Euclid Heat Treating keeps it local

Locomotive engineCleveland historically has been a town of entrepreneurs, startups and family businesses, especially in the manufacturing and industrial sector. In this column, each month we continue the manufacturing conversation, because manufacturing is what this town was built on, and manufacturing continues to sustain it.

Another company right in your backyard that you probably are not familiar with is Euclid Heat Treating. Heat treaters harden, test and package metal parts that have been stamped, machined, cast or forged. It was started in 1946 by John J. Vanas, a metallurgical engineer and graduate of Case School of Applied Science. . He grew up in Euclid, on E.222nd Street, and in 1945, he started his business in the garage behind his home. Originally called The Engineered Heat Treating Company or “THETCO,” the primary focus was to service the growing tool-and-die manufacturing in the area.

Three generations later, John J’s son, John H. Vanas, his grandson, John E. Vanas, and two granddaughters lead the company; and, there’s a fourth generation, John A. Vanas, who still is too young to come work for his great-grandpa’s enterprise. John E. says, “East 222nd Street was a major industrial artery for the city and for Euclid, a hub for such industries as automotive, aerospace, machine tool, and heavy equipment manufacturing.. As these core markets declined through the 1980s, Euclid Heat Treating already had strategically diversified as heat treating technology advanced. Processes evolved and differentiated from the rudimentary, but no-less critical, pack carburizing and salt bath hardening, to controlled atmosphere hardening, vacuum hardening, nitriding, and induction hardening. Further diversity was achieved by adding specialized machinery that could accommodate parts of vastly different geometries and sizes. They continue to reinvest in emerging technology and state-of-the-art process controls to ensure the best possible results. The company that built its foundation on heat treating tool steel maintains that focus but has its fingers in many diverse processes, and it claims to be the most diverse and versatile heat treater in Ohio.

John E. explains that heat treating, though rarely recognized or understood, is fundamental in all of our lives. Heat treating plays a role in the design and function of products we rely on every day, from such ubiquitous items as gas pump latches, automotive hood locks, seat anchors, bearings, axles and shift levers, to more unusual applications like metal injection-molded parts used in compact handguns, specially blended alloy parts for use in the hazardous environments of the nuclear and chemical industries, and locomotive engine components.

While speaking with John H.., he mentioned that although Cleveland no longer is the heart of the machine tool industry as it was before business started going to Japan and China, it was at one time so important that it was worth protecting with Nike missile silos positioned throughout the area. , He also says the industry still is thriving. “A lot of big companies are gone, but the business has been spread out to subcontractors. The large companies had their own heat treating facilities that often were not cost effective; so, the industry has benefitted. There’s still a concentration of heat treating companies in Cleveland and a robust market due to manufacturing in the area,” he states. “We’ve developed a reputation for being quality oriented and for taking on higher-risk jobs. Customers contact us on referrals from other heat treaters if it’s not in their wheelhouse. We are specialists rather than generalists or parts pushers. We pay attention to details, controls and customers’ needs through precision and diversification over volume.”

When asked about his greatest challenge, he says emphatically, “Finding employees, not just skilled employees because we can train our own people, but self-starters with a good work ethic and mechanical aptitude. There are few related industries to similarly prepare talent with the skills they need to apply in heat treating.”

John E. says, “We built our business by rebuilding, and that’s how we tie into HGR. My father is hands on and buys pre-owned equipment from auctions and HGR. In the early days he and his Maintenance Superintendent Roger Robbins would buy scrap steel to build stairs, mezzanines, and other necessary structures in the plant. It was not uncommon for them to buy a government auction lot, sight unseen, several states away. They would drive a tractor trailer to the site, rig out the equipment, haul it back and rebuild/install it. He is a grassroots, DIY person. We rebuild and refurbish where and when we can and will always have a shade-tree mechanic, bootstrap mentality.”

John E. shops at HGR once or twice a month and says there is something in every building on his campus from HGR. What has he bought? Mostly the “typical” items that a heat treater would use, such as pumps, breakers, panels and sometimes even furnaces.. Then, there are the items that come along maybe once in a lifetime, such as the leather hides he used to upholster a couch and the seats in his father’s Mercury. Yes, you heard that right. He told the story of the day he walked into HGR as they were unloading boxes of leather upholstery hides from Ford Motor Company. There was a huge array of colors (red, yellow, blue, silver, grey, saddle). Each box contained enough leather to upholster an entire vehicle, and was selling for $40-50 per box.

He closes the conversation by reiterating, “Because of our association with Euclid and Cleveland, we go to great lengths to buy locally and help local commerce. This is our first priority when purchasing supplies and equipment.

Euclid Heat Treating logo

HGR’s interior renovation for new offices nears completion

Begun in May 2016, HGR’s new office, conference room and kitchen construction is nearing completion. Furniture and appliances have been ordered. Turner Construction SPD is on schedule and is doing all the finish work and laying carpet. We hope to occupy the new space in September or October. Make sure to come by for a visit.

Check out the “before” photos. Speaking of “before” and “after” photos, did you see our Biggest Loser competitors? Here are the “after” office photos. We’ll post the finished product once all the furniture and appliances are installed.

HGR new executive offices
HGR’s new executive offices
HGR's new kitchen area
HGR’s new kitchen area
HGR's new kitchen
HGR’s new kitchen
HGR's new restroom with lockers and shower
HGR’s new restroom with lockers and shower
HGR's new offices
HGR’s new offices
HGR's new offices and guest waiting area with restroom
HGR’s new offices and guest waiting area with restroom

Thoughts from Justin: Meet HGR Frequent Shopper Don Bartley

HGR Customer Don Bartley

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian, HGR’s sales & marketing summer intern)

We wanted to introduce you to the familiar faces who frequent HGR’s showroom. These wonderful people come from all over the world and are always stopping in to see what we have. Don Bartley, Willoughby, Ohio, comes in on Wednesdays for lunch. He was kind enough to take a few minutes for this interview.

How did you hear about us?

My friend, Larry, first introduced me to you. He told me about HGR, and one day I went with him to visit. I’ve been attracted since.

How long have you been shopping at HGR? How often do you come?

I’ve been shopping at HGR for about five to six months now. But, Larry? Ha. He’s been coming here for a long time. A looooong time. I usually come in every Wednesday, though. Can’t skip a free lunch with the opportunity to find something to take home with you.

Obviously, everyone here appreciates you and your business, but what keeps you coming back?

There’s so much. Whether it’s the atmosphere, products, free lunches. I love coming back. The cool thing about HGR is there’s literally something different every day.

What do you usually buy? For what purpose?

Well, I usually buy for myself, usually for a home project. I’ve bought a lot of cabinets and tooling from here. They usually help me complete a lot of the home projects I do. I do tons of projects around the house. I’ve accumulated a lot of junk.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Free time? I don’t know what that is. I guess if I’m not spending my time at HGR, I’m probably working on one of my projects.

Thanks Don (and Larry) for being such valuable customers, we appreciate your business and look forward to seeing you on Wednesday!

What type of employer is HGR? Our values program a la Austin

HGR Industrial Surplus' Austin values dream team

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Cynthia Vassaur, HGR’s call center manager)

The HGR Call Center in Austin, Texas, held its annual values award ceremony on Aug. 18. All employees took some time off the phones to enjoy a delicious Texas breakfast. The biscuits and gravy, bacon, and ham weren’t the only thing receiving a gold medal that morning.

Employees were nominated by their peers for upholding the company’s values for the past year. Of the 13 winners, five received one nomination, two received two nominations, two received three nominations and “The Dream Team” pictured in the photo received four or more nominations. The outstanding performer acknowledgement goes to Larry Edwards who was nominated seven times by his colleagues, the most nominations received in the entire company. Cleveland’s values ceremony was held on Aug. 3.

Additionally, each year an employee from the Austin office is selected based upon tenure, performance and other criteria to make the trip to Euclid. Levit Hernandez will head out on Sept. 14, check out the office, have dinner with the CEO, go out on buyer inspections with Buyer Mike Paoletto and, hopefully, have time to catch an Indians game or visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

You can read about HGR’s values here. What are your company’s core values?

If you’re a fan of Ace Frehley, read on.

KISS ALIVE band promo flyer

You may come into HGR to shop for your personal or company needs and get help from a friendly salesman, Tom Tiedman, by day. But, by night, he transforms into Ace Frehley! Tiedman’s the lead guitarist for ALIVE, a local KISS cover band.

He’s been playing guitar since he was 9. He took lessons for two years but says that when the teacher wouldn’t teach him the songs that he wanted to learn, he quit lessons and went on his own. He started playing in bars at the age of 15 with his band “The Ruggles,” named after the ice cream. His brother, Ron Tiedman, one of HGR’s partners, had to take him to his first gig and get him into the bar, The Captains Quarters in Willoughby. That band played Motown and old classic rock.

The KISS band came together about 1.5 years ago and has played five gigs. To do something different, they didn’t dress up in full costumes and makeup. Instead, they painted half their faces with glow-in-the-dark makeup. If you saw them under normal lighting in the bar, they looked like regular guys. Then, when they went on stage and black lights came on, they appeared to begin transforming into the characters.

To learn the material, the band got together for rehearsals twice per week in the beginning then once per week to brush up. They mainly played in east side bars through word of mouth. Currently, it is on hiatus due a band member’s illness. In the meantime, Tiedman is working to start another neighborhood band with his neighbor who will be the lead singer. He wanted to play more of a variety of musical styles.

Tiedman says his favorite guitar is a Gibson Les Paul. When asked why music is so important to him, he says, “I’ve always liked music. It’s a way I can express myself. People say, “You’re different out there.” It’s the highest of highs being on stage with a good band and you guys are rocking. There’s not drugs or alcohol needed, nothing that can beat that feeling.”

Rock on! How many of you play in bands? Show us your band photos or your favorite guitar.

Tom Tiedman of HGR Industrial Surplus playing guitar

A walk down Memory Lane: Euclid Beach Park

Euclid Beach Park Gateway Arch

When I told my mother that I was heading over to the Euclid Beach Boy’s Event Center and Museum at the former Euclid Square Mall to take a tour and interview one of the two “Euclid Beach Boys” owners, she said, “Your Aunt Annie’s company, Richmond Brothers, had its company picnic there every year. The whole family would go all day, with dancing and a beauty contest into the night. Your Grandpa and I would ride the coaster and bug and wild rides. So would Aunt Annie. So many good memories.” I am sure many of you have similar stories.

On Sept. 28, 1969, this area treasure closed for good. Are you old enough to remember Euclid Beach Park? Or maybe you heard your parents or grandparents talking about it? It started out in 1895 as Cleveland’s version of Coney Island. Five investors opened the adult amusement park. It housed a few rides, a beer garden, a bathhouse, shows, concerts and gambling. In 1901, the Humphrey family took over and turned the park into a family-friendly amusement park without alcohol or circus sideshows.

Event Center and Museum Co-owner Joe Tomaro is passionate about the park and has many stories to share with visitors, including some great stories for animal lovers about adopting rescue horses and dogs. In addition to Euclid Beach Park memorabilia, he has some items from Geauga Lake, Chippewa Lake and Sea World. The facility is 9,000 square feet and houses only a portion of his 27,000-square-feet collection. He rents out the center, which can seat up to 300 people, for reunions, birthdays, fundraisers and association meetings. Tomaro also rents out the famous Rocket Ship Car that you can see driving down the streets. If you ever see it or take a ride in it, check out the steering wheel. It’s actually the wheel from a turret lathe that Tomaro got at HGR Industrial Surplus for $25.

(a rocket ship, then and now)

Euclid Beach Park Rocket RideRocket car with lathe steering wheel from HGR












I asked him what his original connection was to Euclid Beach. He said that his uncle was a police officer there who would give the kids his ID. They would show it to the operators and ride the rides for free. He says, “It was our amusement park, and we had a personal attachment.” He explains how the Humphreys were trying to create a safe place that would get people through the rough times of WWI, WWII, The Great Depression and the Korean War. The park was free to get in and five cents per ticket to go on the rides. It was a cheap getaway where families could go dancing or picnic.

Laughing Sal paper-mache animated dollNow, the property is 1/3 apartments, 1/3 trailer park and 1/3 Cleveland Metropark. But you can still get a sense of why it was so well-loved at the museum. I got to see the creepy paper-mache animated doll Laughing Sal that stood at the entrance to the Surprise House since 1935. She looks like the mother of Chuckie. There’s a coaster car that was found in a Shaker Heights man’s backyard. The Euclid Beach Boys had the artisan band organ from the base of the rocket ship ride restored. It still plays a loud tune using paper cylinders, similar to a player piano. This item was rescued from an elderly lady’s garage and was full of mice and termites. The same lady had a huge collection of Euclid Beach Park memorabilia that the partners purchased after she passed away. She stipulated in her will that Tomaro have first dibs on the items. She knew they would remain in good hands. From her collection, you also can see the chair from the Flying Ponies Carousel.

How did Tomaro meet her? The way he meets a lot of people. While he still was running his towing business, he heard that she, who had been friends with his uncle, had Euclid Beach Park items. He walked up and knocked on her door. They became friends. She gave him his uncle’s nightstick. When the park closed, he had given it to her. She saved it all those years.

And, the best reason for visiting The Euclid Beach Boys Event Center and Museum? The original “Frozen Whip” custard. Tomaro says, “The Humphreys changed something in the recipe so that it was unique and you could only get that one-of-a-kind vanilla custard taste experience at their park.”

You can take a memorable trip back in time not only at The Euclid Beach Boys Event Center and Museum but also at the 12th-annual, free “Remembering the Sights and Sounds of Euclid Beach Park” event on Sept. 25 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cleveland Metroparks Euclid Creek Reservation, 16301 Lake Shore Blvd., the site of the former Euclid Beach Park. This annual event is co-sponsored by The Euclid Beach Boys.

Thank you and good luck, Justin!

Comic-book-style superhero thank you

This summer, you heard regularly from our Sales & Marketing Intern Justin Mobilian in his guest blog “Thoughts from Justin.” Tomorrow is his last day before he heads back to college to wrap up his degree in December.

We wish him well in his studies and in his job search, and we thank him for the valuable contribution he made to the team. Anyone would be lucky to have this young man work for them!

Don’t be too sad, though. He was kind enough to write a couple of extra blog posts that we will be sharing after his departure. You have that to look forward to.

Justin Mobilian, HGR's summer intern

Manufacturing, in the final frontier?



(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Liz Fox, marketing associate, MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network)

In the not-so-distant past, there were times when much of the technology we embrace today was written off as science fiction. Smartwatches, tablets, and VR headsets are now part of everyday reality. The additive manufacturing sector is constantly buzzing with new ideas, products, techniques, and machinery that help improve and enhance businesses, as well as the general quality of life.

But what happens when 3D printing is literally taken to new heights?

Just ask Made In Space, a group of entrepreneurs, scientists, and developers who helped NASA launch the first 3D printer into space earlier this year.

“Manufacturing in space has been something that has been a given in science fiction since time immemorial,” says Made In Space President Andrew Rush in a recent interview with TCT Magazine. “By having a manufacturing facility stationed in space, we can save thousands of dollars and cut the time significantly.”

Founded in 2010, the company strives to “enable humanity’s future in space” by developing new technologies designed to operate in microgravity environments. AMF, an elaborate and permanent 3D printing system used on the International Space Station, already is making a splash with projected improvements in costs and lead times.

But why is it important to have a 3D printer in space?

According to NASA, it takes more than six months and costs roughly $10,000 to send a pound of payload into orbit. Many items also have to go through lengthy and expensive certification processes, which causes substantial problems if a crew member needs a tool or replacement part; however, Made In Space produced a total of 25 parts in a 28-hour period when an earlier model of its Zero-G 3D Printer was sent to the ISS in 2014.

“We proved that if things go awry on a mission, we can fix it with 3D printing,” Rush told TCT.

Made In Space’s recent successes form only a fraction of the company’s larger goal, which is to create technology capable of building complex structures – like satellites and space stations – prior to launching them into orbit.

Back on Earth, however, we constantly are looking for opportunities to bring this innovative technology to Northeast Ohio. During the last 25 years, MAGNET Engineer Dave Pierson has worked on projects for hundreds of manufacturers, many of which have seen substantial improvements after additive manufacturing was introduced to their business plans.

“Companies need to keep up with emerging technologies if they want to succeed,” Pierson says. “There are so many great things to learn about in additive, and we will see excellent results once these ideas are implemented on a more widespread basis.”

For updates on Made In Space and its ongoing projects, follow Andrew Rush (@rushspace) on Twitter.

MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth is a part of Ohio MEP, part of the NIST-MEP program. For more than 30 years, MAGNET has offered a wide range of capabilities to manufacturers, which include product and process development, workforce initiatives, and lean/operations consulting. As part of the MEP system, MAGNET strives to help small and mid-size companies by improving revenue and job retention as well as driving manufacturing and economic development in Northeast Ohio. More information can be found at

Photo courtesy of

What type of employer is HGR? Our values program

HGR Values Dream Team

On Aug. 3, all of HGR’s partners and its Euclid, Ohio, employees gathered before the doors opened for a breakfast meeting heaped with eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, pancakes and praise for the 74 employees who were recognized for upholding the company’s values for the past year.

What are those values?

  • Ethical in all of our business activities
  • Support each other with openness, honesty, trust and respect while working as a team to achieve our common goals
  • Accountable in making and fulfilling our commitments to each other, our customers and our community
  • Create exceptional customer relationships by enhancing awareness and expectations of outstanding service with every interaction
  • Personal dedication to continuous improvement in creating employee and company success

Employees were nominated by their peers. Of the 74 winners, 21 received one nomination, 17 two nominations, 21 three nominations and “The Dream Team” pictured in the photo received four or more nominations. Any employee who received 3 or more nominations in the past year was entered into a drawing for a trip to one of HGR’s offices. One Cleveland employee won a trip to Austin, Texas. This year, Mike Paoletto, buyer, won the trip, but in the spirit of working as a team, he said he had been to Austin multiple times and wanted to decline the award and donate it back so that another name could be pulled. Because of his generosity, Bryan Korecz, inbound logistics manager, was selected.

Brian Krueger, CEO, opened the meeting with a brief update on the state of the company and a history of the values program. After the other partners (Paul Betori, Ron Tiedman and Rick Affrica) presented Olympic-style medals to the honorees, Krueger unveiled the company’s new diversity statement and its new values program for the coming year.

Another celebration will be held in Austin to honor those who were nominated. Stay tuned for a photo of the Austin Dream Team.

HGR employee receives night on the town valued at $300

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Back in our April employee newsletter, we asked our employees to sign up to share HGR and industry news with their social media networks through a software social-media-sharing platform called Voicestorm. In return, the top five users each month in May, June and July each received a raffle entry to win an evening on the town worth up to $300. In addition, anyone who was in the Top 5 for all three months received an extra entry.

Our top users were: Megan Vollman, Cynthia Vassaur, Dax Taruc, Tina Dick, April Quintiliano, Steve Smith, Levit Hernandez and Angelo Runco.

The week of Aug. 8, Ed Kneitel, our trusty controller, drew a random name out of a coffee cup. Literally. And, the winner was Steve “Smitty” Smith. He won an overnight stay at Aloft Cleveland Downtown Hotel and two tickets to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Congrats, Smitty, and thanks for sharing our news with your networks!

Steve "Smitty" Smith



Thoughts from Justin: Top 3 challenges manufacturing faces, and how you can benefit from them

Running robot

If you’ve been reading my blog posts, you’re aware that I enjoy writing about science, and my experience here at HGR. Yeah, they’re interesting articles (in my opinion), but I want to address what YOU care about in my final blog as summer intern at HGR.

An article written by Scott Stone, marketing director for Cisco-Eagle, Inc., introduced to readers the challenges that the manufacturing industry faces for 2016: the manufacturing skills gap, Internet of Things, and robotics.

1) Manufacturing skills gap

With the retirement of the Baby Boomers by 2025, there are expected to be 2 million unfilled manufacturing jobs in the United States. Is that bad? Yeah, no doubt, but there’s reason to be optimistic.

As of today, there are about 80 million Millennials. These millennials bring potential to the table with regard to innovating new ways to get things done in the industry. According to a study done by two Accenture researchers, there’s a simple 4-step strategy that can be applied to the industry to develop talent:

  1. Identify talent needs
  2. Build a talent pipeline
  3. Develop talent pool relationships
  4. Reinvigorate talent development

2) Internet of Things (IoT)

The IoT revolves around machine-to-machine communication. By implementing the IoT to industrial machines, tasks and processes can be completed with ease and, ultimately, increase the efficiency of an organization.

As of today, more than 80 percent of machines already have IoT capability implemented in them; however, they’re not being used to their full extent. By formulating a strategy on why IoT is needed and the purpose for it, the opportunities for machines are endless and can serve as a major breaking point in the transformation of the manufacturing industry.

3) Automation & robotics

Robots aren’t a thing of the future anymore; they’re here, and they’re commonplace in industry. Robots work quick and smart, when programmed and applied properly, and you should be worried IF you’re not taking advantage of them.

Implementing robots in your business WILL reduce downtime and increase productivity and efficiencies. You’re probably thinking, “How can I afford a robot? They’re out of my budget.” Well, let me be the one to break the news: You can buy one for CHEAP that will quickly maximize your return-on-investment. At HGR, we have robots from several top manufacturers, including ABB, Fanuc, Kuka, Motoman and Denso.

Shifting off-topic about challenges, but another opportunity for this industry is for marketing graduates. In some circles, manufacturing has a “bad name” right now – college students aren’t attracted to it; what it needs is a fresh mindset. A way to shift from the old and into the new, a way to bring more attention to the industry. What better way to do that than to hire recent marketing graduates who want a challenging, yet rewarding, career?!

ATTN: Skilled laborers, marketing graduates, anyone interested in manufacturing

If you’re reading this, it’s not too late. In fact, it couldn’t be better timing. Yeah, the industry has some serious challenges ahead, but you have the perfect opportunity to be the change it needs.

Despite the risks and challenges the manufacturing industry faces, there’s always a silver lining, depending upon how you look at it. The skills gap, IoT, and robotics — they’re challenges, but with the right approach they can be what reinvigorates the industry. Think about it as if you were Johnny Manziel and the manufacturing industry was the Cleveland Browns. You have all this talent, and you’re bringing it to an industry that needs serious help. With the right approach, the industry can build and become what your dreams want it to be. Or, you can be like Manziel, and, yeah, no further comments.

An HGR customer’s family plays a part in Nickel Plate Station’s history

Robert Zeitz and his mother
Bob Zeitz and his mother, who will be 102 years old in October

One of my coworkers heard a customer telling one of our salespeople a story about how he was a customer when HGR first opened and how someone in his family used to work in the building prior to HGR taking over the space. She pointed him out to me. I walked over and introduced myself to get his story.

I found out Bob Zeitz was born in 1941. His father worked for Cleveland Pneumatic, the first tenant of HGR Industrial Surplus’ current building, which was built by the Defense Plant Corporation. Zeitz owned APR Tool, Willoughby, Ohio, until four years ago. Now, he’s retired, but his son owns businesses. He shops at HGR for his personal interest and for his son.

Here’s what he had to say:

My dad lived in Euclid and carpooled to Cleveland Pneumatic’s Cleveland plant until they built this facility on the vacant real estate to keep up with wartime production [of aircraft landing gear]. My dad applied for a transfer to be closer to home.

I still had a cabinet from 1946 when Cleveland Pneumatic shut down. My dad worked there. When the plant shut, he and my uncle came and bought tooling and equipment to start their own business. I just donated it to HGR. It’s the wooden cabinet on the Receiving dock with the War Production Board plaque.

When I went on a quest to find the cabinet and take a picture of it, it was missing. I panicked. This happens often at HGR – as soon as an item hits the floor, it’s sold. I checked around and was told that it was back in the scrap area. I panicked. Oh no, this part of history was going in the dumpster? I trekked back into the building on a quest, only to find it WAS in the scrap area – for storage.

One of HGR’s owners wanted to preserve this part of history. Once our new offices are built out this fall and furnished, the cabinet will be going in the new area. Whew! It may be a bit old and have taken its knocks, but it still has a useful life, just like lots of industrial surplus that comes through our showroom. Maybe it will become a coat closet for future generations at HGR.

Cleveland Pneumatic cabinetDefense Plant Corporation label on cabinet

LaSalle Theater redevelopment plans wow the audience

LaSalle Arts & Media Center groundbreaking ceremony

Picture this: an old theater built in 1927 for Vaudeville acts that existed until 2008 but did not survive the Great Recession being redeveloped in nine months into a thriving media center, music and arts space, banquet center, storefronts and apartments. Now, make a wish and watch it come true due to the hard work of Brian A. Friedman, executive director, and his crew at Northeast Shores Development Corporation.

At the Aug. 9 groundbreaking ceremony, many instrumental dignitaries were in attendance, including Cleveland City Councilman, Ward 8, Michael Polensek; City of Cleveland Director of Economic Development Tracey Nichols; City of Cleveland Director of Community Development Michael Cosgrove; Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and Cuyahoga County Councilman, District 10, Anthony Hairston. Additionally, representatives from the project’s financial backers (Cortland Banks, IFF, Village Capital Corporation and Cleveland Foundation) spoke onstage.

According to Friedman, “The county made the initial loan to put us into a position to proceed.” Due other investors, the development company was able to raise the funds, to the tune of $4.1 million, in order to preserve this historic theater for generations to come.

It will serve as the anchor to “Made in Collinwood’s” makers corridor, similar to how the Beachland Ballroom anchors Waterloo Arts, or the Capital Theater and Cleveland Public Theater serve as anchors for Gordon Square.

The most interesting part of the event was hearing from some of the future users of the new space. Chris Winters of Taste of Excellence will offer catering services. Jason and Danielle Tilk of Wizbang Pop-Up Theater and Cabaret will offer Vaudeville-style variety shows and a possible circus school. Former Euclid Mayor and current President of Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School Bill Cervenik announced that the school will use the theater for its Drama Department and productions.

Yes, Welcome to Collinwood! It’s on the rise again. And, soon, you will be entertained.


In need of a miracle but can’t get to Lourdes, France?

The Grotto at Our Lady of Lourdes National Shrine in Euclid, Ohio

Recently, my mom was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with a chronic condition. I have been having my own health challenges. And, my blue-collar dad who worked with machinery and equipment his entire life, a self-professed tinkerer, passed away last year. So, I was looking for a little healing and heard from a colleague at another Euclid business about a shrine in Euclid. I decided to go on my own pilgrimage around the corner from HGR’s office to 21281 Chardon Road, Euclid, Ohio.

When I showed up, people were arriving for a mass in the chapel to commemorate St. Anne’s Day, which happens to be my grandmother’s name, my mother’s middle name and my confirmation name!

The Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity run the shrine as a getaway from the “machinery” of everyday life for those looking for a spiritual retreat. The shrine is a replica of the Grotto in Lourdes, France, and has two stone chips taken from the stone on which Our Lady is said to have appeared in Lourdes with water from the Grotto flowing over the relics. You can drink from the fountain or take water with you. I bought a beautiful, inexpensive glass bottle in the gift shop to fill for my mother, and I drank from the fountain.

My trip was so interesting. I learned a lot, historically. And, you don’t have to be Catholic. There was a woman meditating with tuning forks on a bench as I walked through. Yes, you can light candles, walk the rosary hill or the Stations of the Cross in a wooded area just like in Lourdes, or go to mass, but it’s really about simplicity and getting a breath of fresh air and serenity, which almost everyone needs.

tomb at Our Lady of Lourdes National Shrine

The dateline for history buffs:

  • In 1198, John of Martha formed a community dedicated to The Trinity.
  • In 1762, Teresa Cucchiari founded the female branch of the Trinitarian tradition.
  • In 1858, the Virgin Mary is reported to have appeared to 14-year-old Bernadette 18 times in Lourdes, France, to ask her to pray for sinners.
  • In 1920, Mother Teresa Franza brought the order to the U.S.
  • In 1926, the shrine in Euclid was opened by the Good Shepherd Sisters.
  • In 1952, the Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity took over the shrine’s operation.
  • In 1956, the chapel was built with stained glass windows that tell the story of Our Lady of Lourdes.

The sisters say, “The shrine is an oasis of peace from the world.” As I walked the grounds, thrilled to see an entire area of milkweed planted for Monarch butterflies, I was reminded of my own office and how many people come to HGR daily to meditatively walk the rows of machinery and equipment looking for inspiration, laugh and chat with like-minded folks and grab a bite to eat at Wednesday’s free lunch in the customer lounge. We find an oasis where and when we can. And, sometimes, it’s the small daily blessings, including our livelihoods, the kindness of strangers or a finding a favorite place, for which we can be grateful.


LaSalle Theater to be converted into arts & media center

LaSalle Theater Euclid Ohio

It’s been long anticipated, and the time has finally come for one of Cleveland’s historic theaters to come alive once again. On Aug. 9, the LaSalle Arts & Media Center, 823 E. 185th St., Euclid, Ohio, will kick off construction with its official groundbreaking ceremony. The ceremony is by invitation only, but we’ll post another blog this week with a recap and photos. You don’t even have to leave your air conditioning to see it all!

It takes heart to create art, and Euclid has a lot of both

Euclid Art Association board meeting

While school is out for summer, the Euclid Art Association takes a break from its monthly meetings, too. But, behind the scenes the board is hard at work planning for future events. It meets every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Euclid Art Gallery located on the second floor of the Euclid Historical Society and Museum, 21129 North St., Euclid, Ohio.

The association began in 1958 when five women, who were mostly art teachers, began meeting. The membership has grown to more than 90 members, many who come from all over Northeast Ohio. People have even come from Michigan and New Jersey to attend workshops.

I attended the June 28 board meeting then went to lunch with the group at Manhattan Deli in Willoughby. The group cares deeply about supporting one another and working together to share their artistic talents, as well as nurturing and developing the talent of others. Community starts among the membership, which is a diverse group of artists encompassing mostly two-dimensional fine art, such as photography, digital art, painting and drawing.

Some of the events the group sponsors include:

  • Two to three juried art shows per year
  • Hands-on workshops by renowned guest artists
  • Monthly meetings where a guest artist demonstrates technique
  • A membership table and demo at IngenuityFest
  • An annual scholarship to a Euclid High School art student
  • A monthly newsletter
  • A Christmas party

Last year, the group sold 11 pieces of art at its spring show and nine pieces this year. That is remarkable for a small community art show.

President Lee Peters’ story of how he joined EAA is an interesting one. His mother took art classes from Marge, one of the founding members. When his mother passed away, Marge and Rose, another founding member, came to the funeral and recruited him to join the association as a member. He later became the association’s photographer, historian and, eventually, president.

Peters says, “I can’t even draw a stick figure to save my life; so, here I am, president of a flock of artists! I am totally in awe that someone can take a pencil or paintbrush and create a landscape or portrait of a person. To me this is truly a magical talent and Euclid Art members are extremely talented magicians.”

Monthly membership meetings resume on Monday, Sept. 12 and are open to the public. Come check one out to see if it’s for you. You can find membership information at

The Oprah Effect: Wi-Fi for all

Justin Mobilian, HGR's summer intern

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian, HGR’s sales & marketing summer intern)

Gone are the days where your dreams end when you wake from your slumber thanks to the 32-year-old billionaire, entrepreneur, philanthropist and creator of Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg is one step closer to providing the Internet to the entire world’s population. 7-billion people. Yes, you read that right; it’s not a typo. Zuckerberg started his legacy in his Harvard dorm room. Now, he’s close to providing Web access across the globe.

How is Zuckerberg’s plan possible? Aquila. What? The billionaire and his team spent more than one year designing and building Aquila, a solar-powered drone. The drone was tested for the first time just a few weeks ago, with Zuckerberg making a surprise appearance. When he arrived, he said his team was very nervous, but they appeared calm and ready.

Facebook hopes that Aquila eventually will lead a fleet of identical drones with the ability to provide Internet access globally. But, how? The drones supposedly will beam signals down to cellular towers, which from there will be converted to Wi-Fi or LTE signals. The current model has a wingspan of a Boeing-737, yet only weighs about 1,000 pounds. Facebook is planning to test more flights in the next six months, but it’ll be years before you see multiple drones flying above you.

World-wide Internet access. Too good to be true? I’ll never have to worry about being Wi-Fi-less again. Unlimited Snapchats, Twitter posts, Instagram posts, the list goes on! In all seriousness though (although I was serious about that), what does this mean for the future?

As of right now, 10 percent of the world’s population lives in areas that are unable to connect to the Internet. With the advanced infrastructure provided by the drones, rural areas that are unable to connect to the Web will be able to. Aside from the next era of Facebook’s services that will come about as a result of the drones, Zuckerberg says in Casey Newton’s article Facebook Takes Flight, “For Facebook, Aquila is more than a proof of concept. It’s a linchpin of the company’s plan to bring the Internet to all 7 billion people on Earth, regardless of their income or where they live. Doing so will lift millions of people out of poverty, improving education and health globally along the way.”

What a time to be alive. What are your thoughts on these drones? Do you think they’ll be a success? Leave a comment, let’s chat.

What do a lamp, an MRI machine, a cockpit and a tank have in common?

Airplane cockpit

Many of us have flown in an airplane or had an MRI. Little did we know that many of the parts on planes and in medical equipment are sandblasted, washed, primed, painted, coated and sealed in Euclid, Ohio, at Painting Technology, Inc., 21641 Tungsten Road. The business passed to President Mary Lou Ambrose in 1990 as part of a divorce settlement. It still is owned by her and will pass to her daughter, Vice President Denise DeGaetano.

This high-tech painting and coating company doesn’t do houses or walls; it gets contracts to do job-shop work for companies like Aero Fluid Products in Painesville and AeroControlex in South Euclid that are suppliers to manufacturers such as Boeing. The company may do an order of one part up to thousands of parts in a batch, depending on the size, process and timing requirements. Some of the parts it has painted include lamps for Kichler Lighting, ceiling grids in classrooms, parts in MRI machines and in U.S. Marine Corps tanks, the plastic air-nozzle vents above passenger seats in airplanes, bulletproof Apache and Blackhawk helicopter seats, components in tracking missiles, cockpit control-panel knobs, airplane landing gear in the Boeing 737, and the door-locking mechanism on the plane door that the flight attendant closes after you have boarded.

Painting Technology started in 1984, at which time Ambrose was half owner. The company located in Euclid to be in close proximity to Austin Hunt Corp., formerly located on Tungsten Road, which owned the other half of Painting Technology. In 1990, when Ambrose took over the company, she bought the building and kept all the paint technicians who had come to work there after her customer Picker X-Ray Corp. closed its paint shop. At the time, most of Painting Technology’s work was for the medical industry.

Now, Painting Technology has eight employees, is ISO 9100 and NADCAP certified, and works primarily in the aerospace industry. She says it costs about $20,000 per year to maintain these certifications. With a conveyorized drying rack, four paint booths and two drying ovens, the company handles the final coating process of the parts before they are installed. As Ambrose says, “It’s a process, not a paint.”

She is looking to get work from companies who make ISO and NADCAP parts. She says, “It’s a niche market. Not many in this area are certified to do this process, and we get lots of out-of-state business. Some companies do their own work, but if they don’t have their own painting facility they send it to a job shop like ours rather than to a competitor.” The company buys its coatings from companies, such as PPG or Creative Coatings.

When asked about the types of jobs for which she hires and her challenges in hiring a skilled workforce, she explains, “They used to train kids in schools’ shop classes to paint cars and handle coatings, but it’s hard to find employees now. They need a knowledge of spray guns and systems. We can’t just hire a house painter. We’ve tried to hire young people with no experience but they aren’t interested. Everyone is on computers today, but we need process people. We even went to Veteran’s Affairs looking for people with military experience. If we hire off the street, it’s a three- to five-year process to learn this job before you can be left on your own.”

Eight years ago, Painting Technology became an MBE (minority business enterprise) and WBE (women business enterprise). In early 2015, it installed a new $50,000 compressor system. Ambrose says that maintaining and upgrading equipment is integral for the company to maintain on-time delivery and quality with few rejections. She says, “This is how we have kept the same customers since 1990 and do 99.9 percent of their coating work.”