceries and anything else that needs to get on island after Lake Erie…

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Meet Chris Hawk, Cleveland transplant from Atlanta (via California) and new chef at the Great Lakes Science Center. Hawk has worked in radiology and the music business. And he never went to culinary school. He’s self-taught and driven by experience.  The museum hired Hawk with Chicago-based Levy, which handles food and beverage for the Huntington…

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Meet Bailey VanKirk, oil painter and owner of Desdemona’s Art Gallery in the village of Marblehead. VanKirk, 31, grew up on the Marblehead peninsula and earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art and painting from Kent State University. She lived for a few years in Cleveland, which she calls “the city,” and dabbled in taxidermy.…

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Meet Lee Karns, commodore of the Cleveland Sailing Association, which encompasses six Lake Erie yacht clubs with active sail racing scenes: Cleveland Yachting Club, Edgewater, Lakeside, Forest City, Chagrin Lagoons, Mentor Harbor and Grand River. The clubs formed the association in 1996 to recruit more participants for races, coordinate events and score boats against each…

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Meet Bart Barnes, a salesman for Clemons Boats in Sandusky, which is bringing more than 30 boats to the Mid-America Boat Show starting Thursday at Cleveland’s I-X Center. “The service department is turning and burning,” said Barnes, 28, of Castalia. See more on boat dealership prep for the boat show. Barnes grew up in Norwalk…

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