Ron Larson is the kind of man who makes stuff happen. He does things in his own way — with whole-hearted determination, big ideas and a passion that wills him forward.

That’s been the case for 20 years, a time during which he has transformed a pocket of Avon by renovating one historic building at a time. Olde Avon Village is now home to a collection of independent restaurants and shops — and it’s thriving, thanks in great measure to Larson’s dogged work. This issue of puLse Lorain County’s Magazine talks to Larson about the multiyear project that has really been his labor of love.

As Larson can attest, businesses succeed with partners. The Lorain County Growth Partnership is a friend to local companies and a catalyst for economic development. The partnership is the product of a few ambitious conversations, and it’s creating a path for development and prosperity. We profile its components.

This issue also announces the finalists for the first-annual 2010 Best of Lorain County. We asked you to nominate your favorite things — from dining to shopping to services and people. You did in full force. We’ve tallied the results, and the finalists come from every corner of the county. Join us Thursday, June 3, at Lorain County Community College when we will celebrate the places on this list, and you will be able to vote for the best of the best.