Keller delivers website to give SBA members a presentation booster with

Keller delivers website to give SBA members a presentation booster with

Image Credit: Dave Mast

The Sugarcreek Business Association needed a new look and a presence to help promote everything going on in the village, and it got what it wanted when one young local man stepped up and delivered a new website.

Jason Keller has been a resident of Sugarcreek his whole life, his mother Bev Keller a prominent member of the SBA and a longtime editor at The Budget. As a young man interested in the IT realm, Keller said he was eager to tackle the website design once he learned of the SBA’s desire to rebuild a site.

And it all began when he tied together his hometown with his education.

“This actually started as a school project,” Keller said.

Keller, who is attending Kent State Tuscarawas, was asked to create a community-based project as part of his IT class. He said he had never done much with web design and wanted to venture into that arena to expand his horizons.

With the SBA lacking a website, it immediately came to mind as an option.

“They haven’t had a website in years after it got taken down years ago,” Keller said. “It was a perfect opportunity for me, and I wanted to help the SBA because they had given a scholarship to me after high school (at Garaway High School). I figured it would be a good way to do something for our community here in Sugarcreek while giving back.”

Keller said working with members of the SBA throughout the years taught him the value of service to community, a driving force behind his decision to create the website.

In creating the new site, Keller went through Bev Keller, Sugarcreek Business Association executive vice president, in fleshing out what the SBA wanted to showcase. First and foremost was the initial landing page that showed viewers a bit about the community. In addition, a big part of the site was to showcase the Sugarcreek events, like the Swiss Festival, Fabulous ‘50s Fling and the Sugarcreek Garage Sale Days. He said creating that page allows the SBA to add any new events that might crop up while promoting its stable of current events.

Keller said he liked the old members page that listed all the SBA businesses and organizations including names, numbers, addresses and their own website links. In addition, he created a new area business page that allows the SBA to showcase any new businesses that come to Sugarcreek.

“Even if they aren’t a member, it’s important to let people know everything we have to offer as a community,” Keller said.

The website provided immediate benefits with the garage sale weekend May 13-14. The site was designed with a form that any participant could fill out with their name and address, where a map was created to show travelers where each sale was taking place.

“We were able to plot our sales on to the site map, and we had 79 sales, which is a lot,” Bev Keller said. “That’s a bumper crop for us, and oftentimes people get rooms and stay the weekend and shop from the map. It was neat to have them all listed for people.”

Bev Keller said the former website fell to the wayside and had become cumbersome before being taken down.

She said the new site was cleaner and easier to navigate and gave the SBA a true capstone in which it can now promote everything the village has to offer.

“It’s good for the public, it’s good for visitors and it’s good for anyone who wants to learn more about the highlights and promotions in Sugarcreek,” Bev Keller said. “We now have something that goes hand in hand with our Facebook page.”

For Jason Keller, being able to present everything the SBA wanted to see in a website was satisfying.

“I like that it ties everything in Sugarcreek together and promotes the village on one site, where we can bring people to Sugarcreek to experience everything here,” Jason Keller said.

He said he and the SBA are discussing possible additions to the website, talking about where they can take the site to further promote the village and the SBA.

As for the experience, Keller said he enjoyed the opportunity and the challenge of creating a web page and believes he could see himself continuing to work in that field down the road.

“Almost every step I’ve worked in various forms of IT, I have enjoyed them, but this was probably my favorite,” Keller said. “I loved the freedom of expression and creative side of designing the site.”

Keller will graduate from KSU Tuscarawas in December and hopes to remain in the Sugarcreek area.