On July 21, The Euclid Chamber of Commerce held its annual golf outing at Briardale Greens Golf Course, Euclid, Ohio. Golfers enjoyed a day of golfing, skill shots, skins games, giveaways, prizes, lunch, beverages, a bocce contest, a darts contest and a 19th-hole BBQ.
As a platinum sponsor of the event, HGR Industrial Surplus’ golf foursome of Steve Fischer, Bryan Korecz, Ed Kneitel and Doug Cannon represented us well by finishing in second place with a 13 under 55. They were just two shots off the lead, but it took a $10,000 hole-in-one to knock them out of the running!
The Hole #8 hole-in-one contest was sponsored by Nationwide Insurance’ Hoynes Insurance Agency, Beachwood, Ohio. The hole was a par 3 and 165 yards. David Bruckman made the winning shot. He played on a team with David Lynch, Atty., Tom Daniels and Gary Zehre.
That wasn’t the only excitement for the day. One of the golfers, Michael Oliver, Minutemen Staffing, won $100 when he hit the windshield on Hole #1’s annual “Hit the Windshield” contest sponsored by Action CARSTAR, Euclid, Ohio.
Sheila Gibbons, executive director, Euclid Chamber of Commerce, says about the event, “Our annual chamber golf outing is one of our largest events, and we are quite fortunate to have Briardale Greens in our city and their incredible staff here to help us put on this outing. We enjoyed a great day of golf thanks to our generous sponsors.”
Keep an eye on the chamber’s website or Facebook page for next summer’s golf outing and come join the fun.
In 2006, I was working three jobs, and on the side I’d buy air dryers and small compressors from one of the sales guys at HGR, and beat him up on prices regularly. Turns out, Brian Krueger (HGR’s CEO) had recently become an owner, and he needed more salesmen. He gave me a shot at an interview, and shortly after running around for three different employers, I found myself working for one.
What is your territory, and what do you do on a daily basis?
I cover the farthest southeast corner of the U.S. — Georgia, South Carolina, most of Alabama, half of Tennessee, and western North Carolina. If anything ever happens in Florida, I tend to handle those, as well.
What do you like most about your job?
I can set my own schedule and don’t have to be at the same place every day. Exploring such a huge area can be an adventure.
What’s your greatest challenge?
The part I like most is also my biggest challenge. It is a huge, spread out area that I cover. I have a three-year-old at home. I am trying to balance the importance of seeing as much of him as I can, while also being on the road looking at deals to better provide for him. It is a constant juggling act.
What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?
While some strange things have happened when driving around the Deep South as a buyer and some interesting people came through the door when I was a salesman, I’d have to say the most important moment was making the jump from Sales to Buy. My wife hated her job, hated the drive through Cleveland in the winter months, and we were suffering because of it. In a morning sales meeting, Ron Tiedman (HGR’s COO) mentioned that HGR was still trying to hire a Georgia resident to become a buyer for HGR. I called my wife around lunch and asked how she’d feel about me taking a stab at a huge change for us. We never spoke about moving before that call. She agreed that nothing would probably come from it, but it wouldn’t hurt anything to ask about having HGR ship me southerly. I spoke to Rick Affrica (HGR’s chief purchasing officer) that afternoon, since he was visiting the office. I had never spoken with him more than a few sentences before then. Turns out, management was into the idea. A few months later we were listing our house. My environment, job, and life all changed do to a “what the heck, we’ll see if this works” type of decision.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I mostly like playing games with family and friends. Video games, board games, whatever. Been kicking my brother’s butt in Injustice 2 fairly regularly. And of course, spending time with Jameson, my son. He is an amazing little guy. A bit of a jerk sometimes, but I am told that it is a passing thing. Until 12 or so. Then it comes back.
Who is your hero or greatest influence/inspiration, and why?
Wojtek the Soldier Bear. Look him up. One of the biggest badasses in history. AS to why, I have to say, “LOOK HIM UP.”
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Herm Bailey, HGR’s expediting supervisor)
What does your department do?
As expeditors, we assist all departments. For the Showroom, we will do outs that customers are picking up, pull truck orders and help where needed. For Incoming/Receiving, we clear walls to make room for new items, help offload incoming trucks, set up walls and help run any scrap. For Scrap, we pull, re-itemize and scrap. We also do miscellaneous project work and storage.
How many people work in your department?
There currently are two people in our department, including myself.
What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?
A willingness to adapt as our daily jobs may change quickly, a strong work ethic and a positive attitude
What do you like most about your department?
It’s not boring because it can change as the day goes on.
What challenges has your department faced, and how have you overcome them?
While being a small crew, we are always giving input to one another. Communication is key.
What changes in the way your department does business have occurred in the past few years?
The only changes have been in the way that we transport larger items.
What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?
More suggestions and advice to be even safer in our operations
What is HGR’s overall environment like?
What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?
Lower-value items need to be moved quickly since they take up valuable floor space. Sold items need to be picked up as soon as is possible by the customer to keep the items from being damaged by moving surrounding items. The longer something sits, the less value that we can get for it.
I’m mostly retired. After my divorce, I left the business that I built in the ex-wife’s hands but I’m still a co-owner. Age-wise (later 60s), I have some health-related limitations due to welding work for many years in the oil field. I do CAD work, wood and metal sculpture and some welded aluminum boat work but not 9-5 five days per week.
How did you get into art and making?
I’ve always been interested in drawing from before I went to government school in the 50s. My father introduced me to tool use, and by my teens I’d learned to build models of balsa wood of my own design. In the 70s, I apprenticed with a local welder and then bought my first power supply and began experimenting, learning other modes of welding after starting with stick. As I worked in the trades I realized I could use my trade skills to build art or furniture; so, I began to experiment in those areas- eventually I began to build welded aluminum fishing boats for the local salmon fishery.
What do you design and make?
I’ve designed houses for friends, furniture, sculptural pieces, vehicles for specific tasks, welded aluminum boats from 3-feet long to 36-feet long, and built all these items in wood or metal over the years.
How did you learn to do this?
Most often, I’ve read on a tool use subject, then purchased a modest-cost version of that set of tools from wages, then worked with the tools to increase my skills and finally invested in more sophisticated and higher-precision tools, and that progression was parallel to the quality improvement in my projects. I have worked in the welding trade in both oil and gas as well as boat building, and I did some finished carpentry/joinery in both the commercial and housing market, as well as designing and installing the interior of a few live-aboard-sized boats.
What artists, designers or makers do you most admire?
I don’t know the names of the people whose work I most admire. I may see their work once in a while online (Pinterest) or receive an email with someone’s project pictures. However, I can’t say I really know their names but often can recall their ‘hand’ when I see another piece of that artist’s work.
What inspires you?
Like most people who imagine ideas of objects to build, I have a semi-constant stream of ideas that appear as color 3D images in my mind’s eye. I believe that my ideas come to me from outside my own perception but not sure the source except that is seems to be external. Shape is the primary influence that inspires me. I like flowing streamlined shapes. They appeal to my aesthetic sense of design.
So I’m inspired by the grace of the forms of animals in motion, as well as the grace of the lines of some vehicles or furniture to design and build my take on those flowing forms.
What do you do when you aren’t working or making art?
Not much work these days. Arthritis slows me down. I spend lots of time drawing on the PC using various CAD applications. I’m learning to cook and find that enjoyable to prepare dinners for the family. I read a lot and sketch constantly, as I refine ideas and explore concepts that may be worth building.
What advice do you have for others?
Most industrial-skills-related art that I see online lacks strong design fundamentals. I think the skill of most people doing this work is much higher in the related trade or tool use than in the conception and drawing skills. I’d suggest more time and priority be given to the development of the ideas, forms and content.
What is your personal philosophy?
My philosophy about art is that the creation of physical pieces that originate in our imaginations should be for the enjoyment of the viewer, user, collector. As the builder/maker, I have my own enjoyment of the process from conception to creation; so, once a piece is complete I’d like to have made something that will be a “thing of beauty; forever.”
In manufacturing, we all make and/or sell. That’s a given. But, what differentiates us from the competition? Yes, price, but also those value-added intangibles, including customer service. Remember the days when business was based on service? As business gets more fast-paced and we have to do more with less, often quantity triumphs over quality. We are whipping and cranking it out. “Git er done” has become a catch phrase. But, what about the little things? Often, a live person doesn’t answer the phone anymore. It’s all been automated. But when the customer does reach a human being, how is he or she treated? Are customers made to feel like a burden? Something to be processed so we can move on to the next task, or do we invest in them?
Think about the last time you went out to eat at a sit-down restaurant. You are going out so that you don’t have to cook or clean up and can relax and chat while someone else does the heavy lifting. You want to be taken care of, right? You leave a tip based on how attentive the service is from when you walk in the door. Were you greeted? Seated quickly? Brought a menu? How long did it take for someone to bring you water and take your order? How long until your order came? Was it hot? Did they get the order right if you made substitutions? Did they refill your glass? Was the restroom clean? How long did it take to get the check? Were your leftovers packed properly? Every step in the total experience matters in making a final impression upon you, the customer. We evaluate the quality of the transaction based upon criteria that we set up for each experience. We all “expect” certain things in certain situations in order to feel satisfied.
What do your customers expect of you other than selling them a thingamajig? Do you deliver? What might you do differently? What processes have you implemented that might help others? What changes have you made to improve the customer experience?
Northern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and 1/3 of West Virginia.
What do you like most about your job?
It might sound cliché, but I really like and appreciate all the great people that I work with at HGR and get to meet in my travels.……..And, hotel room coffee.
What’s your greatest challenge?
When I first started, Rick Affrica, HGR’s chief purchasing officer and partner, said “Kid, you’ll never make it in this industry, but if you do, I’ll buy you a steak dinner.” Those words inspired me to work hard and eventually make Rick pay up.
What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?
Getting locked in an outside, fenced-in construction yard on a 15-degree Fahrenheit winter day with wind chill.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
My No. 1 hobby is spending time with my family. My favorite movie is “Steel Magnolias,” and I enjoy reading romance novels.
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Vaughn Terpack, Three Rivers Forge)
Blacksmithing is my sole source of income at the moment. I got tired of working for someone else and having to deal with all the soap opera drama; so, I decided to take a gamble and start smithing full time.
Financially, quitting a “real” job to try my hand at being an artist probably wasn’t the best of ideas. It’s been a thorough bear of a struggle, but then I look at all my customers around the world and marvel at how these people have chosen my work over that of every blacksmith on the Internet. From Singapore to Switzerland, Australia to Israel, there’s a little bit of my soul in every corner of the world.
I honestly don’t know how you put a dollar figure on that, or how you can even quantify what that means. In a hundred years, I’ll be dead and buried, but my legacy will live on in iron.
When I first started, my goal was simply to help bring the blacksmith’s craft back to the forefront of peoples’ minds. I wanted to help get people thinking about quality over quantity. I wanted folks to see what I call the “Art in the Everyday” — opting for beautiful handmade goods in lieu of cheap mass-produced products, even if that means having less “stuff” overall.
It’s hard to convince people to spend $40 on a hand-forged bottle opener when most bottles have twist-off tops and the opener they bought for a dollar at the corner store works just as well as anything I can make. But, I honestly believe that by sacrificing on the quality, surrounding ourselves with chintzy, we impact our psyches in a negative way.
My hope is to make products that the average person can own and look at every single day. When you hang your coat on a hand-forged wall hook or pop the top on a cold one with a hand-forged bottle opener, you’re in touch with something that’s rare these days. You get to experience that “art in the everyday.”
(Vaughn’s work can be found in his store, Three Rivers Forge on etsy.com.)
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Mike Ensminger, Iron Image Design)
I was always the kid in class who was doodling on a piece of paper. All my life I’ve been very artistic and was able to draw pretty well; so, later when I took an art class in college I was able to fit right in. When we started to do three-dimensional work I took it as a challenge. I created a sculpture of the Archangel Michael standing on top of the serpent with his sword pointed high. Using popsicle sticks and hot glue, the sculpture was fragile, to say the least. I ended up receiving an A in the class, and I was put into the college’s Tribune newspaper for my work, but to my dismay the piece fell apart on a hot day in the back of my car.
Right around that time I was getting a welding certificate from Lorain County Community College, and I decided to make a piece out of metal that would be permanent and never fall apart. My work started with little things and grew as I challenged myself more and more. The larger pieces excited me, the challenge and thrill of making something amazing. I’d find myself getting lost in a project. I’d work on it late into the night, as the job that I was working at grew less and less important.
The pieces that I made sold for good money, and I figured that if I could dive into my work full time I could make a living at it. The last three years have been a process of learning how to run my own business legitimately and keep the inspiration to make the pieces that I wanted to make.
Meeting the right people and getting into the corporate realm are key, and things have been moving forward. I’ve done decorative metal work within the food industry. One restaurant that comes to mind is the Foundry Kitchen and Bar where much of my work was featured on Channel 8 News. I’ve done various venues within the Cleveland I-X Center, as well as working with its owner, Ray Park. Since I, oftentimes, sell my art to private owners, the larger goal is to expose my work corporately.
I feel like art is in all walks of life, including how we choose to live our life, who we live our life with, and what choices we make in between. My work usually starts from a large jumbled pile of metal laying on the ground next to my garage. But somehow, I find a way to create symmetry out of chaos. It all starts with an idea or vision and then you apply effort to that vision and every step of the way, every move you make, you must take a step back and evaluate if it was the right move or not. Sometimes, you have to go back a couple steps to get forward in the long run. We have to keep ourselves inspired and remain diligent to complete the task. With that formula, we can all do great things.
To see more of his work, visit ironimagedesign.com.
Head to our Facebook page to guess what piece of equipment or machinery is pictured. To participate you MUST meet the following three criteria: like our Facebook page, share the post, and add your guess in the comments section. Those who guess correctly and meet these criteria will be entered into a random drawing to receive a free HGR T-shirt or other cool items.
Click here to enter your guess on our Facebook page by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 18, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.