Q & A with furniture designer and F*SHO Founder Jason Radcliffe

Cradle cradenza by Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel

What was the first piece of furniture that you created in 2005?

I built quite a few pieces for friends — things like tables and what not, but the awning I built for a friend’s house in Tremont really stands out the most. It was the first time I realized that I could create and make things useful and functional.

What got you interested in furniture?

Functionally, I needed a desk. I like functional art and things that have a use. Also, I visited my the furniture store where my friend worked, and a customer wanted stainless table with a glass top for a party but if they ordered one for her, it wouldn’t have arrived in time. My friend said, “Here’s my friend who makes furniture. He can make it for you in less than six weeks.” Four days later, she had a stainless-steel frame with a glass top which was the start of my business. My friend asked for two pieces in three sizes, and it just took off.

What did you do as a career prior to your business at 44 Steel?

Welding and fabrication, which I still do, and the furniture business is similar in that I change industrial items into shapes that work.

How and why did the F*SHO come into existence in 2009?

In 2008, I had shown my first pieces of furniture in a solo gallery exhibit then I planned to go to New York for Design Week because I wanted to see what people thought of my work but it cost $5,000 for a booth. I decided that wasn’t affordable. In January 2009, the coordinator from ICFF, part of Design Week, emailed me offering 4’ x 10’ booth for $1600, and I took it. I took the Mousedesk that’s on my website there and kept hearing, “You’re from Cleveland? There’s nothing going on in Cleveland.” When I got back form New York, I had a conversation with five of my furniture friends about what New York was saying about Cleveland. We all decided to give New York a big middle finger and put our own show together and so it came to be. I got five friends together, and we did the show at 78th Street Studios. We had 350 people show up. The next year we needed a bigger space. F*SHO is a contemporary furniture show featuring work by local designers, furniture makers and students from the Cleveland Institute of Art.

How many exhibitors and attendees do you usually have?

In 2016, we had 30 exhibitors and 3,000 attendees. Most of the visitors are from Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo.

How are the locations for the moving show selected?

I drive around or someone offers. We are going to continue moving it to different locations until 2019, then we’re handing it off to someone else to pick up the torch.

How do you market the show?

We’ve had articles in Fresh Water Cleveland and The Cleveland Plain Dealer, an interview on Kickin’ It with Kenny and NPR’s Around Noon, word of mouth and social media. People like its style, the romantic feel of only one night and if you’re not there you missed it for the year. It’s a five-hour guerilla show that’s always on a Friday night in September from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. SoHo does the food. We have beer and a coffee bar. Everything is free to the public though we do suggest donations/tips to offset the costs of the food and beer. There’s only a $50 exhibitor fee because we believe in getting us all together, and some new designers don’t have the money.

How and when did you hear about HGR?

I work for my father’s business, Berrington Pumps & Systems, and they are a customer. Then, I made a chair for Ingenuity Festival and a competition called “Chair and Tell.” My dad helped to film the entire process, from walking through HGR buying materials to the fabrication and finishing.

What kinds of things have you bought at HGR?

Mostly stuff for Berrington, not 44 Steel and the furniture business — pumps, parts, filters, storage bins. Then I get to take home scrap and salvage from the business.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working or making furniture?

My wife and I enjoy riding bikes, travel (most recently to Peru), our dog, being outdoors, boating on the lake, and skiing and snowboarding in Colorado.

Which artists inspire you?

Jean Prouvé (French), Pierre Koenig (American) and Viktor Schreckengost (American). Their bodies of work are astounding and groundbreaking, especially Schreckengost!

What was a unique opportunity that you’ve had?

In 2014, two months after Amanda and I were married, I left the business in her hands to go to California to film a furniture-maker reality TV show and competition on SPIKE that was hosted by Hip Hop Artist Common. It aired in 2015. It’s been an exciting journey.

How did you learn to be a furniture designer and maker?

I’m self taught! I found styles and materials that suited what I liked and then started putting it all together. I was always thinking about how I would want to use a desk or a cabinet or a credenza, and that is where my personal fingerprint comes from. If you look at the furniture designers here in Cleveland, we all use similar materials, but we all have our own look and idea of how those materials fit together.

 

Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel in his welding gear

Machinery designer and die maker by day, mad scientist the rest of the time

 

restored high school chandelier
Restored chandelier at Cleveland Heights High School

(Courtesy of HGR Customer and Guest Blogger Christopher Palda)

Christopher Palda

How I became an HGR customer

I heard of HGR Industrial Surplus mainly from word of mouth. I used to deal with McKean Machinery where my boss sent me until it was bought by a New York firm and they got rid of the odds and end. As a result, they lost some customers. Many people that buy the little stuff at HGR see the large ticket items and send others they know who need these items. Employees left McKean to start HGR; so, it was a natural transition. You’ll see some of the things I’ve bought at HGR mentioned in the story below.

Recently, my workplace bought a MIG welder at HGR for the construction of Dan T. Moore Company’s plastic extrusion and rolling machine that is the size of a room. It’s for extruding plastic and rolling it into film. What they had at the welding supply store was not what we needed. We required a 100-percent duty cycle machine that could run all day long and found one at HGR.

What I do for work

I’m a die maker and do die repair, hydraulics, welding, machine tool wiring, basically an industrial maintenance technician who handles anything electrical, hydraulic and mechanical. I work for Mahar Spar Industries. A spar is the main strut in a sailboat, and the founder’s name is Mike Mahar. He started out making spars and sailboat masts in his garage in his spare time, and the business evolved from that point. Many ask me the origin of that unique name. I’ve been there for 20 years, and prior to that I was at NASA Glenn Research Center doing composite metallurgy research for jet engine applications and at the same time on a joint project working at Cleveland State University doing metallurgical research in the chemical engineering department where I built the metallurgy lab.

Some of the things I’ve built

One of the items that I am proud of that mostly came from HGR is a hyperbaric chamber. My doctor said that it would be helpful for my health to use one, but medical insurance wouldn’t cover treatments for this off-label use that was proposed; so, I came to HGR and built my own from used air compressor parts for pennies on the dollar. A new one for medical purposes costs $75,000. They usually are purchased by hospitals and medical facilities to treat diabetic patients with wounds that won’t heal, necrotizing fasciitis, carbon monoxide and cyanide poisoning, and scuba diving accidents and are used in clinical studies and trials to increase brain function in people with autism and a few other applications. I am a diver, but luckily haven’t had an accident yet and have not had to use it for that purpose. It cost me about $4,000 to build mine. By dumb luck I found a medical air compressor at HGR normally used in a dental office for the chamber along with a $1,200 medical oxygen regulator for $15 that just needed to be rebuilt. It basically functions as an isolation chamber, and you breathe pure oxygen through a mask as the oxygen regulator increases its output by using the chamber pressure as a reference point.

compressor tank from HGR before it was converted into a hyperbaric chamber
compressor tank from HGR before it was converted into a hyperbaric chamber
hyperbaric chamber side view
outside of completed hyperbaric chamber
inside of handmade hyperbaric chamber made from surplus at HGR Industrial Surplus
inside of finished hyperbaric chamber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bike trail cutting machine
bike trail cutting machine

We do projects for the Dan T. Moore Company, who also is an HGR customer. Dan believes Cleveland doesn’t have enough bike trails; so, he dropped off a small bulldozer and wanted it converted into a bike trail cutting machine. With our custom attachment it became something that looked like a bulldozer, meat grinder, snow blower hybrid. Some of the hydraulic parts came from HGR. He also wanted to build a steel mill in Bolivia at one point in the past, and we were doing a mockup of the process. We needed a large blower. His people were going everywhere else looking for stuff. I found one at HGR that looked and roared like a jet engine that was 125hp, and it worked great!

bakery oven
bakery oven

Additionally, I do maintenance work at a bakery that has a huge electric oven made in Italy that you can’t get parts for; so, you have to manufacture the parts yourself. Its internal electric flash boiler caramelizes the bread giving it that hard crust by explosively filling the deck with wet steam at the beginning of each bake cycle. The original boiler could not keep up and self-destructed. I copied the basic design with some improvements and made one five times larger. Some of its parts came from HGR.

I also work for Whitney Stained Glass Studio doing artistic metalwork restoration and conservation along with fabricating window frames. Projects include the windows at Stan Hywet Hall and the restoration of the outside stained glass lamps for St. James Catholic Church in Lakewood after a bird built a nest in it. The owner turned it on, and it caught on fire, which melted the solder. I had to strip the patina to fix it, which is considered a no no because it was covered in plastic. I said, “Watch me age this thing 100 years in minutes.” I stuck it in bleach and salt water and put power to it like in a plating operation and totally corroded the thing in 40 minutes.

welder from HGR
TIG welder from HGR

To put the hyperbaric chamber together, I needed to purchase a large TIG stick welder. I found a Miller at HGR for a fraction of the cost of a new one. It didn’t work and needed a little TLC, but if I buy it and it doesn’t work out it’s nice to know I can return it within 30 days. I got it for the cost of the copper scrap, gave it a bath, found a simple control issue and brought it back from the dead. It pulls 105 amps at 240 when I’m welding heavy aluminum. I would turn it on and watch the neighbor’s lights dim. Is the problem 2B solved or not to be? That’s the question. A trip down HGR’s Aisle 2B for some capacitors solved the problem, and the neighbor’s lights didn’t dim anymore. The effect is like pouring a glass of beer. You want the beer but not the foam. These capacitors get rid of the electrical equivalent of the foam.

You know the big speaker in the opening scene of Back to the Future? I said to a friend, “Cool, let’s build one.” A 5-hp stereo system was born! The neighbor would call me for requests when I fired it up in the summer while he was cutting his lawn as long as I played his stuff. The neighbors didn’t like heavy metal, and that’s when the heavy metal station Z Rock was on the air and when I hit the heavy-metal stage in my development.

Building a fire-breathing dragon for the play “Reluctant Dragon” at a children’s theater in 1985 was a blast. When I adapted an old CO2 fire extinguisher and put red lights in the mouth and eyes, it worked first rate. My electronics business in my parent’s basement when I was 10 or 11 aided in paying for this lunacy.

broken chandelier
mangled chandelier prior to restoration

Cleveland Heights High Schools auditorium has huge 300-pound chandeliers. One of them dropped about 35 feet while they were trying to change the light bulbs and smashed into smithereens — a mangled, twisted mess. Redoing all the artistic metal work was a challenge while many others at Whitney Stained Glass restored the stained glass globes.

Near-death experiences

Back in the caveman days, there were only five TV stations. You had to have a movie projector to watch movies. My dad got two 35mm machines from a drive-in that went out of business and modified the optics to work in a house. We had a movie theater in our basement. I was born with mechanical ability, but I learned and worked with my dad who also was handy and was a self-taught mechanical and electrical and hydraulic engineer. He designed tooling and stamping dies along with pollution control in power plants. I could set up and operate these machines as a kid, and when my dad took off the TV back to work on it I saw that there was what looked like a small roll of film inside the that I thought had the Bugs Bunny cartoons on it. He yelled, “Don’t touch that! That is the fly back transformer and has 15,000 volts on it!’

He fixed the TV but left back off. One day, while I was watching it, the picture got odd. I realized the cat was inside. When I went to grab the cat so she would not get hurt, she jumped out and my hands landed on the flyback transformer and lit up blue. Afterward, I felt like lightning had hit me. I woke 15 minutes later across the room and had a revelation — that’s why it’s called a flyback transformer because when you grab one that is what you do!

Christopher Palda as a child working on a car
Christopher Palda as a child working on a car

Another time, as a little kid in the car at the gas station, I asked my mom why the man had a garden hose and was putting water in the car. Mom said it was gas but she wished it was water because it’s cheaper. At home, I put five gallons of water in the car to save mom money after I noticed the spout on the lawn mower gas can fit the end of the garden hose. We ended up stranded the next time we drove it.

I’ve had eight various experiments with electricity. It’s amazing that I’m still alive. I wondered how a vacuum cleaner worked. My dad explained the process of how it worked starting with electrons moving in the cord. I had to find out what an electron looked like; so, I opened up paper clips and was determined to go to the outlet and pull one out. I had two paper clips, one in each side. When they touched, there was a fiery explosion that burned my hands. I got to see a lot of electrons!

My vaporizer broke when I was sick. My dad fixed it by making a new part on his lathe. I saw how it opened up when he took it apart. When everyone was gone, I took it apart while it was plugged in and threw handfuls of salt at it with water to watch the explosions. The power main want “bang” as everything went dark in the house. A voice from downstairs yelled, “Christopher, what did you do now?”

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

HGR's Shripping Department on a ship

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Doug Cannon, HGR’s transportation coordinator)

What does your department do?

Our department works in concert with the sales team and customers who require shipping services. We provide a shipping cost that we honor, and then proceed with the preparation and logistics of transportation when the opportunity is granted. We network with outside providers, such as a 3PL, specialized trucking brokers, LTL carriers, private long-haul carriers and local delivery services. They are, in turn, the marketing partners that complete the final leg of the sale. We select the appropriate mode of transportation as dictated by the nature of the products being shipped and the receiving capacity of the customer.

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

There are six employees in our group. Collectively, we all serve the goal of safely and economically transporting products to their ultimate destination in a timely manner. Doug Cannon and Dan Farris help to guide the sales staff on selling transportation and then executing the arrangements. Donovan Barton, Audley Wright and Dane Ferrell serve as custom carpentry designers for surplus. They build crates and pallets customized for the items being shipped by applying their creativity to condense the footprint and thus decrease the cost. Their skill sets are impressive. Jim Gubics is the LTL coordinator for shipments leaving on common carriers. He is the gatekeeper for ensuring these orders are accurate prior to leaving the building. Jim also works in several software programs where he updates in-house information, as well as emailing our customers their tracking numbers. He communicates with LTL dispatchers and drivers and loads them, as well.

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

HGR buys and sells thousands of different items. They come in a great variety of weights and dimensions. So, success in our department requires individuals to possess many qualities. “Attention to detail” tops the list as no compromise. Then, to achieve success, we need to be highly organized, flexible, communicate well, and exercise imagination and creativity to provide the best solution to each purchase. No two shipments are the same; so, cookie-cutter solutions are far and few between.

What do you like most about your department?

The mutual understanding and respect the group has for each other and the tasks at hand. We genuinely like each other and the company we work to keep.

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

One of our biggest challenges occurred several years ago when HGR totally revamped the process by which it does international trade. This has had a large impact on shipping. We now devote extensive amounts of time on export compliance issues as we work under the guidelines of the Department of Commerce – Bureau of Industry and Security. The purpose is to protect The United States’ security and interests. The focal point at HGR is to identify machinery that could have “dual purpose” and to screen the international buyers to verify that they are not on our government’s “denied parties list.” Dan Farris has spearheaded this facet of shipping responsibilities and has served as both a mentor to Sales and a guardian to HGR and our community.

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

Changes have been made in the way we service our sales staff, our customers and our community. Processes have been implemented to ensure our sales staff is provided with a transportation quote for every sales transaction that is not a customer pickup. We even provide quotes for items not sold, where customers are simply shopping and trying to determine their total “all-in” costs. These services are of tremendous convenience to the customer and help them to make a more informed decision. We take care to quote accurately and honor all quotes. Changes in international export help us to make sure we make our country a safer place to live.

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

The future is today. Every employee in our group is dedicated to continuous improvement. It is one of HGR’s core values. We don’t rest on yesterday’s success, and know that we are only as good as we are today.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

The Euclid, Ohio, facility is a beehive of activity! A collection of 70 employees perform specific roles while networking with other departments to achieve our end goal. It is a setting of perpetual communication among employees, both verbally and electronically. In the forefront is a revolving carousel of industrial surplus entering the building to be inventoried, displayed on our showroom floor, sold, and loaded on a myriad of outbound vehicles, trailers and containers.

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

Primarily, I view HGR as the liaison for vendors that possess material assets and for those that seek them at an economical cost. HGR provides the service of immediate asset recovery to its vendors and spares them the distraction and expense of seeking an interested end user, as well as the logistics of the transfer. Buyers around the world can visit our showroom or browse our website and economically secure machinery, parts and unique items not found elsewhere. By virtue of its business model, HGR is a participant in the world’s interest of recycling.

Grammar tips: Homophones

homophone meme

Homophones comes from the Greek words “homo” meaning “same” and “phone” meaning “voice or utterance.” They’re words that sound the same but mean something completely different. You know them well – aloud and allowed, compliment and complement, threw and through, paws and pause, pale and pail, ate and eight, knew and new, rode/rowed/road, scent/sent/cent, flew/flue/flu, buy/by/bye, their/there/they’re, your and you’re, it’s and its, two/to/too, and very similar words that are not quite homophones, such as loose and lose, then and than, effect and affect, ensure and insure, and definitely and defiantly. Some homophones are also homographs because they are spelled the same: rose (the flower) and rose (got up or ascended) or bear (the animal) and bear (to tolerate).

Now, we’re getting somewhere. That was fun, wasn’t it? You could keep going with that list. Some others probably came to mind right away.

I bet you might say, “Nah, I don’t have that problem. I use spell check in Word.” Guess again. There are about 25 homophones that most spell checkers won’t catch, according to grammarly.com. Nothing beats knowing the meaning of words or using a dictionary when in doubt. Sometimes, it’s about what part of speech the word is as it’s used in the sentence.

Here’s a small list of common homophones so that you can avoid sounding silly and impress your friends on Facebook and your coworkers in email:

  • Than (making a comparison) or then (sequence of events)
    • You ran faster today than you did yesterday.
    • You ran fast then you took a rest.
  • Two (the number), too (also) and to (toward)
    • I gave two dollars to Sarah, too.
  • Your (possessive) and you’re (you are)
    • You’re very protective of your new car.
  • There (place), their (possession) and they’re (they are)
    • Their home is something they’re proud of. We enjoy going there.
  • A while (noun phrase)or awhile (adverb)
    • It’s been a while since they hung out but they didn’t mind waiting awhile until the next time.
  • Everyday (adjective meaning common or routine) or every day (means each day)
    • He wore his green everyday shirt every day of the week.
  • Accept (to receive) or except (to exclude)
    • Everyone except Jim could accept that the fishing trip was cancelled.
  • Affect (to influence) or effect (something that was influenced)
    • They didn’t realize how the scary special effects would affect the kids.
  • Compliment (noun) or complement (verb)
    • The winemaker received a compliment on the red wine that seemed to complement each dish on the menu.
  • Ensure (make certain), insure (protect financially) or assure (everything’s okay)
    • I want to assure you that my priority is to ensure that my kids stay healthy; so, I insure them on my medical plan.

Local photographer has an eye for urban decay

Model at HGR for Steve Bivens Photography

Collinwood Photographer Stephen Bivens stopped by HGR’s offices on May 23 for a Q&A and to conduct a photo shoot with his model, Felissa. He chose HGR for the juxtaposition between elegant and industrial/urban. He will be using the photos on his new website and social media.

Tell us about your style of photography.

I’m interested in industrial spaces, old bridges, urban decay, condemned houses or vacant houses. I learned on film and in black and white. I still tend to shoot that way. I send my film away to be developed. I have a studio in my home but I do not have my own darkroom.

How did you hear about HGR?

I talked to Industrial Artist Larry Fielder of Rust, Dust & Other 4-Letter Words when I was looking for an industrial space in which to shoot models. He’s an HGR customer and suggested the location.

When did you seriously get interested in photography?

About 12 years ago I bought a 35mm pocket camera with film and started taking pictures of people. People thought it was cool and began to pay me to take their portraits. I started reading books and buying cameras.

What brought you to Collinwood?

I worked in Tampa for Progressive in sales and marketing. I was promoted and moved to the headquarters in Cleveland. At first, I lived in Mayfield Village close to the office. My then-girlfriend, now-wife lived in Collinwood. We used to go to a coffee shop and an art gallery there. We volunteered to be sitters in the gallery to keep it open for visitors. The area is really cooperative with artists, and the artists are cooperative with sharing locations, methods and secret sources. After I left Progressive, we moved back to Florida to follow my ex-wife and kids, but when they moved out West, we moved back to Collinwood.

Who have you photographed?

I got in with a group of artists and bands then did tour photography, mostly hip hop and rock. To do so, I had to take vacations from work. About five years ago, I left Progressive to do photography full time. For three months, I had no work then slowly it picked up. To supplement my income, I shot portraits. I take photos at The Beachland Ballroom and drive to regional concerts now. I shoot the photos for the bands to use promotionally. I’ve worked with local businesses such as Six Shooters Coffee and at The Crossfit Games.

Who is the most memorable person that you have shot?

I was LeBron James’ party photographer during his rookie year. I also loved shooting Alternative/Folk/Country Artist Jessica Lea Mayfield.

What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t shooting photos?

I’m a former Marine. I like to shoot guns, too. I love music and concerts, especially grunge.

Model at HGR for Steve Bivens Photographyblack and white photo by Stephen Bivens Photography at HGR Industrial Surpluscolor photo of aisle at HGR Industrial Surplus by Stephen Bivens PHotographyModel in front of graffitt at HGRPhotos provided courtesy of Stephen Bivens Photography

Fabricator makes metal sculptures from gears, machined parts and scrap

steampunk gun
Steampunk gun

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger and HGR Customer Merritt Geddes, Creative Designs & Customs)

My love of art started at a very young age. Before I was able to read, I also enjoyed looking at movie posters and comic books that my brother had. I loved the use of many bright colors and the way the characters were drawn. I would often draw my favorite Star Wars characters Darth Vader and Boba Fett. My mother was a great help in this in that she taught me how to draw by using simple shapes to make a complex picture.

art deco lamps
Art Deco lamps

I love doing what I do because I find it fun to make something from nothing and the challenge that it brings. I’ve worked with markers, watercolors, oil paint clay, wood, and steel. I like working with steel the most because of the unlimited possibility with it and the fact that I’ve been a welder and fabricator for more than 15 years. I started out just making stuff for myself and found that a lot of people really like my stuff and were willing to pay the prices asked for them.

So, after a while, I started my own side business of making my metal sculptures and selling them in my friend’s art studio. This took off, and I began selling in other studios in other cities and states about 10 years ago. I still work as a fabricator because it’s a steady pay check.

My current project that I’m working on is an 8-foot shark and a 12-foot robot. The shark should only take a couple of months but the robot might take a year or more because I am still in the process of getting parts. I get about a third of my parts from HGR because it’s less of a hassle than digging through the scrap yard. I get mostly gears and machined parts that I use to make my pieces of art look more interesting. I get my inspiration from watching Sci-Fi movies and Anime.

When I’m not working on one of my sculptures, I am usually riding my bike through the bike trails in Oberlin or in the parks. I guess what I could say to other makers is that you should do what you enjoy doing and learn from others as much as possible. It will make you better at what you are already doing.

metal skeleton
Skeleton warrior

Hot dogs and hamburgers return to HGR

graill cookout of hot dogs and hamburgers

On June 7, Chef George Carter, HGR employee Jesse Carter’s brother, will be grilling hot dogs and hamburgers for our traditional free cookout for HGR customers every Wednesday this summer from 11-1. Chef Carter worked for more than 40 years as a chef for Holiday Inn and still works nights as a chef at The Cleveland Improv. Stop in to say hello to him and grab a hot dog or hamburger while you shop.

 

Enter to win HGR’s June 2017 “guess what it is” Facebook contest

Stitcher for sale at HGR

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, June 19, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

Grammar tips: Apostrophes

Grumpy Cat apostrophe meme

Did you know that Aug. 16 is International Apostrophe Day? We’re celebrating early because we all could use a little grammar refresher to dust off the cobwebs that have accumulated since grade school.

HGR’s Marketing Department decided to create a regular grammar tip for our employees on common grammar errors that we see in written and email communications. As the resident writer/blogger, I decided, “Why not share that info with our customers and help everyone become more effective communicators?”

Let’s get to it! Apostrophes are a lot like commas and hyphens in the sense that they are a mark of punctuation that many people do not know how to use properly; so, we throw them in where they don’t belong and leave them out where they do belong. Usually, this happens when forming plural words or when showing possession, but I see it with contractions.

Here are some examples:

  • We are implementing managements new goals. (need an apostrophe in management’s to show it is possessive; whose goal is it? It’s management’s goal.)
  • We are one of the best company’s to work for. (companies not company’s since this word is plural not possessive; you would say, “We follow the company’s employee handbook.”)
  • Who’s goal is it? (wrong word; should be whose since “who’s” means who is)
  • Having perfect attendance deserves it’s own reward or Spring is on it’s way. (its not it’s since it’s is a contraction meaning “it is.”)
  • You’re valuables are safe in the locker. (wrong word; “you’re is a contraction meaning “you are” while “your” is a possessive pronoun showing who the valuables belong to)
  • Lets clock out for break. (apostrophe needed in the contraction for “let us” to form “let’s”)

You get the idea! You may think these examples are obvious, but they are actual examples that I have seen in the past. To avoid these mistakes and sound more professional in your (not you’re) writing, here are some rules of thumb when NOT to use an apostrophe:

  • In possessive pronouns (whose, ours, yours, his, hers, its, theirs)
  • In nouns that are plural but not possessive (CDs, 100s, 1960s)
  • In verbs that end in –s (marks, sees, finds)

Another tip: Make sure that you’re using the correct word in your writing because often they’re misused when you confuse their with they’re and you’re with your or it’s with its.

Close encounters of a deer kind at HGR Industrial Surplus

deer

 

If you’ve been to HGR, you know that you can find anything in our 500,000-square-feet showroom, but did you know that we’ve had deer?

Chuck Leonard, receiving supervisor, who has been with HGR for 19 years – since the beginning – told the story of a day about 17 years ago when two deer came into the showroom through the front bay door. They were running around like crazy and leaping over equipment. Employees saw one deer leave but could not locate the other one.

Three days later, Herman Bailey, receiving supervisor, went to move a plastic storage tank. When he bumped it with his tow motor, the lost deer leapt out. Herman says, “I flew backwards on my tow motor. The deer was panicking and running wild and jumping over stuff. It ran out the back by Dock Doors 9 & 10. They probably came from the woods across the street by Euclid Creek.”

Back then, there were about 15 employees. Now, we have over 100, but no deer.

In 19 years of business, our employees and customers have lots of stories to tell. Have you ever had a close encounter with wildlife in your home or office?

 

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

HGR's Receiving Department
L to R: Dwayne Maggard, Chuck Leonard and Eric Sims

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Chuck Leonard, HGR’s receiving supervisor and an original HGR employee)

What does your department do?

Our department is basically where the ball starts rolling for each item we purchase. Our job is to unload everything in a safe manner when it comes in on a van trailer or a flatbed trailer. Once unloaded, we set each item along on a wall to be photographed and given an inventory number so that the item can be advertised on our website and displayed for customers out on our showroom floor.

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

I have two employees that work in my department and, at times, a third when required, depending on the trucking schedule. Their job consists of unloading items in a safe manner. Once unloaded, they have to prep each item to be set up along the wall to be inventoried. This task can be involved depending on the item. Once pictured and priced the item is moved by forklift to our designated “new arrivals” area. This process repeats itself throughout the day. We try to inventory 400 items each day between two shifts.

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

The job requires you to be fairly skilled on a forklift, since you’re not just moving pallets around all day. Machinery can be very unbalanced, which makes it dangerous, especially when you’re dealing with machines that can weigh up to 40,000 pounds. You have to be able to work at a fairly quick, but safe, pace. There are a lot of smaller items that come in that require sorting through. I’m here to tell you, it’s not as easy as we make it look — just ask some of the salespeople and management who’ve gotten on a forklift.

What do you like most about your department?

I like the fact that my department works well together as a team; everyone knows his role. I like that we are dealing with different items, and we are not just moving pallets all day long. I also like the challenge of lifting bigger, heavier pieces that require rigging/chaining. I’ve been here for 19 years; so, there’s not much that I haven’t seen, but I like the occasional surprises.

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

I guess our challenge in our department is space — having enough wall space to set up as many items as possible. The more space, the more items, and the more we sell, the more money we bring in. We have gotten more creative with using curtains as a wall, and recently the new office space in the back has freed more space. We can never have too much space though.

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

The biggest change in our department, and for all of the company for that matter, has been safety. We can never be too safe.

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

This is just probably wishful thinking on my part but if there was a way to know and control on a daily basis what’s coming in. There are days when we are overwhelmed with what’s coming. Another continuous improvement would to be make sure every piece moved is done so without damaging it.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

HGR’s environment is very customer and employee friendly. There’s a reason I’ve been here for 19 years. I think everyone just wants to be treated fairly, and I truly have been during my time here.

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

When I interviewed for the job at McKean about 20 years ago, I was totally clueless about everything. I remember walking through an unorganized warehouse of machinery thinking, “Is there really a market for this kind of stuff? Will I still have a job in a couple of years?” Fast forward 20 years, and the answer is a resounding YES! We seem to be economy foolproof. No matter how good or bad the economy is doing there has always been a market for HGR. I see a lot of items come in through Receiving and say to myself, “No chance in hell that’s going to sell.” Lo and behold, I’m walking through the showroom and see a sold tag on it to my astonishment. So the old saying truly is: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Euclid High School Senior awarded 2017 HGR Industrial Surplus S.T.E.M. scholarship

HGR's human resources manager awarding scholarship to Euclid High School senior

Last night at Euclid High School’s Senior Awards Ceremony, Tina Dick, HGR’s human resources manager, presented Senior Connor Hoffman with HGR’s 2017 S.T.E.M. scholarship that will go toward his first year of college at the University of Cincinnati to pursue a degree in information technology. Connor was not able to be present due to competing in a CISCO Networking Academy National Competition in Florida. A representative from the high school accepted on his behalf.

Upon hearing of Connor’s accomplishment, his teacher Bob Torrelli, Science Department chair, says, “His potential is off the charts. He scored a perfect 36 on the science ACT! That is not easy to do.”

Connor is captain of both the robotics and soccer teams at Euclid High School and an officer of its National Honor Society chapter. In his senior year, he was in AP honors classes at Euclid High School and enrolled in college classes through Lake Erie College In his scholarship application, Connor says, ” Ever since I was young, I had a desire to learn how things work. When one of my toys would break I would open it up and try to see what made it tick. As I got older, this desire to understand the inner workings of things extended to other areas. It led me to join my school’s robotics club where I was able to learn many new things. I learned a lot about machining and assembling parts, as well as designing those parts using computer-assisted design. This desire to learn how things work also led me to enroll in my school’s Cisco Networking program which has set me on my current career path.”

Congratulations Connor, and good luck in college.

New sandwich shop opens in Euclid

Sammich ribbon cutting
l to r: Sheila Gibbons, Euclid Chamber of Commerce; Randy Carter, Sammich’s owner; Kirsten Holzheimer Gail, Euclid mayor; Camille Maxwell, executive director, Northeast Shores Development Corporation

On May 8, 2017, The City of Euclid, Euclid Chamber of Commerce and Northeast Shores Development Corporation hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of Sammich, 651 E. 185th Street, Cleveland. Mayor Holzheimer Gail opened the ceremonies with a few words about the ongoing 185th-corridor improvements followed by Camille Maxwell, executive director of Northeast Shores, and Sheila Gibbons, executive director of Euclid Chamber of Commerce. Randy Carter, Sammich’s owner and owner of Jack Flaps breakfast and luncheon bistros, says, “We are proud to support the neighborhood and help the community grow to make it a better place for everyone.”

After the ribbon cutting, members of the community started ordering sandwiches. Um, I mean sammiches. And, these aren’t your average sammich. Definitely not Subway. Carter uses local, fresh ingredients and cures and smokes his own meats in-house, including house-made sausage. I tried the HOT pickled vegetables with cucumber, celery, Spanish onion and carrots, as well as the cucumber salad made with Spanish onion, red bell pepper and dill. My sandwich was Sammich’s version of Vietnamese bahn mi called Cung Le. Since I don’t eat bread, they made mine as a lettuce wrap. It was amazing — huge and full of Vietnamese sausage, roast pork, cilantro, fresh-sliced jalepenos — seeds and all — and house-made kimchi. The sandwiches are wrapped in butcher paper and usually served on fresh-baked Orlando hoagies. I was going to take a picture of my food but I was so busy wolfing it down that I forgot. So, how’s this for testimony as to how good it was?

Sammich leftovers

HGR stands out from the crowd at 2017 Ceramics Expo

HGR booth at 2017 Ceramics Expo

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

HGR Industrial Surplus recently had the opportunity to exhibit at the Ceramics Expo at the I-X Center in Cleveland for several days. Nestled among shiny, new, three-dimensional printers and exhibits displaying new advances in technology were a couple of old pieces of equipment, including an oven and a piece of air handling equipment. Being different and standing out from the crowd can work to a company’s advantage when it comes to marketing, and HGR’s booth was certainly a different look.

Over three days, Matt Williams, HGR’s chief marketing officer, and Mike Paoletto, one of HGR’s buyers, greeted a steady stream of traffic from current and former customers and vendors as well as from industry professionals who were drawn in by the odd juxtaposition of old equipment at an exposition featuring state-of-the-art processes and machinery. But these industry professionals almost immediately divined why a company like HGR would exhibit at their convention. HGR is in the business of helping companies at every stage grow and transform their businesses. HGR holds a special place in the business ecosystem where it interacts with large, publicly traded multinationals that are transforming their businesses, as well as with nascent startups that are capital constrained, for whom acquiring used and surplus equipment is fundamental to their early success.

The three-day exposition was a great success for HGR. Mike Paoletto reconnected with several vendors who he hadn’t seen for a while–some of whom had moved on to different roles and different companies. While the questions directed at Mike and Matt were as varied as the types of equipment inventoried in HGR’s 12-acre warehouse and showroom in Euclid, Ohio, nearly every conversation started with some observation about the stack of ginormous pens sitting on HGR’s table. Invariably, the engineers at the conference wanted to know why we had such large pens. Our response? “Well, you’re asking us about our pens, aren’t you?”

Large HGR pen giveaway at Ceramics Expo

Enter to win HGR’s May 2017 “guess what it is” Facebook contest

HGR guess what it is contest image May 2017

Last month, we must have gone too hard on you; so, we decided to make it a tiny bit easier this month for you to guess what piece of equipment or machinery is pictured. To participate you MUST meet the following 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.

Click here to enter your guess on our Facebook page by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 18, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

An HGR customer makes art by painting metal

Bob McNulty paintings

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

On the corner of Detroit Ave. and Marlowe Ave., in historic Lakewood, Ohio, sits a unique furniture shop called Empty Nest. The owner is a long-time customer of HGR Industrial Surplus and an emerging artist. Bob McNulty studied sculpture with Gene Kangas and photography with Misumi Hayashi at Cleveland State University before traveling the world as a sailmaker and boat captain. After being in the boat industry for 25 years, he left the field in 2008 to pursue other ventures, including opening a furniture store. It was in that line of work when he was introduced to industrial furniture. Being intrigued by it, he started to network within the community. Then in 2010, he decided to pursue art full time and brand his own style of industrial chic.

McNulty was fascinated by the distressed look of the industrial movement and wanted to push it further. By applying 5 to 12 coats of paint and using various techniques to remove the layers, the colors beneath began to show Bob a picture. He started to mix geometric shapes and free-flowing designs to create paintings that are as fascinating to touch as they are to look at. You can feel the textures of the layers and see the dimensions. Pictures do not justify their beauty. Bob McNulty, the artist, was born.

I looked around at the different pieces in his art opening on April 29, 2017. Some reminded me of topographical maps of rural towns, while others had a molecular feel to them. The majority of the pieces were made from items bought at HGR, where Bob says, “It was like a candy store” the first time he walked in. He now makes art full time, which keeps him busy. Each painting takes two to three weeks from start to finish, which allows time for application of all the layers. You can see his work at Empty Nest, 14423 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, Ohio.

Bob McNulty

Euclid High School’s Robotics Team made us proud at the 2017 AWT RoboBots Competition!

Euclid High School Robotics Team RoboBot battle bot

Congratulations to Euclid High Schools’s Robotics Team “The Untouchables” and their battle bot “Eliot Ness” for making it to the fourth round of the 2017 AWT RoboBots Competition on Apr. 29 at Lakeland Community College. We are very proud of you and grateful for the opportunity to sponsor an amazing group of students. You all are winners to us! HGR’s employees showed up the day before the competition at work in their team shirts to show our support.

RoboBot 2017 T-shirt

Future looks bright for AWT RoboBots contestants

Euclid High School Robotics Team at 2017 AWT RoboBots

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

It was a gloomy overcast day out at Lakeland Community College for the 2017 AWT RoboBots Competition, but the future looks bright for the students on “The Untouchables” robotics team at Euclid High School. They worked all year at perfecting their weapon, and with early tests it looked like it paid off. The Untouchables were in the pit making last second adjustments while awaiting their match. They looked nervous but eager to see their bot in action.

The morning’s matches began with big hits and fast finishes. The weapons were causing a lot of damage and some matches were over after the first hit. It was Euclid’s turn to step into the octagon. Their weapon looked as impressive in their first match as it did in the test runs. As the bots charged each other, The Untouchables’ weapon struck the first blow hitting the team from Perry, Ohio, hard and disabling their weapon. After a few more hits, Perry was sent scrambling around to try and recover without a weapon. Unfortunately, the drive system for Euclid started to fail, and their mobility was slowed to a plodding stumble. They could hit Perry hard enough to knock them out, but couldn’t move enough to target them. Perry took advantage of this by maneuvering around them and eventually pinning Euclid to the side a few times, earning them points from the judges. Even when Euclid used their one release, Perry was able to use their agility to once again pin The Untouchables. That proved to be too much for the team from Euclid, and they lost a judge’s decision in the first round, which sent them to the consolation bracket.

They were disappointed in the pit. Their weapon could do the job, but moving was an issue and needed remedied. They all jumped on a task and got to work immediately. Time was an issue with the next round beginning in 20 minutes. They had to recharge and make improvements on the fly. Before you knew it, the announcer was calling Euclid to the set-up and weigh-in table. They tested the movement, and it seemed to have improved some, but not to the point they had hoped. It was do-or-die time for The Untouchables.

Their next opponent was a team from Pennsylvania, and Euclid wanted to show what their bot was made of. From the start, the bot wasn’t moving how they wanted it to; so, they planned their attack around their inability to move. The other team worked hard to move around them and hit Euclid hard with their weapon, which sent Euclid’s bot up in the air. When it landed, however, Euclid’s weapon made contact with their gear and knocked their weapon offline. The Pennsylvania team tried to maintain the aggression and pin The Untouchables, which resulted in a few points from the judges. There were just seconds to go when the Pennsylvania team tried to approach one last time. It proved to be their undoing. Euclid’s weapon caught the other team’s bot hard and sent it through the air for a last-second knockout in dramatic fashion. The Untouchables would live to fight another round.

The stage turned to the JuniorBots Competition which gave Euclid over an hour to work on their bot. Coming off their exciting victory, they wanted to get the bot back into the best shape for their next match. Euclid won on a forfeit due to the power failure of the other bot. They needed to win a few more to battle back into the finals bracket, and their next match was a tough one against Kirtland.

Kirtland‘s bot was fast and compact. The weapon was similar to Euclid’s but smaller and more direct in its attack. From the start, Euclid still was moving slowly but adapting well with a defensive strategy. Kirtland was moving around Euclid as if it were testing their defenses. After a few small hits, Kirtland went in for the kill. Euclid took the first few shots like a champ, but their weapon couldn’t lay a good hit on the faster, more agile bot. The Untouchables bot was fighting, but pieces were being torn from it by the other team’s weapon, and its bot was so low to the ground, Euclid couldn’t lift it when it did make contact. As buzzer went off and its bot lay in pieces, The Untouchables day was over.

As I walked out at the end of the day and looked at the sky, it was still gloomy and overcast without a single ray of sun. As I look to the future of Euclid High School robotics, it looks very bright. They have a weapon to be reckoned with and small improvements to be made to the drive system. When it all comes together, I may be writing this same article next year, with a very different outcome.

This year’s winners were repeat champions from 2016, The A-Tech Machinists from Ashtabula. They defeated Beaumont in the final round to go undefeated for the regional bracket and are on their way to the state finals. As a reward, they received the $500 scholarship from HGR Industrial Surplus, which I presented to the winning team.

A-Tech Machinists winning $500 scholarship from HGR Industrial Surplus at 2017 AWT RoboBots

Top 10 questions about HGR Industrial Surplus

HGR Industrial Surplus Showroom Aisle-way

We get questions all the time about what we do, and people are curious about what we sell. So, we put together this Top 10 list of interesting tidbits, trivia and fun facts about HGR for your enjoyment.

What do you do?

HGR Industrial Surplus buys new and used machinery, equipment, furniture, supplies, fixtures, shelving and more. You name it, we’ve sold it. Yes, even rugs, leather, wine glasses, printer ink cartridges, pottery molds, sinks, tile and more.

What’s the heaviest item that you’ve ever sold?

A large press that weighed 150,000 pounds!

What’s the most expensive item that you’ve ever sold?

A press for $89,999

What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever bought?

15,000 hammers

What do you sell the most of?

Electrical items

Who are your customers?

Makers, machinists, hobbyists, welders, manufacturers, engineers, maintenance employees, DIYers, woodworkers, contractors, store and business owners

Why did you locate in Euclid, Ohio?

Euclid had the building that would work for us. We were able to commit to the space we needed at the time, while also having options to grow. It was perfect for our short- and long-term plans.

Edwin Merced HGR Employee of the MonthWho was your most recent employee of the month?

Edwin Merced, showroom operator, was nominated and voted April’s Employee of the Month by his coworkers at HGR. He was nominated for “supporting everyone with openness, honesty, trust and respect while working as a team to achieve our common goals. He creates exceptional customer relationships by enhancing awareness and expectations of outstanding service with every interaction. Edwin does all of this with a smile on his face.”

Who’s the employee who’s been there the longest?

There are 11 employees who have been here since the beginning, 19 years ago: Founder Paul Betori, Buyer Jeff Crowl, Partner Rick Affrica, Buyer Jim Ray, Partner Brian Krueger, Showroom Floor Supervisor Rich Lash, Sales Rep Steve Fischer, Receiving Supervisor Chuck Leonard, Partner Ron Tiedman, Sales Admin Libby Dixon, and retired Buyer Doug Kopp.

Brian and Ron started in sales and now are part owners, while Rick started as a buyer and now is a part owner. Chuck and Rich started as forklift operators and are now supervisors. Jim, Jeff and Steve have retained and expanded our clientele with their wisdom and mentor our buy and sales staff. Libby has consistently been our dependable sales admin and customer greeter.

HGR employee Chuck Leonard
Chuck
Andrew Ciecerko HGR employee
Andrew

Who’s the employee who drives the furthest?

We have employees who drive in from all over, including Cuyahoga, Medina, Summit and Stark counties, the far eastern suburbs, as well as Pennsylvania.

Chuck Leonard, receiving supervisor, lives in Erie, Pa., and drives 93 miles to work on Monday morning and 93 miles home on Friday night. The rest of the week, he stays 40 miles away in Geneva at his mom’s house. He’s done this for 19 years! That’s dedication.

Andrew Ciecerko, inventory clerk, lives in Williamsfield, Ohio, near the Pa. line. He drives 70 miles each way every day.

HGR aerial view

Thanks for reading! Do you have other questions about HGR that you would like answered?

Are you going to the Ceramics Expo in Cleveland?

Ceramics Expo Logo

 

If you are, we’ll be there, too. Stop by Booth 905 from April 25-27, 2017, to see three pieces of equipment that we’ll have on display and pick up some cool swag, including coasters, lanyards, dispensers and BIG @$$ HGR pens. You can chat with one of our buyers, Mike Paoletto, our Chief Marketing Officer Matt Williams and some of our salespeople. We’re there because we buy ceramics and glass equipment from companies that are selling their lines for an upgrade and looking to recover assets.

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer spotlight with Bob Buerger

HGR buyer Bob BuergerWhen did you start with HGR and why?

2004, but I moved into the buyer role in 2014. My friends and I were at a Hell’s Angels dry poker run for Ronald McDonald House. One stop was a local bar called Stingers near HGR. Since it was the last stop, we thought we’d have a beer and ended up meeting Mike Lima, HGR’s shipping manager at the time, who said they were looking for someone in the incoming department. I applied, and they hired me. I also used to shop at McKean and HGR for years, especially on Wednesdays when we could have a free lunch and shop. I thought it was the neatest place. There’s no other place I’ve come across like HGR with its enormous size, its magnitude and what it does — even in all my travels now.

What were you doing before HGR?

I managed a metal finishing and plating company and was familiar with most of Mike Paoletto’s customers that he’s bought from. I like machinery and woodworking and have always been around it.

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

Southern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Kentucky, 75 percent of Tennessee, northwestern Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. I live about 30 minutes from Memphis.

Monday is office day to get caught up. On average, I am away from the house overnight 1.5 days per week. I travel from company to company looking at equipment and purchase what we can, which is about 15 percent of what we look at, on average. I see about three businesses per day but have seen up to six.

What do you like most about your job?

Meeting new people and new companies. At HGR, I saw all this equipment coming in but never saw it in operation, but now I go to huge manufacturing companies and get to see extrusion lines and robots in action and realize, “Oh, that’s how it’s made.” Every day is new in learning, and the job is fascinating.

What’s your greatest challenge?

The technology. I am not a computer person. When I first took this job, the only experience that I had was as an inventory clerk at HGR putting in information. And, I had a flip phone. The owners of HGR took a huge leap of faith giving me this position. Brian said, “Let’s give this guy a chance. He’s a good worker and always on time.” I was never late once and lived 30 minutes away. Even Rick had to teach me how to copy and paste.

When did you start with HGR and why?

2004, but I moved into the buyer role in 2014. My friends and I were at a Hell’s Angels dry poker run for Ronald McDonald House. One stop was a local bar called Stingers near HGR. Since it was the last stop, we thought we’d have a beer and ended up meeting Mike Lima, HGR’s shipping manager at the time, who said they were looking for someone in the incoming department. I applied, and they hired me. I also used to shop at McKean and HGR for years, especially on Wednesdays when we could have a free lunch and shop. I thought it was the neatest place. There’s no other place I’ve come across like HGR with its enormous size, its magnitude and what it does — even in all my travels now.

What were you doing before HGR?

I managed a metal finishing and plating company and was familiar with most of Mike Paoletto’s customers that he’s bought from. I like machinery and woodworking and have always been around it.

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

Southern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Kentucky, 75 percent of Tennessee, northwestern Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. I live about 30 minutes from Memphis.

Monday is office day to get caught up. On average, I am away from the house overnight 1.5 days per week. I travel from company to company looking at equipment and purchase what we can, which is about 15 percent of what we look at, on average. I see about three businesses per day but have seen up to six.

What do you like most about your job?

Meeting new people and new companies. At HGR, I saw all this equipment coming in but never saw it in operation, but now I go to huge manufacturing companies and get to see extrusion lines and robots in action and realize, “Oh, that’s how it’s made.” Every day is new in learning, and the job is fascinating.

What’s your greatest challenge?

The technology. I am not a computer person. When I first took this job, the only experience that I had was as an inventory clerk at HGR putting in information. And, I had a flip phone. The owners of HGR took a huge leap of faith giving me this position. Brian said, “Let’s give this guy a chance. He’s a good worker and always on time.” I was never late once and lived 30 minutes away. Even Rick had to teach me how to copy and paste.

What’s your favorite place to eat when you are on the road?

My favorite place to eat with the best burgers is Abe’s Grill in Mississippi. It’s 100 years old with 10-15 seats.

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

My wife and I bought a house that was owned by a single mom who thought duct tape fixed everything; so, I spend a lot of my free time working on the house and outside in the yard. My wife said that she would really like a pool; so, we put an in-ground pool in last year.

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

My mom and dad. Mom because she gave me a great sense of humor. She taught me to laugh at myself. Dad because he gave me a great work ethic. He was a foreman at Ford Brookpark Foundry for more than 25 years. He’d leave for work at 5:30 a.m. in a white shirt and come home with a grey shirt. He had a stretch of about 150 days where he worked every day with no time off. He also is a combat Marine Corp. veteran who served in Korea. He taught me that if you work hard in life you get benefits.

Anything I missed that you want the rest of the team to know?

At HGR, if you give 100 percent and work hard, ownership will recognize you when a position becomes available. They’re always open to give someone a chance.

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

My wife and I bought a house that was owned by a single mom who thought duct tape fixed everything; so, I spend a lot of my free time working on the house and outside in the yard. My wife said that she would really like a pool; so, we put an in-ground pool in last year.

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

My mom and dad. Mom because she gave me a great sense of humor. She taught me to laugh at myself. Dad because he gave me a great work ethic. He was a foreman at Ford Brookpark Foundry for more than 25 years. He’d leave for work at 5:30 a.m. in a white shirt and come home with a grey shirt. He had a stretch of about 150 days where he worked every day with no time off. He also is a combat Marine Corp. veteran who served in Korea. He taught me that if you work hard in life you get benefits.

Anything else that you want everyone to know?

At HGR, if you give 100 percent and work hard, ownership will recognize you when a position becomes available. They’re always open to give someone a chance.

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer spotlight with Jason Arnett

HGR Buyer Jason Arnett

When did you start with HGR and why?

June 2014. I was intrigued by the opportunity to have a multi-state territory and had a background in sales but this was different being on the buyer side rather than the sales side.

What were you doing before HGR?

Medical, equipment and specialty lumber sales

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

The Midatlantic (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina)

Monday is spent in the office following up on offers and getting the schedule together, getting your appointments set for the week. The rest of the week is out on appointments and looking at equipment, taking pictures, and setting expectations with customers. The deals are sent through Dataflo and the offer goes out to the customer. Then, we follow up on offers, sometimes on Mondays and sometimes in the car driving between appointments. I spend one to two overnights per week out on the road.

What do you like most about your job?

I like being in front of the customers and interacting with them in person, basically, the whole process of the inspection.

What’s your greatest challenge?

Convincing some of the customers that they would do better selling to HGR as opposed to scrapping the equipment. It goes back to setting expectations and helping them to understand that we don’t offer retail pricing because we are an industrial reseller of used equipment.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

The HGR volleyball tournament in January with another buyer and Founder Paul Betori singing karaoke. It was memorable.

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

Cooking on the BBQ and smoking meat with a charcoal or wood fire.

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

My dad. He inspires by always giving 110% effort in everything he’s done. He runs marathons. He went back to law school in his early 40s and now works as a lobbyist. Recently, he wasn’t able to meet me for lunch because he was meeting with a congressman!

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

HGR's receiving department
Bryan and Eric

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Bryan Korecz, HGR’s inbound logistics manager)

What does your department do?

The Inbound Logistics Department is in constant contact with HGR’s vendors. We do not have much contact with customers who purchase items from HGR. After a buyer has made a purchase from a vendor we are in contact with the vendors until all items have been picked up. We ensure that the buying and shipping process goes smoothly for them and that they have a good experience and sell to HGR in the future. A day in the life would be 75-100 phone calls and email with vendors, trucking companies, dispatchers, buyers and then making it all come together so that the offloading of the equipment goes smooth here at HGR

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

My department is myself and Eric Karaba. He handles seven of the buyers, while I handle six and any purchases made by two of our owners, Rick Affrica and Brian Krueger.

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

Patience. In this line of work, things will go wrong, and problems will come up. It happens all the time, and you just have to roll with it and adjust. Multitasking as well as being able to solve problems quickly.

What do you like most about your department?

I like that we play an integral role in the HGR “supply chain” process. I like that every day can be different, as well.

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

We face challenges every day. You just have to learn from previous experiences and apply that knowledge to anything that will come up in the future.

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

Two years ago, this department didn’t exist. We had an outside company do it for us, and we wanted to take control of it to better service our vendors and make the process smoother.

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

We are in the process of implementing a process to ensure that equipment gets to HGR faster (so we can sell if faster) and more efficiently.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

I think it is a pretty relaxed environment. We are able to get our work done.

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

Before I came here I didn’t know much about the manufacturing industry. My experience was solely in shipping. During the course of the last two years, I have learned what certain machines are, what they are used for and what items HGR has success with.

Learn about the history of slo-pitch softball, which started in Cleveland, at the hall of fame and museum

History of start of softball at Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame and Museum

In 1985, The Greater Cleveland Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame began inducting members into the hall at its annual banquet. This continues to be the case today. But, in 1997, Founder Buddy Langdon and his partner had an idea for a hall of fame and museum in order to share the history of softball with the public. Originally, they planned to make it a mobile exhibit that could travel around the country by bus. Later, they approached the Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum, then located in what is now the Shore Cultural Centre in Euclid, Ohio, to pitch the idea that both museums be housed in the historic, former Euclid City Hall building that the city had planned to condemn and demolish.

In 1998, both museums set up shop at 605 E. 222nd St., Euclid, Ohio. The softball hall of fame decided that Euclid was a central location between the furthermost east and west sides, and the city had teams that played in the biggest and best leagues. The museum is a nonprofit that is funded through ticket sales from its induction banquet, donations from visitors and an annual raffle fundraiser.

When I visited, I learned so much about the sport and the history of the area. The first slo-pitch team was formed in Cleveland in 1939 by the Jewish Recreation Commission. As Curator Rich Yonakor explains, “Since they celebrated the Sabbath on Saturday, it was something for them to do socially on Sundays. They decided to make the ball bigger and slower since everyone was not able to hit a baseball. Gambling occurred, as the community placed bets on the outcome of games. They decided to open the games up to the public.” One of the first softballs was made at a YMCA by taping up a ball of socks.

By the 1960s and early 1970s, there were 280 local teams competing in a single elimination tournament to go on to the world championship. Later, the tournaments changed to double elimination, and instead of one champion, one team comes out of every governing body and league. In 1975, Cleveland’s Pyramid Café team won the first world championship for the city. In softball’s heyday, most teams were sponsored by bars, restaurants and the unions within companies. HGR Sales Associate Andrew Pringle’s grandfather, Douglas Pringle, played softball in the 1960s and was inducted into the hall with his team.

Many people don’t know the difference between fast pitch and slo-pitch. Women’s fast pitch is played at the high school and college level where the pitcher winds up and throws the ball hard and fast in a straight line. The pitcher also is six feet closer to home plate. In slo-pitch, the ball is lobbed in an arch of 10 feet to 16 feet, depending on the governing body. Most have a rule of 10 to 12 feet. There are a multitude of governing bodies, and each has different rules regarding the type of bat used and the pitching arc.

Rich Yonakor at Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame and MuseumToday, the sport has experienced a decline in popularity that Yonakor attributes to the electronic age where people are not getting out to play sports as much. He says the materials have changed dramatically and that “often the equipment is doing all of the work for them, not like in the old days when it was about competition and exercise. No one got hurt, and they all went out afterwards.” Now, the ball is harder; therefore, players can hit it further and over the fence for more home runs. The leagues have actually had to limit the number of home runs in a game on this account.

If you are a sports enthusiast, which you must be if you got to this point in the blog, when you stop to visit the museum, you can talk softball, baseball, basketball AND football with Yonakor. Does that name sound familiar? Yep, he’s the son of football legend John Yonakor, a member of the 1946-1950 All-American Football Conference Cleveland Browns. His father took him to every Browns home game from when Yonakor was four until he was 17. John Yonakor was originally drafted into the NFL Philadelphia Eagles, but Paul Brown offered to pay him more, $9,500 per year as opposed to $7,500. He also played in Canada for a year, with the New York Yanks for a year and with the Washington Redskins for a couple of years. His son, Rich, was recruited six years ago to assist Langdon in running the museum. When Langdon passed away, Yonakor took over. Rich Yonakor played NBA basketball for the San Antonio Spurs and then professional basketball for overseas teams, including Italy, France and Belgium, for a few years. He also was the softball director for the City of Euclid.

 

the main room at Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame and Museum part of the Hall of Fame wall at the Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame and Museum penants and shirts at the Slo-Pitch Hall of Fame and Museum

 

What do a Chicago crime boss and EHS’ competitors at the AWT RoboBots competition have in common?

Euclid High School robotics team working on its battle bot

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Bob Torrelli, Euclid High School’s Science Department chair and Robotics Team coach)

They are going down!

We had a very successful meeting in March at SC Industries. The robot is totally together and all that’s left to do is shed 0.15 pounds and practice driving and using the weapon.

The Euclid High School Robotics Team has been relentless in solving the gear ratio problem between the motor and the weapon shaft. We finally got it resolved while we did work on the robot during spring break. So, without any other unforeseen problems, we will be ready to test it out this week at Fredon in the cage. We need to solder some specific connections onto the new 12-volt batteries, hook the electronics together, and attach the armor. We have about four weeks to test it and make sure it is competition ready for the 2017 RoboBots Battle on Apr. 29 at Lakeland Community College.

Our team name still is The Untouchables, and our robot’s name is Elliott Ness.

HGR Industrial Surplus is one of the team’s sponsors.

Enter to win HGR’s April 2017 “guess what it is” Facebook contest

spot welder sweat valve for HGR Facebook contest

Last month, we went too easy on you; so, we decided to make it a little harder this month to guess what piece of equipment or machinery is pictured. To participate, 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.

Click here to enter your guess on our Facebook page by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 14, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

April is National Welding Month!

welder with shield and sparks

In support of the American Welding Society, we’re celebrating all the talented, hardworking welders who make many of the objects that we use and appreciate on a daily basis, especially those that get us where we need to go. Welding was discovered in the 1800s and has continued to make strides. Consider a career in welding and talk to your local community college or trade school, or let us know if you are a welder and what you weld. Thank you, welders!

If you’re looking for welding equipment, HGR Industrial Surplus has affordable new and used items to fit out your weld shop.

Pardon our dust

construction workers on renovation site for HGR demolitionHGR is gutting and rebuilding our front entrance, restrooms and sales office to better serve our customers. The construction work is being done at night while we are closed, but you will notice some changes in the next four months. We’ll be moving our desks around to accommodate the work being done, and the front restrooms are closed; so, customers will need to use the restrooms in Aisle 6 or in our back offices if you are unable to navigate the stairs to the restrooms.

Please excuse the shuffle while we make amazing improvements. You still can count on the same great products, service and prices.

Thanks!

Sheffield Bronze’s founder: from printer to paint-powder distributor, car salesman, auto lessor, and finally paint manufacturer by 1927

Mel Hart, president of Sheffield Bronze

Mel Hart, president of Sheffield Bronze Paint Corp., 17814 S. Waterloo Rd., Cleveland, is a self-made man with captivating stories to tell about the history of Cleveland and of his family, especially his grandfather, Abe Gross, the founder of Sheffield Bronze.

In the 1920s, Hart’s grandfather worked for Star Printing as an apprentice printer and lived with his parents and siblings in a rooming house on Scovill Ave. When Star Printing’s owner died, Gross was only a teenager. But, he bought the company from the owner’s wife by making payments over time. Star Printing was a prominent printer that made laundry tickets, Hanna parking garage tickets, and labels, among other items. One of the jobs Star Printing took, on a handshake, was to print labels for bronze powder, used to make copper, gold, brass and silver paint.

When he went to collect the payment for the labels, the owner of the company admitted that he was going out of business. To pay for the labels, he turned over the labels, cans and powder to Gross. A business was born in 1927. The bronze powder sold well; so, he bought more powder from England to package and resell, while continuing to run his printing business. He decided that he wanted to sell aluminum powder (pulverized aluminum scrap that is used to make aluminum paint) and contacted Alcoa. This powder was used to make paint for the World War II effort and for many purposes, including pipes, window and door screens that were painted aluminum.

At this time, fine steel was being produced in Sheffield, England, to make Sheffield knives and other steel items. The name “Sheffield” became synonymous with fine steel then, eventually, came to encompass all fine metal. Gross took the name for his paint-manufacturing company, and Sheffield Bronze Paint Corp. was born.

The company was moved from the original location of Star Printing on E. 55th to another location at E. 55th and Woodland Ave. It moved again to Lakeview Rd. and Euclid Ave. In 1949, Gross bought the land where the company still is located in Collinwood because it was inexpensive due to being next to the railroad tracks but convenient for the company since it would receive shipments of paint cans by train.

Unfortunately, one year later, he passed away, and his two sons took over. One year later, on the same day, their sister, Hart’s mother, passed away when he was 13 years old. Hart had worked with her after school in the restaurant that she owned, Hickory House, 7804 Carnegie Ave., Cleveland. He moved in with his father (his parents had divorced when he was two) who sold cars and began to work with him. They sold the restaurant to The Lancer Steakhouse. The building was lost in a fire and torn down in 2009.

Hart’s uncle, Sanford Gross, said to him, “If you can sell cars, you can sell paint” and asked Hart to work for him. Hart took a chance and hoped for a future. When each of his uncles passed away in 1998 and 2008, he bought out their shares from his aunts. Through the years, he had worked his way up in the company from selling paint, to running the plant, to purchasing, to general manager to sales manager and, finally, to president. Hart says, “I have to know how to do everything in order to train people.”

Sheffield Bronze employs 14-20 people. It produces decorative metallic paints (gold, silver, bronze, copper) that are sold to paint manufacturers and through paint distributors to hardware stores and paint stores, including Ace, True Value, ALLPRO and Sherwin-Williams. The paints are purchased by home owners, contractors, architects, and interior designers for use in touching up porcelain and cast-iron stoves, chalkboard paint on walls for children, paint tints, on church domes, such as St. Theodosius in Tremont, roof canopies, carousels (Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel housed at the Western Reserve Historical Society), and ornate ceilings and trim, including the theaters in Playhouse Square.

A lab technician, fillers, labelers, packagers, and shipping, receiving and office staff work for Sheffield Bronze. The raw materials come in to Shipping, are taken by elevator upstairs where they are manufactured. The pigments come down through gravity feed tubes into mixers that grind the pigment to fine, uniform dust, which is then used to make the paint. Hart has purchased some of his equipment, including a heat sealer, paint tanks and filling equipment, locally, from HGR Industrial Surplus.

Hart says, “My biggest challenge is finding the right customers that are quality, like Sherwin-Williams. They are human, understanding and make a great team.” To be a successful manufacturer, he says Sheffield Bronze takes in an order today and gets it out tomorrow. It handles small volume that other manufacturers don’t want to handle. He continues to keep the company at its current size so that he has a niche market that other larger companies cannot duplicate.

Through the years, he’s had to change his business model. The company used to call on small hardware and paint stores and had reps throughout the country. He shifted to a distributor model; therefore, the company no longer sells direct to consumers. He shares other industry challenges: “It’s a problem for the little guy because there are less and less people to sell to. The big guys get bigger, and the small guys are out of business. So, I need to be a help to the big guys, not a competitor or a hindrance.” He also says that salaries are up, and he can’t hire someone to do his job at what he makes; so, he may end up having to sell the business when it’s time to retire in a few years.

Outside of work, when he was younger, Hart loved boating and motorcycling. He used to ride his motorcycle through the Cleveland Metroparks from Chagrin Falls to Valley View with only two traffic lights then take the old trail to Peninsula and have lunch. He also used to horseback ride around Shaker Lakes and groom horses at the 107th Cavalry Regiment’s stables, as well as at Sleepy Hollow Stable in the “country” on SOM Center Road and the Cleveland Police Mounted Unit.

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

a stone carving of saint patrick on the lower door to the chapel royal of dublin castle in dublin, irelandHistory. It’s what we do. Old and new. The treasure chest (or pot of gold) to be found in the aisles of HGR’s showroom. We love the history of machines and buildings. So, on this day when everyone thinks about green beer, leprechauns, shamrocks and luck, remember that St. Patrick is one of the patron saints of Ireland. He lived in the fifth century.

And, there’s the well-known Irish Blessing, an ancient Celtic prayer, that you may have read before:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind always be at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face

and rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

There’s also this one:

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

Enjoy your day. We hope to see you soon.

 

 

What Type of Employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR’s Showroom Department

HGR's Showroom Department team

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Rich Lash, HGR’s Showroom supervisor)

What does your department do?

The Showroom is the last chance to make sure things are displayed properly and as nice for the customer as possible. We think that keeping things orderly helps in the sale of the piece. Our goal is to take care of the customer in the best way possible.

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

The Showroom has seven employees. Our jobs consist of many different things: clearing walls of new inventory and taking it out to the showroom floor. We also are responsible for loading customers with the pieces that they have purchased, from 20 pounds to 40,000 pounds and more. Each Showroom employee is trained to treat each piece as if it is theirs.

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

It starts with basic forklift operator skills, and by the time training is done, the forklift operator will be chaining, lifting and loading pieces with a 30,000-pound forklift with very little assistance from others.

What do you like most about your department?

We like dealing with the customer and trying to be the best at what we do and who we are.

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

HGR is remodeling different areas of the building, from repairing the roof to a new locker room and, soon, a new sales office. Each time, everyone has to help by moving things out of the way so work can be done. It is hard at times but the end result is great because the improvements are worth it. We have come a long way from the early days of HGR when there were 11 employees.

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

Well, before eBay, we had a lot more customer walk-in traffic, which sometimes made it difficult to get through the showroom with sold pieces for customers. Since eBay, it seems that sales have gone up but customer traffic has gone down, which makes it easier to get through the showroom.

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

I think training is the key to making things better in the showroom and in every department, for that matter. Knowing your product and how to treat it and display it sure makes a difference.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

HGR has been a very pleasant and enjoyable place to work over the years. The people I work with and the people I work for are just great. I have never worked for a company that tries to make their employees feel good with company picnics, gift cards, rewards and a holiday party like HGR has. They also have a profit-sharing program for the employees that sets them apart from other companies.

Call for industrial artists to deck out HGR’s offices!

metal armour with rusty gears and cogs artwork

As you may know or have read about in past blogs, HGR has invested in building out a new back office for executives, HR, payroll and other internal departments. It is designed with manufacturing and industry in mind. We also will be starting a complete renovation of our front Sales office where customers come in to make purchases and drivers come to pick up loads for delivery. That project is expected to be complete late this summer.

We need some two- and three-dimensional art for the walls, a clock, a coat rack, an A/V stand and other items that keep to the industrial theme, including machinery, our building’s history, Nickel Plate Road railway, etc. We have lots of machinery badges, blueprints and equipment schematics that we would like to display. Like any office, we need art, decorations, plant stands, and functional items.

I know that we have many artist and maker customers who shop here for material and inspiration. If you want to showcase your work and get some notice by the people who walk in our doors every day, contact Gina at gtabasso@hgrinc.com with photos, proposals or ideas, or give her a call. We have a modest budget; so, we are looking for lesser-known artists and makers who just want to be part of HGR’s future. We can trade store credit or marketing services, too!

 

Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society donation for convention luncheon

HGR donation to Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society for annual convention luncheon
Chuck Klein, NKPHTS convention chairman, with Matt Williams, HGR’s chief marketing officer

On Sept. 28 – 30, The Nickel Plate Road Historical and Technical Society (NKPHTS) is hosting its annual convention in Cleveland, one of the stops on the Nickel Plate Road railroad, which connected New York, Chicago and St. Louis. If you missed it, you can learn more about the society in this 2015 HGR blog. HGR’s current facility was one of the Cleveland stops on the line where GM’s Fisher Auto Body Plant used the railroad to transport automobile bodies to Detroit. You can read about the history of the site on this past blog.

So, why are we talking about an event that doesn’t take place until September? Well, because pulling off a convention takes planning, and Chuck Klein, NKPHTS’ convention chairman, is running the show. On March 7, he visited HGR’s showroom in Euclid to pick up his “check” for $1,000, donated by HGR. Matt Williams, HGR’s chief marketing officer, is a member of NKPHTS. And, HGR cares about preserving the heritage of its site, which was an important part of the war effort and industrialization in Cleveland.

Williams joined the society because his grandfather worked in Nickel Plate’s Canton, Ohio, railyard, and his father, an electrical engineer, was The Orville Railroad Heritage Society’s president. While Klein, a retired optician, is a model railroad enthusiast and a committee member for the National Model Railroad Association, which is how he came by the job of convention chairman.

Klein says, “We almost didn’t do the luncheon because it wasn’t financially feasible, but with the donation from HGR to cover the room rental, we were able to pull it off.” And, pull it off in style they will do. The society is shuttling convention attendees from The Holiday Inn South Cleveland — Independence to The Terminal Tower with a special stop along the way. A visit to the tower’s observation deck also is planned. The topic of the luncheon presentation will be “From Chicago World’s Fair to Cleveland’s Public Square: the Story of the Terminal Tower.”

For lovers of Cleveland history, especially of Public Square, Klein provides a wealth of information. I learned more in an hour with him about the history of the buildings on Public Square and the Van Sweringen brothers who built them than I’ve learned in my (ahem) undisclosed number of years on this planet where I’ve lived in Cleveland since birth. He recommended the book Invisible Giants: The Empires of Cleveland’s Van Sweringen Brothers by Herbert H. Harwood Jr. It’s now on my Goodreads list!

If you are interested in joining the society or attending the convention, you can get more information on the society’s website. We’ll be at the luncheon looking for you!

 

Euclid High School Robotics Team’s battle bot build update

Euclid High School robotics students working at a drill press
Euclid High School robotics students working at a drill press

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Bob Torrelli, Science Department chair and Robotics Team coach, Euclid High School)

Heading into competition Apr. 29 at the Alliance for Working Together’s RoboBots competition at Lakeland Community College, Euclid High School’s team and coach are hard at work. The frame and the armor are complete. The wheels are on, and the skids are mounted in the front. The weapon and axle are being finalized this week and, hopefully, mounted. We will then mount and attach the motor for the weapon. We need to make sure we have the correct fly wheels and belts. Then we need to run the inside electronics. We are continually doing quality inspections before proceeding to the next step so that the robot holds up this year in competition. We should be complete in about two more weeks, then five to six weeks of testing and tweaking.

The students asked for one of the titanium rail holes to be enlarged, and Gary (pictured in photo) gave them a lesson on what it takes to properly enlarge the hole evenly and proportionally. They also gained experience using a band saw, a jigsaw and many other tools that they had never explored before.

Go Team Euclid! HGR Industrial Surplus is a sponsor for Euclid High School’s team and encourages youth to choose careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, including manufacturing, welding, machining and other high-tech trades.

Enter to win HGR’s “Guess what it is” Facebook contest

HGR's Guess what it is Facebook contest photo

Do you know which piece of equipment in our showroom this close-up photo is of? If so, enter our March “Guess What It Is Contest!” You can find anything at HGR, including this. But what is it? Click here to enter your guess on our Facebook page by midnight, Monday, March 13. If your guess is correct, you’ll have a be entered into a random drawing to win a special HGR T-shirt! The winner will be announced here on our blog and on Facebook.

HGR offers $2,000 STEM scholarship to Euclid High School senior

HGR Industrial Surplus Scholarship Application

2017 HGR Industrial Surplus STEM Scholarship

HGR Industrial Surplus Inc. annually awards a scholarship to a high school senior who has been accepted by an institution of higher education for the next academic year to pursue a degree or certification in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math) field. This includes, but is not limited to, the fields of engineering, engineering technology, electrical, mechanical, welding, manufacturing, or construction. This year, one student from Euclid High School will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship.

Scholarship guidelines are as follows:
1. The applicant must be active in any facet of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math).
2. The applicant must be in good academic standing at his or her high school.
3. The applicant should be a senior.
4. The applicant must be accepted into an institution of higher education or a trade or technical school for the next academic year.
5. Financial need will be considered.

Those applying for the HGR Industrial Surplus scholarship should submit the following materials when applying:
1. A completed scholarship application.
2. A 350-word autobiography.
3. A 350-word statement explaining why this scholarship is important to you, including your financial need.
4. A minimum of one letter of reference. Up to three letters of reference will be accepted. Letters of reference should be from teachers, counselors, coaches, employers, mentors, etc. rather than from family or friends.
5. Scholarship Submission Deadline: All materials should be submitted here by April 15, 2017.

We have a winner in our “What’s the coolest thing you bought at HGR” Facebook contest

Candice Uebrick submitted a photo of the coolest thing she bought at HGR and was selected in a random drawing to win an HGR T-shirt.

industrial Singer sewing machine purchased at HGR

She says, “The coolest things I have bought at HGR are two industrial singer sewing machines. I updated the cords on them, and they sew perfectly (and fast)! I bought a typewriter, also — maybe not cool by modern standards, but it’s very cool to me, and I use it often.”

Thanks to all of our participants!

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

HGR eBay Auction Department

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Fred Holmes, HGR’s eBay Auctions Department supervisor)

What does your department do?

eBay Auctions Department lists and sells small, high-value items with strong market demand, Our department is expected to find the hidden treasures in Deals that could easily be missed.

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

Five people. We have two full-time eBay clerks who inventory; one full-time UPS shipping person; one floater/teardown person who pulls parts from machines, helps in UPS and incoming; and a supervisor who tries to find the best items, fixes problems and coordinates with the customers.

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

You need to be very detail oriented, mechanical with strong typing skills and have an eye for value. We do Internet research, and you must be willing to learn every day.

What do you like most about your department?

Constant learning of different types of tech or machines and finding new items the we have never seen before.

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

We have a lot of challenges from eBay itself. eBay always is adapting and changing its website, and we must constantly improve to keep up with them. We have challenges with product flow and types of product, and we work together to figure out what we are selling.  The team has adapted by taking on more responsibilities, when needed.

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

Very little. There have been minor adjustments to our listing styles, but, overall, it’s stayed the same.

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

You can’t improve perfection! J We always are stressing the importance of accuracy and speed — always striving to be more efficient.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

It’s a work environment that gives you the flexibility to be your best. Everyone gets part of the profits, and everyone has opportunity to better himself/herself and the company.

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

It’s a valuable business for small companies to buy from and for large companies to liquidate assets. Recycling what we can’t sell is good for the environment and our natural resources.

2017 plans for HGR’s ongoing renovation and construction

hard hat with construction blueprintsWhat can you expect to see this year as we make ongoing improvements at our showroom for our customers and employees?

1.  Parking lot improvements

2. Landscaping

3. Façade improvements to back guest entrance

4. Creation of a back patio area for employees

5. Structural and roof improvements, with a new roof over Aisles 3, 7 and 8

6. Tenant-space improvements

And, drum roll, please!!!!!!

7. A completely remodeled and reconfigured front sales office with a new entrance and modern restrooms

Are you a blogger or social media junkie?

calling bloggers

 

Are you in the blogosphere? (HINT: You are if you’re here.) Are you active on social media? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Make some comments. Share it with your friends.

Also, we’d love to engage in conversations with our followers and customers on social media. Visit us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Finally,  we LOVE hosting guest bloggers and their areas of expertise! Send us a message if you’re interested.

 

Share your HGR Deal of the Month for a chance to win a free HGR T-shirt

man using snowblower on sidewalk

We want to hear from our customers!!!!

Upload a photo of your January deal of the month (or any month, since we’re not checking) on our Facebook page under the Feb. 1 “Deal of the Month” post. Let us know what it is, why it was such a deal, what you paid, and what you plan to do with it. You have until Feb. 7 to share your deal of the month.

Then, our customers will have from Feb. 8 to Feb. 13 to vote on the their favorite deal through our Facebook page  poll. The winner will be announced here and on Facebook on Feb. 15 and will need to contact us within 48 hours through a private Facebook message with their mailing address or to arrange pickup in order to receive their HGR T-shirt.

Here’s a real-life example of a deal from one of our customers:

“I bought a 40-year old Gilson snowblower for $350. I spent $60 on a tune-up, and the beast has served me well for two winters. I also bought two 2008 Mac Pro computers. I took them to a repair place, and for $63 each they got both of them working. I fired the one machine up last night, and it’s blazing fast! The other one I am waiting for 32 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD drive, though I am thinking about putting in a 5-disc SSD array, which will be faster than anything I’ve ever used before. And, I bought them for $50 each.”

Let’s see your deals.

HGR online auction reminder

Click here for more information on our online auction or here for the full auction catalog. We are partnering with Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers for a liquidation of Global Fabrication, Inc., in Dubois, PA. Inspection is Jan. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the live auction starting at 9 a.m. on Jan. 25.

HGR Online Auction Flyer for Jan. 25, 2017

Jan. 14: HGR’s monthly customer appreciation Saturday sale

We’re open one Saturday per month and offer a full, hot, free breakfast to those who swing by the showroom. Check out the sales!

HGR Saturday Jan. 14, 2017 customer appreciation sale flyer

HGR celebrates Halloween in style, and you can vote for your favorite costume

Scary jack o'lantern in the woods

Our offices are decked out with Halloween decorations. We have donuts. We have chocolates. And, we have costumes (not for sale). Stop by for a ghoulishly good time.

Cast your vote by Nov. 2 at 9 a.m. for your favorite costume and share photos of yours with us here.

 

 

Meet some talented, nontraditional students who could be an asset to your organization

CEVEC mock interview

The Cuyahoga East Vocational Education Consortium (CEVEC) is a consortium of 17 schools that offers career-oriented curriculum, job training and mentorship to special-needs students by focusing on their preferences, interests, needs and strengths.

On Oct. 21, CEVEC hosted its annual mock interview day at the Hilton Garden Inn, Mayfield Village. Three employees from HGR (CEO Brian Krueger, Human Resources Assistant April Quintiliano and me) attended to help 150 students with their interviewing skill.

There were two mock interview sessions with employees from 50 Northeast Ohio companies, such as McDonalds, Rockwell Automation, Arby’s, Cintas, CVS, Dave’s Supermarkets, Giant Eagle, Hilton Garden Inn, Jergens, Panera Bread, Toyota of Bedford, and others. During the lunch break, CEVEC students and staff presented on a range of topics, including the myths and facts about hiring people with disabilities.

Students showed up smartly dressed, prepared and confident. Here’s a snapshot of the 10 students that we interviewed in the morning session. We welcome you to get to know them as we did, in their own words:

Lisa from Mayfield: works at Menorah Park doing housekeeping (washing beds, trash and bathrooms) and at Pearl’s Place (wipe down tables and stocking); likes to read and play with her Bichon Frise; she cut coil and roll, scales and seal bags at CEVEC vocational program; favorite place she worked is at The Cleveland Botanical Garden during summer; least favorite was Old Navy because of complicated folding techniques; she’s good at time management and is a fast worker who completes tasks and is flexible to multitask; at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank she made lunches for people in need in an assembly line and helped kids who needed help completing their tasks

Cathy from Chagrin Falls: junior in H.S. in afternoon and CEVEC during the morning, which sends her to be a chef’s helper at Rockwell Automation; she works for her dad at Valley Marketplace weighing and pricing, stocking, and wiping the table; she’s good at drawing people and has gotten awards; she likes fashion and dress up, reading, and writing; her favorite class is English since she’s a good reader

Paul from Cleveland Heights: favorite place to work was Food Bank because he had a place to go; favorite subject was science; hobbies are watching and playing sports and his favorite team is the Pittsburgh Steelers; if he could do any job he would work at the Food Bank because he made sure the food was safe and liked being in the kitchen

Andrea from Richmond Heights: graduated in 2014; favorite class was math because she likes numbers; fave jobs were The Mandel Jewish Community Center where she sorted and hung clothes and Ursuline College because cleaning tables and chairs and recycling were a lot of fun; she likes music and computers and is best at cleaning up; she feels that she needs to improve her spacing and gets in the way of people; if could pick any job to do and get paid she would work at Ursuline

Anastasia from Shaker Heights: fave class is math and science and her least fave is math because it’s too easy; she likes going outside and likes basketball and watching the Cavs; favorite place to work was Shaker Theater cleaning theaters, bathrooms and games, and taking tickets; her least-favorite job was piece worker at CEVEC because it was hard but she’s gotten better; she was good at what she did at Doubletree Hotel stripping beds but needs to improve working in a team; she would like to work at Giant Eagle when she graduates

Jordan from Mayfield Heights: graduates in 2017; likes school and math is favorite subject with language arts his least favorite; he plays football as a safety and wide receiver and plays snare drum in the band; he works at Hillcrest Hospital in the surgery center transporting oxygen; he likes moving stuff around and restocking; he needs improvement on paperwork and filing; you can count on him to be there every day and be dependable; he got his wish because he wanted to see the Indians play the Cubs

Ja’Eona from Mayfield Heights: loves school and hates missing it; loves learning and it makes her happy; the other kids are her least favorite part because they get too wild; her favorite class is history, she runs to it and likes to hear what happened in America; she sings the National Anthem at school assemblies; her mom owns Martha’s Place and works with disabled men in their 50s and 60s and her dad is the pastor at Greater Fellowship Assembly, she hopes to take over both of their jobs; while she was eating at McDonalds, the owner offered her a job; prefers eating at McDonalds over Burger King but Wendy’s nuggets are better; she’s always on time and learns fast and is an asset because she can do it if she puts her mind to it; her area to improve is her attitude because she has downfalls and gets a little mad and can take it to a further extent but knows how to be professional and learned to be more calm; she would rather work by herself because she can do it better; watching her dad preach taught her skills and how to speak in front of people; she likes the medical field and would want to go into phlebotomy since blood doesn’t bother her

Nina from Mayfield Heights: graduates i2018; doesn’t like school; fave class is art and least is math and science; she practically failed physical science and has to retake it; she’s in the fuse club where they get together and do different thing, such as a Halloween party and costume contest; an animal shelter was her favorite place to work where she cleaned litter boxes and dog cages; she’s good at following directions and is nice to people; she likes to read books like The Hunger Games and fan fiction every day

Randall from Bedford: is a cashier and cleans and stocks shelves at Michaels; plans to go to Tri-C for a two years then transfer to a four-year college for a degree in nursing; science is favorite class because he likes to discover the chemicals and dissect a frog and pig and mouse; Pizza Hut favorite place to work because he likes pizza and was busy every day; there was good teamwork at McDonalds and they really liked him there because of his personality; he’s good at being a cashier, cleaning the lobby and restocking; he could improve at the register

Amari from Cleveland Heights: graduated in 2016; got job training through CEVEC in food prep at Menorah Park; fave classes were English, science and math; fave job was Food Bank because he portioned foods onto trays and enjoyed that; working in the dairy department at Dave’s was his least favorite because it was cold; if he could do any job, he would work at a restaurant in the kitchen and cook and use his skills with utensils; he enjoys TV, video games and music

Maybe one of these students is right for your organization. We found two long-term employees through CEVEC’s mock interview program. They have been an asset to our organization.

CEVEC students

I talked to HGR Partner and CEO Brian Krueger about his involvement with CEVEC. He told me that he first heard about CEVEC eight to nine years ago from family friend Sandy Seigler who said that he helps kids who, primarily, are communication-challenged but who are productive, resourceful, good workers. Krueger was asked to conduct mock interviews twice per year for two to three years and attended graduations and open houses. Then, he found himself needing to fill some positions at HGR. Our first hire from CEVEC, Jeremy, worked in the tear down area to re-itemize or scrap items. Now, he floats to different areas throughout Operations, including incoming, set up, tear down and scrap. Derrick cleans restrooms, sweeps aisles and assists in tear down. Krueger says, “I encourage business owners to look within their organizations to see if there are positions that can utilize these students’ skill sets.” Most of them have experience in food service, mailroom, restocking, carrying and moving, or tear down.

HGR employee Jeremy
Jeremy in his Employee-of-the-Month photo
Derric and metal gorilla
Derrick with the gorilla he made from HGR scrap