HGR Industrial Surplus customer volunteers with the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

CVSR engine in garage for maintenance

Thanks to HGR Industrial Surplus’ Customer and Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR)’s former Safety Manager and Current Volunteer Tony Caruso, I had the chance to tour the CVSR’s railyard and learn some important historical information about the railroad. What a treat, especially because HGR’s site has ties to the Nickel Plate Road, and so does Tony.

HGR’s building used to be home to the General Motors’ Fisher Auto Body Plant. The Nickel Plate Road Railroad came into the building to pick up auto bodies en route to Detroit for assembly. The entire building, including tenant spaces, was renamed Nickel Plate Junction in 2014 to honor the site’s history. Tony’s father, uncles, cousins and brothers all worked on Nickel Plate Road in Girard, Penn., and in Conneaut, Ohio, and Tony has a caboose in his backyard on actual track that was painted this summer in the colors of Nickel Plate Road.

The railroad opened in the 1880s to transport commercial freight and passengers between Cleveland, Akron, Canton and points beyond, but became a fully passenger railroad in the 1970s. In the 1990s, the park built a repair shop at the railyard so that employees did not need to take the trains to Cleveland for repairs. CVSR has six, 12-cylinder engines that can move at speeds of up to 30 mph. The railroad operates at 29 mph to stay within regulations for passenger trains. The trains hold 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel, 700 gallons of oil and 400 gallons of water, including that for the dining car, restrooms and the water/antifreeze mix for the engines. The train’s electricity is powered with a generator.

The cars were built in the 1940s to 1960s in The United States by The Budd Company out of welded stainless steel. This company also makes space shuttle bodies. Tony shared that the manufacturing standards by which rail cars and rail line are made date back 1,000 years. In the Roman days, carriages created a rut or groove in the road from the wheels. The distance between them was 4 feet, 8 inches. That is the exact distance between the inside of the rails. Even space shuttle booster rockets are designed with those measurements in mind in order to fit on a railcar for transport.

Lisa Sadeghian, CVSR manager of donor experiences, says, “The train is a moving museum that preserves the past while being educational and relaxing. We will soon begin working with two Northeast Ohio museums to create a rolling children’s museum with permanent and temporary exhibits on one of our train cars. In addition, passengers can rent a bike for a nominal fee and get on and off the train. So can hikers.” With a music education background, she goes on to share that Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” was written on a train, and that in parts of the song you can hear sounds of city life, as well as the rhythm of the train’s wheels and tracks.

Yes, indeed, trains run through songs, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and HGR Industrial Surplus!

CVSR caboose CVSR dining car

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Jason Olariu

When did you start with HGR, and why?

April 2018. I’ve known Rick Affrica, HGR’s chief purchasing officer, for a number of years and have done business with HGR during that time. I’ve always admired the company from the first time I learned the process, and I jumped at the opportunity to join the team.

What is your territory, and what do you do on a daily basis?

I don’t really have a territory since my focus is to call on corporate-level contacts at multi-site companies throughout North America. I manage our efforts in supporting the resale needs of our large corporate customers, which can be summed up daily as “shaking hands and kissing babies.”

What do you like most about your job?

I love meeting new people and developing relationships. The broad reach of my role allows for me to create new connections on an almost daily basis, which is a huge motivator for me, both personally and professionally.

What’s your greatest challenge?

Coming from an automotive-manufacturing-focused sales background, I find “turning it off” after hours a challenge. Supporting the Big Three to avoid downtime for the better part of a decade has left me feeling the need to keep my phone near at all times, including at night, during family time – even on vacation!

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

Meeting the other buyers for the first time– quite a group of characters, and all good guys. Put them all in one house and give them a reality TV show.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

Spending time with my family is my true joy – and thankfully, we all enjoy a lot of the same things. Other things that bring me joy are reading (science fiction and old pulp detective novels), film, and spending hours flipping through albums in old, out-of-the-way record stores.

Who is your hero or greatest influence/inspiration, and why?

Without sounding cliché, my father, Paul, has been the greatest inspiration in my life. He taught me that life is about the endless pursuit of knowledge, that you should never let those in your life feel as though they are not the most important person in the world to you, and that it’s okay to laugh at yourself. From as far back as I can remember, he told me he hoped that I grew up to be a better man than he was, though I doubt I will ever be.

Anything I missed that you want folks to know?

Getting to know the great team and strong culture within HGR reinforces my feeling that I’m where I need to be, and I’m proud to be part of it!

Cleveland native comes back home to build large-scale textile printing studio

Dan Bortz textiles

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Dan Bortz, artist)

The Time Change Generator in Cleveland is a fine-art-focused, oversized textile screen printing studio being built by me and my partner. I’m originally from Cleveland, but I left home in 2008 to attend California College of the Arts in Oakland, Calif., where I met my long-term partner, Lynnea Holland-Weiss. In spring 2018, we relocated our practice to Cleveland to build our dream studio. My vision is to create small- to large-scale screen prints on fabric, repeat-pattern yardage and garment printing of my and other resident artists’ original artwork. The largest scale printing that we will be doing is 5′ by 6′. It not only would serve as a personal studio, but would bring artists from far and wide to design and print textiles. From extensive travel, I have connected with many artists who I respect and admire. My overall goal is to create a space to experiment with exciting mediums for myself and others. I’d like the ability to share the abundance of space and simultaneously bring national and international talent to Cleveland.

HGR has been a total treasure chest of studio equipment, let alone the inspiration of just walking around and looking at weird old machines. Without a full comprehension of what I’m even looking at, all I see is material and shape, thinking about how I could repurpose something into a piece of art. Or use it in my studio. We’ve found really great metal push cars for the studio, a nice light table, furniture. There also are many other things that we have our eye on for potential use. Here is an old drawing of mine to show you how a place like HGR can influence my drawings:

Dan Bortz machine drawing

 

You can follow Dan’s work on Instagram at @JBECAUZE @TIMECHANGEGENERATOR or @LYNNEAHW.

HGR’s last cookout of 2018

cookout hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill

Every Wednesday, HGR offers its customers free lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. In the summer, it’s a cookout. This year, we had grilled Italian sausage with grilled onions and peppers and hamburgers with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and chips. We even have relish, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce and mayo. If you love the cookout, get it while it’s hot. If you’ve never tried it, next week on Sept. 26 is your last chance until next year when the weather breaks. On Oct. 3, we switch to pizza during the colder months.

people taking pizza from a box

Get to Know HGR’s Obed Montejano

HGR's Obed Montejano

What is your job title?

I am a marketing administrator.

What are your job responsibilities on a day-to-day basis?

I make outbound calls to companies and try to get them to sell us their unused surplus items. I enter all the information I gather into our database, and when companies inform me that they want to sell their items I send it to the buyers.

What qualifications are needed to succeed in your role?

Be patient, a good listener, and keep HGR’s values in mind, of course.

What background or prior work experiences do you bring to the table?

Customer care. Prior to working here I worked for an electricity company in Houston, Texas. I dealt with all kinds of customers. Some were easier to deal with, and some were more difficult. It definitely helps when speaking with vendors.

How long have you been with HGR, and why?

Since August 1, 2016, so two years and a month. I really like working here. The environment is very peaceful, and everyone helps each other.

What amazing things are you doing in your personal life?

Currently, I’m trying to stay fit, go back to school soon and improve my credit so I can have a better future.

What can you tell us about your family?

They currently all live in Houston. Mom, dad, and two little brothers that aren’t so little anymore. They are the most supportive people I’ve ever known.

What is the most important thing in the world to you/what matters most?

My family and friends.

Bitesize Business Workshop: Conflict Management Strategies

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at Moore Counseling & Mediation Services , 22639 Euclid Ave., Euclid, Ohio, on Sept. 13 from 8:30-10 a.m. for an educational workshop presented by Matthew Selker and Dr. Dale Hartz.

There is no cost to attend.  Membership is not required.

Please contact Jasmine Poston at 216.404.1900 or jposton@moorecounseling.com to register.

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Coffee Connections: Gateway Retirement Community

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

SAVE THE DATE! Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at Gateway Retirement Community, 1 Gateway Dr., Euclid, Ohio, on Sept. 11 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. EST for a presentation and tour of the community over coffee and networking. Look for the signs directing you to the Gateway Manor Building.

There is no cost to attend.  Membership is not required.

Please register here.