Congratulations to all the winners, we have highlighted the fastener companies!
This year’s Business Longevity Award honorees are proof that hard work and a commitment to excellence can pay off. These 44 companies were built on timeless values and principles that set the stage for generations of economic achievement.
Some of these businesses have recognizable brand names that are imbedded in the communities they call home. Others have maintained a low profile while consistently offering a great product to their customers.
When things didn’t go their way, these organizations regrouped and bounced back stronger than ever. They are part of the Northeast Ohio business community’s rich history — and are well on their way to being part of its future.
CELEBRATING 112 YEARS IN BUSINESS – Buckeye Fasteners
President and CEO
Buckeye Fasteners is a hidden gem in Northeast Ohio. While fasteners may seem like a small, minor part, they are a critical component of everyday life in our society.
Fasteners hold together everything from cars, where there can be hundreds of different weld fasteners, to refrigerators. Buckeye serves Tier One and Tier Two suppliers as its parts end up in larger assemblies that range from the hinge assembly in the trunk to brake assemblies to parts of a gas tank for a major motorcycle manufacturer.
Over the past four years, Buckeye Fasteners has become more invested in solar technology. Under the leadership of President and CEO Pat Finnegan, the company worked with a manufacturer of commercial and residential solar rooftop systems in a synergized effort to develop a unique welded assembly that creates a water-tight seal on solar attachments. This would be a nearly impossible task using a traditional screw-on bolt. The weld of the solar attachment is so strong that it withstood Hurricane Sandy.
Buckeye Fasteners is a division of Fasteners Industries Inc. The fastener group includes two Cleveland production facilities featuring the latest engineering and metallurgic skills to tackle the most challenging fastening requirements.
CELEBRATING 100 YEARS IN BUSINESS – Parker Hannifin Corp.
Chairman and CEO
Parker Hannifin Corp.
Parker Hannifin Corp. began with two people: Arthur Parker and Carl Klamm. The path from that two-person enterprise to become a global company had stories of both success and setbacks along the way.
However, the entrepreneurial spirit never wavered and it enabled Parker to become the world leader in motion and control technologies.
In 1919, company representatives made plans to travel to a trade show where Parker would demonstrate the capabilities of its brake system to several large bus and truck manufacturers. Along the way, a trailer carrying Parker’s entire inventory fell off a cliff east of Pittsburgh. Arthur Parker was forced into bankruptcy, but immediately began his efforts to rebuild. Ultimately, the company bounced back — it survived the Great Depression and supported the war effort — and continued to grow.
By 1993, Parker was ready to reorganize into global businesses establishing regional group presidents and a sales company structure to support local customers with products from multiple divisions. The strategy proved to be a major catalyst for growth as sales nearly doubled and earnings quadrupled.
More recently, led by Chairman and CEO Tom Williams, Parker implemented a refreshed Win Strategy based on global feedback from team members, customers and even shareholders.
CELEBRATING 75 YEARS IN BUSINESS – Jergens Inc.
Jack Schron Jr. | President
It was March 1942 and the world was at war. The U.S. had recently entered the conflict following Pearl Harbor. Factories all over the country were switching from making cars to manufacturing weapons.
A 25-year-old tool and die maker, Jack Schron, was unable to serve in the military because of a childhood illness. Jack convinced his father to start a business. So both men quit their jobs to start a tool shop named Glenn Tool and Manufacturing to support the war effort.
When World War II drew to a close, the country no longer needed military parts. Glenn Tool responded by supporting the huge demand for consumer goods. The company changed its name to Jergens Tool Specialty Co., created the industry’s first catalog of standard replaceable parts for tooling and began to establish a network of distributors.
The business of Jergens Inc., now led by President Jack Schron Jr., has evolved and adapted to changing times during the past 75 years. Jergens built its own regional distribution business in Cleveland so it can better understand the distribution market. The company also acquired a number of manufacturing companies that complement its growing range of products and used its established distribution model to expand overseas, selling its standard tooling in Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom.
CELEBRATING 69 YEARS IN BUSINESS – Earnest Machine
Kirk Zehnder | President
In 1948, when most families did not yet own a TV and the average family income was less than $3,000, opportunities abounded for men willing to take risks.
Paul Zehnder was one of these men. Together with his brothers, Paul started a small machine shop in downtown Cleveland that manufactured license plate holders, tire wrenches and thread gauges. Soon, another prospect presented itself that helped shift the focus of Earnest’s product offerings. Paul Zehnder was able to purchase a large amount of war surplus bolts and from there, Earnest Machine dove into the business of fastener distribution.
On the personnel side, Earnest has always invested in its employees, creating a culture of development, trust and fun. As the company grew to have employees in multiple states, the Zehnder family continued to lead with a strong message of respect for its employees.
Today, the company is run by President Kirk Zehnder, grandson to Paul, and son to John Zehnder, who had been president of Earnest Machine from 1974 to 2007. Under his leadership, Earnest Machine has continued to focus on innovation. The company has launched an e-commerce site, as well as a quoting app for specialty fasteners.
Content Source and See All the Awardees: http://www.sbnonline.com/article/2017-business-longevity-awards/