Four Local Companies and Individuals Recognized for Business Leadership at Rotary Club of Cleveland
CLEVELAND – May 21, 2020 – Each year the Rotary Club of Cleveland and the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University co-sponsor the Business Leadership Awards Program in cooperation with the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET), the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), the International Business Network (IBN), and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Cleveland State University. The 2020 awards were presented at the Thursday, May 21, 2020, online meeting of the Rotary Club of Cleveland.
Receiving awards were the following businesses and individuals:
Quality Service Leadership (co-sponsored by MAGNET): HGR Industrial Surplus
Entrepreneurial Leadership (co-sponsored by COSE): John G. Young, President, Speed Exterminating Co.
Global Business Leadership (co-sponsored by IBN): OverDrive
Business & Technology Innovation Leadership (co-sponsored by the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship): David J. Fornari, Executive in Residence, Cleveland State University
HGR Industrial Surplus, Inc. is a company that reliably connects customers looking for affordable industrial equipment with manufacturers and industrial firms seeking to sell surplus machinery. HGR opened for business in 1998, leasing 150,000 square feet of space in the former General Motors Fisher Auto Body Plant at 20001 Euclid Avenue in Euclid, Ohio. With HGR’s unique approach to buying and selling used manufacturing machinery, industrial equipment, and surplus items, growth has been consistent, and HGR had added employees and showroom space since its opening. Today, HGR occupies more than 500,000 square feet of the building. HGR also has a facility in Austin, Texas, and has buyers in several locations in the eastern and midwestern part of the country.
John G. Young is the fourth-generation president of Speed Exterminating Company, which is based in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland. Founded in 1908 by Mr. Young’s great grandfather, the company is still a family-owned and operated business. In addition to being licensed in pest control by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Mr. Young is currently active in many community and volunteer roles including supporting small businesses through COSE (Council of Smaller Enterprises) as the immediate past chairman of the board of directors. He currently serves on the Greater Cleveland Partnership board of directors and works to better the neighborhood where his business has been located for over 100 years by helping create and sponsor many family events in Old Brooklyn,
OverDrive is the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide. The company strives to create “a world enlightened by reading” by delivering the industry’s largest catalog of eBooks, audiobooks, magazines and other digital media to a growing network of 45,000 libraries and schools around the world, including 90 percent of the public libraries in North America. OverDrive, Inc. was founded in 1986 by company CEO Steve Potash. In 2013, the company celebrated the grand opening of its 18-acre LEED-certified world headquarters campus in Garfield Heights, Ohio. Since expanding internationally in 2004, OverDrive has grown to serve libraries, public schools, colleges, universities, and corporate knowledge centers in 78 countries.
David J. Fornari is a retired executive with over 40 years of business experience in management consulting and hands-on corporate management. He has successfully led and grown profitable businesses and consulting practices. Mr. Fornari retired from Deloitte Consulting LLP after 31 years and joined Cleveland State University as an Executive in Residence in the Monte Ahuja College of Business, where he has also served as the chair of the College’s Visiting Committee. He also currently serves as the Visiting Committee representative to the Cleveland State University Foundation Board of Trustees. Within the Ahuja College, Mr. Fornari currently chairs the Advisory Board for the Weston Ideation Lab, home to the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and freely shares his expertise with students, faculty, and staff.
Rotary is a group of business, professional, and community leaders, both men and women, who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build good will and peace in the world. Rotary International celebrated its 115th anniversary this year, and the Rotary Club of Cleveland is celebrating its 109th year of “Service above Self” to the people of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. Today, there are more than 35,000 Rotary Clubs with over 1.2 million members in more than 200 countries and geographical areas on all seven continents of the earth.
For more information about the Rotary Club of Cleveland and the Business Leadership Awards Program, visit the club’s Facebook page or its website at www.rotaryclubofcleveland.com.