Q&A with Waterloo Arts Fest Artist-in-Residence Angela Oster

Artist Angela Oster

When did you know you were an artist?

I’ve always loved to draw and make things, but it took a while to consider myself an artist. I think it was after I developed the habit of drawing every day that I had the confidence to call myself an artist.

How did you get your training?

I have a BFA from The Cleveland Institute of Art and took vocational commercial art in high school. I also did a mentorship with Dan Krall, an illustrator and animator. I also practice a lot on my own.

What types of work do you create?

I mostly draw cartoons. My goal is to make them funny, weird, cute and kind. I also make small sculptures based on my drawings. I like to call them delicate monsters and wide eyed weirdies. In art school, I studied installation and performance art; so, I also am interested in interactive, public art. But the running theme is to invoke delight, whether it’s a cute drawing or a playful sculpture.

Angela Oster vampire cartoon

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by everything! Sometimes it’s a vintage greeting card or an old video clip of an animation or an antique broach. I’m a fan of so many artists and so many kinds of art, and it gets all mashed up into my drawings and sculpts. There is an impulse that happens.

What do you do when you are not creating art?

When I’m not creating art, I like to look at art in museums and galleries. I teach at BayArts and work part time at Ohio Citizen Action. I love to spend time with my family and friends, watch movies, swim, and go to flea markets and libraries.

Have you shopped at HGR for your work?

Yes! HGR is like a candy store for artists. There is so much raw material; it’s boundless and inspiring, and it’s affordable!

If so, what have you found and how have you used it?

I found some orange “High Voltage” tape to use in a public sculpture for Waterloo Arts. The tape was a turning point in the evolution of my idea for the sculpture, and that would not have happened without HGR.

How did you get involved as an artist-in-residence with Waterloo Arts Fest?

I have participated as a vendor for many years at the fest. I think it is so unique in that it’s a real neighborhood event. There are a lot of hands-on activities for visitors of all ages. This year, I was invited to do a residency, so I jumped at the chance.

Tell us about the project.

I built an “Orange Removal Machine” — a community sculpture that served as a voter registration booth and also helped gather objects for “A Color Removed” at SPACES Gallery. I built a giant, open structure out of hula hoops and covered it with orange tape. I asked people to bring me any orange objects: clothing, toys, sports equipment, household items, etc. The objects have been cataloged and displayed as part of Michael Rakowitz’s installation at SPACES, during FRONT International.

Angela Oster Orange Removal Machine concept drawingAngela Oster Orange Removal MachineAngela Oster Orange Removal MachineAngela Oster objects for A Color Removed

What’s next?

I’m organizing a pop-up group show at the Osterwitz Gallery located at 15615 Waterloo Road in Cleveland on Sept. 7. I gave 30 artists a “Ting-a-ling Tina” Doll, a tiny doll inside a tiny phone. Each artist can customize the doll, or make a new piece inspired by the doll. It should be a fun show!

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Social Media Workshop

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

On Aug. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Euclid Public Library, 631 E. 22nd St., Euclid, you can learn to identify the social media tools that will be most effective for your business, how to set up accounts on these platforms and how to manage social media so that it does not rule your working day. Instructor Chic Dickson, founder and owner, C7Branding, which specializes in digital business identity solutions understands that non-profits, social work agencies, and government entities have often used social media purely to market their brand to their potential clients and funders. Chic has combined social media with evidence-based strategies to cultivate client engagement and keep client loyalty longer. Chic has been featured in The Plain Dealer, WKYC, The News-Herald, and various other websites and blogs for her success in utilizing social media to reach audiences from all over the world.

This is a no-cost workshop! You can register here.

Chick Dickson C7Branding

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Coffee Connections: Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

SAVE THE DATE! Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at The Cabin, 28810 Lakeshore Blvd., Willowick, Ohio, on Aug. 14 from 8:00-9:00 a.m. EST for a presentation from the Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce over coffee and networking.

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

Please register here.

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Marketing Plan Workshop

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

 

On Aug. 14 at 8:30 a.m. at Euclid Public Library, 631 E. 222nd St., Euclid, you can learn how to develop a well-designed marketing plan and learn how it can help you raise awareness of your business, attract more customers and boost sales. Instructor Chic Dickson, founder and owner, C7Branding, which specializes in digital business identity solutions understands that non-profits, social work agencies, and government entities have often used social media purely to market their brand to their potential clients and funders. Chic has combined social media with evidence-based strategies to cultivate client engagement and keep client loyalty longer. Chic has been featured in The Plain Dealer, WKYC, The News-Herald, and various other websites and blogs for her success in utilizing social media to reach audiences from all over the world.

This is a no-cost workshop! You can register here.

Chick Dickson C7Branding

Q&A with Waterloo Arts Fest Artist-in-Residence Susie Underwood

fan ax set design by Susie Underwood for Near West Theater's production of Aida
fan ax set design Near West Theater’s 2018 production of Aida

When did you know you were an artist?

I have always loved making things and coming up with creative narratives. When I was a kid, I’d read fantasy or science fiction novels, and then I would create costumes or props inspired by the stories. That being said, I don’t think I was comfortable calling myself an artist until I had completed some installations with my former art collective, Art Club, around my mid-20s. I felt that I was actually doing something unique and from my own perspective for the first time, and that helped me to feel comfortable calling myself an artist.

How did you get your training?

I went to Ohio State University for art and journalism, got my master’s in art museum education from Antioch University Midwest, and gained a lot of my experience from working with studio and family programs at the Columbus Museum of Art. Much of my knowledge is self-taught. School can only get you so far.

What types of work do you create?

Susie Underwood in costume I like to “try on” many different types of art making, and I’m usually most successful when I combine installation with performance and audience participation. So, instead of having an art show, I might set it up like a garage sale. Or I might perform lounge songs while dressed as an alien, while cracking nerdy jokes and harassing the audience with props. For the Waterloo Arts Fest, I created a “living room” under a tent and painting everything white, so that visitors could decorate my little “home.” I prefer to change the atmosphere and environment from the usual visual art experience, which I find to be pretty boring.

What inspires you?

I love finding new artists on Instagram; there are some amazing artists in Los Angeles, New Orleans and Melbourne right now. Drag queens have really elevated their practice into some of the best contemporary art out there, and they have become a big influence on my performance approach. I am also inspired by the City of Cleveland, the weird history, and the kitsch and beauty that is taken for granted. I love music and science fiction; so, that comes out sometimes.

What are your thoughts on with art therapy?

I am interested in the growing field of art therapy but I’m not actively involved in it. I curated an exhibition at the Columbus Museum of Art which highlighted the different ways that art can be used therapeutically. I was showcasing the field to the general public, who may not be aware of all that happens or the potential of art therapy.

How did you get involved as an artist-in-residence with Waterloo Arts Fest?

I was recommended as a potential artist-in-residence because I am good at creating interactive, participatory experiences and working with the public. My years as a museum educator made me that way.

Tell us about the project.

I set up a 10’ x 10’ tent with living room furniture inside. Everything was be white, even my clothes, so that visitors could paint and decorate my little home. I also had a chandelier they could help create by adding junk from their purses, and a rag rug that they could help weave. It was inspired by my love for rehabbing and decorating my home. I want people to understand that creativity doesn’t just have to take place in an art studio; it should be infused into every aspect of life. Creativity is vital to our survival, and we need it now more than ever. We need leaders who can create new ideas, not just destroy things they don’t like.

What’s next?

I have a potential mural on the horizon, if I can ever finish the design!

Susie Underwood mural for Porco Lounge, Cleveland
mural for Porco Lounge, Cleveland
Susie Underwood's WEB for the Columbus Museum of Art's Wonder Room
WEB for the Columbus Museum of Art’s Wonder Room
Susie Underwood's banners for Near West Theater's 2018 production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame
banners for Near West Theater’s 2018 production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Susie Underwood

Meet a local manufacturer of dental crowns, impants and dentures

Moskey Dental Laboratories

 

Rob Lash , president, Moskey Dental Laboratories(Q&A with Robert Lash, president, Moskey Dental Laboratories)

What is dental restoration?

A dental restoration replaces a tooth or teeth in a patient’s mouth. The dentist makes either an analog or digital impression and sends it to Moskey Dental Laboratories with a prescription for the type of restoration he/she wants.

What is your background? I see that you completed your undergraduate studies at Emory University and law school at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. How did you end up in dental restoration?

Despite my education, my family’s business was our dental lab since my grandfather started it in 1924. When my father’s partners left the business I joined to help him continue.

When, why and who started the business?

The name of my grandfather’s lab was Mutual Dental Lab. Over the years he, my father and uncle acquired other labs and merged with Moskey in the mid-60s. The name was changed to Moskey Mutual, and I dropped Mutual because too many people thought we were an insurance company.

Why did you select your current location?

Our first location was in Midtown at 71st and Euclid, and we were downtown after that until we had to move because we were located on the site of what is now Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena. We like Midtown due to the ease of access to the highways and public transportation.

Do patients come directly to you, or do the dentists place an order?

Patients will come to our lab for tough tooth shades and for quick repairs of removable restorations, but only at the direction of their dentist.

What is your favorite part of your job or most interesting moment? 

I know it sounds corny, but giving people their teeth back is very satisfying and important for the patient’s general health. Unfortunately, we don’t often see the results of our work in patients’ mouths, but we appreciate when dentists send us pictures of a happy patient.

What is the greatest challenge in your industry?

Finding trained dental technicians. Last century there were many Eastern European immigrants in Northeast Ohio who were well-trained, and there were many dental technology programs available. Now, as far as I know, there are no such programs in Ohio.

How have things changed in your career, and what does the future of dental laboratories look like?

The future is here, and it’s digital — from the dentist’s office to our lab where we can design almost any restoration with a CAD program, and then manufacture that restoration by an additive (3D printing, laser sintering) process, or subtractive (milling).

digital milling of dentures at Moskey Dental Laboratories
digital milling of dentures at Moskey Dental Laboratories
digital milling of dentures at Moskey Dental Laboratories
digitally milled dentures

Why is restoration so expensive?

What we charge the dentist is not what the dentist charges the patient. With crowns and implants, there is often precious metal involved and expensive implant parts that are highly machined for optimum results. We have no control over the final cost, but I’d say the four years (plus for specialists) of post-graduate education, the yearly continuing education, and the many expenses of running a dental office certainly have a lot do with what the patient may consider an expensive restoration!

How did you know Christopher Palda, the HGR Industrial Surplus customer who put us in touch with you?

He does work for Stone Oven Bakery, which rents space in my building.

Has Christopher repaired or built items for you?

Yes, he’s repaired or attempted to repair numerous pieces of equipment for us.

What do you do when you are not running Moskey? 

Enjoying time with my wife, visiting my three kids who all live out of town, playing guitar in bands, road bicycle riding, sleep!

What inspires you?

The awesome beauty and power of nature.

What is the best advice that you would give to others?

Do something that brings you joy, whether that’s inside or outside of your career.

Summer art-camp students design and build wind chimes using reclaimed materials

Larry Fielder of Rust Dust & Other 4 Letter Words
Larry advising and ensuring safety

Waterloo Arts offered its annual Round Robin summer arts camp to children aged 6-13. The first session was held July 9-20 and the second session is July 23-Aug. 3. HGR Industrial Surplus was a sponsor because we are invested in S.T.E.A.M. education.

more raw materials Waterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter WordsWaterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words raw materials

On July 17, the students used repurposed, reclaimed and salvaged materials at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words to make wind chimes. Larry Fielder, owner, found 90% of the materials at Goodwill and The Salvation Army. Students used wire, drills and other hand tools to put together their metal and wood creations. It was amazing to watch the teamwork as they engineered and problem solved together to create functional and decorative objects.

Waterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter WordsWaterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter WordsWaterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter WordsWaterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter WordsWaterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words

Local community college assists manufacturers with setting up state-approved apprenticeship training programs

 

Chrissy Cooney of LCCC(Q&A with Christin (aka Chrissy) Cooney, program coordinator, Lorain County Community College)

When did the apprenticeship programs begin at LCCC?

LCCC did customized apprenticeships for individual companies, including Ford, for 30 years, and still does. But, the new state-approved apprenticeship training program counts toward a degree and is registered with and approved by the state, not just internal to the company. The Medina County pilot, in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College, began in January 2017 with the first group of students starting their apprenticeship training in August 2017. Next term, they will be on machines at Medina County Career Center with LCCC and Tri-C faculty teaching. Each semester, the apprentices take one course through Tri-C and one course through LCCC, but the LCCC faculty members travel to Tri-C to teach the courses there for the pilot companies from Medina County. There currently are 15 shared students in the program with eight registered to LCCC and seven registered to Tri-C. We have taken collaboration to a new level and broken down barriers between colleges.

What is the difference between an apprenticeship and an approved state-registered apprenticeship?

ApprenticeOhio, a division of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, approves these apprenticeships, and these apprentices are required to meet strict codes. Students end up with a credential that’s nationally portable. Employers are recognized for maintaining high standards of quality training and advancement.  LCCC offers lots of support for the employers, which results in better retention of skilled talent.

What manufacturing apprenticeships do you offer?

Currently, we offer apprenticeships in all of the programs in the engineering division, including alternative energy, automation engineering, construction, digital fabrication, electronic engineering, engineering technology, industrial safety, manufacturing engineering, mechatronics, welding, but not all of them are state-registered. We are trying to get digital fabrication, industrial safety, mechatronics and welding into the state-approved program since those are the fields where employees can succeed with training and a journeyman’s card, while the other areas usually require a bachelor’s degree to work in the field. The current state-registered cohort is in tool & die. We already have submitted industrial safety to the state and will be submitting welding and agriculture next.

How does a company become part of this program?

They need to sign on as a partner with a letter of support and have one journeyman, or someone with equivalent experience, in their organization per apprentice who is willing to supervise on-the-job training.

Do the students or the participating companies get paid?

These apprenticeships are a win-win for everyone: The sponsoring company gets skilled employees and a $2,500 stipend from the state through April 2019 for each new apprentice; the apprentice continues to earn a full-time salary while their classes paid are for by their employer, which means no student-loan debt and years of income; and Tri-C and LCCC get students.

In the end, it only costs a participating company about $2,500 in educational costs, after the stipend, to develop a high-potential employee into a skilled, state-licensed journeyman. In addition, the registered apprentice has a state identification number, not just a college certification. So, when he or she finishes, that person is a journeyman who is qualified to work anywhere in the industry, not just trained in that company’s methods. Finally, the student will graduate with a one-year certification or an associate’s degree that can be applied to further education.

How long do the apprenticeships run?

The current tool & die program requires 780 contact (in-class) hours with the teacher, 32 semester credit hours and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training. It takes about 3.5 years to complete the course credit, since there are no summer classes held so that employees can work overtime during the busy season then another six months to complete the work hours. So, in four years, apprentices get the “golden ticket.”

Which companies currently are participating?

Twelve companies came to us and said they would each bring at least one employee in order for the class to run. We ran with 15 students in this first cohort who currently work for Automation Tool & Die, Clamco, Atlantic Tool & Die, Shiloh Industries, and Superior Roll Forming.

How do you help the sponsoring companies?

Since most human resources teams do not have the time to administer an apprenticeship in a small- to mid-sized company, we shift the burden of administrative duties to the college as the sponsor. We do all of the paperwork and work with the state.

What is does the RAMP acronym at LCCC refer to?

Retooling Adults in Manufacturing Programs. It’s basically an acronym that we use to brand our restructured manufacturing programs that now have stackable credentials to allow students to build on their education and training with a certificate, a one-year degree and an associate’s degree that is then transferrable to a four-year university toward a bachelor’s degree for fields that require one.

Do you currently have a mobile classroom?

We have an eight-student mobile welding trailer sponsored by Lincoln Electric, and Cuyahoga Community College has a manufacturing trailer. We rent the trailers to each other in order to share resources to best serve our students.

What is planned for the future?

As mentioned, we hope to add other areas of the engineering program to the state-registered apprenticeship training process, but since we are doing manufacturing well, we would like to add information technology, health care and other business-related areas in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College. And, we ALWAYS are looking for faculty in the trades who can teach part time around their work schedules.

Nick on of the students in LCCC's apprenticeship training program
Nick, one of the apprentices in the first cohort with LCCC/Tri-C’s apprenticeship training program

Euclid Chamber of Commerce hosting civilian response to active shooter event

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

 

On July 25 from 10-11:30 a.m. the Euclid Chamber of Commerce is holding CRASE: Civilian Response to Active Shooter Event presented by the Euclid Police Department for Euclid businesses at the Lincoln Electric Welding & Technology Center, 22800 St. Clair Ave., Euclid, Ohio.

In the last two years, there have been 50 active shooter incidents in the United States; four occurred in Ohio; 17 occurred in a business environment. This presentation can be helpful to business owners, human resources managers, security personnel, employees or anyone interested in learning more. Information presented may be useful when developing active-shooter policies and procedures for the workplace. Resources will be provided.

This event is free, and you do not need to be a chamber member to attend. Registration is required.

Please register here.

An HGR customer shares her creative repurposing story

spools purchased at HGR Industrial Surplus and re-used as plant display stands

(Courtesy of an HGR customer who wishes to remain anonymous)

We are an HGR Industrial Surplus family. My husband first noticed your sign on a drive by the area. Since he has a manufacturing background, he stopped in to see what you were all about. That was about 15 years ago.

My first purchase, after a few foraging trips, was a roll of fabric to use as skirting for tables for my garden club’s flower show. We are still using that fabric today. One thing led to another, and some of the other purchases for the garden club include spools to stack for pedestals to put flower arrangements on, cardboard tubes for short pedestals, and coat racks to display hats. We also bought industrial aprons and gloves to repurpose for fundraisers. Aisle 1 is my place to shop; you never know what you’ll find.

My husband and I have a few HGR chairs that we use in our home. One was a Saturday morning breakfast special for only $2.50! We have a very nice bookcase in our dining room. I also have a great carrying case for my laptop computer.

Two of our grandsons and other visiting family members have been taken to HGR to see what we feel is one of Cleveland’s attractions.

Highland Heights Garden Club displays purchased at HGR Industrial Surplus

HGR Industrial Surplus continues green initiatives

recycling at HGR

As a recycling company that buys industrial surplus and resells it to put it back into service and keep it out of landfills, recycling is part of our culture. As our Controller Ed Kneitel says, “We want to be good stewards of our environment.” To that end, we have been shredding paper and donating it to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for cage bedding and animal enrichment. Our wooden skids and baled cardboard are picked up and recycled. We sell our used oil that is drained from equipment to someone who uses it to heat his building. During our renovation, we had energy-efficient lighting installed.

But, we decided to go one step further. We noticed that we were generating more than 85 gallons of plastic water bottles and 30-35 cases of aluminum pop cans per month and 200,000 pieces of paper per year. This week, we installed blue recycling bins for paper, plastic bottles and aluminum cans in both of our break rooms, the customer lounge and at individual desks. Now, our employees and customers can contribute to a more sustainable world.

Thanks for your participation when you visit HGR’s showroom!

Q&A with Beachland Ballroom’s Co-owner Cindy Barber

Cindy Barber and Mark Leddy, owners of Beachland Ballroom in Collinwood

Are you a musician?

No, but I am passionate about music.

What made you open a concert venue?

I worked for music/record companies, including Decca which later became MCA, when I was 18 doing office/administrative work and was exposed to the business. I took orders from people like Michael Stanley for their record stores.

I moved to the area because of the lake, rented for a while then bought a house on Lake Erie so I could look at the sunset every night. I was the editor of the Cleveland Free Times, which was bought by a chain. So, I moved on to do something to help the neighborhood. It took a lot of sweet talking with the banks because no one wanted to support a concert venue in North Collinwood.

What did you do prior to The Beachland?

I helped found the Cleveland Free Times and was a writer, editor and production manager. I also ran the production department at Northern Ohio Live.

How did The Beachland Ballroom get its name?

Euclid Beach Park, an amusement park from 1894 to 1969 operated in the area less than a half mile north of the building. The term “Beachland” became slang for the North Collinwood Neighborhood at that time, and the venue was named in homage to the era.

Why did you locate in Collinwood?

I’ve lived in Collinwood since 1986 and wanted to do a destination location in my neighborhood with the hope of heading off some of the crime starting to happen. I also knew that I couldn’t afford to open a place in the Flats or downtown. I found this former Croatian hall, brought in a sound man who said it could be a good club, approached Mark Leddy, who was booking bands at Pat’s in the Flats, to be my partner, and the rest is history.

How do you pick which musical acts to host?

My partner does most of the booking now. After 18 years on the map, booking agents who represent talent reach out to us, and we trust them to give us quality artists for reasonable prices.

How many acts have come through The Beachland to date?

Within three weeks of being open, the White Stripes played the Beachland. Mark booked a lot of garage rock that first month, and we were off to a good start. Since then, I would estimate that close to 30,000 bands have played The Beachland because, on average, we book three bands per night in each room five nights per week.

Who is your favorite musical artist?

I like music from the 60s – singer-songwriters like Carole King, Van Morrison and Springsteen.

What is your most memorable moment?

The first time we sold out the ballroom for the Black Keys. We helped them get started with their first manager and booking agent. They’re from Akron and played their first show ever at the Beachland.

What was your greatest challenge?

Not losing money on the acts. In our industry, the average profit margin is 1 percent. We can lose $3,500 in one night if we only sell 100 tickets. We have to pay a guarantee to a booking manager for different amounts such as $5,000, $10,000, etc. In Cleveland, there are more concert venues than ever and free outdoor festivals. We have the same number as Chicago, but they have more people. And, people still are afraid of the neighborhood. Things have changed here. It’s a grassroots Renaissance with a diverse community participating in the arts. This community is full of creative people who are trying new things, such as nonprofits and helping kids. People need to see the full scope of the neighborhood, and we need more support and participation. I want to get the neighborhood to support Waterloo and all of its organizations. All of the businesses can use clients and would appreciate your patronage.

I hear that you are involved in many ventures in the community including airbnbs. Tell us about some of your side projects.

I started a nonprofit called Cleveland Rocks: Past, Present and Future, which is a gallery specializing in music memorabilia. We hope to have rehearsal space in the former bowling alley next to the Beachland that we just purchased. We currently are looking for funding and donations to create a music incubator space with a black box video recording component to teach high school and college students how to create content for bands at reduced rates and also to capture live recordings from the Beachland. I try to help people who are moving into the area looking for available space. I own one Airbnb and manage two others.

What do you do when you are not working on these projects?

My dog goes to the office with me. My boyfriend is a big help to me all the time. He has sailed since he was a child; so, we bought a sailboat. I met him at the Beachland, of course, when his brother brought him to a show.

Beachland Ballroom

Bitesize Business Workshop: Financial Workshop for Small Businesses II

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at Euclid Public Library, 631 E. 222nd St., Euclid, Ohio, on July 10 from 8:30-10 a.m. for an educational discussion. Are you thinking of starting a business? Or have you been in business for several years? If so, this workshop was designed for you. It will cover:

  • how to create a monthly, quarterly and annual accounting calendar
  • financial software
  • financial reports and how to read them

There is no cost to attend.  Membership is not required. The instructor is Kathleen M. Smychynsky of Kathleen J. Miller & Associates.

Please register here.

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Ryan Usher

HGR Industrial Surplus Buyer Ryan Usher on inspection

(Q&A with one of HGR’s buyers, Ryan Usher)

When did you start with HGR, and why?        

I started in 2010 as a salesperson. It was my first job out of college.

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

My territory is Michigan, Northwest Ohio, and Northeast Indiana.  I visit companies in this area daily looking for equipment to buy. Most of my time is spent with companies here in Michigan where I live.

What do you like most about your job?

I enjoy being able to see how things are made — everything from cars to foods. There’s always something interesting waiting for me each day.

What’s your greatest challenge?

Staying on top of a busy monthly schedule

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

I would say working a booth for HGR at a local industrial art show in Lakewood, Ohio.

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

I like to play golf, go mountain biking and hang out on the lake.

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

My father. He worked hard to make a good life and always has great advice right when it was needed.

Euclid Chamber of Commerce accepting registration for 2018 golf outing

Euclid Chamber of Commerce golf outing

 

It’s time for the Annual Euclid Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing! Join us for a great day of golf with skill shots, skins games, giveaways and prizes starting at 10:30 a.m. on July 20 at Briardale Greens Golf Course.

All golfers receive lunch, beverages, golf with cart, one ticket to the 19th Hole BBQ, one entry to bocce roll contest, and one entry to darts contest. Single golfers will be assigned to a foursome.

Pre-purchase either mulligans or skins and receive the “String It Out” ($20 value). This 3-foot piece of string, can be used to improve a lie, sink a putt or move a putt. However, each time the string is brought into play, that length used must be cut off. When all the string is gone, it’s gone! (Mulligans: 2 per player $10 per player, $40 per foursome / Skins game $5 per player, $20 per foursome).

Not a golfer? Join us for the 19th Hole BBQ social from 4 – 6 p.m. and try your luck at games and prizes.

Please register here.

The 16th-annual Waterloo Arts Fest is this weekend

Waterloo Arts Fest logo

(provided courtesy of Waterloo Arts)

The 16th-Annual Waterloo Arts Fest is Saturday, June 30, 2018, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.  in the Waterloo Arts & Entertainment District, Cleveland, on Waterloo Rd. between E. 161 St. and Calcutta Ave. and features more than 40 local bands playing a great mix of music, local handmade art vendors, CLE’s best food trucks, and an exciting mix of innovative and interactive art experiences for all ages. At the Waterloo Arts Fest, you can roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty and give art a try.

This community event is produced by Waterloo Arts, a nonprofit art center whose mission is to enrich the neighborhood culturally and economically by creating a stimulating arts environment through exhibits, performances, special events, and educational programming for people of all ages. In addition to orchestrating this festival, Waterloo Arts manages an art gallery, public art projects, a community arts center and artist studios.

What’s new this year? 
This year we are excited to introduce an artist residency program to the event. For four to six weeks leading up to the festival, selected artists will create a temporary art installation that will be presented at the festival, and fans can follow along as the artists post progress shots of their work leading up to the big reveal. This year’s artists are Angela Oster and Susie Underwood. Each year, we would like to add residencies until we have as many as 20 artists creating large-scale installations for the event.

For more info and an event program, visit waterlooarts.org/fest.

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Blake Hughes

HGR Industrial Surplus Buyer Blake Hughes with wife, daughter and dog
HGR Industrial Surplus Buyer Blake Hughes with wife, Kendra, daughter, Lennon, and dog, Ernie Banks

When did you start with HGR and why?

I started April 2016. Previously, I had worked in sales for AT&T and two steel companies. When I spoke with HGR’s human resources manager and learned more about the opportunity with HGR it seemed like a great fit.

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

My territory is Eastern Iowa, most of Illinois, and Northwestern Indiana. On a daily basis I travel to different manufacturing facilities to view and inspect their surplus machinery. In between visits I follow up with customers on offers we’ve made and attempt to close deals and buy the equipment.

What do you like most about your job?

Travelling and visiting different manufacturing plants. I’ve always had an interest in manufacturing and seeing how things are made. I like being on the road and meeting new people.

What’s your greatest challenge?

I’m still relatively new to the machinery industry; so, my biggest challenge so far has been learning all the different types of machinery and equipment that HGR purchases.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

Walking through HGR for the first time. It is hard to believe just how much equipment is going in and out of the facility on a daily basis. I tell customers all the time that if they get the chance they should take a trip to HGR. It’s a great place.

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

Hanging out with friends and family, traveling, golfing. My #1 hobby is watching the Chicago Cubs (sorry Indians fans).

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

My dad and my grandpa. Both have taught me through example how important it is to work hard and do things the right way. Being considerate and listening to your customers goes a long way in building relationships.

Anything I missed that you want everyone to know?

I’ve only been with HGR for just over two years but I have loved every moment of it. It’s a very good feeling to know the owners and employees all care about making the company improve on a daily basis. I look forward to continuing my career and being with HGR for a long time.

Local manufacturer’s bushings and precision-machined components used in mines all over the world

Tim Lining of SC Industries

Timothy Lining, vice president and general manager of SC Industries, Euclid, Ohio is the husband of the founder’s granddaughter, Karla. Karla’s grandfather, Karl Schulz, started the business in 1946 with two partners on Luther Ave. near East 72nd St., Cleveland. It was then called Skyway Machine Products. Later, they moved to St. Clair Ave. and then to Euclid in the 1960s because the entire family lived in the area and, eventually, his children graduated from Euclid High School. In 1973, Earl Lauridsen, the founder’s son-in-law and Tim’s father-in-law, joined the company and remains the current owner and president. In late 2003, Skyway Machine was shut down, and it was planned for the company to be liquidated because of the downturn and difficult economic conditions. However, in early 2004, new orders started to return, and a new business was formed called SC Industries to handle new orders. Tim joined the company in 2004 to temporarily “help out” in the shop and has been coming back ever since. In late 2007, Earl’s partner and brother-in-law Ralph Fross passed away. At that time, Tim took over the front office.

But, his experience in the industry predates his employment at SC Industries. He’s worked in molding and machining since 1991, is a skilled CNC programmer, earned his degree in business management in 2007 and has taken additional CNC classes at Lakeland Community College. When asked why he went into machining, he says, “I like to do things with my hands and build things. When I was younger, I had a part-time job in a shop on Saturdays and liked it and the computerized machines, as well as the new technology coming in. I said to myself, ‘I want to learn how to run one of those things.’” His current role at SC Industries involves estimating, engineering, raw materials purchase, order entry and customer communication.

SC Industries manufactures precision, hardened-metal bushings and pins that are used in off-road construction, mining, transportation, printing, packaging and other industries. The company’s machinists precision machine steel, bronze, stainless steel and other metals to create bushings — a bearing or metal lining for a round hole in which an axle revolves. In simpler terms, according to Tim, “When you see devices where something is rotating, turning, or has a bending elbow, there is a pin and bushing, so that the bushing wears out from the friction instead of the equipment’s arm assembly. Then, it can be pulled and replaced.” The company also inspects the raw materials, heat treating and finished components to make sure that they meet stringent industry standards.

One of SC Industries’ biggest customers is Caterpillar, but their bushings and pins are used all over the world in digging equipment and in haul trucks that move loads of sand, pay dirt for gold mining, and rocks to crushers. The loads weigh more than 250,000 pounds, and the trucks are used in mines in Africa, Australia, Tasmania, South America, Canada and the United States. These are not the dump trucks that you see driving down the road. The tires alone on these are taller than a person. These bushings have to be heavy duty and range in size from ¾” to 16” in diameter by 12” long.

mining truck

Twenty-five people keep the company running and orders going out, including administrative staff, a quality manager, a production manager, CNC machinists, grinding machine technicians, general labor and maintenance. Most of these employees have worked for SC Industries for many years. When Tim was asked what his greatest challenge is, he responds, as most manufacturers do, “Finding quality, new employees, but I’m willing to hire people with no experience and train them from the ground up in SC Industries’ way of doing things. We are fortunate to have a great bunch of employees.” He continues, “Years ago, the schools started pushing college prep and did away with vocational and technical training, but it’s coming back. In my son’s high school, he can take HVAC, CAD, CNC and four to five other technical trade courses as electives.”

With regard to the state of manufacturing in Ohio, he says, “Business is driven by the large OEMs (national or multinational companies). The success of small businesses depends on how they are doing, and right now they are all at full throttle. In the last year, orders have noticeably increased. When commodity pricing is driven down, mining grinds to a halt. So, certain policies help or hurt manufacturing, but we have a bright future now. In 2004, we had four or five CNC turning centers; today, we are up to about 15. One of our most recent additions gives us a nice jump in size capacity, and I’ve been told it’s one of the larger 4-axis turning centers in the area with capacity to turn 32 ½’ x 98” in length and more than 8” of Y-axis milling travel.”

In getting to know the man behind the machine, Tim was asked what inspires him. He says, “I’m a devout Christian who is inspired by Jesus, and I want to see God’s love lived out in people’s lives. The Golden Rule is how I treat my employees — the way that I want to be treated.” He also gives back to the community by machining the parts for Euclid High School’s Robotics Team’s competition battle bot, donating money to charitable organizations and being a member of the Euclid Chamber of Commerce.

He also cares about the environment. He invested in LED lights and air cleaners/mist collectors for the shop. He switched from heat blowers to radiant heat tubes that heat the equipment and walls more efficiently and make for a better environment for his employees.

Tim has three sons and his wife, Karla, of 21 years. He says, “I wear many hats, especially here at work, but I like to separate between the work and the home hats. On the work side, I generally enjoy what we do here, and since I used to run CNCs, I enjoy being around that and making things that make all of our lives better. On the family side, that is the reason I am passionate about work – to support and provide for them – but, I also am responsible to provide for their spiritual nurture and development. I also want that to come through in the way that we run our business.”

SC Industries sleeves in grind process
Sleeves in grind process

An HGR customer keeps The Stone Oven Bakery’s equipment running

Stone Oven Bakery bread

Have you ever gone to the Cedar Lee Theatre then headed to The Stone Oven afterward to have a bite to eat, coffee and discuss the movie? I belonged to an independent moviegoers group on Meetup.com that used to do just that. Little did I know that I would eventually work for a company (HGR Industrial Surplus) that supplied some of the parts to our customer Christopher Palda so that he could fix the bakery’s oven. You can read his story here where he explains this project. The oven was made in Italy, and they can’t get parts for it anymore. He had to manufacture the parts himself.

(Q&A with The Stone Oven’s Co-owner Tatyana Rehn)

When and why did you open Stone Oven Bakery?

In 1993, I had a craving for the crusty breads of my European homeland and could not find them in my new home of Cleveland, I began making my own bread then working all hours of the night to make loaves for family and friends. What started as a hobby turned into a business providing many Clevelanders with hearth-baked European bread.

In 1995, after several years of selling wholesale to restaurants and grocery stores, my husband and I decided to create a bread and pastry bakery with a European café. Our first location was in Cleveland Heights with two additional stores opening during the next 10 years in the Galleria at Erieview and in Eton-Chagrin Shopping Center. In addition to European breads and pastries, we offer soups, salads and sandwiches.

How many people work for The Stone Oven?

About 35 people in the restaurants, 11 in the bakery and three drivers

What is your favorite item on the menu?

Bread

What is your favorite style of bread?

Black bread, which is sourdough based

How did you meet Christopher Palda, HGR’s customer who has done your equipment repairs?

Through a mutual friend who worked with my ex-husband. We had a problem with our furnace at home and called the mutual friend to see if he could help. He said that he couldn’t fix it but he knew someone who could. That was 15 years ago. Since then he has repaired anything and everything at the bakery. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be in business. He has been my savior.

What happened to the oven and how was it fixed?

It wasn’t just the oven. It was the mixer and general repairs. He keeps it all running. There’s no permanent fix for the oven. It’s a constant maintenance.

What do you do when you are not baking and running the restaurant?

My partner runs the restaurant side. I run the bakery side and am in charge of bread production and the bread manufacturing business. In addition to supplying The Stone Oven, we sell wholesale to restaurants and stores. Outside of bakery time, I go to the gym, spend time with my Yorkie and travel. My next trip is to Ireland.

What inspires you?

Changing things up so that I don’t get bored, sometimes, something I’ve seen in a magazine or something that strikes my fancy. I’m not hands-on anymore and miss playing with the dough, but I turn to life and to customer feedback for inspiration.

After so many successful years in business, what advice do you have for other restaurant entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurs often don’t come for advice but they should do it more often. Do not risk more than you can afford to lose. I hate to see people destroy themselves. It’s hard to pick up the pieces when you are emotionally and financially devastated. Know your stuff! For me, baking was just a hobby, and I didn’t know how to organize and run a business. I learned on the fly and don’t recommend it to anyone. I actually, was very lucky. It was serendipity at the time because we filled a void in the community, and I had a passion.

What has been your greatest challenge?

The employees, but not in the way you might think. Like most businesses, it is hard to get and retain good employees because without them we are nothing. I don’t have that problem, though. I have a group of committed people, and many have been with me for 17-20 years. They are dedicated. My main issue is dealing with my own guilt about trying to compensate them enough but still make sense for the business. I want to be fair to them so they can have quality of life and a good standard of living. I can’t wait for the day when I am not responsible for anyone but myself.

What has been your best moment at or favorite thing about The Stone Oven?

It has to be when we were in our former location on the corner. We were there for 10-12 years in a leased space when the rent tripled. The landlord had an inquiry from a bank who wanted to buy the space; so, he thought he would increase the rent to equal the offer or else sell it. My partner printed flyers that he put on the windows and doors. This got the community out. The mayor wrote to the bank president, “Stone Oven is the fabric of our community and has to remain where it is. We have plenty of other properties that we can show you.” They cocooned us and protected us. That’s a testament to how much we mean to the community. We are a neighborhood joint and want to be people’s home away from home. Shortly after that, the opportunity to buy our current location arose; so, we moved down a block and have owned our building for 13 years. We’re a family business and people know us personally. The items on the menu are named after members of the family, including my two daughters who worked here for years.

What does the future look like?

We’ve signed a five-year lease in Eton, but we have no plans to expand with new locations.

Tatyana Rehn, owner Stone Oven Bakery

Cleveland Institute of Art graduate and HGR customer works as industrial designer

Greg Martin recording paper cyanotype

 

(Q&A with Greg Martin, director of design, Kichler Lighting)

Why did you decide to go to school at Cleveland Institute of Art?

I went to a college-prep Catholic high school with not even a generic art class. In spite of this, all I knew is I wanted to go to art school. Despite the best efforts of my teachers, my parents, and the school counselor (whose career testing indicated I was best suited to be a farmer), I convinced my parents enough that they agreed to let me apply at CIA. CIA was the only choice as I knew it was a great school, and it was close to home (meaning I could save money and live at home). I started at CIA intent on going into illustration, but changed course last minute to industrial design.

 What is your best memory of CIA or what did you learn that got you to where you are today?

Best memory of CIA is being able to explore and delve into many different mediums, despite being an industrial design major — glass, sculpture, printmaking, and ceramics. All were amazing experiences. Back then the five-year program allowed for much “play” outside of your major, which had a great impact on me. I learned how to think and to ask “what if.” I also learned that the more you worked the more you got out of it. Richard Fiorelli, who I had the pleasure of having for sophomore design, was the most influential professor by far in my five years at CIA. I didn’t realize it until much later in my career. I just wish I had the foresight to have known it when I was back in school as I would have spent more time with him.

Do you consider yourself an artist or a maker?

Artist

 What do you create and with what types of materials?

Sculpture, furniture, decorative objects (functional and non-functional), ceramics, photographic images

 How long have you been an HGR customer?

Fellow CIA Student Matt Beckwith introduced me to HGR in 2005 or 2006.

 What have found at HGR that you incorporated into your work?

This list could go on for pages, literally. Everything from things I incorporated into sculptures (firehoses, chains, conveyor belts, tooling, robotic parts, electronics), to items used in the creation of art and furniture, but not incorporated into the final piece (cameras, microscopes, misc. lenses, clamps, etc.), to items that help me in preparing to create (mixing bottles, rinse trays, etc.) I also have used HGR for materials in creating for my work (old tools and hardware for creating NERF gun prototypes), as well as for inspiration for my design work in the toy and the lighting fields.

Would you recommend HGR to other artists and makers?

Not only would I recommend it, I would say it’s a must for all creative artists/makers.

What do you do when you are not creating art? Career? Hobbies?

I am an industrial designer/product designer; so, “creating” makes up the bulk of what I do. I have taken field trips with our design team at work to get inspiration from walking the aisles of HGR. I also play guitar and banjo when time allows.

What inspires you?

Just about anything/everything. I try to keep my eyes and mind open to seeing as much as I can and asking “what if.” Creative people and creative solutions inspire me.

Where can we find your work?

My website (in progress) is gmartinstudio.com.

Greg Martin share chair/bench

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Lunch by the Lake

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

Kick off the summer with lunch on June 21 from 12-1 p.m. on the terrace at Henn Mansion, 23131 Lakeshore Blvd., overlooking the lake. Bring your business cards for a chance to win a door prize (and, of course, to share with others).  Updated information on chamber member benefits and discount programs will be available. Please click here to register. The cost is $15 for members and $20 for non-members.

High school senior takes senior photos at HGR Industrial Surplus

John Willett senior picture at HGR Industrial Surplus

(Q&A with John Willett, Strongsville High School and Polaris Career Center graduating senior)

Where did you go to high school?

Strongsville High School and Polaris Career Center for precision CNC machining

Where are you future career plans?

I do not have college plans at this point.  I worked full time as a temp at Efficient Machine Products during summer 2017, returned through Polaris’ early placement program and am now working there full time.

What is your intended career path?

I want to become a CNC machinist.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not in school?

Tinkering and learning engineering, metal and woodworking through videos, especially about military application and armor. I don’t read much because it’s time consuming. I prefer to listen and watch videos. Currently, I watch a lot of gun and history-related content. I find the inner workings of guns to be fascinating.

How did you hear about HGR Industrial Surplus?

Through my step-dad who is an engineer for Ramco.

Why are you a customer?

I like the wide selection and varying things offered.  Great prices

What types of things have you bought at HGR and how have you used them?

Various.  My step-dad’s company buys and sells to HGR. I recently bought a blower fan and plan on making plate armor out of it.

What inspires you?

Creativity.  I have a lot of ideas that I like to explore in discussion and action. I pull most of my inspiration from video games, movies and YouTube.

What made you decide to do your senior pictures at HGR?

My mom asked me, and it was the first place I thought of. I also think it’s a neat place and would be something special for my photos.

John Willett senior picture at HGR Industrial SurplusJohn Willett senior picture at HGR Industrial SurplusJohn Willett senior picture at HGR Industrial Surplus

3D designer also creates sculptures with objects found at HGR

Matthew Beckwith, partner at Photonic Studio, and HGR Industrial Surplus customer

Why did you decide to go to school at Cleveland Institute of Art?

I originally wanted to be a car designer. CIA was a better fit for me than other schools focused on automotive design that were located in Detroit and San Francisco. After trying cars for a year, I decided product design was a better fit for me.

What is your best memory of CIA?

Some of my best memories from CIA came from classes taught by Richard Fiorelli. His classes had a hands-on approach to working with materials that delivered results I would otherwise not think to sketch out. This hands-on concept of “play” to iterate concepts is something that has stuck with me throughout my career.

Do you consider yourself an artist or a maker?

I guess I would say “designer.” For my day job (creative director /partner at Photonic Studio), I make things for other people to communicate and visualize their ideas. I suppose that I am a “maker” as a hobby because I love to tinker and experiment.

[editor’s note: Photonic creates 3D architectural renderings, product renderings 3D illustration, animation and interactive environments. These photos showcase some of their work.]

What do you make and with what types of materials?

With materials from HGR I have made some various sculptures. I have worked with everything from charts and thermocromatic graph papers, to conveyor belts and giant rubber bands. Often the bulk nature of materials at HGR lends itself to play and experimentation. I, generally, like to look for unique things that are on their way to scrap and can be purchased for as little as possible. I like the idea that we can upcycle things that were on their way to the landfill or scrapyard.

How long have you been an HGR customer?

My first trip to HGR was in 2005ish.

What have found at HGR that you incorporated into your work?

Unique chart and graph papers, thermocromatic papers, robot parts, conveyor chains, giant drill bits, refractory bricks. Too much to list, honestly.

Would you recommend HGR to other artists and makers?

Always. Aside from being super interesting to look around, it offers all sorts of things you just wouldn’t find at Home Depot or an arts store.

What do you do when you are not doing your personal work?

I am a designer at Photonic Studio. We are a creative and visualization agency that focuses on 3D modeling for animation and interactive. Lately, this means we are working on lots of exciting projects in augmented and virtual reality. Traditionally, we have worked with clients in design fields, as well as marketing and communications teams at all sorts of companies.

What inspires you?

I love being optimistic about the future. The ability to work with new technologies and create interactive experiences that could not happen in the physical world is exciting. I also have a love for manufacturing and find the process and tools of production to be beautiful. Often the limitations of a process or technology give me something to reach for as I develop concepts. Also science. I love NASA, SpaceX, JPL, LHC, NIF, and all sorts of amazing machines built for science.

Where can we find your work?

My day-to-day work can be seen at www.photonicstudio.com.

Ford truck rendering by Photonic Studio 3D illustration by Photonic Studio 3D illustration by Photonic Studio 3D architectural rendering by Photonic Studio 3D architectural rendering by Photonic Studio motion graphic by Photonic Studio

Rules for the revolution

clock with change

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Alex Pendleton, Big Ideas for Small Companies powered by the MPI Group)

Alec Pendleton

In my last blog in March — “Time For A Revolution” — I described experiences I’ve had with organizations in need of major change. Now I’d like to look at principles I’ve found helpful in starting down the turbulent path ahead. Revolution is possible without them, but it runs a lot more smoothly when they are followed. I’ll focus on manufacturing, because that’s where I’ve had most of my experience, but the principles apply in any situation.

First, you’ve got to have a vision — and in the more detail, the better. Every factory runs on a variety of systems: to initiate orders, to schedule workstations, to store inventory, to measure efficiency, to assure quality, and many more. Some of these are clean applications of specific theories (Just-in-Time, Theory of Constraints, etc.), while others may have started clean, but have degenerated over time. Others were simply made up as the company went along. Typically, whatever symptom has triggered your need for revolution – bad delivery, quality problems, inventory issues – is the result of a breakdown of one or more of these systems.

It’s always tempting at this point to look for a silver bullet. You read an article (or a blog!), or go to a seminar, and you have an “Aha!” moment. “That’s it! Lean manufacturing [or whatever has caught your fancy] is the answer! All we have to do is install that, and our problems will vanish!” But “all we have to do …” is a dangerous statement.  If you leap into major change without fully understanding the implications —and potential unintended consequences — you’re likely to trade the old problem for a new one.

So: Think it through! Envision every step of the way, and how each step will affect everything around it. Imagine what might go wrong, and have a plan to fix everything. Obviously, you can’t do this to perfection, but the more thinking and planning you do before you go live, the better chance you’ll have of a smooth launch.

Next, clear the decks! STOP doing things that aren’t working. Early in my career, I struggled with a small company with three unrelated divisions. The largest was a perpetual headache, consuming most of management’s attention in exchange for occasional small profits. A second division was tiny, and an also-ran in its market, overshadowed by larger and more professional competitors. The third was starved for resources, but had potential — and was central to my vision of what the company could become. But before I could work on that vision, I had to get rid of the other two divisions. I sold the larger one, to a yet-larger and more professional competitor, and I closed the tiny one. Rid of those distractions, I was then able to concentrate on my vision. Sales quadrupled in seven years, and we turned a chronic loss into a perpetual profit.

Similarly, in another plant later in my career, there was a peripheral product line that we struggled to produce. Quality and efficiency were inadequate, and we invested enormous effort into trying to fix it. Our sales team felt that the product was important to our overall offering, so I arranged to simply buy the stuff, marked with our label, from a competitor. Profitability improved, but even more important, we removed a distraction — allowing us to focus on our primary business.

Before you start your revolution, ask yourself two questions:

  1. Do you have a detailed vision?
  2. Even more important, can you rid yourself of distractions so that you can focus on the vision?

I’ll have more rules for revolution in my next blog!

Bitesize Business Workshop: Exploring different learning styles

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at Moore Counseling & Mediation Services, 22639 Euclid Ave., Euclid, Ohio on June 14 from 8:30-10 a.m. for an educational discussion. The workshop will be presented by Matthew Selker and Dr. Dale Hartz.

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

Please RSVP to Jasmine Poston at 216-404-1900 or jposton@moorecounseling.com.

Bitesize Business Workshop: Financial Workshop for Small Businesses I

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at Euclid Public Library, 631 E. 222nd St., Euclid, Ohio, on June 12 from 8:30-10 a.m. for an educational discussion. Are you thinking of starting a business? Or have you been in business for several years? If so, this workshop was designed for you. It will cover:

  • Finances 101
  • Startup expenses
  • Cash vs. accrual accounting
  • Separating personal and business expenses
  • Budgets and financial planning
  • Q&A session

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

Please register here.

Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition opening reception June 1

Waterloo Arts juried exhibition Damp by Katy Richards
“Damp” by Katy Richards

The annual Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition is presented in partnership with Praxis Fiber Workshop and Brick Ceramic + Studio Design with artwork selected by 2018 Guest Juror Ray Juaire, senior exhibitions manager at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland. The work of 87 artists from the U.S. and Canada will be on display at Waterloo Arts, Praxis Fiber Workshop and Brick Ceramic + Design Studio. Awards are sponsored by Brick Ceramic + Design Studio, CAN Journal, Praxis Fiber Workshop, The Sculpture Garden, Waterloo Arts, and Zygote Press, Inc. Meet the 2018 juror and participating artists on June 1 from 6-9 p.m. during the districtwide opening reception at 15605 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland, featuring live music and light refreshments.

The show will run from June 1 to July 21, 2018.

Registration is open for youth summer arts camp on Waterloo Road

Waterloo Arts Round Robin summer arts camp

This summer, local nonprofit Waterloo Arts will be bringing back last year’s Round Robin summer arts camp. Waterloo Arts’ Board President Danielle Uva enrolled her two boys, 10 and 7, at the time in the camp last summer. Her children went to several camps that summer, but Round Robin she says, “was by far their favorite camp.” They found the time spent with professional artists in their own spaces and the galleries and studios around Waterloo where the camp is held to be intimate and, therefore, more engaging. The setup of the camp is such that students learn from professional artists about a new medium each day, such as ceramics or printing, and make a small project in the day’s medium.

Waterloo Arts itself is a community space, and the organization encourages a culture where the students to feel ownership over the space and freedom to experiment. The instruction and setting made the students feel like they were part of something bigger than themselves, and a year later, Uva’s children still talk about what they did at Waterloo. For instance, the students screen printed T-shirts last year, and the boys take great pride in wearing something that they conceived and made. Not only do they still wear the shirts though, they even reflect on what they would change about their design. They felt empowered to make something completely their own, and they self-reflect on the process.

There was one day of the camp last year when the students focused on fiber art and were taught at Praxis how to dye fabric and how to felt. Praxis is a nonprofit organization that functions as a cooperative textile studio, offering classes, studio space, and communal space for all fiber arts processes such as weaving, fabric design, and spinning yarn. Jessica Pinsky, executive director, expects students this year to focus on felting. Pinsky’s goal for the students is to get them thinking about where the fabric comes from and how it is made—how their blanket started out as fiber which was turned into cloth and then eventually a blanket their parents bought at a store. Pinsky hopes that students feel empowered by being able to create something. The process of having an idea and following it through the process of execution to create a tangible item gives people of any age the feeling of ownership.

This year, the two-week long camp will run twice, July 9-20 and July 23-August 3, on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon and is only $200 for two weeks. It is open to children ages 6-13. This year’s iteration of the camp will be similar to last year’s: students will be taught daily by professional, local artists who specialize in fiber arts, ceramics, printing, street art, graphic design, woodworking, yoga, stained glass, and more. Each day of the camp focuses on one of these specialties, and the students get to know and use the different maker-spaces and galleries on Waterloo. They will visit and/or work with Praxis Fiber Workshop; Brick Ceramic + Design Studio; Agnes Studio; Rust, Dust & Other Four-Letter Words; Tattoo and Graffiti Artist Chris Poke; Azure Stained Glass; Pop Life Yoga Studio; and others.

HGR Industrial Surplus is invested in S.T.E.[A.]M. (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education and engaging young people in activities that encourage them to choose career fields in these areas. To that end, we’ve made a donation earmarked for the art camp to Waterloo Arts. If you don’t have kids in this age bracket to send, you might consider another method of support as an investment in our community and our children.

For more information, to donate or to register for the camp, visit waterlooarts.org.

Community motorcycle garage owner invests in mobile shop for middle and high schoolers

Brian Schaffran of Skidmark Garage

(Q&A with Brian Schaffran, owner, Skidmark Garage, a community motorcycle garage)

When and why did you move back to Cleveland and buy your first motorcycle?

I moved back to Cleveland from Los Angeles in 2000 after going through a divorce and not being able to rent an apartment due to my abysmal credit. I was essentially homeless and moved from friend’s place to friend’s place for several months before biting the bullet and coming back home to live in my childhood bedroom and finish my teaching degree at CSU. On my way to school one morning in 2001, I spotted an old motorcycle for sale in some guy’s front yard. Like deep shag carpeting, it was 70’s ugly, but it beckoned. I had never owned a motorcycle up to that point, but for some reason I was drawn in immediately. I bought it, and because I knew nothing about it, I soon took it to the nearest Honda motorcycle dealer hoping to get it tuned up. Well, most dealerships won’t work on old bikes – and with good reason. When you fix something on an old bike, something else breaks soon afterward – something unrelated – and the timing of the next broken item points to the last person to work on it. So, a service department at a dealership begins losing its ass on having to fix and fix and fix because it all appears to be the dealership’s fault that things keep breaking.

What motorcycles do you now own?

Since buying that CB750, I have since acquired several more old Hondas – a CB350, a CX500, a Goldwing, a 1965 Dream, and a CB500. But who has time to work on a bike when trying to keep a business alive? Not only do I not work on other people’s motorcycles, but I don’t even work on my own. For starters, I am not allowed to work on anyone else’s motorcycle. Otherwise, Skidmark Garage can be reclassified as a traditional mechanic’s garage and subject to all kinds of city, county, and state regulations. Also, since I spend every waking moment trying to get the word out about this place, I not only have no time to fix my motorcycles, but I also have no time to ride. For the most part, I haven’t ridden in a good two or three years. I used to ride every day, rain or shine, from March until December. Back then, I needed it to remind me to enjoy life while working for The Man. Now, I’m The Man, and I don’t have that overwhelming urge to ride like I used to. I’m just as happy to see the members of Skidmark Garage ride out on something they built or fixed themselves.

What’s it been like to be a business owner?

Being a business owner means fighting to keep my dream a reality every single day. My girlfriend, Molly Vaughan, works very hard to keep me grounded and does her best to remind me that balance in one’s life is important. Skidmark’s published hours, as expansive as they may appear, are actually non-stop. It is a rare occasion these days to find nobody working on a motorcycle at any given hour of the day or night. This place is almost never empty of souls. I’ve poured my entire being into this business – a business that is so foreign to most that advertising is typically not possible. Owning this business has meant educating people about a business concept that simply does not exist in most Americans’ brains. Now that the concept is starting to catch on, traditional marketing might be able to actually do some good. I am here a LOT.

Why did you locate where you are now?

It’s important for Skidmark Garage to be located in the same building as other creatives and makers. Soulcraft Woodshop has virtually the same business model as Skidmark Garage (member-based and DIY), and we were in the same building previous to the current location. A few years ago, when Soulcraft spoke of putting together a collaborative that included Ingenuity Cleveland and ReBuilders Xchange, I insisted Skidmark be a part of it. This new location afforded Skidmark three times the square footage at a lower monthly rent than the previous location. The current owners of this building were sympathetic to all of our start-up statuses and seemed to buy into our effort for collaboration. Being in this building with so many creative people is important for those creative types. They feed off each other and help each other constantly. We’ve got quite the collection of oddballs in this building. I’m proud to be included, although I do not consider myself creative…at all.

Any plans for expansion?

Skidmark now has 10 fully stocked bays, but it will be 12 bays in another month or so. The membership plateaued at about 20 members for a year or two, and then doubled in the last few months since the motorcycle show at the IX Center in January. Climbing to 40 members has been eye opening with regard to space usage. There’s rarely more than 8 people working on their motorcycles at once, but if the trend continues, I may need to up the amount of bays to 14.

Where do you get items for your garage?

Key to the success of this place is access to used machinery, carts and shelving from HGR Industrial Surplus. When I opened Skidmark, I’d never heard of HGR. The guys from Soulcraft made me aware of it, and my outlook immediately changed. The tough thing about HGR is the tendency for me to drift toward hoarding. I want every machine in that place. I can convince myself that the members of Skidmark will benefit from an envelope-stuffing machine if you give me enough time. But with space being the premium here, shelving and carts are way more valuable than I would have ever guessed. I’m hoping to score a Bridgeport and a lathe sooner than later.

How do you deal with the disappearance of tools?

Years ago, when discussing my dream of opening a community motorcycle garage, EVERYONE’S first response was a question about how am I going to guard against theft of tools? So, I made plans to prevent it, plans to monitor everything, plans to replace stolen items…but none of it ever came to be. Nobody has ever stolen so much as a screwdriver from Skidmark Garage. The members feel ownership of everything in here and have no interest in stealing what they already feel is their own.

Do people help each other out?

The beauty of Skidmark Garage is the willingness of everyone to help each other. All members are expected to help and can expect to receive help. Between the Wi-Fi, the library of manuals that Clymer/Haynes donated, and the knowledge of the people in the garage, just about any problem can be solved. We have a few members here who are extremely knowledgeable about certain aspects of motorcycles, and even though they very well could ask for compensation for their assistance, they never do. It is a community in the truest sense of the word.

Are members allowed to bring guests or helpers with them?

I encourage members to bring their friends to help. Wrenching on a bike with a friend or two is a great way to hang out and be productive. It’s a great way to learn and meet other people. Some members bring their kids, some bring their spouse, some bring parents. The more the merrier.

Is there an insurance liability concern?

The liability on such a business was a huge concern – not only for Skidmark Garage, but for the other 40 community motorcycle garages around the world. Obviously, Soulcraft Woodshop had the same issue — What insurance company will insure all the tools AND the regular Joe off the street using potentially dangerous tools? Thankfully, Soulcraft found the perfect insurance company for them, and they were able to insure Skidmark, as well.

Has someone ever dropped a bike, not paid and not come back?

Since opening Skidmark in spring 2015, there have been a few people who have effectively abandoned their motorcycles. They are not reachable in any fashion; therefore, the bikes take up precious room, and I have no recourse. Maybe I’ll hang them from the ceiling just to get them out of the way. At this point, I don’t even want money from them. I just want the bikes gone.

I see that you offer beginner welding classes. What do students do in the classes?

Every month, Skidmark and Soulcraft jointly host a MIG welding workshop. So far, since the workshop is for beginners, nothing but scrap metal gets welded. Nobody is building any structures of any kind in that workshop, they’re mostly learning how to lay down a few different kind of welds. Recently, we’ve added a TIG welding workshop, which sold out before it was even advertised. MOTUL Oil is coming into Skidmark to offer free oil changes to the members of Skidmark, and during Fuel Cleveland there will be a few demonstrations/workshops in which to take part. I would really like to have a women’s only night that encourages the ladies to fix their own motorcycles and shows them not only the basics, but some of the more advanced functions and how to fix them when those systems fail. Women have not been encouraged to learn how to wrench on machines. This needs to change — not just for the survival of the motorcycle industry, but for the survival of everything. It’s crazy to say, but women are possibly this country’s largest untapped resource.

Skidmark Garage welding class

What inspires you?

I’m continually inspired by the process of learning. That feeling is life-changing. I did everything I could to get my students to experience it when I was a teacher, and I get all excited when I see someone in Skidmark Garage learning. More learning happens in Skidmark Garage than in ANY high school. Real and legitimate learning happens when you “do.” Sitting in a classroom forces a teacher to try and recreate the “doing” in order to wake up that internal motivation to learn. There are few things more difficult than trying to get kids to learn through abstract exercises. There is nothing abstract inside these walls. The learning, the doing, the experiencing, the community — it’s all real; it all matters; and it all makes a difference.

Any words of advice to motorcyclists?

If I could bend the ear of every motorcyclist on the planet, I would explain to them the importance of knowing your machine. When your car breaks down, you’re stranded. When your motorcycle breaks down, you might end up dumping it, and you are exposed to the elements once you have to stop. There are so many other factors that make motorcycling far more risky (and therefore rewarding) than driving a car. A motorcyclist, especially one riding a vintage motorcycle, MUST know how to troubleshoot and at least patch most issues to get him/her to the next safe spot. Every motorcyclist should know where the nearest community motorcycle garage is located, because the owners of these garages and their members are there to help.

What’s next?

My next move is to get a mobile shop class going. Through my non-profit, Skidmark CLE, I will be taking a large trailer to three high schools (or middle schools) per day, getting a dozen kids out to the trailer, and teaching them how to break down an entire motorcycle, take the engine apart, and then reassemble the whole thing. It will culminate in starting the motorcycle at the end of the semester. Shop class does not exist in most high schools, thanks to state-mandated testing. Too many kids are graduating from high school without being even close to well-rounded. The shop class is not intended to push the students toward a life of mechanics, rather it is to give them a real sense of learning — nothing abstract will happen in that trailer. They’ll learn how to use basic tools, how to use the metric system, how an internal combustion engine works, how to read an instruction manual, and how to work together as a team. I don’t think I can provide anything more important to these kids than giving them the confidence to manipulate a machine and to fix something that is broken. Once they experience real learning inside the Skidmark CLE mobile shop class, they’ll be eager to learn in other areas of their lives. I hope to have this program rolling by spring semester 2019. With this mobile shop class, the school does not need to invest in the tools, the classroom, or the teacher. I have a handful of schools willing to sign up; I just need more funders to make it possible. This program will have profound and long-lasting effects on Cleveland. Using the hands and the brains at the same time to accomplish real goals will positively change the life of every student that takes the class.

Skidmark Garage with bikes in the shop and customer working

 

Photos provided courtesy of Mark Adams Pictures

Fourth-generation metalworking shop works to generate student interest in manufacturing careers

Beverage Machine & Fabricators machined part
Part (convector plate) before machining
Beverage Machine & Fabricators part being machined
Part during machining
Beverage machine & fabricators finished machined part
Part after machining

In 1904, George Hewlett founded Cleveland Union Engineering Company in Cleveland’s Flats area. The company handled industrial metal manufacturing, welding, fabrication and steel erection. Hewlett’s daughter married John Geiger, who is the grandfather of the current owner, also John Geiger, and great-grandfather of Jake who also works for the company. In the 1920s, it began to develop and build equipment for the distillery and brewing industries to clean and pasturize milk jugs and beer bottles, hence a name change to Beverage Engineering. In the 1940s, it moved to its current location on Lakewood Heights Boulevard and transitioned its focus from beverage machines to machining for the war effort, and in 1957 it found its current incarnation as Beverage Machine & Fabricators, Inc. What do these changes signify? Adaptability! And, Beverage Machine has found its niche.

Though the company no longer is part of the beverage machine industry, it has continued its journey in the metalworking industry and now machines (cuts or finishes) hard-to-machine metal parts made from inconel, monel, stainless steel and titanium. It also has larger machines that can handle bigger, heavier pieces (up to 10 feet in diameter and 24,000 pounds) for the steel, energy, power, mining, nuclear, aerospace and defense industries. For example, it did a project for SpaceX last year, a company that designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. Beverage Machine also only handles one-off pieces and smaller orders rather than high-volume production. Its orders range from one to 25 pieces at a time. Five years ago, it added waterjet cutting to its capability, which broke the company out of traditional metal machining. Using the waterjet, the company has done work for sign and glass companies and machined the glass awards for last year’s Tri-C JazzFest. With one piece of equipment, it expanded capacity and its customer base.

All of Beverage Machine’s customers are regional, and they are served by only 16 employees. The company mainly employees machinists and is looking to and is willing to train a suitable candidate. Josh Smith, Beverage Machine’s waterjet technician, says that the impact on today’s labor problem started years ago when schools did away with shop programs and put the focus on college prep. He’s worked for the company for 16 years, and his dad has been the plant manager for 25 years. He says, “When I went to school, the perception was that JVS [joint vocational school] was where the stoners and illiterates went and that everyone who can think goes to college.” He says that in five years everyone in the industry will be retiring, and there’s going to be a shortage of skilled labor. He adds that the industry has to reach students when they are 11 or 12 to show them that jobs in manufacturing are cool and innovative. To that end, he has started “ThinkSpark,” a grassroots movement to create a foundation in Lorain County to inspire and mentor youth to consider careers in manufacturing, to partner with schools and connect children with technical programs, to develop a makerspace for youth in the program, and to create a robotic competition similar to AWT’s RoboBots that takes place every April at Lakeland Community College.

John Geiger relates that the manufacturing industry in the area is healthy, but that his biggest challenge, which is the same for all manufacturers, is finding skilled labor or even unskilled labor who are interested in technical training. Recently, he met with representatives from Lorain County Community College about bringing students in for an apprenticeship training program.

From Founder John Geiger to his son, John Geiger, a machinist, to his son, John Geiger, a history major and sales specialist, to his son, John, aka Jake, Geiger, a business management major, the company has stayed in the hands of this capable family for four generations. John says about his business, “There is enough domestic need, and our niche gives us enough work. China can’t serve these industries because customers have a part dependency and need it today.” He shares, “I get satisfaction in seeing what we create every day. It’s a tangible result.” His son, Jake, adds, “It’s rewarding to have a part come in and see the finished part leave the shop.” As Josh Smith sums up, “What sets John apart is that he can see the greater good and a need. He sees what we can do for the next generation. It’s not about making money. It’s about family.

Beverage Machine & Fabricators shop with gantry crane
One of two shops and the gantry crane used to lift heavy parts

 

HGR’s 2017 scholarship recipient gives an update on his first year of college

HGR's 2017 STEM Scholarship Recipient Connor Hoffman

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Connor Hoffman, HGR Industrial Surplus 2017 S.T.E.M. Scholarship recipient)

Since last August, I have been enrolled at the University of Cincinnati. During my time in college I have learned a lot both academically and about myself. It was difficult adjustment to live on my own and take responsibility for all aspects of my life. I didn’t have anyone to tell me to go to class, or when to do work or study. That meant I had to take it upon myself to schedule those tasks. Eventually, I got all that stuff figured out.

I also met a lot of new people during my time in college. I made friends with people from around both Ohio and America, and even people from other countries.  It’s a big change, but a welcome one, to go somewhere that is so diverse. Another new experience was living with three other people. What I call “tennis shoes” they call “gym shoes,” which is pretty shocking.

Since I am pursuing a degree in Information Technology, I took a wide range of technology-related courses, such as database management, programing, networking, and information security. Since these classes are in a STEM field, they require problem-solving and analytical-thinking skills. Programming for example, allows for problems to be solved in a number of creative ways. Problem solving and troubleshooting also are useful in life, in addition to being helpful in STEM classes.

As part of my degree, I have to intern each summer at somewhere technology related. The job search was a long process, and I went to a lot of interviews, but, ultimately, this summer I will be working at Progressive Insurance as a help desk specialist. I am excited to get some real-world experience and to put my skills to the test.

HGR’s 2018 S.T.E.M. scholarship presented to Euclid High School senior

Evan Ritchey (center) accepting the 2018 HGR Industrial Surplus S.T.E.M. Scholarship with his parents
Evan Ritchey (center) accepting the 2018 HGR Industrial Surplus S.T.E.M. Scholarship with his parents

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Tina Dick, HGR’s human resources manager)

On Thursday, May 10, 2018, HGR had the honor of presenting the 2018 HGR Industrial Surplus S.T.E.M. Scholarship to Evan Ritchey, a Euclid High School senior.

The $2,000 HGR S.T.E.M. Scholarship is awarded to students who have a desire to receive a higher education in a science, technology, engineering or math field.

Evan received his scholarship at the Senior Awards Dinner at the Irish American Club held to honor more than 300 Euclid students in grades 8-12. While students in grades 8-11 were awarded medals for academic excellence, graduating seniors received scholarships from more than 41 organizations.

Evan, who also received seven other scholarships, will be attending Cleveland State University where he will pursue a degree in electrical engineering.

 

It’s time for another auction!

auction gavel

 

Auction Location

500,000-square-foot tool shop of Autolite

205 W. Jones Rd.

Fostoria, OH 44830

Auction Date – May 22 at 9 a.m.

Inspection Date – May 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Click here for a complete list of items and to register to bid.

Retired Cleveland Institute of Art industrial design instructor finds inspiration at Euclid City Council meetings

Richard Fiorelli Cleveland Institute of Art

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Richard Fiorelli, artist and retired instructor)

How did you first become involved with Cleveland Institute of Art?

When I was in fourth grade, I received a scholarship from Euclid’s Upson Elementary School to attend Saturday children’s art classes at Cleveland Institute of Art.

What is your best memory of CIA?

In fourth grade I discovered that the art school had a candy machine and a 10:30 a.m. morning break from the strenuous task of creating children’s art. I was pretty much hooked from that moment on.

Do you consider yourself an artist or a maker?

My Uncle Sam rightfully considers me to be a retired art teacher. I taught design for 32 years at Cleveland Institute of Art.

What types of materials do you use to create your art?

Pen and paper is all that I require to be quite content sketching…for now.

How did you find out about HGR Industrial Surplus?

I tagged along with CIA Students Matt Beckwith and Greg Martin on their spirited explorations throughout the vast interiors of HGR. They hit the ground running, and I followed along.

Why would you recommend HGR to other artists and makers?

To quote Greg Martin, “HGR is a candy store of unexpected materials awaiting a curious mind and creative spirit.”

What do you do when you are not creating art?

I love to read — most recently Tribe by Sebastian Junger, which was brought to my attention by Councilperson Christine McIntosh. Euclid Public Library is an inexhaustible resource.

Where do you create your work?

You can usually find me sketching at Euclid City Council meetings.

What inspires you?

Not what, but who. The Zen master of all things design is undoubtedly Ni Tram. Beyond Ni Tram there are of course Matt Beckwith and Greg Martin. Of special note is Frank Hoffert, a retired Euclid High School teacher, who first introduced me to Euclid City Council meetings 40 years ago. It has proven to be an inexhaustible resource for sketching from life.

Anything else that you would like to share?

Heed the advice of Councilperson Reverend Brian T. Moore regarding the importance of a conversation. You never know where it might lead.

Euclid City Council by Richard Fiorelli
Euclid City Council
portrait sketches by Richard Fiorelli
portrait sketches
Coffee with a Cop Euclid Policeman Edward Bonchak
Coffee with a Cop Euclid Policeman Edward Bonchak
self-portrait by Richard Fiorelli
self-portrait

Mark your calendars for the 2018 F*SHO at HGR Industrial Surplus

F*SHO

 

Back for a second time at HGR Industrial Surplus, but in a different space in the front of the building in our Incoming/Receiving area, we’ll be hosting Amanda and Jason Radcliffe’s F*SHO, a contemporary and industrial furniture design show, for one night on Sept. 14 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. It’s still free and put on courtesy of 44 Steel. There’s still beer and a DJ spinning some tunes. But, this year we will have a variety of food trucks so that the food doesn’t run out! Last year was such a success with more approximately 3,000 attendees that you won’t want to miss it. If you did, you can read about last year’s show here.

As more details become available, we’ll be posting them here on HGR’s blog and on our Facebook and Twitter sites. Stay tuned!

If you are interested in exhibiting at the show, contact Jason or Amanda at 44 Steel at info@44steel.com.

We’re having a raffle every day May 14-18 to celebrate our 20th anniversary!

raffle tickets for HGR Industrial Surplus anniversary raffle and giveaway

Click here to find out about the prizes worth $20,000 that will be given away every day May 14-18. You get one free ticket each day just for walking in the door! We also will have free food on THREE days that week for our customers (breakfast burritos on Monday, ribs on Wednesday, Philly cheesesteak on Friday). Come help us celebrate our 20th anniversary.

Euclid High School robotics team gives it their all in battle bot competition

Euclid High School RoboBots robotics team 2018

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Joe Powell, HGR’s graphic designer)

Euclid High School’s robotic team, The Untouchables, set out to improve on last year’s finish, and did they ever. On April 28, 2018, teams from all over Northeastern Ohio met to do battle at the AWT RoboBots Competition at Lakeland Community College.

AWT RoboBots 2018 at Lakeland Community College

With last year’s bot suffering from lack of mobility, this year they put their focus into making their bot lightning fast. Their work paid off because their bot was considerably faster and more agile than its predecessor. Euclid didn’t have to wait long for its first win. Anxious for their bot to be battle tested, The Untouchables watched and waited as the other team didn’t bother to show up. While it was a victory, they still had no clue how their bot would do under fire.

After a short wait, it was finally time. The Wickliffe Metal Devils were their first opponent, and The Untouchables’ bot, Elliot Ness, did not disappoint. Euclid struck first sending the other bot two feet in the air. On the second hit, however, things took a turn for the worse. Euclid’s weapon hit with such strong impact that it destroyed the stabilizer bar on the top and sheared off bolts to attach it. The weapon was out of service but the match went on. The Untouchables used their mobility to repeatedly pin Wickliffe’s bot and leave with the win. The victory was short lived as they scrambled to put their weapon back together enough to compete.

Euclid High School Robotics Team watching the 2018 AWT RoboBots cage match
Euclid High School Robotics Team watching the 2018 AWT RoboBots cage match

Next up was a tough Mentor team that was all business. Not knowing how their weapon fix would hold up, Euclid went into battle without reservation. The first hit changed it all by knocking the weapon back offline. Mentor took advantage of this and attacked swiftly, which caused The Untouchables to blow the horn and call the match in order to not cause further damage to the bot. The back plate was knocked off, and it left the motors exposed. Continuing that match was not an option.

The team went back to work to try and repair the bot by any means necessary. After their loss, Euclid was put in the loser’s bracket in a match against Riverside by using their speed and agility, but the weapon still wasn’t working. They advanced to the semi-finals in the loser’s bracket where they lost decidedly to last year’s champs, the A-Tech Machinist. Overall, it was good showing for an up-and-coming team who is more than capable of finding their weaknesses and fixing them for the next year.

Euclid High School AWT RoboBots 2018 team at work on their robot
Euclid High School AWT RoboBots 2018 team at work on their robot

In the end, the victor was Cleveland Heights High Schools robotics team. They received a $250 award check for first place from HGR Industrial Surplus.

2018 AWT RoboBots winners Cleveland Heights High School

We look forward to next year’s competition!

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Small Business Breakfast

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

On May 9, 2018, Euclid Public Library and the Euclid Chamber of Commerce are teaming up to show small businesses the roadmap to success at Euclid Public Library from 8:30-10 a.m.. Hear from experts about how to get the information and guidance you need to start or grow your business.

This is a FREE event but please register here.

Stained-glass company serves regional customers for more than 30 years

Pete Billington of Whitney Stained Glass working on a skylight

When you walk into the entry of Whitney Stained Glass where the uncut glass of every color is stored, it’s like entering a secret garden or the back, private, work area of a museum. There’s magic taking place, and things of beauty all around. The talent of the five full-time and two part-time employees is astounding. All have been with the company for at least five to six years. They make, restore, install and store stained glass windows and doors, as well as skylights, chandeliers, mosaics, lamps, backsplashes, and other unique restoration projects. The current and second owner, Pete Billington, says that working in the stained-glass business takes a specific skill set: drawing and illustration ability for new work, an understanding of geometry, handiness, having a good “eye,” attention to detail, construction ability, no fear of heights, carefulness, and the ability to lift and carry heavy objects.

Whitney Stained Glass raw glass supplies

The shop is comprised of four rooms on the first floor and an upstairs. On the ground floor is the drawing/pattern area, the glass area, the carpentry area, the cementing area, a welding area, and the firing/kiln area, as well as the office. Upstairs is a glass-painting space with a light table, a library, stained-glass storage for clients, and the kitchen/break room. The company has four glass kilns and a glass-paint kiln, since some stained glass that is painted is then fired for permanence.

Whitney Stained Glass workshop

Whitney Stained Glass was started in 1984 by Jim Whitney. He passed away at the end of 2005, and his primary painter, Pete, bought the company from Jim’s widow in 2007. Pete graduated with a painting degree from Cleveland State University and was working at an art-supply store after college, but he needed a more permanent position. Jim was a friend of the family and had come to Pete’s parent’s house for a Super Bowl party. Jim invited Pete to the studio. During that visit, Pete asked for a job. Jim said he wasn’t hiring a painter. Pete said he just wanted to work with his hands. Jim said, “Okay, you can start on Monday.” That was October 1998; the rest is history.

Pete does not market the business or actively look for new customers. All of his regional customers are repeat customers or find him from word of mouth due to the company’s reputation. His extensive list of customers includes Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, Lakeview Cemetery, Trinity Cathedral, The Old Stone Church, Elizabeth Seton High School, and many other churches and private individuals for their residences. He says about 25 percent of his work is installation of new glass; the rest is restoration. These projects are intricate and time consuming. For example, one church’s stained-glass restoration project in Monroe, Mich., took five years to complete. Pete’s first big job with Jim was the First United Methodist Church at 30th St. and Euclid Ave., Cleveland, which also was a multi-year project.

I asked Pete which project was his favorite or most memorable. He says, “A lot of them. When you take apart a Tiffany, it’s really consuming for weeks. We also rebuilt a 40’-by-60’ skylight at the Calfee Building on E. 6th St. and Rockwell Ave. For that job, I had to get a custom roller made to match the texture. The roller, made by a company in New Jersey, was 6’ long by 7” in diameter and cost $35,000.”

One interesting topic came up during my tour: lead. Yes, all of the employees work with and are exposed to lead on a daily basis. They get tested annually and are well within the safety range. Pete says, “We wash our hands a lot. Mainly, the older stuff is dangerous as it deteriorates and oxidizes, but the primary concern is if you breathe it in or ingest it. Contact isn’t as much of an issue.”

Pete’s a trained fine artist who mainly paints in watercolor. When asked if he still does his personal art, he states, “YEAH! I need to do work that isn’t work-related, but I also do my own stained glass to make use of the facility and equipment. I encourage my staff to do the same.” He quotes the late, great glass artist Dan Fenton from his book Glass Under Heat: Complete Kiln Work Notes, 1982-2004: “Never let the sun set on a cold kiln.” About stained glass, he says, “Painted glass is my favorite, especially the Munich-style, old German stuff.” Check out the photo below to see why.

Munich-style stained glass

When asked what inspires him, he says, “The drive to stay successful, to stay in business, to pay my employees and keep them working. I want my clients to hire me again and tell others. The ability to work as an artist and support myself doing what I love.”

glass being restored at Whitney Stained Glass

Goodbye pizza, hello cookout

cookout hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill

You know summer’s right around the corner when HGR puts away the pizza for the year and brings out the BBQ grill for hamburgers and Italian sausage! May 2 will be our first cookout of 2018. We’ll be grilling every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for our customers through the beginning of October, weather permitting. If we’re rained out, then we’ll bring lunch inside and have pizza instead. We’ll be welcoming a new chef this year; so, make sure to let us know how he’s doing.

It’s time for an HGR auction!

HGR Industrial Surplus May 2018 auctionAuction Location

4101 Venice Rd.

Sandusky, Ohio 44870

60 miles west of Cleveland

Auction Date – May 3 at 9 a.m.

Inspection Date – May 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Click here for a complete list of items and to bid.

Bitesize Business Workshop: Accessibility for Employers

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at Services for Independent Living at 26250 Euclid Ave., Suite 801, Euclid, Ohio on Apr. 18 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. for an educational discussion. The last U.S. Census indicates that 20 percent of the U.S. population are people with disabilities, whether visible or invisible. The discussion will revolve around building a more diverse and inclusive work culture through the hiring of persons with disabilities. They will address myths regarding hiring people with disabilities, as well as what is required in terms of ADA, potential low-cost/no-csot accommodations, and basic disability etiquette. Time will be made to troubleshoot specific issues.

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

Please register here.

AWT RoboBots sponsors support their team: Go Euclid High School Untouchables!

HGR Industrial Surplus wears Euclid High School RoboBots team shirts

SC Industries supports Euclid HIgh School RoboBots team
SC Industries
Beverage Machine & Fabricators
Beverage Machine & Fabricators
Euclid Heat Treating
Euclid Heat Treating
Gary Zagar of Zagar Inc
Zagar Inc.

 

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Coffee Connections: Mount St. Joseph Rehab Center

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at Mount St. Joseph Rehab Center, 21800 Chardon Rd., Euclid, Ohio, on Apr. 17 at 8:30 a.m. EST for coffee and pastry, networking and to meet the staff and tour the facility on its beautiful campus.

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

Please register here.

Does STEM really matter?

S.T.E.M. education infographic
Courtesy of edutopia.org

 

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Fran Stewart, Ph.D., author of The STEM Dilemma: Skills That Matter to Regions via The MPI Group)

Engineers are the world’s problem solvers, but will creating more of them fix what ails some regions?

Policymakers must think so.

The pursuit of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees is no longer simply one of personal interest or professional ambition; it is now also considered an economic imperative and public priority for regions. Changes in the curricula (and even names) of local schools, as well as state and federal education spending, reflect a clear policy assumption: Local economies benefit when scientists make discoveries, engineers solve problems, and computer experts program solutions. The places that can attract or develop these professionals are seen as potential winners in today’s technology-driven economy.

The certainty of this conventional wisdom drives countless interventions targeted at growing local STEM “pipelines.” Yet, an important question remains: Does a greater supply of STEM-degreed workers actually generate economic gains for regional economies? New research suggests that (largely) imitative efforts to expand the ranks of STEM workers may not work — because they neglect important differences in regional demand for these skills, as well as the importance of other skill sets for regional competitive advantage.

Why? Because implicit in many STEM initiatives is the belief that a larger pool of workers educated in STEM will lead to the technological innovations, new products, and new processes that drive employment growth and economic well-being. Yet, it’s unclear whether mastery of specific technical skills creates new products and markets, or if entrepreneurial talents — recognizing trends, envisioning opportunities, assessing risk, and persisting in the face of obstacles — are what really generate growth. Focusing solely on technical aspects of innovation minimizes the importance of other skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork, communication, and resilience. Research indicates that:

Not all STEM jobs require a college degree.

STEM is more than just scientists, engineers, and software developers. Many technical and mechanical jobs, such as electro-mechanical technicians, industrial production managers and computer numerically-controlled-machine programmers, require advanced STEM capabilities. These STEM jobs are associated with higher regional wages and other measures of regional economic well-being.

STEM investment may not bring employment growth.

Despite the benefits associated with a higher concentration of regional employment in STEM jobs, investing in STEM talent as an economic development strategy isn’t necessarily a jobs program. Why? Because occupations with higher STEM requirements tend to employ disproportionately fewer workers.

Not all high-paying jobs require STEM degrees or skills.

Occupations with higher STEM requirements tend to pay higher wages, but so do occupations demanding high-level “soft” skills (e.g., critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and communication). The occupations that pay the highest wages are those requiring both high STEM and high soft skills. These occupations include scientists, engineers, software applications developers, and doctors, but also industrial production managers, science teachers, and certain business operations specialists. In addition, some occupations that require high-level soft skills but low-level STEM skills — chief executives, managers, lawyers, teachers, financial advisers and mental health counselors — reward workers with higher wages.

Highly skilled STEM jobs benefit regions, but so do ones requiring high levels of soft skills.

A region may see improved economic well-being from promoting STEM skill development, but regions also can benefit from focusing on soft-skill development. In my study, regions with greater concentrations of workers in high-level soft-skill/low-level STEM-skill jobs tended to enjoy higher median wages and per capita incomes. This suggests the need for greater policy focus on the development of valuable soft skills, which often cut across a large variety of occupations.

Low-skill, low-wage jobs predominate in most regions.

Economic development policy focuses largely on growing the supply of workers to fill “high-skill” jobs that benefit regional economies; not enough attention is being paid to the effects of low-skill work. More than half of all U.S. employment is relatively low-skill, and large concentrations of low-skill employment drag down regional economic well-being. Regions with a higher share of low-level STEM-skill and low-level soft-skill employment tend to have lower wages, less economic growth, lower productivity, and lower per capita incomes. These relatively low-skill occupations — which include work in food services, retail and home health care — play important roles in regional economies and provide thousands of essential jobs, but their limited pay and benefits present significant challenges not just for individual workers, but for communities, as well.

Regions differ in their demand for skills.

The region in my study with the largest share of employment accounted for by engineers, scientists, software developers, and similar STEM occupations had five times more STEM employment than the region with the smallest share of these occupations. Some regions have nearly 60 percent of their employment in occupations requiring a bachelor’s degree, whereas other regions have 60 percent or more of their employment in low-skill occupations. Wide variation in skill concentrations and educational attainment reflect differences in regional industrial mixes and heritages. Despite the largely universal goal of growing the supply of high-skill workers, these differences continue to shape the demand for talent and the well-being of regions in different ways.

Imitative policies may not pay off.

Place-based initiatives that aim to grow the supply of STEM workers to spur economic development run the risk that the newly developed human capital investments (or, skilled workers) won’t stay local. Well-educated young workers tend to be highly mobile, meaning they often take their in-demand skills elsewhere without rewarding jobs, emotional attachments, or area amenities to hold them. In other words, regions may inadvertently develop talent that ultimately benefits other regions. It’s important to remember that while a failure to invest in human capital is risky, it may be even riskier to invest in skills that don’t align with the talent needs of the region’s industrial mix.

The challenge for policymakers and economic development practitioners at local and state levels is how to craft programs and strategies that support the specific talent needs of their regional economies — building on existing industrial assets while identifying new opportunities for growth. The opportunities for workers and regions with the right mix of talent and luck are extraordinary; the speed with which technology is reinventing work environments and demands for talent is equally breathtaking. But the same technologies that are disrupting the workplace also can facilitate better understanding of job demands and skill concentrations, which enables cheaper, quicker, more accessible, and better-targeted pathways to developing necessary skills and knowledge. Regions need to take stock of their own assets and invest wisely — not just imitate the STEM efforts of others.

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Brad Coates

HGR buyer Brad Coates
Serious Brad

When did you start with HGR and why?

My start date was October 2013.  After several conversations with Brian Krueger, CEO, I felt HGR had a vision for the future and growth. I wanted to be a part of that.  It was exciting to go into a territory that HGR hadn’t touched and make it my own.  When I got the call from him, I was on my first day as a sales rep with Sysco.  I told the guy I was in the car riding with what HGR does and offered me; he asked if we needed another buyer.

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

I cover Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri.  Mondays are my office day where I’m scheduling, following up on offers and getting ready for the week ahead.  Tuesday through Friday, I’m on the road looking at deals.  After a long day on the road, I work out, grab dinner then come a few hours on the computer.

What do you like most about your job?

I love everything about being a buyer.  I wake up every morning excited to see what the day is going to bring, what I’ll look at, people I’ll meet and hopefully the stuff I get to buy. I look forward to a long career with HGR.  Many of my personal friends are my customers. I’ve attended weddings, retirement parties, motorcycle rides, etc., plus the HGR departmental buyers’ meetings are pretty awesome.

What’s your greatest challenge?

The biggest challenge in my territory is the shipping cost.  Unfortunately, we have to walk away from several deals because it just doesn’t make sense to purchase and ship the surplus.  Obviously, other challenges present themselves with being on the road along with the home/work-life balance.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

Actually, walking into HGR for the first time!! We all have our road stories, but walking into a freezing cold, dark, dirty warehouse and thinking to myself “what in the hell did I get myself in to.”  I look back at that moment and feel very proud of our team of great people who have contributed to the growth of HGR and at how far we have come.

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

For 20+ years, I was a men’s college basketball official. After I retired, I needed something to fill that void.  So, now, I enjoy coaching my kids’ sports and being Dad.  Beyond that, playing guitar and getting my Harley (Merle Haggard) out on the open road with friends. I also have my own DJ company, which specializes in weddings, pool parties etc.

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

My grandfather, Cecil Bradley, was and is my greatest influence.  He always treated people, and ALL people, with respect and dignity.  He never met a stranger, and he taught me at a young age how to be a man.

Anything I missed that you want everyone to know?

I’ve never worked for a group of owners who put their employees before themselves.  Let’s all keep working together as a team to communicate, help one another, improve processes, and better ourselves to better the company that takes care of us.

HGR buyer Brad Coates
Silly “Batman” Brad

Jewelry maker associates beautiful objects with taboo subjects in an effort to get people talking about mental health

Begin Again Jewelry jewelry making bench and tools

(an interview with Colleen Terry, owner, Begin Again Jewelry)

How did your interest in creating jewelry begin?

I took my first jewelry class after receiving a medical treatment called electro-convulsive therapy to treat bipolar disorder. The treatment resulted in severe memory loss. I had previously been a pretty big geek, even earning an academic scholarship to Baldwin Wallace University. I prided myself on my nerdiness; however, without my memory, I went from having a 4.0 my first semester of college to getting Ds and Fs when I came back. My mom, an artist herself, recommended that I take an art class. So, I signed up for a jewelry-making class. I found comfort and renewed self-esteem in making things with my hands. I fell in love with the permanence of metal objects, and my passion grew from there.

Where did you receive your training?

After falling in love with jewelry making, I transferred from Baldwin Wallace to The Cleveland Institute of Art where I earned my BFA in jewelry and metals.

The “Our Mission” section of the website mentions a donation of 10 percent of each purchase to organizations near and dear to your personal story. What can you share about that story?

I started my business about a year ago. I was finding myself during a period of recovery. Three years ago I was smoking 2 and 1/2 packs of cigarettes, drinking 1/2 a liter of vodka and engaging in eating disorder behavior every day. In 2015, I found yoga. Within two months of beginning a regular practice, I was able to quit smoking, and one week later I quit drinking — both cold turkey and on my own. The eating disorder was the toughest to escape. Six month into yoga, I found the Emily Program Foundation, and, with their help, I became free of those behaviors for the first time in 20 years. As I began to find myself, I began to reexamine what I really wanted to be doing with my life, and I knew that part of that had to be making and another part had to be giving back and supporting others who had dealt with issues similar to mine and who were on the road to recovery. I also wanted to associate beautiful objects with taboo subjects in an effort to get people talking about mental health.

How did you create that business’ name?

Beginning again is what I am doing in my life and what I want to nurture and celebrate with my line and within the lives of the people I am able to touch with my jewelry, my cause and my philanthropy. It is also a yoga mantra that helped to change my life.

Where do you sell or market your products?

I am doing shows here and there and selling from my website primarily by word of mouth and social media.

How are the pieces made? Can you walk us through the process?

Typically, when it comes to designing my pieces I come to the bench with a general concept and then let my materials guide the rest of the process. I work primarily in 14k gold and sterling silver, and most of my work is hand fabricated. I do have a passion for CAD/CAM object-making and will likely be further incorporating this process within the line in the future.

What inspires your designs?

The symbolism and stones in my line all in some way represent hope, healing and rebirth in some facet. For example, some of the stones are known to facilitate calming and aid in meditation, and butterflies are a common symbol of rebirth.

What do you like to do when you are not designing and making jewelry?

I do a lot of yoga! I actually just earned my yoga teaching certificate and cannot wait to spread the love and healing with yoga and jewelry! I also treasure my time with family and friends.

Do you consider yourself a maker or a manufacturer and why?

I consider myself a maker because I am not mass producing and each piece is made with love, hope and gratitude.

What advice do you have for other makers?

Don’t be afraid to do what you love and share it with everyone!

Begin Again Jewelry butterfly pendantBegin Again Jewelry braceletBegin Again Jewelry necklacesBegin Again Jewelry butterfly chokerBegin Again Jewelry Colleen Terry

Local businesses honored at Euclid Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Dinner

 

Ron Tiedman of HGR accepting award from Euclid Chamber of Commerce and mayor
Tamara Honkala, chairperson at Euclid Chamber of Commerce, Sheila Gibbons, executive director of Euclid Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail present the Blue Stone Award to Ron Tiedman of HGR Industrial Surplus

 

On Mar. 22, at the Irish American Club, Euclid, Ohio, members of the community, local businesses and dignitaries gathered for the annual chamber of commerce awards presentation. Attendees also were treated to a Taste of Euclid — food and drinks by local restaurants, including Great Scott Tavern, Muldoon’s, Euclid Culinary Bistro, fRed Hot, Mama Catena, Rascal House, Tizzano’s and others.

Eight awards were presented, including:

  • Large Business of the Year: Lincoln Electric
  • Small Business of the Year: Laparade Early Learning & Training Center
  • Organization of the Year: Our Lady of the Lake Parish
  • Organization of the Year: SS. Robert & William Parish
  • Person of the Year: Officer Ed Bonchak
  • Blue Stone Awards: Briardale Greens Golf Course, The Euclid Observer, and HGR Industrial Surplus

Former board members Cheryl Cameron of Action Carstar and Rich Lee of Euclid Hospital, as well as Brian Moore of Moore Counseling and Mediation Services (where the chamber was housed for many years) were also recognized for their service to the chamber.

Congratulations to all!

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Adam DeAnseris

Adam DeAnseris, HGR Industrial Surplus buyer, and his son

When did you start with HGR, and why?

April 2013 — I was looking for a position that would help strengthen my talents while advancing my career.

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

New England — I meet with companies that are trying to sell their equipment and warehouse items.  I explain who HGR Industrial Surplus is and how we can become a reliable resource that can provide a solution to their problem. I am negotiating deals on the offers I have made from the meetings I have gone on. I help provide accurate information for the logistics to get the equipment picked up in a timely manner.

What do you like most about your job?

The traveling and meeting new people while witnessing everyday products I use get manufactured.

What’s your greatest challenge?

Managing my time where I can get the most out of every day and buy as many deals as I can. Keeping the customer happy with our services while also buying smart and not overpaying for equipment.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

There are many, but I have to say singing “Man Eater” by Hall and Oates in front of the HGR team was a pretty cool experience. P.S I have many more hits up my sleeve. Encore anyone???

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

Watching any sport, playing cards with friends and spending time with my family. I have two older brothers, four nieces and two nephews. I also have a four-month-old who keeps me pretty busy!

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

I’d have to say my grandparents because they raised my parents to be great role models, and this has helped my brothers and me to be the best that we can for our families.

Anything I missed that you want everyone to know?

I recently won a local poker tournament by beating out 75 people. I love all types of music, and I used to help my friend DJ a lot of weddings and special occasions.

LCCC works with manufacturers to create apprenticeship programs

On Mar. 20, a group of educators, manufacturers, state liaisons and manufacturing nonprofits met at Lorain County Community College for its “Power of Apprenticeship” conference. Keynote Speaker Denise Ball of Tooling U-SME gave an enlightening presentation on the Zs and Millennials, our future workforce, and how communicate effectively with them in order to attract and retain new talent as well as the need for intergenerational training. Chrissy Cooney, outreach specialist for LCCC, presented an industry panel via video that included a manufacturing company, an apprenticeship trainer at that company and two apprentices in the program. She also presented an overview of how a state-registered apprenticeship program works, including the $2,500 stipend for employers participating in the program. For more information about the Z and Millennial generations or to receive a whitepaper on the topic of the Millennials, contact Denise Ball of Tooling U at 866.706.8665. For information about LCCC’s assistance with an apprenticeship program, contact Tammy Jenkins at 440.366.4833 or Chrissy Cooney at 440.366.4325.

Denise Ball Tooling U SME

City of Euclid accepts proposals from potential buyers for buildings

City of Euclid building for sale

The City of Euclid is accepting proposals from potential buyers for the buildings at 19770 St. Clair Ave.  They would be a perfect fit for a small manufacturer/maker that also wants a retail storefront. For more information and to submit a proposal, click here.

Local man to open bike shop in Euclid, Ohio

Miss Gulch from the Wizard of Oz riding a bicycle

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Duane Mierzejewski, owner, Bananas for Bikes)

I grew up and was raised right here off East 185th St., East Park Dr. and Windward Ave. At the age of 23, I moved away to the southeast side of Cleveland for 15 years to Slavic Village. Following that, I spent 15 years raising my children in Richfield. Personal reasons brought me back to Euclid in 2011.

I have always loved cycling — starting as a tourist then moving to long-distance riding and competitions. The 90s saw me move to commuting to work by bicycle for fun and fitness. Since I’ve moved back to Euclid, I just ride for fun and leisure, to stop and smell the roses. In 2014, I became hooked on the collection and restoration of old, vintage bicycles from the 50s, 60s and 70s. I continued to grow a nice collection of bikes and friends through various organizations and bicycle shows/swap meets. All the while, I bought, sold, traded and donated bikes from my home on Craigslist and eBay.

This past fall, I decided to go all in/full go on opening a storefront/shop right here in Downtown Euclid at 21936 Lake Shore Blvd. I have watched the area for a few years and realized that there is really nothing around here that fits my niche as an old-school bike shop. Why not? Euclid has not had any store/shop-related bike stuff for 25 years. I have a passion and a gut feeling that this may work – a place where anyone can come in, enjoy a slice of nostalgia, maybe purchase an older, vintage bicycle, browse around at a museum that have planned for the basement area. I will not sell new bicycles, but recent to much older, vintage bikes that have been refurbished and made rideable — and at a better cost than buying some junk at a big-box store. Styles will include BMX, Muscle, Single, 3-speed, 5-speed and 10-speed Cruisers with 18-, 20-, 24-, 26- and 27-inch wheel sizes.

Also, I intend to have a fully operating repair service for many bikes, but probably not the very high-end ones. I will carry a complete line of parts, accessories such as helmets, tubes, tires, handlebars, seats, water bottles, etc. The shop will be a start location to gather for rides, events such as the Euclid Art Walk, the Memorial Day Parade, and local bike ride – heck, even Bike Euclid Events. We have ample parking in back and along Lake Shore Blvd. The location should help and benefit many, especially with the expanded bike lanes and the Lakefront Renovation. I may even introduce rental of older, vintage bicycles for out-of-town visitors or for anyone who may want to ride a bicycle they had as a child 30 to 40 years ago.

LCCC hosts “The Power of Apprenticeship” event

LCCC Lorain County Community College logoClick here to register for Lorain County Community College’s “The Power of Apprenticeships” event on Mar. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m at LCCC’s Spitzer Center Room 117/118 at 1005 N. Abbe Rd., Elyria, Ohio. Here’s the agenda. All manufacturers are welcome! You should attend if you are interested in a state-registered apprenticeship program that helps employers upskill incumbent workers and allows them to hire unskilled workers who will become highly skilled workers. HGR Industrial Surplus will be there.

8:30 – 9 a.m. – Breakfast and Networking

9:00 a. m. – Welcome

9:05 – 10 a.m. – Keynote Speaker

  • Denise Ball of Tooling U-SME,

Z’s & Millennials – Your Future Workforce

10:00 – 10:15 a. m. – What Industry has to Say?

  • Introduction of Apprentice Ohio team:
    • Erich Hetzel – Apprenticeship Service Provider
    • Georgianna Lowe – Field Operations Supervisor

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. – Break; Snacks and Beverages

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. – Learn how a Registered Apprenticeship Program works

11:30 a.m. – 12 noon – Q & A

City of Euclid Annual Awards Dinner featuring a Taste of Euclid

award

 

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at the Irish-American Club, 22770 Lakeshore Blvd., Euclid, Ohio, on Mar. 22 from 5:30-9:30 p.m. for the annual awards evening. Celebrate the businesses and people of the year and sample food from the best chefs in town.

And, if that’s not exciting enough, HGR Industrial Surplus has been selected as one of the chamber’s 2017 award winners! Each winner will receive an award and a commendation from state officials in attendance.

Please register here.

Bitesize Business Workshop: Accessibility for Customers

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

 

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at Services for Independent Living at 26250 Euclid Ave., Suite 801, Euclid, Ohio on Mar. 19 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. for an educational discussion. The last U.S. Census indicates that 20 percent of the U.S. population are people with disabilities, whether visible or invisible. By ensuring your business is accessible, you have the opportunity to increase your customer base. They will discuss easy ways to maximize the accessibility of your business and offer suggestions on making your business practices inclusive.

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

Please register here.

Our friends from owwm.org paid us a visit on Saturday!

If you love woodworking but haven’t joined the Old Woodworking Machines forum, you’re missing out on great information and amazing camaraderie. A group of friends from OWWMs came from near and far to meet up in person and pay us a visit on Saturday, Mar. 10. Thanks for stopping by, friends, and hope to see you again soon!

OWWM woodworkers visit HGR Industrial Surplus
l to r: Matt, James, Dave, Bill and Joe
OWWM Amy and James visit HGR Industrial Surplus
Amy and James
OWWM James and Matt check out a planer at HGR Industrial Surplus
James and Matt look over a Whitney planer
OWWM Bill and James looking at a welding table at HGR Industrial Surplus
Bill and James hold down a welding table
OWWM Bill, Matt and James viewing Richards at HGR Industrial Surplus
Bill, Matt and James taking in the majesty of the Richards and agog that it still had its fence and miter gauges

 

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Coffee Connections: Euclid Public Library

coffee at Six Shooter Cafe

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce for coffee, pastry, networking and a tour and to learn more about the many resources available for businesses–searchable databases of businesses, legal forms, grants, and many other tools you may be surprised to learn are available for free.

The event is free of charge and takes place on Mar. 13 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at 631 E. 222nd St., Euclid, Ohio.

Time for a revolution

clock with change

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Alex Pendleton, Big Ideas for Small Companies powered by the MPI Group)

How’s your Change Initiative going? Are you having fun yet?

I’m guessing you answered, “No!”

Why? Because bringing major change to any organization is a tough assignment. Entrenched people, and ideas and habits favor the status quo, and even when that status quo is no longer working, the response of the organization is typically to just give the problem more time. “This too shall pass,” everyone says. “We’ve been through rough times before, and this is no different. What worked then will work now.”

But sometimes it IS different. Sometimes, the organization has quietly aged in place while the world around it has changed to the point that what worked before will NOT work now. Sometimes, what’s needed is a revolution.

For some time, I’ve been involved with two organizations – a manufacturing company and a non-profit – both of which have faced this dilemma, and it fascinates me how much these very different organizations have in common

The manufacturing company was living in the past. It had a dominant position in a niche market, but that market had been slowly shrinking for decades, to the point that the 70-year-old factory was badly underutilized and the fixed overhead was being carried by a smaller and smaller base of business. The aging workforce was resistant to change (there was a sign in the foreman’s office reading “When pigs fly,” evidence of his disdain for any new ideas), and rejection of modern manufacturing methods made it impossible to find customers for new work. The necessary changes all required various certifications, but that was regarded as nonsense, a waste of time and money. An attitude of “we’ve always done it this way” prevailed. Once, they cleaned up the place for a customer visit, and were proud of the result. “The place looks great,” they told themselves — but it didn’t. It looked RELATIVELY good, better than it had in years, but of course the customer saw it in the context of a wider world, and to him it looked ABSOLUTELY awful.

The non-profit organization was also well-established and had been in the same location for most of its life. Decades before, they had made a major investment in upgrading their facility, but by now it was obsolete, and the city had grown away from it, leaving it isolated. However, entrenched board members had fond memories of past greatness, and they were determined that the drop-off in interest and financial support was only temporary. It wasn’t. Before long, they faced an existential crisis.

The solutions to these two problems were similar. In both cases, new leadership was brought in and changes were basically forced upon the organizations.

In the manufacturing company, the factory was substantially overhauled and modernized, quality certifications were obtained, and new markets opened up. A lot of people left (mostly by retirement – over a few years the average tenure dropped from 35 years to eight!), and those who stayed were given extensive training.

In the non-profit organization, a new leader was brought in. He had an abrasive personality and seemed hell-bent on offending all of the existing supporters, starting with the largest donors. But by the time the crisis arrived, he had succeeded in persuading a majority of the board that major change was necessary. Ultimately, they sold their building, collaborated with a couple of other organizations, raised millions of dollars, and moved to the city’s thriving downtown.

Looking back on these two sagas, it’s striking how different the picture looks than it did when we were living in daily crisis. In both cases, the consuming issues dealt with people — in one case, trying to get established employees to accept change; in the other, trying to temper the new leader’s troubling management style.

In the manufacturing company, the change was generational. A new, young leader had the vision and the skills needed to move the company forward, but members of the executive team – even new hires – struggled to perform. Operations went through five leaders in as many years before finding the right person, and the sales department went through two. Looking back on board meetings in those transitional years, it’s amazing how much effort went into trying to salvage the wrong person in the job and how quickly things improved when the right person finally arrived. There’s an important lesson there about insisting on top quality in people and not settling for anything less. Peter Schutz, a former leader of Porsche, always advised people to hire slowly and fire quickly. That’s good advice, albeit easier said than done. Once you’ve filled a critical position, it’s difficult to believe that backing up and starting over will be easier than trying to fix what you’ve got — but in retrospect it’s usually a good idea.

In the non-profit organization, the resolution was simpler, though no less painful. We ultimately realized that we had gotten from our exasperating leader all that we could — his revolution was already in motion — and all he had left to offer was his difficult personality. It was time to end the constant conflict and move forward. The new executive is an extraordinary leader and has the enthusiastic support of the entire staff and board. There still are problems, of course – non-profit organizations always face challenges — but the replacement of conflict with collaboration has resulted in a great place to do great work, and exciting innovation has ensued.

In both cases, I wonder if the rosy present would have been possible without the turbulent past. Revolution is frequently necessary, and almost always difficult and unpleasant; but I think it’s important to recognize that difficulty and unpleasantness don’t have to be new long-term realities, but can instead be short-term growth phases. So if your situation needs a revolution – and sooner or later it probably will – realize that it’s likely to be difficult and unpleasant, and that it’s possible that the right team to start a revolution may not be the right team to finish it. What is certain, though, is that once your revolution has succeeded, you’ll have a vast improvement over the status quo.

At least until the next revolution.

Bitesize Business Workshop: Laughter in the Workforce

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at Moore Counseling & Mediation Services at 22639 Euclid Ave,, Euclid, Ohio on Mar. 8 from 8:30-10 a.m. for an educational discussion. Matthew Selker and Dr. Dale Hartz will present a workshop on “Laughter in the Workforce.”

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

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

Euclid Works Expo & Job Fair

Euclid Works

 

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at Euclid High School, 711 E. 222nd St., Euclid, Ohio, on Mar. 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. as they spend the day helping to develop our future workforce, while also meeting potential candidates available for immediate hire. Give local students a first-hand look at viable career opportunities. Then the doors will open to the public for a job fair.

Timeline:

Manufacturer set-up: 9:30-10:15 a.m.

Students EXPO: 10:28 a.m.- 1:17 p.m.

Break: 1:20 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.

Job Fair: 2:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. (open to the public)

 

Manufacturer Registration:

$100 per 6-foot table

10% off registration and sponsorship for all Euclid Chamber of Commerce members

Sponsorship:

  • Presenting Sponsor- Euclid Chamber of Commerce
  • Gold- $750 (table and registration included)
    • Logo on website (with link to website)
    • Logo on advertisement for afternoon Job Fair
    • Social Media recognition (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
    • City, Schools, Library, and Chamber recognition on websites
  • Silver -$500 (table and registration included)
    • Logo on website (with link to website)
    • Logo on advertisement for afternoon Job Fair
    • Social Media recognition (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
  • Bronze- $250 (table and registration included)
    • Social Media recognition (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
    • City, Schools, Library, and Chamber recognition on websites

STUDENT EXPO

Engaging and hands-on activities or demonstrations to entice the student population.  You are welcomed to bring materials/giveaways for both the student expo and job fair.

Please register here.

Euclid plant manufactures components for naval nuclear reactors

U.S. Navy submarine
(courtesy of the U.S. Navy): A Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered fast attack submarine heads out to sea after a brief port visit in Greece.

 

(An interview with Doug Paulson, general manager, BWX Technologies, Euclid, Ohio)

Tell me about how your business started.

BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT) traces its history all the way back to the 1850s when Stephen Wilcox patented the water tube boiler. Almost 100 years later, with the advent of nuclear energy, our expertise in the power generation business put us at the forefront of commercial and government nuclear industries. Operating for many years as the Babcock & Wilcox Company, we spun off our power generation business in 2015 to allow BWXT to focus on government and nuclear operations.

Why was the decision made to locate in Euclid?

BWXT purchased the Euclid operations from an offshoot of TRW in 2007. TRW’s predecessors have been in the Cleveland area since the early 1900s and here on Euclid Avenue since before World War II.

How are the products that you manufacture used?

BWXT’s Euclid site manufactures electro-mechanical components for naval nuclear reactors used in submarines and aircraft carriers.

For more than 60 years, the Navy’s submarines and aircraft carriers have safely steamed millions of miles using components manufactured by BWXT Nuclear Operations Group facilities – a track record that is highlighted by our commitment to safety, quality and integrity.

How many employees work in the facility in Euclid, and what kind of skilled labor do you hire?

About 350 employees work at our Euclid facility. Due to the high-consequence nature of our products, most of our employees are considered to be highly skilled. We employ machinists, welders, inspectors, engineers and a variety of professional support staff.

Are there ways that the company participates in the community?

We support the community through sponsorship of Euclid Chamber of Commerce events and contribute to a number of deserving charitable organizations in the community such as the United Way.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that manufacturing currently faces?

The retirement of the older generation of trade workers has, in many cases, left manufacturers with more openings than there are qualified and available employees. This is exacerbated by generally low unemployment. We have an advantage in that our factories have industry-leading safety records and that our work is especially meaningful. Our employees take tremendous pride in the fact that our products keep our sailors and our nation safe. These jobs pay well and do not require tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, so attitudes about trades and technical careers are changing quickly. Our schools and community colleges are helping us narrow the gap.

What does the future of manufacturing, especially in Northeast Ohio, look like?

We can only speak for ourselves. This is an exciting time to work for BWXT. BWXT’s Nuclear Operations Group, which includes our Euclid and Barberton manufacturing facilities, has reported record revenues each quarter for the last few years. The Nuclear Operations Group had a backlog of nearly $3 billion at the end of September. Our fourth quarter and full-year 2017 results are scheduled to be announced Feb. 28, 2018.

What inspires you?

Our products enable our sailors to carry out their mission to keep our nation safe. We keep those customers in the forefront of our minds in everything we do.

Are there interesting facts about you or your business that most people don’t know?

In August 2017, NASA awarded the company an $18.8 million contract to start designing a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) reactor in support of a possible future manned mission to Mars. With NTP technology’s high-energy density and resulting spacecraft thrust, NASA is projecting up to a 50 percent reduction in interplanetary travel times compared to chemical rockets, significantly increasing the crew’s safety by reducing exposure to cosmic radiation.

U.S. Navy U.S.S. George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier
(courtesy of the U.S. Navy): The aircraft carrier U.S.S. George H.W. Bush underway from its home port in Norfolk, Va.

Kiddie City Child Care Community hosts annual fundraiser

Kiddie City Child Care Community Euclid Ohio logo

HGR loves to support the Euclid community. If you live or work in the community, you might be interested in attending a comedy show and Chinese auction on Apr. 14 at Kiddie City, 280 E. 206th Street, Euclid, Ohio. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. with three local comedians. Snacks, beer, wine, pop and water will be included. It’s only $27 per person or $52 per couple and is tax deductible since it’s a fundraiser for Kiddie City, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit in Euclid since 2006. This fundraiser occurs so that Kiddie City can continue to create a lifelong love of learning for children in its teachers’ care.

Jennifer Boger, Kiddie City’s director, says, “We’ve been doing this fundraiser for 11 years now to supplement summer programming for families in order to do enhancement and enrichment activities for the children that parents don’t need to pay for out of pocket since 80% of students are using childcare subsidy for lower-income families.”

For tickets, contact Kiddie City at 216-481-9044.

Euclid mayor recaps 2017 and looks ahead to 2018

Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail

On Feb. 22, Euclid Mayor Gail addressed members of the chamber, local businesses and the community over lunch at the Irish-American Club. The mayor introduced two tables of city employees in attendance then shared her commitment statement to provide Euclid residents and businesses with “the best services in a cost-effective and innovative manner.” She said there are three themes that consistently surface in her work with the city: investment, resilience and innovation.

She spoke mainly about investment, including the new Amazon fulfillment center, other new businesses, and business and school expansions. She mentioned the recently created master plan and its goals for residents, businesses and infrastructure: stay, prosper, play, connect, engage and preserve. Finally, the mayor acknowledged the investment in safety by the police and fire departments. The police department received many prestigious safety awards for its work in 2017 and responded to 43,471 calls, while the fire department answered 10,825 fire and EMS calls.

The mayor closed the luncheon by looking forward toward more investment, resilience and innovation in 2018.

Euclid city employees at chamber of commerce luncheon

Bitesize Business Workshop: Financial Workshop for Small Businesses I

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at its offices at 20150 Lakeshore Blvd, Euclid, Ohio on Feb. 27 from 8:30-10 a.m. for an educational discussion. Are you thinking of starting a business? Or have been you in business for several years? If so, this workshop will cover:

  • Finances 101
  • Startup Expenses
  • Cash vs. Accrual Accounting
  • Separating personal and business expenses
  • Budgets and financial planning
  • Q&A session

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

Please register here.

Lowering your tax bill for business webinar

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce online on Feb. 27 either at 11-11:30 a.m. EST or 4-4:30 p.m. EST as it hosts Bruce Jones, president of B.A. Jones Insurance Agency, and David Crowley, principal advisor at Financial Gravity, as they help businesses to lower their taxes by 10-30 percent and increase their bottom line.

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

Please register here for the 11 a.m. session and here for the 4 p.m. session.

Annual state of the city luncheon

City of Euclid

 

Join The Euclid Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 22 at noon at The Irish-American Club, 22770 Lakeshore Blvd., Euclid, Ohio, for lunch as Mayor Gail presents her annual State of the City Address.  Q&A session will follow the presentation.

Doors open at 11:30 a.m.  Lunch will be served at 12 p.m.

Tickets:

$25 members / $30 guests

Members may purchase a reserved table of 6 for $140

Sponsorship Package $300: Includes reserved table of 6 with premier seating, special mention during announcements, opportunity to hand out promotional materials, and logo on event signage.

Please register here.

Bitesize Business Workshop: Accessibility for Employers

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at Services for Independent Living at 26250 Euclid Avenue, Suite 801, Euclid, Ohio on Feb. 21 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. for an educational discussion that will revolve around building a more diverse and inclusive work culture through the hiring of persons with disabilities. They will address myths regarding hiring people with disabilities as well as what is required in terms of the ADA, potential low cost/no cost accommodations and basic disability etiquette.  Time will be made to troubleshoot specific issues.  No cost to attend.  Membership not required.

Please register here.

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with the Call Center

HGR's call center team

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

What does your department do?

The HGR Call Center contacts manufacturing and distribution companies to determine if they are in possession of equipment available for sale. We leverage our client relationship management (CRM) software to access vendor contact information. Once a client has been contacted, CRM is updated with critical data stemming from the call. HGR’s Call Center averages 1,500 call actions per day that result in approximately 35 viable “buy leads” for the company.

The Call Center’s ability to meet its daily call volume and quality interaction goals is critical to HGR’s overall success. To do this, an extremely structured performance matrix has been designed, and agents must employ a disciplined approach to comply with minimum standards. Team-building exercises, morale-boosting contests, and departmental lunches are conducted on a regular basis to promote a positive work environment. However, at the end of the day, employees realize that team and individual success in the Call Center are driven by consistently completing a high volume of top quality client interactions. As a result, a typical “day in the life” of the HGR Call Center involves motivated and disciplined staff “doing their thing” over the phone in order to generate business.

How many people work in your department, and what are their roles?

The Call Center employs 13 full-time employees. Cynthia Vassaur, call center manager, oversees personnel and general operations functions. Dax Taruc is in charge of researching and responding to incoming calls from vendors interested in selling equipment and ensures the client database is regularly updated with the most current information. The department also contains Preferred Vendor Administrators Larry Edwards, Joe McAfee, Levit Hernandez and Kim Girnus tasked with reaching out to vendors from whom HGR has purchased, or attempted to purchase, equipment in the past. Their primary focus is maintaining and enhancing HGR’s relationship with this critical segment of clientele. Finally, there are seven marketing administrators — Cameron Luddington, Ludie Toles, Obed Montejano, Theresa Bailey, Jackie McDonald, Kaylie Foster and Quanton Williams – who are responsible for contacting potential vendors. In doing so, they attempt to market HGR, brand the HGR name, and promote HGR’s service.

What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?

Each MA makes about 150 calls a day, never knowing the end result of each interaction. For an individual to meet the daily demands and goals inherent with the position, he or she must have excellent computer skills and be a self-starter who is capable of communicating with people of varying backgrounds.

What do you like most about your department?

We have a great team! The department is comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds, which results in an interesting array of perspectives, opinions, and solutions. At the same time, each member demonstrates a respectful and accepting attitude toward teammates. While there are numerous characteristics that I appreciate about the HGR Call Center work environment, the inviting and inclusive attitude of the staff stands out.

What challenges has your department faced and how have you overcome them?

The HGR Call Center’s greatest challenge has been attracting and retaining quality employees. Because Austin is such a wonderful place to live, many corporations have flocked to the area during the last couple of decades to set up shop. The resulting competition for pay, benefits, and perks has presented an obstacle to our hiring objectives. To combat that challenge, the department has worked closely with HGR’s Human Resources Department to create an employee profile aimed at attracting the right people for the position. This job profile refinement produced instantaneous results, with the department landing Cameron Luddington, Kim Girnus and several others shortly after its inception, and we are confident the department will continue reaping the benefits of those efforts.

What changes in the way your department does business have occurred in the past few years?

By far, the most impactful change during the last few years in the way the Call Center does business has been the agent pay structure modifications. In short, Call Center agents’ compensation is merit-based — hinging on call volume and a multitude of quality control call grading elements. The overall Call Center performance has dramatically improved as a result of this restructured approach to agent compensation. The harder an agent works, and the more attention to detail that agent exhibits, the more money that agent makes. Motivated agents eager to earn more money today than they did yesterday thrive in this environment.

What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?

The major process improvement initiative we hope to initiate in the near future involves streamlining the process for adding new vendors to CRM. There are some strategies set for implementation that we hope will result in a higher number of vendors being routinely added to the database at a much higher rate than current levels.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

HGR is “THE PLACE” to work! The grassroots culture of the business is positive and infectious; it spreads like wildfire to the new hires. HGR’s environment suits those with a strong work ethic, a desire to achieve team and individual goals, and who are genuinely vested in the HGR mission.

What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?

Before I started working at HGR, I hadn’t really worked in or around the manufacturing industry. But in the last few years, I’ve come to recognize the value of HGR’s services and the affect it has on small and large businesses alike.

Lowering your tax bill for business webinar

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce online on Feb. 15 either at 11-11:30 a.m. EST or 4-4:30 p.m. EST as it hosts Bruce Jones, president of B.A. Jones Insurance Agency, and David Crowley, principal advisor at Financial Gravity, as they help businesses to lower their taxes by 10-30 percent and increase their bottom line.

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

Please register here for the 11 a.m. session and here for the 4 p.m. session.

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Coffee Connections: Services for Independent Living

coffee at Six Shooter Cafe

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce for coffee, pastry, networking and a tour of this local agency charged with helping and empowering individuals with disabilities to lead healthy, productive lives.

The event is free of charge and takes place on Feb. 13 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at 26250 Euclid Ave., Suite 801.

Act and audit

watercolor painting of still life

George Taninecz MPI Group(Courtesy of Guest Blogger George Taninecz, VP of research, The MPI Group)

Did you make any plans for change in 2018?

Even this early in the year , many such goals and resolutions have already been abandoned. Or, at least, they’re at severe risk of being discarded. These failures are often not due to lack of desire. Most people who make resolutions do so earnestly, trying in some way to improve their lives, careers, personalities, or communities.

And yet why is it so tough to stick with our resolutions?

One reason is that we often embark on unguided resolutions. We lack the mechanisms to measure and monitor our progress toward our end goal. We strive for a marathon without running a mile. Even  the most ambitious resolution has a fighting chance if accompanied by a system to break it down into incremental actions and outcomes.

To achieve a year-end result (usually some form of a lag measure tallied at the close of the year), we need intermediary metronomes to keep us pacing toward the sought-after ending (lead measures). If we’re looking to lose weight, our weekly frequency of exercise and daily intake of calories will likely predict the 12-month outcome long before the new year rolls around.

For example, I’ve dabbled in watercolors for decades and have a drawer of unfinished (and unappealing) paintings to prove it. When I told my friend Jack, a distinguished painter, about my inability to finish a work, he matter-of-factly said that I need to practice finishing. So, with a resolution to improve as a watercolorist, my plan is to finish a painting twice a month. With each finished painting, I should move closer to reaching my resolution.

Some improvements and some resolutions may only require a “just do it” approach — you don’t need a future-state map to put out a fire — but most require time and long-term effort. Here, we can take a cue from lean practitioners.

When pursuing strategic goals, lean organizations establish routine monitoring throughout their operations to understand lead performances on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. With a regularly scheduled cascade of meetings up and down  the organization, teams share and review this information, take corrective actions if necessary, and escalate problems beyond their control up to the next tier of meetings. It is an endless whirl of many connected PDCA cycles (plan/do/check/adjust) that keep all aligned on the end goals. These companies may not always achieve their yearly targets, but they’re rarely surprised when they don’t. We, too, can regularly review progress, as well as engage others in helping us to achieve our goals.

We also can’t underestimate the need to actually do something: merely tracking our path toward progress won’t cut it. In order to accomplish a goal or in some way change our behaviors, we also have to act. This necessary cycle of actions, audits, and outcomes reminded me of a homily I heard decades ago: A parishioner prays weekly to God to win the lottery. After years of disappointment and winless, he lashes out and asks why God would refuse him. The voice comes: “You need to buy a lottery ticket.”

If we regularly buy a ticket — i.e., do the work to change — and have the means to periodically check the results, we at least have a chance to win with our resolutions.

Amazon brings 1,000 jobs to Northeast Ohio

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Amazon luncheon

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Amazon luncheon

On Jan. 31, a full house was gathered at Tizzano’s Party Center to hear the Euclid Chamber of Commerce’s presentation of “The Amazon Story” that included Amazon’s plan to tear down the former Euclid Square Mall and build a 655,000-square-foot, $175-million fulfillment center, which will add 1,000 new jobs to the region.

Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail at Euclid Chamber of Commerce Amazon luncheonEuclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail mentioned that the initial meeting in March 2017 at Cuyahoga Community College to discuss the project was the most memorable day during her time as mayor. After that initial meeting, there were ongoing efforts to rezone the property and to secure $1.2 million from the Ohio Department of Transportation toward roadway improvements.

The next speaker, Matt Deptola of JobsOhio, a nonprofit corporation that promotes job creation and economic development for Ohio, shared his organization’s enthusiasm about Deptola of JobsOhio at Euclid Chamber of Commerce Amazon luncheonthe reputation of Ohio as a great place to live, according to Forbes and other magazines. He also shared some interesting statistics about Amazon. It currently transfers items from its regional fulfillment centers to a nearby sortation facility to a shipping facility within seven hours. Currently, Amazon has a sortation facility in Twinsburg and a shipping facility in Euclid; so, the fulfillment center in Euclid makes perfect sense. Amazon currently employs 6,000 people in Ohio. Additionally, Amazon offers $12,000 of tuition reimbursement for training in high-demand fields after one year of employment, benefits on Day 1, and an average hourly rate of $13.

DiSalvo Euclid Chamber of Commerce Amazon luncheonPete DiSalvo with DiSalvo Development Advisors was the final speaker before the mayor returned to the mic to share that Amazon already has made a commitment to the community by giving $10,000 to the HELP Foundation, a Euclid business that empowers individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through residential, day support, vocational, and summer education programs.

Be there to hear the 2018 NEO Manufacturing Survey results

MAGNET logo

Join other manufacturers on Feb. 14, 2018, from 8-9:30 a.m. at Crown Plaza Cleveland South – Independence when MAGNET: Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network unveils its 2018 Northeast Ohio Manufacturing Survey Results.

More than 400 manufacturing companies submitted more than 450 responses, and the results are in. MAGNET and its partners – Bank of America, Skoda Minotti, WIRE-Net and Oswald Companies – will break down the results of the survey over breakfast.

We’ll be there! Will you? Register here.

 

A lot can change in 10 years

changing technology and how we do business

 

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Alec Pendleton, Big Ideas for Small Companies, powered by The MPI Group)

The iPhone was introduced 10 years ago, in 2007—or MMVII, as the Romans would have said. In celebration of that anniversary, Apple has just introduced its latest model, the X—or 10, as we would write it. While pondering this milestone, I realized that 10 years ago, I had no clue that the iPhone was coming, and once it did, I didn’t even begin to understand its implications. And not just the iPhone — but the hundreds of other changes that have transformed both the way we operate our businesses and how we live.

In 2007, Amazon was mostly in the book business and had just introduced the Kindle. Twitter was in its infancy. Airbnb didn’t exist. Tesla made a quirky little sports car. Facebook had about 100,000 business pages. Newspapers were profitable (well, sort of). I had a camera! If I wanted to deposit a check, I had to take or mail it to the bank; to pay a bill, I had to write a check. Buying a used car was a risky business.

Ten years later: Recent purchases from Amazon by my family include dental floss, office supplies, textbooks, a security system, and a hammock. We have a president who got where he is by tweeting. Millions of people pay to sleep in strangers’ guest rooms every night. Tesla can’t build its fancy electric sedans fast enough. Facebook now has more than 65 million business pages, and Internet advertising has taken (almost) all the profit out of the newspaper business. My camera is now in my phone, and I can deposit a check by taking a picture of it; I haven’t written a paper check in months. Even at the outdoor farmers’ market in our neighborhood, I can buy groceries with a credit card, which the Amish farmer scans with a tiny device on his phone. And a few months ago, I almost bought a used car until my daughter discovered – on her phone – that it had been in an accident a couple of years prior.

This is all amazing stuff. It and much more have made us happier and more productive, by allowing us to escape a lot of drudgery. It’s wonderful! But if you’re a retailer, or in the newspaper business, or in countless other fields impacted by these technologies, there’s also been a significant downside. Massive change means massive disruption, made all the worse because it was unforeseen by most of those who were damaged by it. Retailers and newspapers, for example, were caught unawares, and thousands of jobs were lost. It seems unlikely that former journalists and store managers are making ends meet by renting out their guest rooms.

So we must ask, what about the NEXT 10 years? What crazy, unimaginable new technologies will disrupt your business or your life? More importantly, what can you do about it?

I have a manufacturing company. If 10 years from now everyone has a 3-D printer, can I just transmit an e-file to my customer, allowing him to print my product for himself?

The possibilities are endless.

So how do we prepare? I’m not convinced that becoming an early adopter is the answer. All of these amazing success stories rest atop a much greater number of failures. Instead, I think the better course will be to focus on fully leveraging new technologies after they’re reasonably well established. The opportunities from last decade’s progress are still far from fully exploited; for example, there are many ways to deploy Apple or Amazon or Google technologies — or even our phones — to improve our businesses and lives that most of us still don’t use.

I also don’t think that guessing what comes next is a good strategy, because it encourages trying to time your investments — and few of us are smart or lucky enough to get it right. Get in too early and you’re often distracted, discouraged, or just plain wrong. Get in too late and you’ve missed the chance to seize opportunities or avoid threats. Perhaps the best approach is watchful waiting, with test investments of time and cash to embrace new technologies without being smothered by them.

That’s my plan for amazing change, anyway. What’s yours?

Alec Pendleton took control of a small, struggling family business in Akron, Ohio, at an early age. Upon taking the helm, he sold off the unprofitable divisions and rebuilt the factory, which helped to quadruple sales of the remaining division within seven years. These decisions — and the thousands of others he made over his time as president and CEO — ensured that his small manufacturing business thrived and stayed profitable for the generation to come. The culmination of a lifetime of experience, accumulated wisdom, and a no-nonsense approach to looking at the books allows him to provide a unique perspective on Big Ideas for Small Companies.

She became the face of a movement

Rosie the Riveter

Anyone who works in manufacturing and those who haven’t are familiar with Rosie the Riveter, but how many know what she stands for or that the original “Rosie” just passed away?

During World War II she was the symbol of the women who worked in factories to take the place of men who had gone to serve. Often, these women were the ones manufacturing war supplies and munitions. She became the face of the women’s movement and feminism in The United States.

At age 96, Naomi Parker Fraley, a California waitress and the likely inspiration for the Rosie the Riveter poster, passed away on Jan. 20, 2018.

Naomi Parker Fraley
Then
Naomi Parker Fraley
In 2016, on the right with her sister on the left.

Grammar tips: To sale defiantly, how to avoid using the wrong word

definitely versus defiantly meme

What? Huh? Are you scratching your head? That’s what people do if you use the wrong word or phrase that doesn’t say what you intended to say.

Sometimes, in notes in Salesforce or in an email at work, you might see someone who says, “He wants to sale his surplus this summer and would like a call back in June.” Or, you might see someone noting that a customer “defiantly wants to sell a few machines this summer when they upgrade their line.”

Don’t laugh, I have seen it and so have others because someone suggested this blog topic to me! Go ahead, Google it — “to sale instead of sell” and “defiantly instead of definitely.” There are forums and blogs out there discussing these specific errors.

“Sale” is a noun, not an action word. “Sell” is a verb that shows action.

“Defiantly” and “definitely” both are adverbs but “defiantly” means “challenging,” whereas “definitely” means “for sure or without a doubt.”

So, how do you avoid using the wrong word?

  1. Use grammar and spell check.
  2. Use a dictionary.
  3. Proofread.
  4. Do an online grammar refresher.
  5. Read a lot because reading literature helps to build your vocabulary.

And with that, you DEFINITELY will be able TO SELL your ideas to your reader in the way that you intended for them to be understood.

Local paint and coatings manufacturer is “the official paint” of the NHL

National Hockey League Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jim Priddy, PPG plant manager, Euclid, Ohio)

When was the company or division founded, by whom and why?

PPG was founded in 1883 by Capt. John B. Ford and John Pitcairn in Creighton, Pa. Since then, we have maintained our commitment to innovation and quality products and have shifted our portfolio to focus on paint, coatings and specialty products. PPG coats the planes you fly in, the cars you drive, the mobile devices you use and the walls of your home.

Why did you locate in Euclid, Ohio?

PPG purchased the former Man-Gill Chemical Company facility in Euclid in 1997 as a way to enhance our resources and technology to better serve the automotive, industrial and packaging coatings markets. The Euclid facility complements our strong network of other PPG facilities in the Northeast Ohio region to provide a broad range of products to our customers.

What do you make here?

PPG’s Euclid, Ohio, industrial coatings plant produces pre-treatment and specialty products, including alkaline and acid cleaners and zinc phosphates.

What types of customers buy your products or for what industries?

PPG’s industrial coatings products serve customers in the automotive, transportation, appliance, coil, extrusion, and other markets.

In what ways are your products used?

The products produced in the PPG Euclid facility are utilized primarily in metal processing applications to clean, coat, and provide corrosion resistance, as well as in preparing the metal surface for priming and painting. Our products are used on metal automotive parts, such as body panels, underbody components and fasteners, as well as metal appliance frames and heavy-duty equipment parts.

How many employees and in what types of roles? What types of skilled labor do you hire?

Globally, PPG has approximately 47,000 employees. We employ approximately 90 people at our Euclid facility in a variety of manufacturing, technical, sales and data management roles.

What is your role at the company, and what do you enjoy most about what you do?

I am the plant manager for PPG’s Euclid manufacturing plant. For me, it’s all about our people. We have a great, engaged workforce, and I really enjoy working as a team with our employees to continuously improve our operation to be successful in today’s competitive business environment.

What role does the company play in the manufacturing industry locally? Do you use local suppliers or have local customers?

PPG has a strong presence in Northern Ohio with our Euclid, Strongsville, Cleveland, Huron and Barberton facilities. We utilize many local suppliers, and while many of our customers are in the Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania regional area, we serve additional customers nationally and across the globe. In addition, we donated a combined $130,000 in PPG Foundation grants in 2017 to local organizations in the Cleveland area, which supported STEM educational and community sustainability programs.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge that manufacturing currently faces?

The manufacturing sector as a whole currently faces challenges around hiring skilled labor and addressing the educational gap. For current students and recent graduates, there is often a misconception that manufacturing only involves physical labor in a plant. However, PPG is working to educate the next generation of manufacturers to understand that the industry is highly technical and offers a variety of strong opportunities tied to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

What is the state of manufacturing in Ohio or the area?

Manufacturing is an important business sector in Ohio and has been on a growth trend since 2009. Ohio is one of the top 10 states in the nation for both percentage of employees in manufacturing and manufacturing as a percentage of gross state product.

What does the future of manufacturing look like?

Manufacturing is a promising industry and will continue to evolve based on industry needs. Manufacturers like PPG are continually working to provide opportunities and educate the next generation of manufacturers about the various skilled opportunities within the industry. Careers in STEM fields will continue to be essential for the growth and prosperity of manufacturing.

Anything else that we missed but you would like to include? Some interesting fact that readers would be interested in?

PPG has an exclusive paint partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL), which makes PPG paint brands “the Official Paint of the NHL in the U.S. and Canada. You can learn more here.

PPG color draw down

Low-Dollar Lou

car salesman

Alec Pendleton(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Alec Pendleton, Big Ideas for Small Companies, powered by The MPI Group)

In a not-very-nice part of the town where I grew up, there was a used-car lot with a prominent sign reading: “Low-Dollar Lou has the Best Buy for You!” A quick look at his scraggly inventory and an even quicker encounter with Lou himself, with his broad smile and his two-handed handshake (the better to remove my watch?), led me to doubt that his slogan was true.

Every survey of buyers I’ve ever seen ranks price well down the list of priorities, lower than such things as quality, reliability, trustworthiness, location, convenience, etc. — yet the vast majority of advertising focuses first and foremost on price. A large metropolitan area might have as many as a dozen Chevrolet dealers, for example, and yet somehow every one of them has the lowest price. Furniture stores, grocery stores, gas stations, pizza shops, and even Lexus dealers want the world to know how low, low, LOW their prices are.

But why? I can only assume these merchants think that price is more important to customers than the surveys report. And yet, does a Lexus dealer really believe that price is the primary motivator of someone shopping for a $60,000 car? So she or he can brag to friends about saving $500?

I, for one, believe the surveys. I’ve seen two gas stations side-by-side, one with prices $0.10 per gallon higher than the other — and both were equally busy. I’ve shopped for low prices when buying cars, and always left the dealership feeling that there was something I didn’t know — that somehow, some way, the salesman had fleeced me. Worst of all, as a salesman myself, in pursuing an order I badly needed for my manufacturing business, I cut the price myself — without even being asked! (I got the order, and promptly lost money on it.)

There’s an adage that opportunity lies in following a different path than everyone else and that applies to competing on price. It’s a desperate, flawed strategy that inevitably leads to a downward spiral of revenues and profits, as a fixation on low, low, LOW prices attracts the least desirable customers. In a sense, competing on price means that success is defined as being the last one to go broke. It keeps you in a constant state of vulnerability, which is a damn unpleasant way to earn a living.

So what about you? Are you caught in the low, low, LOW price trap? Or have you defined your business — and your customer value — in more meaningful (and margin-full) terms? I’m not suggesting that Low-Dollar Lou change his slogan to “High-Dollar Hal will be your Best Pal,” but he might have attracted different customers — and earned a better living — if he’d focused on something other than price.

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with the Accounting Department

HGR's accounting department
(l to r): Lonnie, Paul and Ed

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Ed Kneitel, HGR’s controller)

What does your department do?

The Accounting Department is the financial hub of HGR. We work on daily cash reconciliation, processing vendor invoices and customer payments, and preparing monthly financial statements. We manage business relationships with our cell phone carrier, insurance carrier, network administrator, bank, phone company, Internet provider, cable TV provider, and anyone else that receives an HGR check. We support DataFlo, which is our accounting system, and work closely with our development team for support and enhancements. We have an open-door policy, and no issue is too difficult for us to tackle!

How many people work in your department, and what are their roles?

Paul, HGR’s chief financial officer, works on strategic business decisions, customer and vendor relationship management, managing our Austin Call Center and other special projects. Ed, HGR’s controller, manages the day-to-day activities of the department. Lonnie, HGR’s accounting assistant, works with vendors and customers to pay bills and receive payments.

What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?

We never know when we will be asked to address, and it’s often a time-sensitive issue on short notice; so, we must be flexible and available at all times. We must be able to multi-task, have a good memory (most of the time!), excellent computer skills, an accounting background, understand accounting software, be very well-organized, and have good interpersonal communication skills.

What do you like most about your department?

HGR’s Accounting Department is never boring, since there is something new to do every day — whether we like it or not! We enjoy a challenge; so, bring it on!

What challenges has your department faced and how have you overcome them?

Lonnie joined the department in November 2016 and has been a major factor in the success of the department during the last year.

What changes in the way your department does business have occurred in the past few years?

We have integrated credit card processing into DataFlo, eliminating almost all errors. We also have made major enhancements to DataFlo that have saved time in data processing. We have implemented Smartsheet, a collaborative tool that allows salespeople to view customer wire and PayPal payments, which has eliminated numerous email.

What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?

We will be flowcharting HGR’s business processes, which will allow us to spot areas for improvement as we look to upgrade DataFlo. We also hope to further streamline the purchasing process by moving the entire inspection-to-P.O. function to Microsoft’s customer relationship management software (CRM).

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

HGR is always buzzing with activity; there is no other company like it! Everyone is friendly, willing to chat for a few minutes, and genuinely cares about each other, both personally and professionally. We practice what we preach when it comes to our company values!

What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?

HGR serves companies that can’t afford or don’t want to purchase new equipment, as well as companies interested in selling their used equipment. Our business model has proved the test of time throughout almost 20 years in business; so, there is definitely a market for the products and services that we provide. We are constantly moving inventory through our showroom as a result of purchases and sales; so, our “shelves” (okay, aisles and bays) always have new products on display.

Poka-Yoke It: How mistake-proofing devices can prevent human error

tailor

George Taninecz MPI Group(Courtesy of Guest Blogger George Taninecz, VP of research, The MPI Group)

While buying a pair of dress slacks recently, I was surprised to see the department manager using a mistake-proofing device to mark the pant length for tailoring. He placed an upside-down, Y-shaped tool on the floor and against the back of my pant leg.

At the top of the device, he marked a line on the trousers, which established the distance to the ground. Based on that line and the amount of break I wanted in the trousers, the tailor would know where to hem. Poka-yoke for pants.

Shigeo Shingo came up with the term “poka-yoke” (“mistake-proofing” or “inadvertent error prevention” in Japanese) in the 1960s when designing Toyota production processes that would not allow a human error to occur: “A poka-yoke device is an improvement in the form of a jig or fixture that helps achieve 100-percent acceptable product by preventing the occurrence of defects.”[1]

I first saw and used a poka-yoke device more than four decades ago. Every few years, my dad, who was a steelworker, would get 13 weeks of vacation. He often took this block of time during the summer to tackle a household project. In 1973, the job was to apply aluminum siding to our house. His crew was me, my brother, and one of my sisters (my other sister, who was an adult, missed out on the fun).

My dad set the bottom row of siding in place using a level and other means, taking his time to get it just right. Then, with the bottom row attached, each of us would grab our poka-yoke device, which was a piece of wood, shaped like an L. The short, horizontal leg matched the width of the bottom of the siding, and the top of the upright length established the vertical distance for the next piece of siding. We would push our devices against the attached siding and upward, rest the next piece of siding on top of the wood, and my dad would nail the perfectly located piece in place.

Even with the clever mistake-proofing tool, it still took a very long time for one adult and three teenagers to side a house. Fortunately, it also was the summer of the Watergate hearings. When the network broadcasts began, my dad would call it quits to watch. I still associate the southern drawl of Senator Sam Ervin, who headed the Senate Watergate Committee, with much-needed relaxation.

Since that summer of siding, I’ve seen a lot of poka-yokes:

  • In manufacturing plants, where devices prevent employees from reaching into machines and harming themselves or stop workers from selecting the wrong part or attaching a part in the wrong location or manner.
  • In buildings, where elevator doors won’t close if someone is between the doors, won’t open if the elevator is moving, or the elevator won’t move if the weight of individuals within the elevator exceeds a safe limit.
  • At my house, where the washer won’t run unless the door is closed, the mower won’t cut unless the safety bar is engaged, and the garage door won’t lower if a sensor indicates an object is in its way.

I wish mistake-proofing methods could be used for other, bigger problems and put an end to catastrophic outcomes. Imagine if you could apply a poka-yoke to prevent the suffering and dying of people simply because they cannot afford healthcare. Or to stop an evil assassin from stockpiling automatic weapons and killing dozens of unarmed civilians.

Maybe we can. Of course, how and where to apply the poka-yokes would require open, honest, and civil discourse. Real problem solving demands nothing less. Are we willing to try?

[1] Shigeo Shingo, translated by Andrew P. Dillon, A Study of the Toyota Production System, Productivity Press, New York, 1989.

Local manufacturer eliminates noise and moisture issues for the construction industry

Keene noise reduction Quiet Qurl sound control mat
Quiet Qurl® 55/025 MC sound control mat designed to limit impact noise between floors

 

Jim Keene Keene Building Products

How did Keene Building Products get its start?

Keene was started in 2002 as an importer but quickly began development of its production line. Although educated as an accountant, Jim Keene, the founder, became involved in the engineering of the system to produce the materials — a unique plastic extrusion process. Sales were simple since he was involved with many of the customers in the market.

Why was the decision made to locate in Euclid?

Jim’s home town is Richmond Heights, up the hill, but his father and mother went to Euclid High School. Euclid is a great place to manufacture, and Jim wanted to be a manufacturer.

How are the products that you manufacture used?

Keene Building Products is a manufacturer of three-dimensional filament products for the construction industry. Its noise products are designed for construction projects, such as multi-family apartments and condominiums to stop impact and airborne noise, while its building-envelope products can be utilized in wall, masonry, roofing, and foundation applications to eliminate moisture issues.

Starting as a plastic manufacturing company in 2002, Keene has innovated new construction tools in an effort to improve product performance for the market. At first, it only manufactured entangled net products in applications that had coatings and concrete all around them. Today, its capabilities include blending powders and creating chemicals. In addition to plastics extrusion, the company has expanded its expertise to floor-preparation products, below-grade systems, roofing, plastic fabricating and 3D filament.

How many employees work in the facility in Euclid?

30 employees but it will be increasing to 50 in the near future.

Tell us about your building expansion. How many square feet and why?Keene Building Products expansion

25,000 square feet for warehouse purposes that will allow us more room for manufacturing.

Are there ways that the company participates in the community?

Not yet!! We will soon.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that manufacturing currently faces?

Skilled labor

What does the future of manufacturing, especially in Northeast Ohio, look like?

The future is very bright here but we need to educate our young people better. Our schools are not up to par, and our workforce doesn’t graduate ready for the positions we need to fill.

What inspires you?

Helping the people in our organization realize their career and financial goals.

Are there any interesting facts about Keene Building that most people don’t know?

  • Weatherhead 100 four years running
  • Two businesses in the award
  • Holder of 20 patents either issued or pending
  • Family business with other family members as part of the team
  • More likely to sell product on one of the coasts, with full North American coverage and sales in every state
Keene building envelope
Driwall™ Rainscreen 020-1, a drainage mat for exterior wall systems

Grammar tips: et cetera and ellipses

And the list goes on and on ...

When we write, sometimes, we like to indicate things that are missing from our writing.

By special request from one of our call center employees, we are going to review two grammar items that often get confused – etc. and ellipses.

Et cetera (etc.)

First, the often misused and incorrectly punctuated “etc.” Etc. is the abbreviation for “et cetera,” which means “and the rest.” So, in writing, it actually means “and so on” or “and other things” in the same class as the objects that you are listing but are not including in the list. If you are listing specific items, you should not use etc.

Additionally, you should not use “and etc.,” because you would be saying “and and.” And, if you used “such as” or “for example or e.g.” earlier in the sentence, which we discussed in this blog, it is not necessary to use “etc.” That would be redundant because you already indicated that the list is incomplete since you’re just providing a few examples. It also is redundant and unnecessary to say “etc., etc.” And, one final tidbit: “etc.” and “et al.” do not mean the same thing. “Et al.” is to be used with a list of people because it means “et alii” or “and other people.”

No matter where it appears in the sentence, “etc.” requires a period after the “c” and a comma if it ends a list in the middle of the sentence:

  • I love riding all amusement park rides (the Ferris wheel, roller coasters, bumper cars, carousel, etc.).
  • I love riding Ferris wheels, roller coasters, bumper cars, carousels, etc., but my favorite is the roller coasters.

Ellipses (…)

Now, on to ellipses. An ellipses is that pesky set of three periods (…). More often than not, it is used unnecessarily and confuses the reader. It should be used mainly in formal writing to show when a thought is trailing off, a writer is pausing for emphasis or for serious thought, or in quoted material to show that content has been omitted, but not if it changes the meaning of the quote.

One way to avoid using an ellipses incorrectly is to just finish the sentence or thought. Often, an ellipses is inserted to serve a similar purpose as when we say “um” or “uh” when we talk out loud to show that we are thinking or buying time. It’s like an uncomfortable silence or throat clearing. Or, sometimes it’s used when we trail off our thought at the end of the sentence without finishing by implying that we have more to say when we don’t.

An example of proper use:

  • My neighbor told me that the couple down the street is getting a divorce because the wife was unfaithful. With raised eyebrows, I asked her, “You don’t think she’d really …?”

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Jeff Crowl

HGR Industrial Surplus Buyer Jeff Crowl and family
Back row (l to r): Logan Crowl, Jeff Crowl, Jeff’s Girlfriend Renee Marzeski, her daughter Maddy, her son Bill
Front row (l to r): Jeff’s son Ross and daughter Alexa with Renee’s son Dan

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jeff Crowl, HGR buyer)

When did you start with HGR and why?

I started with HGR on April 20, 1998. I signed on with HGR because I really liked what I did at the previous company many of us worked for and wanted to continue on that path.

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

My territory right now is most of the eastern part of Pennsylvania and most of the state of New Jersey. In the past, at different times, I also have covered Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, upstate New York, North Carolina, and Ontario, Canada. I have bought deals from sister plants that I dealt with in Texas and California. My days start between 5 and 5:30 a.m. Depending on where I am driving to, I may or may not have time to go into my home office and do some work. Then I’ll drive to wherever I have my inspections scheduled for the day. Once there, I go through and inspect the equipment and then I’ll either head home or to a hotel. Typically I get back home between 4 and 6 p.m., and most nights have two hours or so of email to answer and/or other opportunities to follow up on.

What do you like most about your job?

What I like most about my job is probably all of the different things I see. Every day is different, every drive is different, every inspection is different, and every contact is different. Of all the companies I have visited in the last 20 years, it is amazing to me the different philosophies companies have. One company may be so clean that you could eat off the floor; others you feel like you need a shower when you leave them. One may hold on to unused equipment for many years, and others have policies that if they haven’t used it in three months they should get rid of it. But I just like that every day is different in one way or another.

What’s your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge is and always will be the hunt for good surplus to buy. We have to keep feeding the showroom so that everyone else in the company can do their thing.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

My most interesting moment at HGR. Wow, I mean it’ll be 20 years this April, so there are so many and also many that I have forgotten. I once accidently kicked a cat and really got scolded by the receptionist and once went to the house of a guy who we bought a deal from and he was not answering calls so I could get the equipment picked up. But I will go with a funny one that happened a few years back. I was in a facility where the contact showed me the equipment they were selling and left me alone and said to show myself out when I was finished. It was a nice cool day out, and as I was walking back to the front of the building there was a side door open and all I had to do was walk through the company lunch room which was being mopped by a lady. As I started to go through, she yelled over to me to be very careful because the floor was being stripped of the finish. Well, of course I saw her walking on the floor and thought for sure that being a nimble middle-aged buyer, I could do it no problem. So I kept walking and much to my surprise floor stripper is much more slick than soap and water. As soon as my feet hit that floor, they went out from under me and were instantly above my head as I landed flatly on my back and smacked my head on the floor. Embarrassed as I lay on the floor, I was trying to get up as quickly as possible so no one would see me. As I tried to prop myself up on an elbow to get up, they just kept slipping out from underneath me as I flopped around like a fish out of water. All I can remember is flopping around and hearing that woman who was stripping the floor laughing hysterically at me. After a few more flops, I was able to get to my feet and “skate” over to the side door to freedom. Bruised, battered, and my pride shaken, I walked to my car covered in the floor gel only to notice my Dell Tablet was smashed. So I then had to make the call to my manager and tell him what happened. Thankfully, he understood and thought the story was quite funny as well.

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

My greatest joy when not working would be spending time with my family. I have three kids — a 26-year-old son, Logan; a 23-year-old daughter, Alexa; and a 20-year-old son, Ross. Logan lives in Pittsburgh; Alexa lives in Philadelphia; and Ross has one more semester until he finishes college. So, really anything I can do to see and be with them is all I need.

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

I would have to say my father was my greatest influence on me. He passed away in March 1993 from one of the few things I can actually say I hate – cancer. But he was just one of those people who worked hard and never complained and was someone you could always go to and talk to or ask anything of. He was a speech pathologist and last worked as a supervisor of speech and hearing. He was a very honest, moral, and funny person who is greatly missed.

Anything I missed that you want everyone to know?

One other thing I would like to mention is that my girlfriend, Renee, and her three children (Maddy, Bill, and Dan) also live with me. They range from 12 to 22 years of age. We have a busy house on holidays when everyone is home, but they are all great kids and fun to be around.

The gift that keeps on giving

PSA Custom Creations HGR scuba tank bell

Back on Aug. 8, I hosted a blog by Guest Blogger Patrick Andrews, a former U.S. Army engineer diver turned artist who makes his creations from repurposed scuba tanks. Evidently, you liked his work because he shared that he noticed an increase in sales on his etsy site, PSA Custom Creations, shortly after the post ran. To thank HGR, he made us one of his bells with our colors and logo! It got hung in the sales office this week, just in time for the holidays. So, now, if you get a good deal at HGR, you can ring the bell and let us know you’re a happy customer. Thanks, again, Patrick, for the wonderful gift that will keep on giving. And, as you know from that famous movie It’s a Wonderful Life, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.”

PSA Custom Creations scuba tank bell made for HGR

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Jim Ray

HGR Buyer Jim Ray with his family

When did you start with HGR and why? 

I was one of the original 11 employees who opened HGR in May 1998. I resigned my position at another machinery dealer and started working at HGR because the challenge of building a new company from the ground up, although risky, sounded exciting and rewarding.

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

My territory consists of the southern 2/3 of Ohio, the southern 3/4 of Indiana, the eastern 2/3 of Kentucky and the southwestern 1/3 of West Virginia. On a daily basis, I visit manufacturing plants in my territory and inspect their surplus equipment. When I say inspect, I mean that I walk around, walk over, crawl under, climb over, and squeeze in between machinery and equipment in order to identify, evaluate and take pictures of it. At least one day per week (usually on Monday) I spend the day in my home office. Office days are typically long days spent calling and emailing vendors to follow up on offers I sent out, negotiate deals, following up on leads, scheduling appointments and communicating logistic needs to the transportations departments along with any other issues that needs to be addressed.

What do you like most about your job?

What I like most about my job is being able to visit a wide variety of manufacturing facilities and seeing how different items are produced. I also enjoy meeting and negotiating with a wide variety of people, as well as managing my territory and staying organized.

What’s your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge is staying on top of my opportunities when I am busy.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

My most interesting or most memorable inspection was during an inspection of a well-known guitar and amplifier manufacturer. Their lobby was full of autographed guitars and life-sized posters. I am a music fan, and several of musician I listen to were represented on the walls. While walking through the plant toward the equipment they had for sale we passed the final test area where several guys who looked like rock stars who were jamming on guitars. One of the areas in which they had equipment for me to look at had about 50 pythons snake skins, all of which were at least 10-feet long, most being longer. Apparently snakeskin guitars are popular, and they actually use real snake skins to make them. That inspection was far from my typical automotive parts manufacture and has always stuck in my mind as being pretty cool.

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

I enjoy remodeling projects around the house, and playing card and board games with my wife and three kids: Jillian (15), Matthew (13) and David (11). I also like the outdoors and enjoy camping, fishing and hiking. These days when I am not working, I am typically in a gym or at a field watching my kids play either soccer, basketball, volleyball or lacrosse. Thank goodness they all chose sports that I enjoy watching.

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

I would say my Dad has been the greatest influence on my life. He grew up as the son of a coal miner in Hazzard, Kentucky. He worked hard to put himself through college to obtain a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. He always worked hard to provide for our family and never complained about the travel and stress of his job. He lived a very modest life with my mom in order to put my brothers, sister, and me through college. I still look up to him and hope I will always be able to provide for my family the way he did for ours.

Anything I missed that you want everyone to know?

I am a big soccer fan and have played, coached and watched games my whole life. I enjoy watching The Barclays Premier League (England’s top league) and am a fan of Arsenal Football Club out of London, England. I rarely miss watching a match. At the top of my bucket list is to someday travel to London to watch Arsenal play in person.

On the cusp of greatness

Did you know that Cleveland was ranked by National Geographic as one of the top 21 best places in the world to visit? It was called, “An industrial city that pulsates with creative energy.” And, they noted neighborhoods with great restaurants, including Ohio City, Tremont and East 4th St. Cleveland came in at No. 14 and was one of only two locations in the United States that made the list. The selections were made based on an evaluation of the city, nature and culture. Cleveland ranked third for culture.

Here’s the full list so that you can see our competition:

  1. Harar, Ethiopia
  2. Jujuy Province, Argentina
  3. Tbilisi, Georgia
  4. Sydney, Australia
  5. Oaxaca, Mexico
  6. Vienna, Austria
  7. North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii
  8. Malmo, Sweden
  9. Jordan Trail
  10. Dublin, Ireland
  11. Madagascar
  12. Santiago, Chile
  13. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  14. Cleveland, Ohio
  15. Tetouan, Morocco
  16. Seoraksan National Park, South Korea
  17. Albania
  18. San Antonio, Texas
  19. Labrador, Canada
  20. Friesland, Netherlands
  21. Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

We know that Cleveland’s great because of the amazing people and businesses that are located here. Although, I’m proud to call Cleveland home, I’ve made it to Vienna, Dublin, and San Antonio. Have you been to any of the 21 places on the list or have plans to visit soon?

Reminder: HGR’s hosting an auction tomorrow

December 19, 2017 HGR auction

Make sure to get registered and preview the items in time for HGR’s auction tomorrow.

HGR Industrial Surplus is partnering with Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers to host an in-person and online auction of assets from the former Allison Conveyor Engineering at 120 Mine St., Allison, Penn. This auction includes bridge mills, plasma tables, fabricating and welding equipment, CNC machining, and toolroom and support equipment.

Click here for further details and to register.

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR’s Human Resources Department

HGR Human Resources Manager Tina Dick and HGR Human Resources Assistant April Quintiliano
l to r: HGR Human Resources Manager Tina Dick and HGR Human Resources Assistant April Quintiliano

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Tina Dick, HGR’s human resources manager)

What does your department do?

The Human Resource Department handles the staffing needs of HGR. Our department handles all aspects of human resources, recruiting, onboarding, benefits and compensation, payroll, employee engagement and retention, as well as monitoring and ensuring that we are in compliance with state and federal regulations as they apply to the above.

How many people work in your department, and what are their roles?

We are a two-person team. I am the human resources manager, and April is the human resources assistant. As we’ve automated some things, April now assists in Inventory, Sales and the Buy Department, and does a great job!

What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?

There are several competencies in human resources where you need to strive for proficiency in order to be successful. Those competencies are: communication, relationship management, ethical practice, business acumen, critical evaluation, leadership, consultation, and cultural effectiveness. Knowledge and practice in each area help you to keep a balance that promotes a cohesive partnership between organization and staff.

What do you like most about your department?

Getting to hand out the birthday cookies, of course!

What challenges has your department faced and how have you overcome them?

Hiring/retention are and always will be the biggest challenge in any HR department. We live in a moving society where people want to get to the next thing, and that’s okay. If we’ve played a role in someone’s success and they’re ready to move on, we’re glad to have been part of the journey. But the goal always will be to look at ways to get better at it. We’ve knocked our turnover rate down almost in half from last year.

What changes in the way your department does business have occurred in the past few years?

Human Resources was not a formal department three years ago. In that time, we’ve worked with supervisors to provide access to formal training for their role. We’ve developed written processes for each department. We’ve formalized the onboarding process; our new hires come in with a formal orientation and more structured, documented training. We introduced and implemented performance and goal conversations. We created a recruiting system complete with an applicant tracking system where candidates can apply online, and our hiring manager can see their resumes online while pooling candidates for future openings. We work closely with our CEO in the development of a positive company culture. We have helped employees implement plans of employee engagement, e.g., Earn Your Forks and Fly. Many changes, all challenging and all very rewarding!

What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?

More training tools. We intend to look back at some of the processes we’ve put in place and make them better. You always have to revisit what you started. What can we change? What works? What doesn’t? What is technology bringing our way? How can we be more strategic? Continue to look for ways to keep communication open.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

We have a family, team-oriented environment, even though we have buyers across the country and a call center in Austin. We try to keep that in the forefront and be inclusive of everyone. Every role counts, whether in Euclid, Austin or the various states where our buyers are located.

What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?

There are so many ways that what HGR does affects people. New start-ups, artists, companies overseas that are able to produce product with our equipment. On the other hand, we provide a great service to industries that need to clear floor space or are leaving the industry and want to recoup some of their investment. Our business model is unique.

Who is John Miller, and what’s this about an auction?

auction gavel

 

HGR Buyer John MillerLike the old Donny & Marie song “A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock ‘n Roll,” John Miller, one of HGR’s buyers who is located in St. Louis, Missouri, is a little bit sales, a little bit buyer. He works with both HGR’s Sales Department and Buy Department to bring in leads for brokerage equipment that we can sell through our website and those leads that we can auction. So, his position is unique because the items that he brokers are not rigged out to HGR’s Euclid, Ohio, showroom.

How did John make his way to HGR, and what is his experience? Well, prior to working for HGR, he worked in the industrial auction and machinery sales field. He has a longstanding relationship with HGR on the client side. He sold equipment to HGR’s regional buyers in the past, which is how he developed a relationship with HGR prior to coming on board as an employee.

Prior to John coming on board in February 2016, HGR occasionally participated in auctions with its auctioneer partners, but now there’s a focus on the opportunities and on getting the business. Miller says, “We most often partner with Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers because they’re the top in the area for what they usually sell and what we usually sell. It’s a complimentary relationship that benefits both of our customers because our combined list of buyers and interested customers compliments each other.” HGR’s role in the auction process is to bring in leads for potential auctions and conduct the marketing for upcoming auctions through its website, email list and social media. Miller says, “We partner on six or seven auctions each year in the U.S. and Canada, and our goal is a couple of auctions per quarter. Nine times out of 10 the auction is being held because a plant closed.”

John’s auction leads often come from HGR’s buyers who are out in the field and may decide the situation is not a buy deal but rather an auction situation, and from HGR’s established relationships and contacts. He notes, “These auctions add to our value proposition for both customers that we buy from and customers that we sell to because we can either get things out of their plant immediately and into our showroom or maximize the value of the items by selling them from the factory floor at auction when moving them is not viable because would reduce the value. Auctions have been on the uptake for valuation recently.”

Here is a link to HGR’s next online and in-person auction of the assets from the former Allison Conveyor Engineering at 120 Mine St., Allison, Penn. This auction on Dec. 19 includes bridge mills, plasma tables, fabricating and welding equipment, CNC machining, and toolroom and support equipment.

If you need further information about the auction process or have an auction lead, please contact John Miller at 636-222-0098 or Jmiller@hgrinc.com.

 

 

HGR to close early on Friday, Dec. 15

holiday office party with Santa hats

Please excuse our early closure on Friday, Dec. 15. We are open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please come to make your purchases or look around prior to 3 p.m. since we will be closing at that time so that our employees can be rewarded for their hard work and enjoy our annual holiday party with Santa Claus and a pretty rowdy White Elephant gift exchange!

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

The Crew at HGR Industrial Surplus

5 tips for navigating HGR Industrial Surplus’ website

Screen capture of HGR Industrial Surplus website at hgrinc.com

Jared Donnelly HGR Industrial Surplus inside sales rep(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jared Donnelly, one of HGR’s inside sales reps)

This time of year, finding the exactly perfect thing you’re looking for is a challenge that we all face as we descend upon retailers trying to cross things and people off of our shopping lists. For manufacturing and industry, this holds true, as well, as buyers search to try to fill gaps in their arsenal of machinery, or look for one specific part to take their production to the next level.

Searching for industrial surplus is, undoubtedly, easier now than ever with dealers nationwide, networking, and, of course, the Internet. Just like anything else, however, you need to know not only what you’re looking for but the best way to look for it. Let’s take a look at some helpful tips to guide you through searching for just what you need on hgrinc.com.

 

  1. Could you be a bit more vague? Typically, it is important to be specific in your search. However, on hgrinc.com, it will actually make it easier to find what you’re looking for if you search broadly and generically. Instead of searching for the make, model, or specific type of bandsaw, just search “bandsaw.” Sometimes, we get equipment in without any sort of real information. Maybe the manufacturer’s plate came off or was removed. Maybe the previous owner painted over or removed any branding. We may well have the bandsaw that you’re looking for. Searching broadly will generate a result for any and all bandsaws in our inventory. From there, find one you like, jot down the inventory number, and give us a call.
  2. A Machine by Any Other Name. How many different names can you think of for things you use every day? Industrial surplus is no different. You may refer to an item as a recycler; someone else may call it a shredder; and still someone else may have a different name for it altogether. IF your first search doesn’t yield the result you’re looking for, try searching for it by an alternative name. Again, it is important to search broadly, then drill down from there to find exactly what you’re looking for.
  3. How Much Does It Cost? If you know you’re searching for an item that might only cost $25, sifting through a list of items ranging from $5 to $25,000 doesn’t make much sense. As with most online shopping sites, hgrinc.com gives you an option to sort by price. For instance, if you’re looking for a transformer and you search “transformer” on the website, you’re going to get a wide array of items and prices. If you know that the one you want is a small unit that shouldn’t cost much, sort by price, low to high, and once you hit a price that’s higher than it ought to be for your item, you know you’ve reached the end of your search.
  4. Ricky, Don’t Lose That Number. Once you find an item, jot down the inventory number for it and remember what it is. This is going to make it much easier to repeat your search without having to try to recall the exact term you used, which one it was, or what page it was on. Instead, you’ll go to the website, type in the 11-digit inventory number, and your item, assuming it is still available, will be right there. Plus, when you call in to talk to a salesperson, the first thing he or she will ask is, ”Do you have an inventory number for me?”
  5. Frequent Flyer. The website updates in real time and on a daily basis. So keep refreshing, keep looking, and remember to sort by new arrivals. as well. As soon as something is inventoried and photographed, it goes on the website, oftentimes before it even hits the showroom floor. Keeping an eye on this gives you an advantage over in-store shoppers who might not have seen the item on the website or on the floor. As soon as an item is sold, it is removed from the website; so, if you can’t find it anymore, it’s no longer available.

Honda by the numbers

Honda superbike world championship

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Ned Hill, A One-Handed Economist and professor of public administration and city & regional planning at The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Ned HillAffairs, powered by The MPI Group)

Honda has always been known for its precise management style; in fact, you could say they literally do everything by the numbers:  The 3 Joys, the 3 Fundamental Beliefs, the 5 Management Policies, and the 5 Components of Racing Spirit, to mention just a few. Let’s see how Honda’s obsession with metrics is reflected in an effective mission statement and how superior performance is the result.

Honda’s official name is Honda Motor Car Company, which honors its roots and largest product group. But that moniker doesn’t really describe the company; Honda is a global manufacturing organization that produces and sells far more than automobiles:

  • The company’s motorcycles and scooters are globally competitive, with more than a quarter billion sold since 1948.
  • Honda Jet in North Carolina delivered its first plane in late 2015 using an engine developed with GE Aviation.
  • The power-equipment group produces general-purpose engines, generators, boat engines, lawnmowers, and yard equipment. This division also is moving into household natural-gas-powered cogeneration, and the company as a whole is a leader in fuel cells.
  • Honda also is developing a presence in industrial and mobility robotics.

All in all, it’s worth asking, as we consider mission and values: Is there something that ties this company together, or is it just another industrial conglomerate linked by shared financials?  More philosophically: How does Honda identify value propositions for customers and owners across its broad platform of products? What is the firm’s corporate connective tissue and source of competitive advantage?

I’d suggest that two competencies unite Honda:

  • The first competency is technical and product-oriented: Common to all of Honda’s products and divisions are engines and propulsion systems.  These are present in each of its product lines and serve as technical sources of competitive advantage.
  • The second competency and source of competitive advantage is the company’s culture.

The Seven Tests of Mission Relevance and Effectiveness

For any company, seven statements provide guiderails to its current operations and a path to its future:

  1. Statement of purpose explaining why a company exists.
  2. Statement of the company’s competitive advantage and core competencies.
  3. Value proposition for customers.
  4. Value proposition for owners.
  5. Vision statement that frames the company’s future direction.
  6. Values and ethics statement that defines the company’s culture, describes the organization as a place to work, and is directed at employees.
  7. Strategy proposition, founded upon the value propositions, which ties together the vision of the future with sources of competitive advantage and the values of the workplace.

I’ll rate each component of Honda’s culture-setting statements with a ranking from 1 (low) to 5 (high) of the company’s white coveralls (all associates wear them, for anti-utilitarian (dirt shows easily, emphasizing a clean work environment) and egalitarian (everybody looks equal) purposes).

Let’s go through them step by step.

Test One: The Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose should explain the reason why a company exists. To find Honda’s statement of purpose, we have to draw from three of its cultural documents.

First of all, the foundation of Honda’s culture is its statement of philosophy:

“Driven by its dreams and reflecting its values, Honda will continue taking on challenges to share joys and excitement with customers and communities around the world to strive to become a company society wants to exist.”

Honda’s overarching philosophy recognizes that its survival depends on customers who value its products and communities that value its locations and associated jobs. The philosophy is not tactical, was not developed by marketing, and is timeless. As such, it is partially a statement of purpose.

The company’s mission statement is global, reflecting the realities of the company’s footprint, and focuses on providing value to its customers:

“Maintaining a global viewpoint, we are dedicated to supplying products of the highest quality, yet at a reasonable price for worldwide customer satisfaction.”

APPLAUSE!  This mission statement is a value proposition for customers.

Last, the outward-facing messages of Honda’s philosophy and mission are implemented by The Three Joys. The Three Joys of buying, selling, and creating are corporate norms; all are part of the company’s value proposition to its customers.

  1. The joy of buying is “achieved through providing products and services that exceed the needs and expectations of each customer.”
  2. The joy of selling is the reward from selling and servicing products and from developing “relationships with a customer based on mutual trust.” In Honda’s vision, selling links the company’s employees, dealers, and distributors together with their shared customers.
  3. The joy of creating occurs when Honda’s associates and suppliers are involved in the design, development, engineering and manufacturing of Honda products that “exceed expectations [of the customer].” Then “we experience pride in a job well done.”

APPLAUSE again! The Three Joys provide a set of norms that implement Honda’s mission statement and recognize that the corporation’s future is rooted in business practices. No social workers or frustrated marketers were involved in the mission’s creation.

Honda’s philosophy — combined with its mission statement and operationalized by the Three Joys — satisfies the first and third of the seven statements of purpose and value propositions. Give them four pairs of Honda white coveralls for my first criterion on the purpose of the company.

Test Two: The Statement of Competitive Advantage

My second criterion is a statement of competitive advantage, and you cannot find an explicit statement. Perhaps making such a statement is too bold and boastful for the company. Instead, the company’s source of competitive advantage is evident in its product lines and dependence on applied research. Honda’s competitive advantage rests in its research expertise in engine and propulsion systems and the development of products around its research.

An example comes from one of the company’s newest product lines, Honda Aircraft Company. This business unit is the outcome of a 30-year effort to create a disruptive light passenger jet, and it demonstrates the connection between the company’s guiding philosophy and its product development. Michimasa Fujino, an engineer who was part of the original research team in the mid-1980s, is now the president and CEO of the business unit. He helped the investment survive technical and economic setbacks by tying the project to the company’s efforts to rekindle innovation, or to dream. The division exists because of the initiative and skill of Fujino, and it survives because of the strategic support of the company, especially through the Great Recession and the crash of the private aircraft market. “A company has to have longevity,” he says of his strategic mandate. “We look at 20 years or even 50 years of Honda’s growth in the long term. In order to have that kind of longevity, we have to invest [in] our future.”

Honda earns five coveralls for meeting the second criterion through its actions and investments, not through its words.

Test Three: The Value Proposition for Customers

Couple the mission statement with the Three Joys and a clear value proposition is made to customers:  Providing products and services that exceed the needs and expectations of each customer at reasonable prices that generate worldwide customer satisfaction.

Five white coveralls on Honda’s ability to present a value proposition to its customers, which is the third test.

Test Four: The Value Proposition for Owners

There is no explicit statement about the value proposition that Honda offers to its owners. This is left to its direct communications with shareholders. However, the awarding of coveralls comes later because Honda hints at that value proposition in its statements.

What is the company’s vision for its future? It is not a specific list of products, technologies or investments. Instead, it is timeless guidance for management and investors in its five Management Policies, which are a mix of Eastern and Western value statements:

  1. Proceed always with ambition and youthfulness.
  2. Respect sound theory, develop fresh ideas, and make the most effective use of time.
  3. Enjoy work and encourage open communications.
  4. Strive constantly for a harmonious flow of work.
  5. Be mindful of the value of research and endeavor.

The management policies are a mixture of guidance on how to perform today’s job by supporting open communications and promoting a harmonious flow of work, and of paying attention to tomorrow’s job. Tomorrow’s job is to be approached with “ambition and youthfulness” and based on research, development, and risk-taking: “Respect sound theory, develop fresh ideas” and “Be mindful of the value of research and endeavor.” The emphasis on tomorrow’s job is reinforced by the joy of creating.

While the Management Policies’ language is not familiar to a North American, its intent is pitch-perfect. It addresses the accomplishment of today’s job in the third and fourth precepts—encouraging a harmonious workplace based on open communications. This is part of a values and ethics promise to Honda’s employees.

The other management policies are about tomorrow’s job: Be ambitious and develop new ideas that rest on research and risk-taking. Honda expects itself to be an innovation company.  I award three coveralls on the fourth criterion of making a value proposition to ownership because Honda only hints that it is a company built for the long run; it is not solely focused on next quarter’s return.

Test Five: The Vision Statement

The fifth test is explicitly about the future orientation of a company. In Honda’s case, the foundation comes from three of the Management Policies and the tactics come from a set of principles closely associated what the company’s founder, Mr. Soichiro Honda, called The Racing Spirit.

The Racing Spirit is directly connected to Mr. Honda’s early experience in motorcycle racing. He observed that passion is part of every competitive racing team, and he wanted that same passion to be at the heart of his company. There are five components to the Racing Spirit:

  1. Seek the challenge: Seeking competition improves the performance of both individuals and the company.
  2. Be ready on time: All races have a starting time—be ready before the gun goes off.
  3. Teamwork: Races are won by teams, not just the driver. Honda defines this as togetherness: the driver, staff, and machine are all vitally important.
  4. Quick response: Be ready to solve unpredictable problems at all times.
  5. Winner takes all: The only goal is winning.

The future orientation of the company begins with seeking the Racing Spirit’s challenge, followed by the Management Policies of ambition, respecting sound theory and fresh ideas, coupled with respect for research. All of this is powered by the dreams that are mentioned in the company’s overarching philosophy.  Five overalls for the fifth criterion.

Test Six: The Values and Ethics Statement

The sixth test focuses on the company’s workplace values and business ethics. Honda’s Fundamental Beliefs add to the company’s Management Policies that relate to its workforce. The Beliefs are a trinity of statements about the company’s relationships with its employees. Honda states that these three norms sum to respect for individuals:

  • Initiative to act is encouraged, along with taking responsibility for the results of those actions.
  • Equality is defined as recognizing and respecting individual differences and rights to opportunity.
  • Trust is action-based: “helping out where others are deficient, accepting help where we are deficient, sharing our knowledge, and making a sincere effort to fulfill our responsibilities.”

Honda values initiative, ambition, equality, and trust in a harmonious workplace built around open communications. Five coveralls awarded for meeting the sixth criterion on values and ethics.

Test Seven: The Strategy Proposition

A cornerstone of Honda’s corporate culture is a commitment to continuous improvement and lean operations. Yet, this is not directly reflected in the company’s philosophical statements.  The Management Policy supports a “harmonious flow of work,” making effective use of time, along with a fundamental belief in each associate taking responsibility for their actions. These are all elements of lean production.

How well does Honda do in building a useful strategy proposition that is supported by a strong set of management values? Honda’s Philosophy, The Three Joys, the Fundamental Beliefs and The Racing Spirit are guiding principles that are closely associated with Mr. Honda. They are critical components of what could be called the company’s origin story or foundation myth and have been used when the company appeared to have lost its way. Mr. Honda built his company around an enduring strategy proposition—the racing spirit. It is only fitting to drape this criterion with four and a half pairs of Honda’s enduring white coveralls. After all, there is always room for improvement.

OK, But Why the White Coveralls?

Why the white coveralls? They are part of the company’s culture and derive from its fundamental beliefs about equality. Honda does not have reserved parking, its employees are called associates, and all workers — even its CEO, research and development associates, and its accountants — wear white coveralls with covered buttons. This was a shock to U.S. workers when Honda Americas Manufacturing started production.

Honda offers three explanations for the tradition:

  • White jumpsuits make physical statements about the work environment, modern manufacturing, and the quality of the finished product. White uniforms stain and easily show dirt. They serve as a check on Honda’s belief that “good products come from clean workplaces.”
  • They are symbols about the manufacturing work environment at Honda. The covered buttons prevent scratches on the finish of the products — and highlight the importance of detail in quality.
  • Finally, the uniform is a statement about equality and team. Honda states that the white outfit symbolizes the equality of all at Honda in pursuit of the company’s goals.

When Honda opened its U.S. manufacturing operations in Marysville, Ohio, in the 1980s, the jumpsuit and lack of managerial perks made one other statement to potential workers: Honda was not the same as a U.S.-headquartered car company. At the time, this was a very good thing — though others have since learned from Honda’s example.

Enter HGR’s December 2017 “guess what it is” Facebook contest

December 2017 HGR guess what it is Facebook Contest

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, Dec. 18, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

HGR is hosting an auction on Dec. 19

December 19, 2017 auction

HGR Industrial Surplus is partnering with Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers to host an in-person and online auction of assets from the former Allison Conveyor Engineering at 120 Mine St., Allison, Penn. This auction includes bridge mills, plasma tables, fabricating and welding equipment, CNC machining, and toolroom and support equipment.

Click here for further details and to register.

Grammar tips: i.e. versus e.g.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Did you know that most people use i.e. when they want to say “for example” when they should be using e.g.?

Let’s find out what they actually mean so that we can use them properly. “e.g.” is the abbreviation for the Latin phrase “exempli gratia,” which means “for example.” “i.e.” is the abbreviation for the Latin phrase “id est,” which means “namely,” “that is” or “in other words.” So, just think “example” with an “e” needs to use “e.g.” with an “e.” And, “in other words” with an “i” needs to use “i.e.” with an “i.”

Let’s look at some examples:

  • I enjoy outdoor activities, e.g., hiking and horseback riding. (I am giving a few examples of activities that I enjoy. There are others.)
  • I enjoy outdoor activities, i.e., hiking and horseback riding. (I am stating that the only activities that I like, in other words, are these two.)

Two more examples:

  • Her daughter loves watching superhero cartoons (e.g., Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). (two examples of cartoons that she likes)
  • Her daughter loves watching her favorite cartoon heroes (i.e., the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). (specific/namely/in other words because this cartoon is her favorite not an example of cartoons that she likes watching)

Note: In American English, we also include the periods and a comma after these abbreviations when we use them in a sentence.

A way around this decision if you can’t remember which to use is to substitute the words for the abbreviation:

  • I enjoy outdoor activities, for example, hiking and horseback riding.
  • I enjoy certain outdoor activities, in other words, hiking and horseback riding.
  • Her daughter loves watching superhero cartoons, for example, Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Her daughter loves watching her favorite cartoon heroes, in other words, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Cowabunga!

HGR helps manufacturers navigate buying and selling used equipment

aisle of machines at HGR Industrial Surplus
Photo courtesy of Bivens Photography

Manufacturing overhead, including factory supplies, depreciation on equipment, and replacement parts, can take a toll on a company’s wallet. Then, when they need to add equipment or replace aging systems, they’re faced with the complication of choosing among options to buy used, buy new or lease. When replacing equipment, a manufacturer needs to sell the old equipment in order to free up floor space and capital.

That’s where HGR Industrial Surplus comes into the manufacturing pipeline to assist a business’ growth and investment recovery by providing used equipment for sale or lease and by buying used equipment to help companies turn surplus assets into cash that will help pay for the upgrade or replacement.

Since scrap prices are at an all-time low, most companies can probably can do better by putting the equipment back into service through resale, which also is environmentally responsible. And, someone else will be able to save capital by buying it used or may even use the equipment for parts in the repair of another piece of equipment. Reselling to HGR also saves the seller the time and frustration incurred in finding potential buyers or in spending money to place ads in industry publications or resale websites then monitoring and responding to inquiries.

If a company is looking for a piece of equipment to replace one being taken out of service or to expand its line, it either can buy the used piece of equipment or lease it through HGR. If they choose to buy it, we have a 30-day, money-back guarantee that mitigates risk, and we are a Machinery Dealers National Association member, which means that we abide by their stringent code of ethics.

Should a company choose to lease a piece of equipment, we have a relationship with a finance source that, essentially, will buy it from us and lease it to the company. Once purchased or leased, our Shipping Department can set up transportation. Then, from the date that the item is purchased, a customer has 30 days to pay and 45 days to remove it from our showroom.

SHOPPING HINT: As soon as the item is received, our Buy Department prices and photographs it then posts it online. Some items never make it to the showroom floor because they are purchased as soon as they are listed. So, it’s important to have a relationship with one of our salespeople who can keep a customer in the loop if something comes in, or a customer can check our website or our eBay auction for the most recent arrivals.

And, though we sell used equipment, we sell tons of other stuff, including shop supplies, fans, fixtures, laptop bags and printer ink cartridges. You never know what you will find. We get 300-400 new items each day in many equipment categories, including welding, machining and fabrication, supply chain/distribution, plastics, chemical processing, electrical, furniture and finishes, hardware, motors, robotics, shop equipment and woodworking. There’s something here for everyone. Many makers and hobbyists shop at HGR and upcycle equipment pieces and parts into other useable objects.

HGR Lifecycle infographicFacts about HGR infographic

OSHA: What manufacturers need to know for 2018

safety first card in gloved hand

 (Courtesy of Guest Bloggers Joseph N. Gross, partner, and Cheryl Donahue, associate, with Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP)

Joseph Gross partner at BeneschCheryl Donahue associate with Benesch

Although many manufacturers are upbeat about the changes in leadership that will be coming at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and having a full complement of commissioners at the OSHA Review Commission, new OSHA standards could mean a few non-compliance surprises.

Recordkeeping: Who, what, and when

OSHA revised its recordkeeping requirements for tracking work-based injuries and illnesses, now requiring many employers to submit their records electronically. This new electronic recordkeeping rule affects all employers with 250 or more employees that were previously required to keep OSHA injury and illness records and employers with 20-249 employees that are classified in any of 67 specific industries, including manufacturing, which, according to OSHA, historically have had high injury and illness rates. To be compliant, affected employers must submit their 300A Forms by December 1, 2017, per OSHA’s latest notice of proposed rulemaking. Forms are to be submitted to OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application. After the forms are collected, OSHA will post each employers’ specific illness and injury data on its website, to, as one of OSHA’s announcements explains, nudge employers to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.

Recordkeeping in 2018

In 2018, the electronic recordkeeping requirements change again. Employers with 250 or more employees are required to electronically submit all of their required 2017 forms (Forms 300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018. Employers in the specified high-risk industries, including manufacturing, with 20-249 employees are required to submit their 2017 Forms 300A by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019, the submission deadlines change from July 1 to March 2 each year.

Anti-retaliation protections

In addition to the electronic submission requirements, the new recordkeeping rule prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report their work-related injuries and illnesses. The rule also requires employers to inform employees of their right to report their injuries and illnesses free from retaliation. Employers’ reporting procedures must be reasonable and cannot discourage or deter employees from reporting. Although OSHA did not go so far as making safety incentive programs unlawful, OSHA made clear that rewarding employees for having a good safety record is not permissible.

The dead Volks Rule

In April 2017, President Trump signed a resolution that killed the Volks rule. The Volks rule permitted OSHA to issue citations for certain recordkeeping up to five years after the noncompliant conduct. OSHA’s authority is back to six months. Changes to other rules and policies, including the electronic recordkeeping rule, are probably one to two years away, so stay tuned.

New compliance standards: beryllium & silica

On May 20, 2017, OSHA’s new beryllium standard became effective. Beryllium is a strong, lightweight metal used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, defense, and nuclear energy. The new standard reduces the permissible exposure limit for beryllium to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour day. The new standard also requires employers to use practices such as ventilation or enclosure to limit employee exposure to beryllium and to provide respirators when exposure cannot be limited.

On October 23, 2017, OSHA’s silica standard began limiting employee exposure of silica dust to 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour day. Silica exposure occurs when employees cut, grind, or drill silica-containing materials such as concrete, rock, tile, or masonry. The standard now requires employers to limit employees’ access to high exposure areas, to provide medical care to employees who have been exposed, and to train employees about silica-related hazards.

Walking and working surfaces and ladders

OSHA’s new fall-protection standards became effective earlier this year, but manufacturers will not get the full impact until they have to buy new ladders. They are changing. In 20 years, employers will have to replace all cages and wells used as fall protection on ladders of more than 24 feet with more effective systems. But, starting November 2018, employers purchasing new fixed ladders over 24 feet will not be able to use cages and wells for fall protection.

First-annual student art show held at second-annual Euclid Art Walk

Euclid Art Show first-place winner "Hot Sauce in my Cup of Noodles" by Brady Wilson
Euclid Art Show first-place winner “Hot Sauce in my Cup of Noodles” by Brady Wilson
Euclid Art Association first-place winner "Losing Faith" by Madeline Pflueger
Euclid Art Association first-place winner “Losing Faith” by Madeline Pflueger
Euclid Art Association first-place winner "Self-Portrait" by Chazlyn Johnson
Euclid Art Association first-place winner “Self-Portrait” by Chazlyn Johnson
Euclid Art Association first-place winner "This is How Euclid will Look in 2050" by Zania Jones
Euclid Art Association first-place winner “This is How Euclid will Look in 2050” by Zania Jones
Euclid High School fine art students
Euclid High School fine art students (first-place winner Brady Wilson on the right)
Euclid high school photography students
Euclid High School photography students

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Joan Milligan, Euclid Art Association program director)

How do you start an art movement? By making connections! During a planning meeting in June for the second-annual Euclid Art Walk, the Euclid Art Association brought up the idea that an art walk should have an art show for the students of the city. That was how the All-Student September Art Show was born.

The goal of the student art show was to connect the community to the local schools to promote the arts. Art is an important, but often limited, part of curriculum. Art teaches students be creative and to look for and recognize designs and patterns all around them. By developing this ability, students can be led to careers not only in art, but also in computer science, graphic design, architecture, engineering and more. Because of limitations in school budgets or family resources, many talented students don’t have access to quality art supplies. We realized the art show could serve another purpose – create a forum to display and recognize budding talent and award that talent with access to good supplies for various media.

Once the seed was planted, the show began to grow! A local landlord offered a vacant storefront to use as a gallery. Businesses, including HGR Industrial Surplus, made donations so that good-quality art supplies could be awarded as prizes to the students and classrooms. The prizes presented to the winners included:

  • Large and small tabletop easels
  • Pastel sets
  • Framing certificates to Driftwood Gallery
  • Drawing tablets
  • Canvases
  • Paint sets
  • Paint brushes
  • Crayons
  • Gift certificates to Dodd Camera
  • Photo paper
  • Art books

Additionally, the Cleveland Museum of Art sent its mobile art truck complete with hands-on art projects for children, and even a troupe of stilt walkers!

The Euclid Art Walk was held on Friday, Sept. 22, from 6:00-11:00 p.m. The Student Art Show was held from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the donated storefront. We created a mini-gallery-feel in the store with art racks and tables from the Euclid Art Association. Live painting opportunities for both adults and children were available in front of the store.

This inaugural art show had 46 entries from elementary through high-school students ranging. There were enough entries at the high-school level that we were able to designate two judging categories: Photography and Fine Arts.

 

HGR’s Thanksgiving hours 2017

We will be open our normal hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Wednesday and Friday, but we are closed on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the holiday with our families.

Remember to give thanks for all you have. We are grateful for our wonderful customers!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from the crew at HGR Industrial Surplus.

Thanksgiving wishes

Take the Northeast Ohio Regional Manufacturers Survey and make an impact

man taking survey on phone and tablet

MAGNET: Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network is inviting manufacturers to impact the future of manufacturing in Northeast Ohio through its second-annual Northeast Ohio Regional Manufacturers Survey. To thank you for your time, you’ll be able to pick one of 10 different business books – and they’ll send it to you for free! They’ll also make a donation of $5 to Harvest for Hunger in your honor.

It will take less than 15 minutes to answer the 40 questions. Your response this year will shape legislative policies and regulations, better align the workforce development system, and much more. In late January, you will get real results on how your company stacks up against other companies in your region, and in your industry, in critical areas like workforce, operations, and growth. The survey questions revolve around workforce, operations, perspectives on growth in 2018.

Feel free to forward this to whomever in your organization that you think is the most appropriate person to fill out the survey, and feel free to share it with other manufacturing companies, as well. The more the merrier!

The final results will be shared widely, and you’ll receive an email as soon as the results are released.

 

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR’s Marketing Department

HGR marketing team
l to r: Gina Tabasso, Matt Williams, Joe Powell and Paula Maggio

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Matt Williams, HGR’s chief marketing officer)

What does your department do?

The Marketing Department at HGR Industrial Surplus is responsible for all inbound and outbound marketing. Core responsibilities of the department include: e-mail marketing, social media, events and tradeshows, graphic design, videography, blogging, public relations, and community relations.

Over the past two years the marketing team at HGR has focused intently on content marketing (hence all these great blog posts!) in the company’s efforts to learn more about its customers, vendors, and community and to serve as a connector in the manufacturing sector.

How many people work in your department, and what are their roles?

The Marketing Department currently has three full-time employees and one part-time employee and also relies upon the expertise of several contractors and consultants. Gina Tabasso is our marketing communications specialist and is responsible for developing content, interviewing customers and other stakeholders in the community, and managing a variety of different departmental functions integral to the team’s success. Joe Powell is our graphic designer and videographer. Joe designs fliers, website landing pages, internal communications, and a variety of other internal and external communications pieces used throughout the organization. He is also an FAA-licensed drone pilot. Paula Maggio is our social media specialist. She manages our Facebook, Twitter, and other social media posts. She is also a skilled public relations professional and drafts and distributes press releases for HGR. Matt Williams is the chief marketing officer at HGR and is responsible for managing the marketing team. Matt also has principal ownership of the website and e-mail marketing and manages the activities of several contractors.

What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?

The Marketing Department receives daily requests from various departments at HGR. Organization to make sure that deadlines are met is critically important. It’s also important that team members are able to bring creative ideas to the table and to synthesize the ideas of other stakeholders in the company to help bring those ideas to life.

What do you like most about your department?

The Marketing Department at HGR has the latitude to pursue creative and innovative ideas to drive engagement. This has been evidenced recently through the F*SHO modern furniture show that was hosted at HGR and which drew somewhere around 5,000 visitors during a five-hour period on a Friday evening in mid-September.

What challenges has your department faced, and how have you overcome them?

Working on the website was very difficult just two years ago. The website was developed by a South Korean firm. While the firm is very technically sound and capable, the language barrier required the use of a translator for e-mail and phone calls. Additionally, the difference in time zones slowed things down. The Marketing Department worked with a local Web-development firm to redevelop the company’s website on the WordPress platform, which makes it much easier to publish posts just like this one. It has become the foundation for our content marketing efforts.

What changes in the way your department does business have occurred in the past few years?

The Marketing Department at HGR was retooled in 2015. All of its current employees were hired in 2015. This created an opportunity to take the company’s marketing efforts in a different direction, and the feedback from other employees and stakeholders has been very strong. One of the biggest changes has been the launch of a new website in 2016.

What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?

Gina Tabasso has been interviewing customers for the past several months and has conducted more than 100 interviews. These interviews will be used to develop a customer satisfaction survey that will be sent out in the first quarter of 2018 to gauge opportunities to improve how we do things.

What’s HGR’s overall environment like?

HGR is a relaxed work environment where people care about one another. It’s a fun place to work. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we’re serious about the work that we do.

What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?

HGR helps customers to extract the last measure of life out of older capital equipment. Our company serves a role in the manufacturing ecosystem where we help entrepreneurs, startups, and high-growth companies to preserve capital for growth by putting equipment that might otherwise have been scrapped back into service. We also help to validate end-of-lifecycle of capital equipment. If no one buys a piece of equipment from us, it has probably met the end of its useful life and will be recycled. Finally, we are seeing an uptick in interest in industrial elements (e.g., machine legs) that are upcycled into other products, such as modern or steampunk-style furniture.

Auburn Career Center multimedia technology students seek internships

Auburn Career Center Career Fair student

On Nov. 8, Joe Powell, HGR’s graphic designer/videographer, and I had the opportunity to attend a “reverse job fair” with Interactive Multimedia Technology (IMT) students at Auburn Career Center in Concord, Ohio.

These students are currently enrolled in a two-year Tech-Prep program that focuses on the various creative aspects of computer technology. Under the supervision and guidance of their instructor, Rodney Kozar, these students learn everything from Web design to design techniques (digital photography, graphic design, Adobe Photoshop), audio/video production and animation.

The focus of the job fair was to provide potential internship opportunities for Auburn Career Center’s students and manufacturing organizations who are currently members of the Alliance for Working Together, which puts on the annual RoboBots competition. Organizations had the opportunity to interview these students in order to consider hiring them for an eight-week program that would benefit both the organization and the student by working on a marketing project of the organization’s choosing.

When Rodney asked for suggestions prior the event about how to better match students to organizations, HGR suggested that the students set up booths and allow the organizations the opportunity to come around and view their work in a “reverse job fair.”

It worked out extremely well. Each student had his or her own booth featuring that student’s own work, which included large posters, short animation films, photos and even video productions. Hiring managers were able to visit each booth, see small demos, ask questions and then circle back to sign up for interviews. Each organization was allowed four interviews of 15 minutes each.

The 14 students were well prepared to speak about their work and answer various questions. With 11 organizations in attendance, student interviews were booking quickly; so, we had to make our decision fast so as not to lose out on the opportunity. With so much talent, narrowing it down to four was difficult.

During the interview process HGR’s Joe Powell was able to ask our candidates the technical questions: what software programs were they familiar with, camera angles, editing, sound booths and Photoshop. The flow of dialogue was smooth between them. I was able to get a good feel for how well our candidate managed his or her time, dealt with project deadlines, worked as a team and what he or she potentially could bring to the table. All four of the candidates that we interviewed were on their game.

Our goal at HGR is to bring on one intern in early 2018. We have it narrowed down to two candidates who we’ve invited out to interview us. Stay tuned.

Auburn Career Center Career Fair with HGR's Tina Dick in background
In the background, HGR’s Tina Dick interviews an Auburn Career Center student
Joe Powell of HGR interviews Auburn Career Center student
HGR’s Joe Powell interviews an Auburn Career Center student

HGR hosts MAGNET’s annual State of Manufacturing event

MAGNET State of Manufacturing at HGR

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Dale Kiefer, freelance journalist)

On Nov. 10, HGR welcomed members of the public to its headquarters to gain insights about important trends that are likely to affect Northeast Ohio manufacturers in the coming year. The third-annual State of Manufacturing event was organized by MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network whose mission is to help area companies grow and thereby contribute to the manufacturing renaissance in Northeast Ohio.

MAGNET State of Manufacturing breakfast at HGRThe morning event began with a networking breakfast that gave attendees a chance to connect with other industry professionals, including HGR associates and expert consultants from MAGNET. Ethan Karp, president and CEO of MAGNET, launched the formal part of the program with opening remarks. This was followed by an expression of thanks to HGR and all of the participants from Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail.

The first presenter was Joseph N. Gross, an OSBA certified specialist in labor and employment law who is also a partner at Benesch Attorneys at Law. He spoke about changes at OSHA and what manufacturers can expect when dealing with the agency in the coming year.

He was followed by Mark Wolk, the central region manager for Bank of America Leasing & Capital, who gave an overview of the equipment finance market. This included a lease versus loan benefit comparison for capital equipment.MAGNET State of Manufacturing guest speaker at HGR

The third and final speaker for the morning was Dr. Ned Hill who teaches economic development policy, public policy, and public finance at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University. The focus of his presentation was Manufacturing 5.0, or the Fifth Industrial Revolution, which describes the most recent major shift in the economy’s structure. Under Manufacturing 5.0, all aspects of enterprises will see full digital integration. In this new economy, soft skills will be just as valuable and essential among the workforce as harder technical skills.

Following the presentations, the speakers opened the floor to questions. Thereafter, attendees were given a chance to take guided tours of HGR’s facility and learn more about the history of the company and the value that HGR itself provides to manufacturers. More than 40 attendees toured HGR’s 500,000-square-foot showroom and newly renovated offices.

The State of Manufacturing 2017 event was sponsored by MAGNET, The Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Benesch Attorneys at Law, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

 

Enter HGR’s November 2017 “guess what it is” Facebook contest

HGR November 2017 guess what it is Facebook contest

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, Nov. 20, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

Organic SEO tips and tricks

Tips & Tricks iconWhat is SEO?

Many companies have websites or social media pages but don’t maximize them for search engine optimization (SEO). So, first, what is SEO? Basically, it is all the techniques (paid and unpaid/organic/earned) that affect the visibility of your website in key-word search results that potential customers are conducting. Then, these potential customers will be better able to find your website or product and, hopefully, be converted into customers.

As you may know, this search hinges on algorithms created by the leading search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!. Their bots or spiders “crawl” your website for key words then index your website in the search results based on a complex mathematical formula. This is called unpaid, organic or earned SEO.

How can you maximize organic SEO?

Tip #1: Optimize your images by creating alt tags and descriptions. Yes, images count.

Tip #2: Use internal linking to drive traffic to a poorly performing page on your site and get backlinks to your website from other websites.

Tip #3: Keep your content fresh since the spiders crawl the pages regularly.

Tip #4: Use key words in your page titles, subheadings, product descriptions, category landing pages, file names, link text, URLs and blog posts.

Tip #5: Create a Google Plus and Places page and get reviews since Google also indexes these.

Tip #6: Create a YouTube channel and add videos since Google ranks YouTube videos highly in search results.

Trick: If you create meaningful content that can be shared on your social media pages, mention others to increase the likelihood of shares, likes and saves. That way, you get in front of their followers, as well! Social media content also is indexed in search engine results.

What else can you do?

You also can increase the likelihood that potential customers will find your website with paid SEO or search engine marketing (SEM). This is where you gain traffic by buying ads or conducting pay-per-click campaigns on search engines through Google AdWords, Bing Ads or Yahoo Search Ads.

We’d like to hear your book suggestions

person reading a book

Do you love to read about technology, trends in manufacturing, history, the trades? We do. We’re also invested in helping to educate young people about the manufacturing industry and careers in manufacturing. And, we admire our maker and hobbyist customers who are curious and invested in learning new techniques and applications. To this end, we’ve created a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) Resource Center in our customer lounge. Since our renovation of the front office is complete, we’re working to populate the resource center with new and updated materials.

Do you have a book suggestion that others in the industry might enjoy reading? If so, comment below. Here’s a list of some of the books that you’ll find on our shelves:

  • Machining Fundamentals: From Basic to Advanced Techniques by John Walker
  • World Class Manufacturing: The Next Decade by Richard Schonberger
  • Poorly Made in China by Paul Midler
  • Inexpensive CNC Projects by Robert J. Davis II
  • The Everything STEM Handbook by Sawah Rihab
  • The Welding Business Owner’s Handbook by David Zielinski
  • Making it: Why Manufacturing Still Matters by Louis Uchitelle
  • On the Economy of Machinery and Manufacturers by Charles Babbage
  • The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
  • Faster, Better Cheaper in the History of Manufacturing by Christoph Roser
  • Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in WWII by Arthur Herman
  • Welder’s Handbook by Richard Finch
  • Getting Started with 3D Printing by Liza Wallach Kloski
  • African American Women Scientists and Inventors by Otha Richard Sullivan
  • The Machine Age in America: 1918-1941 by Richard Guy Wilson
  • Makers: The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson

Homemade hamburgers in the heart of Euclid

Stevensons Bar & Grille

I heard rumors about a hamburger joint in Euclid with some of the best burgers around and had to check it out. The colleague that I was meeting for lunch is a longtime Euclid resident, and she had never been there either. So, off we went to Stevenson’s Bar & Grill.

Stevenson’s is a local, neighborhood bar where the bartenders and regulars make you feel welcomed. Alysia took care of us this time. It was Halloween; so, she was dressed as a skeleton and handing out candy. And, we got to meet Bruce, the kitchen owner. Yes, the kitchen and the bar are owned by two different people. Paula is the bar owner, but she wasn’t in when we visited.

The menu is no frills, bar basics: French fries, onion rings mozzarella sticks, jalepeno poppers, other breaded and fried delights, two salad options and sandwiches. But, everyone comes for the “Big Guy” double cheeseburger with lettuce, pickle and special sauce. So, I had to try the “Big Guy” and fried pickles (slices, not spears) with a homemade horseradish sauce. My friend had the turkey burger with fries. Everything tasted homemade. The buns were good. The service was great.

Bruce says that Stevenson’s has been around for 64 years with the first 60 years on Lake Shore Boulevard and the last four at its current location on E. 200th Street.

So, if you’re shopping at HGR, it’s not a Wednesday when we have free lunch, and you’re in the mood for a burger, Stevenson’s is just around the corner.

Ohio Strong Award recognizes those who excel in manufacturing and the trades

Ohio Strong Award for manufacturing and the skilled trades

As Josh Mandel, treasurer of Ohio, states, “There is a quiet crisis upon us with a shortage of young Americans pursuing careers in manufacturing and the skilled trades. According to a recent Skills Gap Survey by the Manufacturing Institute, approximately 600,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled nationally because employers can’t find qualified workers.” In order to encourage young people to enter these fields, that state has created the “Ohio Strong Award.” The application form is available here.

If someone you know or work with demonstrates an excellent work ethic and passion for what he or she does in manufacturing and the skilled trades, you can nominate him or her for helping to make Ohio strong. These stories, which will appear on the Ohio treasurer’s website, will recognize those laborers as well as inspire the next generation of Ohioans to pursue careers in manufacturing and the trades.

 

Happy Halloween!

Scary jack o'lantern in the woods

Whether you dress up in costume, pass out candy, bob for apples, tell scary stories, watch horror films, carve pumpkins, remember those who are no longer with us, or play tricks on your friends, we hope that you have a safe and happy All Hallows’ Eve and don’t eat too much candy! If you visit HGR on Oct. 31, you’ll see some of our employees in costume and the office decorated thanks to Libby! You may even find some treats along the way.

What does a company that sells industrial surplus have to do with archaeology?

skeleton and archaeological tools

Well, what is archeology? According to the Society for American Archaeology, “Archeology is the study of ancient and recent human past through material remains. Archaeology analyzes the physical remains of the past in pursuit of broad and comprehensive understanding of human culture. Artifacts are objects made or used by people that are analyzed by archaeologists to obtain information about the peoples who make and used them.”

HGR is full of artifacts! Do you like to dig around at thrift stores, flea markets, estate sales? Do you have a love for building, fixing, making, history, machinery, manufacturing, bygone days? Our customers are archeologists. They come to HGR’s 500,000-square-foot showroom and dig around in the remains from other businesses, offices and manufacturers looking for that prize, that find, that deal. The building is full of clues about the past.

When I walk the aisles I think about what these machines made, who ran them, and, even, who designed and made the machines. It’s a huge part of our culture. Everything is manufactured. Everything you use, wear, drive in, live in. These are all products made somewhere by someone. We can’t even begin to imagine how or the process that goes into it if we’ve never worked in a factory. Those who do know the rigor that goes into making a quality, precision product from the concept to design to materials to manufacture to distribution to sales to use by the consumer. It’s a huge pipeline on which our economy and culture hinge.

When a company upgrades equipment, changes a process or, even, goes out of business, it has material assets that it needs to sell in order to recoup some of its assets and reinvest them. Selling surplus also keeps these items out of a landfill and in use, allowing smaller or startup companies to buy the equipment that they need affordably. That includes everything in its offices (chairs, desks, tables, anything in or on a desk, computers), maintenance department (cleaning supplies, light bulbs, gloves, bathroom/hygiene products) and on its production floor (storage bins, solvents, tools, machines, equipment, welding shields, fire extinguishers).

Think about it as anything and everything that keeps a company running. HGR Industrial Surplus sends its buyers into these customers’ facilities to bid on whatever they are selling. If they buy it, HGR transports it to Euclid, Ohio, and resells it to local customers in the Cleveland area and to international customers through its website at hgrinc.com. Whatever that manufacturer made may also be for sale if they had unsold lots of their product (wine glasses, rugs, safety glasses, leather). That’s why you can find anything and everything at HGR Industrial Surplus. Aisle 1 is a favorite of many customers when they go “digging.”

 

HGR Industrial Surplus and local furniture designers raise more than $600 for hurricane relief

44 Steel desk
Desk by Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel

3 Barn Doors table for HGR Industrial Surplus hurricane-relief auction

Rust Dust & Other 4 Letter Words lamp table
Lamp table by Larry Fielder of Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words

HGR donated items from its showroom to three local furniture designers – 44 Steel, 3 Barn Doors and Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words. These designers took their materials to IngenuityFest 2017 and did a live build of a desk, a table, and a reading lamp and table. The three pieces were auctioned through HGR’s eBay site and raised $606 that is being donated to Fresh Arts, a nonprofit arts organization in Houston, Texas, that is funding the Immediate Disaster Relief Fund for Texas Artists to help artists in the area rebuild after the hurricane. Thanks to everyone who participated for this good cause!

 

Get to know a zoo vet tech turned fabricator: A Q&A with David D’Souza

David D'Souza with gorilla at the Los Angeles Zoo

   What do you do for a living?

I’m actually a veterinary technician at the zoo in Los Angeles. I’ve always been an animal lover, and I’ve worked with animals since I was 16. It’s such an exciting and often dangerous job that it keeps me sharp and motivated. Every day is an adventure. I would honestly do it for free, but luckily it pays enough for me to enjoy my other hobbies.

How and why did you get into welding, art and making?David D'Souza welding

Speaking of my other hobbies, many of them center around motorsports. I’ve always enjoyed building fast cars, trucks and bikes. Welding is a necessary skill in fabricating many high-performance parts and “one of” custom setups; so, I had to pick up welding both MIG and TIG along the way. Once I immersed myself in the metal fabrication hobby It quickly developed into a real passion and from it my creative side started to blossom.

What types of items do you design and make?

I typically design and create industrial-style items, as well as a few more delicate things. Custom tables are my favorite along with mobile carts and other heavy items. Almost everything I design incorporates a blend of heavy steel and wood. I particularly like building butcher block or farmhouse-style slabs and mounting them on industrial steel frames. I like playing with different wood finishes such as epoxy resins. I feel that wood has a warm, deep beauty that is brought to light if the correct finishing technique is used.

David D'Souza cartDavid D'Souza TableDavid D'Souza chicken feet potsDavid D'Souza book endsDavid D'Souza industrail coffee table

How do you market or sell your creations? Do you attend shows?

I haven’t focused on the marketing or selling aspect too much until recently. This is still mainly a hobby, and I’m constantly learning and improving. I recently started Red Dogs Crafts, and I currently only have an Etsy website as a marketing tool. I do plan on becoming a vendor at a few local flea markets here in Los Angeles to see if I can find a target audience for my style of fabrication. I plan on attending a few shows to get some ideas of what other fabricators are doing out there. I love seeing new ideas and techniques because it motivates me to learn more.

How did you learn to do this?

I’m 100-percent self-taught in everything that I do. I’ve never taken classes, had a mentor or worked in the industry to have someone show me the ropes. I believe I’m a fast learner in anything that I do, and I also know that I learn best when I do things on my own by making mistakes and doing my own research on different techniques. Nowadays, with the Internet and YouTube there isn’t anything that you cannot learn online. Heck, there’s even YouTube videos on how to do cardiac surgery for that first timer doing a valve replacement. LOL. My usual mode of action is to buy the tool first then figure out how it works and then practice until I’m proficient at it or at least achieve the end results that I can be proud of.

What artists, designers or makers do you most admire?

I like Kevin Caron’s work. I think he’s very practical and down to earth with his techniques. He’s also a wealth of knowledge and experience; so, I respect his abilities and his work because he’s constantly learning like the rest of us. He’s also on the WeldingWeb forum where I met HGR for the first time; so, he adds to the knowledge base, as do many other experienced guys.

What inspires you?

I think I’m inspired by the challenge of creating something that I visualize in my mind and having to physically take the steps to make it materialize to as close a rendition of what I see in my mind’s eye. I feel that many people love certain things but always feel that they’re unattainable either because it’s too difficult, it’s too much work or they just can’t figure out how to do it. I love figuring out how to do new stuff. That is what inspires and motivates me.

What do you do when you aren’t working or making art?

Whenever I have free time I spend my time pursuing my other hobbies. Typically, I’m out in the deserts of Southern California riding my dirt bikes or drag racing my cars. I think the feeling of being on two wheels ripping through our beautiful landscape gives me the exhilaration that I’m constantly chasing. I also enjoy spending time outdoors at the beach with my two dogs and my girlfriend. Sometimes, I just love my family time staying home with my girlfriend and the dogs just relaxing.

What advice do you have for makers?

My advice is that you can go as far in this hobby/profession as you choose. It’s all dependent on the effort that you put into it. I would advise anyone starting in the hobby to take classes first. I think this would set you up with a good fundamental foundation which would expose you to the different techniques, tools and options out there which would then allow you to make intelligent choices going forward with the hobby. Being that I’m self-taught, I feel that I’ve gone around in circles a few times and would have wasted less time had I gained the experience a class provides. Also, if you can work in the industry do so, even as a volunteer. It’s invaluable the skill you develop by immersing yourself into the industry.

What is your personal philosophy?

I’ve never been asked this question before so I’ll have to think of one now. I think of life as a journey that is based on choices or decisions. Every decision we make has an effect on the direction that our life takes. If we make good decisions early in life, we are started on a path to success or happiness. I realized the consequences of my decisions in my late 20s and it was at that point that I started in the direction that I’m headed now. My philosophy would probably be something along the lines that life is a constant test of your character. If you make good choices based on good character you’ll be on the path to success and happiness in whatever you pursue.

Anything that I missed? The two red dogs?

Ah, my babies. “ShyAnne” and her daughter “Lil Cheese.” These are my two red dogs. A mom and daughter pair that have been part of my life for the last 15 years. ShyAnne has been by my side through thick and thin and good and bad. It’s amazing how having a strong bond with your dogs can keep you positive through so many difficult times in life. These two are a part of everything I do. Hence, I decided to name the fabrication shop after them as they are a part of everything I build. I’m glad to have my workshop at home because it allows me to spend time with my two dogs while I’m building stuff. I take lots of breaks to play ball with them and build cool dog toys to keep them occupied. In return, they only ask for more of my attention, and treats, which I am always glad to give.

David D'Souza's two Red Dogs after which Red Dog Crafts is named

Euclid mayor and school superintendent share initiatives with the community

Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail at Euclid Chamber of Commerce Community Leaders Breakfast 2017On Oct. 17, a full house of Euclid-area residents and businesspeople gathered in the meeting room of the Euclid Public Library for the Euclid Chamber of Commerce’s Community Leaders Breakfast. First, Kacie Armstrong, library director, said a few words about the purpose of the library in the community. Next, Sheila Gibbons, Euclid Chamber of Commerce executive director, announced upcoming chamber events and introduced a representative from the breakfast’s sponsor, Allstate Insurance Agent Bill Mason.

The first guest speaker was Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail. She addressed three areas of focus for the city: economic development, safety and building a vibrant community. Some recent and future projects in the city that bring in new investment and tax dollars for the city include 1,000 new jobs being created with the demolition of Euclid Square Mall and new construction of an Amazon distribution center, the creation of a technology center at Lincoln Electric and surrounding streetscape at E. 222nd St. and St. Clair Ave., a 25,000-square-foot expansion at Keene Building Products, a 40,000-square-foot expansion at American Punch Co., an expansion of Rick Case Honda, a groundbreaking for an O’Reilly auto parts store, and planned expansions to Irie Jamaican Kitchen and Mama Catena.

The second initiative, safety, includes promotions, new hires, training and community-education opportunities for the fire and police departments. Finally, building a vibrant community encompasses community cleanup, recycling, beautification and improvement grants. On Nov. 2, the city will unveil its master plan draft to the Planning & Zoning Department.

The second community leader to speak was Euclid City Schools’ Superintendent Charlie Smialek. He introduced a number of school employees in attendance as well as three Euclid High School Euclid City Schools Superintendent Charlie Smialek at Euclid Chamber of Commerce Community Leaders Breakfast 2017students. Then, he went through a presentation on the district’s vision that included a new Fab Lab to be built as part of the Early Learning Center to introduce science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) instruction in grade school. It will be one of only two early learning Fab Labs in the nation. He also discussed technology programming at the high school and an update on the campus construction project that is underway for scheduled completion in 2020.

Both speakers fielded questions from the audience and gave a plug to support Cuyahoga Community College’s November 2017 bond, Issue 61 to update aging buildings.

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR’s Receiving Department

HGR Industrial Surplus Receiving Department

(Courtesy of Rick Hawkins, HGR’s receiving supervisor)

What does your department do?

The main objective of the Receiving Department is to safely and accurately receive and prepare our incoming merchandise for sale. Our goal is to achieve the main objective along with ensuring that we present our customers with the best possible first impression of our merchandise. Many processes take place in order to prepare our surplus for sale: unloading, weighing, sorting, expediting, displaying, and inventorying are processes that are completed prior to sale. We supply our showroom and sales associates with ready-to-sell merchandise on a daily basis.

How many people work in your department, and what are their roles?

The Receiving Department operates on two shifts to help accommodate the high volume of deliveries each day. There are four forklift operators per shift who unload and prepare everything for the inventory process. There are four inventory clerks, two expeditors, and the chief pricing officer. Receiving also works closely with the eBay Department, the Recycling Department and the logistics coordinators. Together, we work toward a common goal; each position and every responsibility plays a crucial role in the desired end result: happy customers, happy vendors, good sales, and prosperity for all.

What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?

Those who possess self-motivation to achieve goals, those who pay attention to detail, and those who are highly organized will succeed in the Receiving Department.

What do you like most about your department?

The fact that every single item in our nearly 600,000-square-foot showroom has been processed through the Receiving Department is a pretty amazing feat to consider. Every available item and every sales transaction is dependent on the efforts of those in our department. Knowing the contribution that our department makes to the whole of the company is gratifying.

What challenges has your department faced, and how have you overcome them?

I have been with the company since its earlier days. I have seen and been part of the evolution and can attest to the great accomplishments we have achieved over time. Any prosperous company must be willing to adapt and improve processes to accommodate growth. We constantly strive for improvement in efficiency and productivity. There was a time when a 10- truckload delivery schedule was nearly impossible. Now, a 10-truckload schedule is considered a light day. A lot of things have changed over the years. Improved organization, refined processes, better employee training, increased department size, additional docks, and effectively utilizing available space have greatly increased the capabilities of our department and our business, in general.

What changes in the way your department does business have occurred in the past few years?

As implied by one of our five company core values (personal dedication to continuous improvement in creating employee and company success), we are constantly evolving, adapting, and improving. During the past few years many changes have occurred: promoting company culture, major building renovations, the treat it like it’s yours initiative, several employee-recognition programs, and the implementation of safety regulations. All of these companywide changes and improvements have created a better work environment as well as added to the foundation of our business for future growth. The biggest recent change in the Receiving Department was the addition of second-shift receiving operations. This occurred about four years ago and was an attempt to alleviate employee congestion, extend receiving hours, and enhance production. The outcome has been increased production, less forklift traffic with a safer work environment, and more accommodating receiving hours.

What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?

I’m interested in streamlining some of our older processes and utilizing available technology to better improve efficiency. We have come a long way, but there will always be room for improvement.

What’s HGR’s overall environment like?

HGR not only sells machines, we are a machine, and a juggernaut of a machine at that! Everyone involved here knows that it takes a lot of effort and care to keep this machine operating with precision. In the industrial-surplus world, we are a massive entity. This is a fast-paced environment where things regularly change on a moment’s notice. Our showroom is an ever-changing expanse of new arrivals and older equipment that has been further reduced in price. HGR is a place where you can find customers enthusiastically combing our isles to take advantage of our unbelievable deals and a place where the staff is well-versed in accomplishing goals and providing in excellent customer service.

What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?

As long as there are consumers with demands for products, there will be machines, manufacturers and competition to supply those demands. As long as there is competition among manufacturers, there will be more advanced, more precise, faster machines being developed. The manufacturers themselves become consumers in a competitive market. The need for evolution in manufacturing and machinery engineering will keep the need for new and used equipment revolving. There will always be a market for used equipment as new, and expanding businesses seek to compete, improve, and evolve within their means.

HGR supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month

think pink breast cancer awareness logo

Here at HGR Industrial Surplus, we think pink, even when we’re driving forklifts! In order to increase awareness of breast cancer and honor those who have had or are currently fighting breast cancer. During October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, our employees are wearing pink bracelets, and our forklift operators are placing pink bows on their forklifts. We’ll also be “going pink” and wearing our pink at the end of the month, as well as reminding our family and friends to make their mammogram appointments.

pink bows on HGR forklifts for Breast Cancer Awareness MonthHGR Industrial Surplus administrative staff support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Grammar tips: Who vs. Whom

HGR Industrial Surplus Grammar Tips: Who vs. Whom

Nope. Whom’st and whomst’d aren’t really words, but they are a good way to get a chuckle. Often, people think “whom” is a snooty, pretentious word that is some academic form of “who.” Well, it’s not; it’s actually a necessary word and used differently than “who.”

You can impress your colleagues when you use them correctly! Here’s how:

  • Use “who” to refer to the subject of the sentence.
  • Use “whom” to refer to the object of a verb or preposition.

See, there we go again, we need to know our parts of speech and how they function in the sentence in order to select the correct word. If you’re old enough, you might remember when they taught grammar in second grade and we had to diagram sentences (shudder).

sentence diagram

And, here’s a little cheat sheet! If you can substitute he/she for the word, use “who.” If you can substitute him/her for the word, use “whom.”

Example 1

  • Who or whom wrote the novel?
  • He/she wrote the novel, not him/her wrote the novel.
  • Correct answer: Who wrote the novel?

Example 2

  • Who/whom should I go with?
  • Should I go with him, not should I go with he?
  • Correct answer: Whom should I go with?

Example 3

  • We wondered who/whom she was talking about.
  • She was talking about him, not she was talking about he.
  • Correct answer: Whom was she talking about?

Enter HGR’s October 2017 “guess what it is” Facebook contest

October HGR guess what it is Facebook contest

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 Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

HGR’s last cookout of 2017

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 did it differently. Instead of hot dogs and hamburgers, 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 and mayo. If you love the cookout, get it while it’s hot. If you’ve never tried it, this week, Oct. 11, is your last chance until next year when the weather breaks. On Oct. 18, we switch to pizza during the colder months.

people taking pizza from a box

What trends can Northeast Ohio manufacturers expect to see in the next year?

MAGNET State of Manufacturing 2017 held at HGR Industrial Surplus

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

Will the manufacturing industry keep growing at a healthy pace in 2018? How will government regulations and new legislation affect the industry? How will Northeast Ohio manufacturers take advantage of opportunities and face challenges in the new year? 

Find out at MAGNET’s 2017 State of Manufacturing event on Nov. 10!

Held at HGR Industrial Surplus in Euclid, this event will highlight successes in local manufacturing and address the sector’s fiscal and technological future. Following a networking breakfast, the morning will be full of insights on valuable manufacturing topics, including OSHA regulations, Industry 5.0, capital equipment, and more.

Following the event, HGR representatives will offer tours of their 500,000-square-foot showroom and newly renovated offices filled with furniture made by their customers, some of the area’s premier furniture designers.

Stay ahead of the competition by joining us at the third-annual State of Manufacturing event, and uncover economic trends that will affect your business in 2018.

Details and registration here: http://bit.ly/stateofmfg2018

For more information, contact MAGNET’s Linda Barita at 216.391.7766 or shoot us an email. Alternatively, keep up with the latest MAGNET news by following us on Twitter.

 

Car and audio show this weekend at HGR Industrial Surplus

WHAT CAN ONE OF THESE

subwoofer Resilient Sounds

DO IN ONE OF THESE?

blue mustang for HGR car and audio show

Stop by HGR’s back parking lot on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 12-5 p.m. to find out. There will be about 100 classic, muscle and sports cars on the property for Resilient Sound’s community car and audio show. This show’s for anyone interested in car audio. You can bring your vehicle and turn up your sound system and play it freely. There will be prizes for Best of Show and sound. There will be food trucks available.

For more information, contact Robbie at Resilient Sounds: 440-725-2458 or info@resilientsounds.com.

Euclid Chamber of Commerce’s Coffee Connections held at HGR Industrial Surplus

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Coffee Connections HGR Industrial Surplus

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Coffee Connection HGR Industrial Surplus coffee and pastryOn Oct. 3, approximately 25 members of The Euclid Chamber of Commerce and the business community visited HGR Industrial Surplus for an hour to mingle, network, take a tour of the facility and learn more about HGR while enjoying coffee and pastry catered by Manhattan Deli. Attendees included the City of Euclid police chief, City of Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer-Gail, radio celebrity Mark “Munch” Bishop, the executive director of Shore Cultural Center, and many others.

On their tour, they learned of HGR’s auction of one-of-a-kind handcrafted furniture by 44 Steel and Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words to benefit hurricane relief.

 

hurrican relief auction furniture HGR Industrial Surplus 44 Steel Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Doug Francis

HGR Buyer Doug Francis

When did you start with HGR and why?

Feb. 28, 2011. At the time it sounded like a challenging position where I could use my education and sales experience to meet with large manufacturing firms to purchase their surplus equipment. Six years later, it’s still challenging, and I enjoy the people I work with tremendously. I plan on being with HGR for the duration.

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

I cover most of Wisconsin and Cook, Boon, McHenry, and Lake Counties in Illinois. I contact customers to arrange times to look at their surplus equipment, follow up on offers and buy deals!

What do you like most about your job? 

Best part about this job is that it’s different every day. The process of setting up meetings, getting out offers and buying deals is consistent, but there’s never the same deal twice. Keeps me sharp.

What’s your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge is the ongoing and always-changing needs of our customers.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

Most of the buyers’ meetings have interesting moments. Too many interesting moments to pick the most interesting. It’s a good deal to get together with coworkers/friends and be around the other buyers who are experiencing the same day-to-day activities.

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

I enjoy being outside and most water-related activities with friends and family. Wisconsin has outdoor activities for every season; so, I’m thankful for where I live.

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

I’m not a hero worshipper. I’m influenced by successful people every day and try to emulate things that make them successful. My inspiration is self-improvement; there’s always room to get better with everything.

Anything you’d like to add?

I’m glad I work with such a good group of lads in the Buy Department. Every time we meet in Cleveland, I’m reminded what a great team of people work for HGR with the same goals as my own.

Hurricane-victim relief auction goes LIVE

44 Steel desk
Desk by Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel
Rust Dust & Other 4 Letter Words lamp table
Lamp table by Larry Fielder of Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words
3 Barn Doors table for HGR Industrial Surplus hurricane-relief auction
Table by Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors

 

You can own a one-of-a-kind piece of handcrafted furniture by one of Cleveland’s premier contemporary-furniture designers AND help hurricane victims at the same time.

You can reach the auction from a button on our home page at hgrinc.com or go directly to the landing page here to read about the arts organization that will benefit from the auctions. To learn more about 44 Steel’s desk, click here. For info about Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words’ lamp table, click here. For info about 3 Barn Doors, click here.

Help hurricane victims recover, and gain a conversation piece for your home or office.

HGR sponsors NKPHTS 2017 Convention luncheon

HGR sponsorship of Nickel Plate Road HIstorical Society luncheon at English Oak Room Tower City

From Sept. 28-30, Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society held its annual convention, which included presentations and tours, in Cleveland, Ohio, for the first time since 1996 at Holiday Inn Cleveland – South Independence.

lobby of English Oak Room Tower CityOn Sept. 29, it held its luncheon, sponsored by HGR Industrial Surplus, at the opulent English Oak Room located in the former Cleveland Union Terminal, now known as Tower City Center. The room is so named because the developers of the rapid transit line and the Public Square station, the Van Sweringen Brothers, imported oak paneling made from the trees in England’s Sherwood Forest. Forest City, the Tower’s current owner, preserved the room by repairing the overhead roads that were leaking down into Cleveland Union Terminal.

Chuck Klein Nickel Plate Road HIstorical Society English Oak Room Tower CityChuck Klein, 2017 NKPHTS National Convention chairman, gave an interesting presentation, “Chicago World’s Fair to Cleveland Public Square,” about the history of downtown Cleveland seen through the lens of the railroads. He showed photos of downtown before, during and after development as the construction took place from 1927-1930. One amazing statistic is that 2.4 million cubic yards of material were removed for the excavation.

HGR Industrial Surplus is a member of NKPHTS and supports the organization due to its facility in Euclid, Ohio, being on the former Nickel Plate Road and housed inside “Nickel Plate Station.”

Nickel Plate Road Historical Society luncheon at English Oak Room Tower City

One-of-a-kind pieces of furniture by local designers to be auctioned for hurricane relief

These Cleveland-area industrial/contemporary furniture designers (Jason Radcliffe, 44 Steel; Larry Fielder, Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words; and Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors) visited HGR Industrial Surplus to find inspiration for a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture to be built live during Ingenuity Fest, Sept. 22-24, 2017.

The pieces are on display at HGR Industrial Surplus, 20001 Euclid Ave., and will be auctioned by HGR with all proceeds going to aid an arts organization in the Houston area to rebuild and offer programming in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

A picture tells 1,000 words. Here are the “before” and “after” photos showing the items selected from HGR’s inventory and donated to the designers. The “after” pictures show the finished pieces on display in HGR’s office and how these designers took industrial surplus and repurposed it into a functional object for home or office use.

BEFORE:

44 Steel maple workbench
44 Steel: Maple-topped workbench
44 Steel positioner
44 Steel: Two positioners
Rust Dust & Other 4-Letter Words magazine dispenser
Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words: Magazine dispenser
Rust Dust & Other 4-Letter Words mixer
Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words: Mixer
Rust Dust & Other 4-Letter Words wrench
Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words: Wrench
Foot Shear purchased by Three Barn Doors for use in HGR Industrial Surplus hurricane relief auction
Three Barn Doors: Foot shear

AFTER:

44 Steel desk
Desk by Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel

 

Rust Dust & Other 4 Letter Words lamp table
Lamp table by Larry Fielder of Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words
3 Barn Doors table for HGR Industrial Surplus hurricane-relief auction
Table by Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors

MEET THE DESIGNERS:

Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel
Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel
Larry Fielder of Rus, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words
Larry Fielder of Rus, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words
Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors
Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors

If you are interested in bidding on any of these pieces, from Oct. 4-13, 2017, you can click a button from our home page to see more information on each item and designer then place your bid. Winning bidders will be required to pick up the item from HGR or pay actual shipping cost.

 

HGR supports IngenuityFest 2017 and hurricane-relief efforts

Live butterflies in Butterfly Dome at IngenuityFest 2017

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Dale Kiefer, freelance journalist)

HGR was a Showcase Sponsor for the 13th-annual IngenuityFest held during the weekend of Sept. 22-24. The event took place at the Hamilton Collaborative for the second year. This site, formerly known as the Osborn Industrial Complex, is in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood of Cleveland. IngenuityFest is a weekend-long celebration that aims to provide a forum for artists and entrepreneurs to share their creations and their innovations with members of the public all while fostering a strong sense of community.

Giant butterflies at IngenuityFest 2017The theme for this year’s IngenuityFest was “Metamorphosis.” There were visible representations of this in the form of giant butterflies constructed by artists out of various media, as well as actual butterflies brought in for the enjoyment of attendees by an organization called the Butterfly Dome Experience. But the idea of metamorphosis went beyond just the biological meaning of the word. The venue itself was a symbol of this transformation.

The Osborn Industrial Complex once housed the world’s largest manufacturer of industrial brushes, but the facility was closed in 2004 after the Osborn Manufacturing Co. was bought out. New businesses such as Soulcraft Woodshop, Inc., Skidmark Garage and 3 Barn Doors have recently moved in and transformed the site into a collaborative space where the new tenants can share resources and ideas.

Considering this, it is fitting for HGR to support IngenuityFest. The building that houses HGR had once been a manufacturing center, first for airplane parts during the Second World War, and later for the production of auto bodies for General Motors. In this case, HGR, one driver of metamorphosis, has helped to usher in another.

HGR’s commitment to revitalization and community extends even further afield. Earlier this month, HGR hosted the F*SHO, an annual event that gives local designers and furniture makers a chance to present their creations to the public. During the show, HGR invited the organizer of the event, Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel, as well as fellow craft houses 3 Barn Doors and Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words to each pick out items from HGR’s inventory of industrial surplus. HGR then donated these items to the builders so they could each make a unique piece of furniture, which they did, live, at one of the displays open to the IngenuityFest attendees. These creations are being displayed in HGR’s sales office and will be auctioned off between Oct. 4 and 13, with the proceeds going to benefit an arts foundation in Houston that will help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.The Firebirds at IngenuityFest 2017

Among the other attractions at IngenuityFest were five stages, each featuring various performers — from rock bands to bellydancers. One section of the outdoor part of the show featured the Firebirds, metallic beasts whose innards blazed as they stared down at onlookers while jugglers tossed flaming objects to each other beneath them (at a safe distance from the audience, of course). There were numerous vendors selling their handcrafted jewelry, and other artists displaying works in various media, from drawings to metal sculptures.

One of the most unique displays at IngenuityFest was the 1000 Faces Project created by Artist Nelson Morris. This work, which was two years in the making, featured 1,000 faces cast in concrete, each one modeled on the visage of an actual member of the Northeast Ohio community. People of different ages and backgrounds were represented to show both the value and depth of diversity within our region.

1000 Faces at IngenuityFest 2017

Please check out and bid on the handcrafted furniture through a link here at hgrinc.com.

Syndicated Cartoonist Tony Cochran, creator of Agnes, makes custom electric guitars out of reclaimed materials

Tony Cochran Guitars guitar vignette

When did your interest in art begin?

My interest in art began the day I figured out that drawing was more fun than math. It was probably back in grade school. I was pretty good at it, so you follow the praise.

Where have you worked, and what have you done in prior career roles?

In high school and college I worked in retail — stockrooms, loading docks. After Columbus College of Art & Design, I got a job at a dealership in an auto body shop. That’s where I stayed 15 years sneaking to do artwork under the quarter panels of cars I was repairing. I’d do paintings in the evenings in the basement next to the laundry when I got home from work. Vickie, my wife, networked with galleries and art collectors after her day job as an occupational therapist. She encouraged me to pursue my art career full time. The sudden death of a friend of mine made me realize life is short, and I quit the auto body shop to pursue my muse. We rented a studio in an old casket building, and I painted away.

 Tell us about the comic strip that you do and how it came about.

My comic strip is about a long-footed little girl name Agnes. She started showing up in the margins of my sketchbooks as I pursued my painting. I never planned to make my living as a syndicated cartoonist. It found me. Agnes is being raised in a small house trailer by her Grandma. Her best friend is Trout. She is published in newspapers in the USA, worldwide, and all over the Web. Search “Agnes comic strip.” You won’t be disappointed!

 Tell us about the guitars that you make and why you became interested in making guitars.

Tony Cochran HarleycasterThe guitars came from a style I was trying out on a motorcycle, but I wanted to explore it further and motorcycles take up too much room. My brother brought me a spare electric guitar he had up in Buffalo, and I ran with it. Electric-guitar styles have a heavy hot-rod ethic to them.

My guitars have been called steampunk, but that’s not quite right. I like them to look old. I like them to confound. I like to add stories about them and help them along in their historical journey. They have unusual finishes — odd gizmos — and are completely functional guitars, as they should be! Functional art. I won’t modify a classic guitar. There are too few of them, and they should be preserved for future generations to enjoy in a pristine state.

When and why did you start the guitar business?

We started the guitar business to supplement my lovely wife Vickie’s loss of income due to an unforeseen battle with breast cancer. Selling guitars, creating and running the website, working social media, and doing all the marvelous photography of these is something she did beautifully, and with grace and huge success, all the time recovering her health with mastectomies and chemo. I just create and build the things.

Where do you get your reclaimed materials and wood for your guitars?

I find my mechanical palette everywhere. Garage sales, rummage sales, attics, basements. I have been known to send Vickie out of the car at stoplights to fetch odd bits of metal out of the gutter. I cut stuff up, rearrange it, beat it with hammers, weld it, melt it, rust it with acid. Materials need to be scaled to fit the guitars. People find me things, send me items. I am a receptacle for the weird. Feel free to throw something in!

Who buys your guitars?

I am privileged to have fans and buyers of diverse talents and visual desires. They love guitars, they love art, and want to own something a little outside of the box. I have an international market of art collectors, musicians, music producers, pop stars, you name them. What fun! Our customers are a wide cross section of guitar and art collectors. Guitar people seduced by the seductive imagery, lovers of the quirky, appreciators of the arts. I remember bragging to my brother when Rick Springfield bought three and uses them on tour on four of his CD covers. My brother said, “Well, he’s not really a guitar player.” Brothers! Sheesh.

 What else have you made?

I’m working on another Harley right now. I converted it to a trike and am making it look like I found it abandoned in the desert, a 60s custom vibe abandoned to time and the elements.

 What do you do when you aren’t drawing the strip or making guitars?

Other than all the activities of daily living like house maintenance, laundry, lawn mowing, oil changes, cooking, visiting people, reading, and fixing everything around here that breaks? Nothing much. Vickie and I have been together since we were 16 years old and high school sweethearts, and we continue to spend all the time we can together.

 What is your personal philosophy?

My personal philosophy is to get everything finished. If you die, well, you’re finished.

 What advice do you have for other artists/makers?

Have fun, but you can do better than the last things you did.

 Anything I missed that you wanted to mention?

I’ve started complimenting all new builds with an art display assemblage that the guitar is shown on. There are three art elements: the art display assemblage that stands alone as art on the wall and has the guitar mount incorporated in it, the guitar itself, and the combination of the two. I’m saving them for a single show and have only let people see “The Baby Head” whose photo is below. It was sold immediately to a major guitar and art collector who saw the preview. They will knock your eyeballs clear out! I’d love to show them in Cleveland. Upscale gallery? Cool tavern? Rock Hall? Take a look at my work at www.TonyCochranGuitars.com and contact me at tony@TonyCochranGuitars.com . Ready for a show?

Tony Cochran Baby Head Guitar

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Jeff Cook

HGR Industrial Surplus Buyer Jeff Cook with fiance

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jeff Cook, HGR buyer)

When did you start with HGR and why?

I started with HGR in August 2015. I wanted something new and challenging, as well as to move back to my hometown of Syracuse, New York. It seemed like the perfect fit. Definitely is.

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

I cover all of New York, as well as, part of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Mondays I work from my office and Tuesday through Friday I travel the state to look at equipment all over the place.

What do you like most about your job?

Seeing new things every single day.  You never know what you are going to run in to.

What’s your greatest challenge?

Focusing on one thing at a time and not becoming distracted. Also, never assume things.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

I’d say my most interesting moment at HGR is every time I have to go to New York City/Long Island. It is a different world.

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

Golfing, watching/playing sports. Especially watching the Buffalo Bills, New York Yankees and Syracuse Orange.

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

My dad. He has always been there for me no matter what. He always stressed the importance of getting a college education and the importance of being the best you can be.

Anything I missed that you want everyone to know?

I get married Oct. 7, 2017! The picture is of my fiancé, Mallory, and me.

HGR opens its doors for this year’s F*SHO

F SHO Googie Style at HGR Industrial SurplusF SHO 2017 at HGR Industrial Surplus

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Dale Kiefer, freelance journalist)

HGR hosted the ninth-annual F*SHO on Friday, Sept. 15. This free, community-oriented event gives local builders, designers, and artists a chance to show members of the public the products of their furniture-making skills. And maybe sell a few items and inspire some future craftspeople along the way.

More than 2,000 people attended this time around where, in addition to rubbing shoulders with these talented artists, they also got a chance to check out HGR’s inventory. The evening was a celebration fueled not just by the furniture, but also by the free beer from Noble Beast Brewing Co., the free food from SoHo Chicken + Whiskey, and a live DJ.

The organizers, Jason and Amanda Radcliffe of 44 Steel, brought the 2017 F*SHO to HGR, keeping alive their tradition of finding a new location for each show. “It started out as just a couple people showing furniture back in 2009,” Jason says, “and now, look around!” It was difficult to tell what excited Jason the most. He marveled at the age of the still-sturdy wooden beams that held HGR’s roof up just as much as he did the sight of so many people walking through HGR’s industrial setting.

The F*SHO has undergone a sizable expansion, growing from five designers in the first year to thirty-three this year. Jason said that he never thought it should be too formal. He didn’t want it to be your standard booth setup. Instead, it should be something organic that grows naturally from the creative people who make it happen. HGR, with its rugged backdrop featuring its industrial surplus, made for the perfect venue.

“HGR is doing a great job with this space. They brought this building back—revitalized it. This is great for the city,” Jonathan Holody, the director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Euclid, says. He was there to mingle with attendees and share Euclid’s storied history. “A lot of the manufacturers in the area rely on HGR. It’s great to see this event attract people from all around the area to Euclid.”

This year’s F*SHO also represented a celebrity reunion of sorts, comprised of those who have earned fame in the world of furniture design. In 2015, Jason competed on the Spike TV show, Framework, which was hosted by hip-hop superstar Common. This reality TV outing pitted 13 designers against each other in a Project Runway-style face-off. Notably, two of the top three finishers in that competition call Northeast Ohio home. Jason finished third, while Akron-based Freddy Hill of Freddy Hill Design took second. There were no hard feelings though, as the first place finisher, Jory Brigham of Jory Brigham Design, traveled all the way from his home in San Luis Obispo, Calif., for the F*SHO. They also were joined by fellow competitors Craig Bayens of C. Bayens Furniture + Functional Design Co. from Louisville, Kentucky, and Toledo-based Lacey Campbell of Lacey Campbell Designs.

This gathering of friends and colleagues made HGR and Euclid the center of the cutting-edge furniture design world for the night of the F*SHO. And the large public turnout helped to ensure that there was plenty of inspiration shared with the next generation of designers who will call this area home.

some furniture from F*SHO 2017 at HGR Industrial Surplus

Alliance for Working Together to host fifth-annual Think Manufacturing Career Expo

Alliance for Working Together Think Manufacturing Career Expo LogoOn Oct. 5, 2017, Alliance for Working Together (AWT) is partnering with Lake County Chambers of Commerce to host their annual Think Manufacturing Career Expo. The goal of the expo is to serve manufacturers and middle- and high-school students by creating an interest in various high-tech careers that manufacturing offers. Approximately 30 manufacturers will have booths at the expo, including Dyson Corporation, Lubrizol, STERIS Corporation, Swagelok and others. HGR Industrial Surplus plans to be there, as well, to share our career opportunities. Booth setup begins at 8 a.m. with a breakfast meeting at 9 a.m. and students arriving 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

HGR Industrial Surplus to host MAGNET’s The State of Manufacturing 2017 on Nov. 10

MAGNET: Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network

Last year, MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network hosted The State of Manufacturing 2016 at Jergens. Click here for a recap of that event so that you can get an idea of what to expect. This year, HGR Industrial Surplus, 20001 Euclid Avenue, Euclid, Ohio, is hosting from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Nov. 10, 2017. Tickets are required and can be purchased here for $10. You also can view the full agenda on that page.

Join us for a morning devoted to economic and environmental trends affecting Northeast Ohio manufacturers led by Dr. Ned Hill, professor of public administration and city and regional planning at The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs and member of the College of Engineering’s Ohio Manufacturing Institute.

HGR Industrial Surplus hosts Euclid Chamber of Commerce Coffee Connections, Oct. 3, 2017

coffee at Six Shooter Cafe

On Oct. 3, the Euclid Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its  next “Coffee Connections” at HGR Industrial Surplus, 20001 Euclid Ave., Euclid, Ohio, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Chamber members and members of the community are welcomed to attend for complimentary coffee, pastry and a tour of HGR’s 500,000-square-foot showroom and newly renovated sales and administrative offices that are furnished with one-of-a-kind furniture, fixtures and accessories made by HGR customers Jason Wein of Cleveland Art, Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors, Larry Fielder of Rust, Dust & Other 4-Letter Words and Industrial Design Student Brenna Truax.

Registration is encouraged but not required on euclidchamber.com/events.

This is a great opportunity to network with other local business leaders and learn about a Euclid business and what it does. HGR’s showroom always is open to the public during HGR’s business hours and includes new and used manufacturing equipment, industrial surplus, tools, machinery, construction supplies, and office equipment and supplies. HGR buys and sells, literally, anything and serves as a conduit between customers looking for affordable, used machinery, equipment and supplies and manufacturers hoping to recoup some portion of their initial capital investments.

Three furniture designers to do live build at Ingenuity; HGR to auction pieces for hurricane relief

Ingenuity Fest 2017

From Sept. 22-24, some folks from HGR Industrial Surplus and Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel, Aaron Cunningham of Three Barn Doors and Larry Fielder of Rust, Dust and Other 4-Letter Words will be onsite on the second floor of Ingenuity Fest, Cleveland, finishing the live build of three pieces of contemporary, industrial-designed furniture that were started after the F*SHO, a contemporary furniture show, which was held on Sept. 15 in HGR’s 500,000-square-feet showroom.

The designers selected industrial-surplus equipment from HGR’s showroom to use in the build of the furniture. We’ll all be there Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon. Then, the finished furniture will be displayed the week of Sept. 25 in HGR’s lobby. We will host an auction, and the highest bidders will be proud new owners of one-of-a-kind pieces. All proceeds will be donated to hurricane relief in the Houston area.

Stop by our area on the second floor at Ingenuity to learn more about HGR, if you’ve never strolled through our showroom of anything and everything that you could imagine, and watch Jason, Aaron and Larry in action. They’ll be happy to share tips and tricks with aspiring makers and designers.

We can’t wait to see the finished products!! Make sure to check HGR’s Facebook, Twitter or website, or grab a card at Ingenuity to learn how you can bid on these one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture.

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR’s Sales Department

HGR Industrial Surplus Sales Department

(Courtesy of Jon Frischkorn, HGR’s sales manager)

What does your department do?

HGR’s Sales Department is dedicated to providing outstanding customer service with every interaction. We work to build relationships with our customers, in some cases, for the past 19 years. We want HGR to be the first stop each customer makes to fulfil his or her industrial surplus needs.

How many people work in your department, and what are their roles?

Our Sales Department consists of nine sales representatives, two sales assistants, a sales expediter, sales manager and, frankly, the entire HGR staff. All of our actions help sell our products and services that we offer.

What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?

A positive attitude, a desire to help our customers, and the willingness to be flexible.

What do you like most about your department?

We have a great team here and enjoy helping to fulfill our commitments to our customers, each other, and our community. We enjoy what we do and try to have fun in the process.

What challenges has your department faced and how have you overcome them?

We are problem solvers and have countless challenges daily that we work to overcome in order to help satisfy our customers’ needs. These can be as simple as locating an item in our 12-acre showroom, finding specifications on a product, or even overcoming shipping obstacles.

What changes in the way your department does business have occurred in the past few years?

While much of the sales role hasn’t changed, we are constantly striving to improve and be more efficient at servicing our customers.

What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?

HGR is always improving its staff. Something as small as an internal procedural changes or on-the-job product training happen routinely. We also do offsite training and offer continuous education courses at Kent State University.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

The overall environment at HGR is often described as a handyman’s toy store. We are within a building originally built in 1943 to produce aircraft parts during World War II, then housed GM’s Fisher Auto Body Plant. The building itself is amazing. The wooden beams, brick, and numbered aisleways create a unique backdrop that is perfect for 12 acres filled with industrial surplus. See this story for more on the history of our site.

What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?

HGR is the heart of the “rust belt” and is a major player in the re-use of used industrial equipment. We help continue the life of machines that otherwise could be scrapped and lost. It isn’t uncommon for us to see items we’ve bought and resold a couple times. As companies needs change, we are always here to purchase machinery so it can be reused by someone else.

New mural by world-renowned designer graces Waterloo Road building

Camille Walala mural Collinwood Ohio

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Amy Callahan, executive director, Waterloo Arts)

Perhaps you have lately noticed a fresh spot of color acting like a beacon to Waterloo Road. The new mural, designed by French-born and British-educated designer and artist Camille Walala was commissioned by Jack Mueller, a real estate investor who owns the former bank building on Waterloo Road. The building, upon completion of its interior, will be home to Poplife, a pop-up gallery, health food space, and donation-only yoga studio.

Walala’s work is inspired by the Italian-led Memphis Movement from the 1980s but is updated with influences from the Ndebele tribe and optical art. She has large-scale works in some of the most important cities in the world: New York, Paris, London, Sydney, and now Cleveland. Mueller says he stumbled across Walala’s work online and was excited about its Memphis influences. From there, the artist and the investor developed a friendship through Instagram, both sharing a love of graphic shapes and bold colors. When Mueller saw an opportunity to commission a mural from his favorite artist, he reached out to bring Camille and her partner, Julie Jomaa, across the Atlantic for the project.

Mueller says it is important to him that the building’s exterior reflect its interior by revealing his business’ dedication to the sublimity of bold shapes and bright colors. He puts it simply, “I want to make the world a more colorful place.” Walala’s aesthetic, bursting with sunny colors, such as cherry red, millennial pink, canary yellow, and nifty turquoise, adds a splash of color, hopefully a smile, and a little bit of wonderment to the days of many Clevelanders.

Waterloo is lucky to have an investor like Jack, who believes in public art and in making art as accessible as possible. Public art is important because if you live in a neighborhood where there’s poverty, that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be able to see art on their walls just for art’s sake. Every neighborhood deserves something beautiful, something that provides a unique point of pride and helps carve an identity out for residents. In particular, street art is like having a conversation outside, and murals act as canvases that humanize our urban landscape. Walala’s piece starts a conversation about the creativity and energy of humanity and about the egalitarianism of street art to passersby.

 

Enter HGR’s September 2017 “guess what it is” Facebook contest

September 2017 Guess What it is Facebook contest for HGR Industrial Surplus

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, Sept. 18, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

HGR Industrial Surplus is hosting F*SHO on Friday, Sept. 15

This is a reminder to stop by on Friday, Sept. 15 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the back entrance of HGR’s building to check out 30 contemporary furniture designers’ work, have a beer and eat some grub provided by Noble Beast Brewing Company and SoHo Chicken + Whiskey restaurant. Everything but the furniture is free! The ninth-annual show is presented by Jason and Amanda Radcliffe of 44 Steel.

But, this year, there’s a twist: Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel, Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors and, possibly, one other surprise designer will be picking out industrial items from HGR’s showroom the night of the show to work all week after and all weekend (Sept. 22-24) at Cleveland’s Ingenuity Festival to build their pieces of furniture. They will be delivered the week of Sept. 25 to HGR’s lobby for display. Then, that same week, we will post them on our eBay auction site that you can get to via a link on our home page at hgrinc.com. The donated furniture will be auctioned to the highest bidder, and proceeds will be donated to an arts organization in Houston to help with Hurricane Harvey relief.

The F*SHO is a win for everyone and a mighty good time! We hope to see you there. F*SHO ad