Get to Know HGR’s Gina Tabasso

HGR's Marketing Communications Specialist Gina Tabasso and her horse, Idyll

What is your job title?

Marketing communications specialist

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

Digital marketing and public relations, including community partnerships with the city, chamber of commerce, Euclid High School, AWT Robobots and others; weekly blogs; social media monitoring and sharing on Facebook and Twitter; quarterly newsletter; monthly column on manufacturing in two Observer newspapers; staff the LiveChat feature on our website; maintain the email and mailing contact lists; generate bi-weekly Amish inventory listing; participate in online industry forums; edit daily sales email; manage and respond to HGR’s email box; special events coordination, such as F*SHO, IngenuityFest or MAGNET’s State of Manufacturing; liaison with vendors and caterers; administer our annual STEM scholarship; seek content backlinks from other websites to ours; secretary for HGR’s values committee; marketing department onboarding for new employees; cover the front desk phones and customer check-ins, as needed; wash cookout dishes and put out donuts; and whatever else will support my team.

What qualifications are needed to succeed in your role?

Writing, editing, research, time management, deadline driven, organization, communication skills, being a positive ambassador, building relationships

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

I consider myself a brand evangelist and content marketer who uses print, digital and event marketing to enhance my company’s reputation and position in the industry in order to drive traffic, build leads, and serve existing and new customers. I’ve managed internal and external communications and marketing for PNC, CWRU, Timken, J.M. Smucker Company, Dealer Tire, Penton Media, and Construction News Corporation, as well as taught college English, writing, communication and marketing classes. I’ve also learned a lot from mentors and organizations with which I have volunteered.

How long have you been with HGR, and why?

Three years, because it’s a family environment where customers and coworkers become friends; we all work together to get people what they need when they need it. I feel valued and respected, as well as enjoying what I do. Each day is different and interesting.

What amazing things are you doing in your personal life?

I write poetry, read lots of books, spend tons of time at the barn and in the park riding my horse. I collect books, perfume and, most recently, endless amounts of cute fairy garden stuff.

What can you tell us about your family?

I’m an only child and lost my dad three years ago. My nuclear family consists of my mom and my fur babies – Gwyn and Stas (cats) and Idyll (horse).

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

Serenity, balance, personal peace, and health

Any words of wisdom to share?

I do a lovingkindness meditation every day and ask for safety, health, happiness, and ease and peace for myself and others.

Auburn Career Center multimedia technology students seek internships

Auburn Career Center Career Fair student

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Looking for machine/fabrication shops willing to help Euclid H.S. with its battle robot

LEGO robot kit

On Oct. 25, we had our first organizational meeting of the school year with Bob Torrelli, Euclid High School’s Science Department chair and Robotics Team coach, to get the lay of the land before we head full tilt into preparation for the Alliance for Working Together’s (AWT) RoboBots competition on April 29, 2017.

With students about two months into the academic year, Torrelli says the robotics class, being offered for the first time, is full with 24 students working on eight LEGO robotics kits, four of which were donated by HGR. And, the class for next semester is full, as well. This course is open to juniors and seniors as a science elective. In addition to robotics, the school is offering an engineering class.

Outside of class time, there is a Robotics Club that meets weekly. Those 12 students will be designing and building the competition battle robot for AWT’s RoboBots battle. Ten students will be selected. Design should be complete by December. The school is looking for machine or fabrication shops willing to donate their time machining and assembling the bot over winter break so that students can begin assembly and testing in January when they return.