E-Waste chosen as Hudson businesses of the year

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published:

Hudson -- The Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Hudson Economic Growth Board and Hudson Economic Development Corp. recognized outstanding businesses Dec. 5 for their achievements and economic impact toward the high quality of life in Hudson.

Economic Growth Board member George Snider presented the 2013 Business of the Year award to e-Waste President and CEO Jim Cleveland.

"When you need to get rid of electronic equipment, where does it go?" Snider asked.

To e-Waste, 1261 Hudson Gate Drive, which takes all the electronic equipment, provides documentation, resells and recycles what it can and maintains security for its customers, Snider said. E-Waste had six employees in 2008 and now has 22 full-time employees.

"No man can do it alone," Cleveland said. "It takes a strong team."

Cleveland said e-Waste will be expanding from 16,000 square feet to 37,000 square feet and maybe more in the future.

"New projects could add [the need for] new space," he said.

Jill Burke of HEDC presented the Entrepreneurial Advocate of the Year to Hudson High School business teacher Betty Banks-Burke.

Banks-Burke was recognized not only for her work in the classroom but for her efforts outside to provide real-life business experiences for her students. Some of those efforts include the Business Club, Best Seat in the House, A Day in Business, Stock Market Challenge and Shark Tank.

Banks-Burke said students wanted more business classes and with the support of the school district and community, she has been able to provide them with an advantage when they enter college. She also shared a vision of a future entrepreneur center in Hudson for high school students.

Hudson City Economic Development Director Chuck Wiedie presented the Economic Development Project of the Year to John A. Shutsa and John R. Shutsa, who developed the Seasons Greene Eco-Industrial Park in south Hudson on Seasons Road. Businesses in the park will be working in advanced and alternative energy fields. The development retained 50 acres of wetlands to protect the environment and reduce the carbon footprint.

"A business can thrive and care about the environment," Wiedie said.

Seasons Greene Eco-Industrial Park will have 1.2 million square feet of new construction, 325 new jobs with a payroll of more than $14 million when fully built out, Wiedie said. State, county and city grants helped to build the infrastructure for the $2.9 million investment.

"We never would have been able to do it without the collaboration," John R. Shutsa said.

"When thinking about going into business for yourself, take a long time and a lot of thought," said John A. Shutsa. "It does take awhile for things to mature and you need good people around you."

Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce President Carolyn Konefal recognized two New Businesses of the Year -- Winds of Change and CompMed Analysis.

Winds of Change, 51 S. Main St., is owned by David Walker and Angela Huang. The store has clothing, jewelry and accessories in a repurposed store setting. It was the first retail business in the Evaporator Works, but five more retail businesses have joined them in the complex.

CompMed Analysis, 1743 Georgetown Road, is a workers' compensation denial management consultant for health care systems owned by Sherrie Bearden.

Workers' compensation payment is a challenge to patients, employers and hospitals, Bearden said. It is only 3 percent to 5 percent of a hospitals revenue but there is a need, which her company fills.

Keynote speaker was John Dearborn, president of JumpStart, a nationally recognized non-profit accelerating the success of diverse entrepreneurs, their high-growth companies and ecosystems supporting them.

When career paths moved toward working for a large company, very few small companies were starting up, Dearborn said. JumpStart began to provide resources for entrepreneurs and became an example to other communities to spur growth with new companies by providing funding, advice from experienced business owners and sharing talents.

TECHudson, a business incubator in Hudson supported financially by the city for two years, failed because it takes about 10 years for a business incubator to have enough money to make it on its own, Dearborn said.

"The city took bold steps and prudent steps," Dearborn said about the initial startup and the subsequent decision to end funding. "They don't want to be the only investor."

He added that those in the TECHudson business incubator will be supported by other organizations.

"The start ups won't stumble," Dearborn added.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

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