Central Ohio’s Smart 50 make success happen by being on target

col_SamGroomsSamuel W. Grooms
Hy-Tek Material Handling Inc.
CEO Samuel W. Grooms and four partners purchased Slife Material Handling in 1989 and renamed the organization Hy-Tek Material Handling Inc. Since then, the former Slife employees have developed complementary business segments to increase revenue 12-fold to a projected $72 million in 2014.
Hy-Tek’s first year saw the launch of an Integrated Systems Division for design, engineering and storage system needs. A Lighting and Green Product Solutions Division was created in 2005, a storage and handling location opened in 2011 and a Construction Equipment Division was introduced in 2013.
Unlike its competitors, Hy-Tek provides a one-stop shop for comprehensive industrial and construction equipment, integrated systems, lighting, and storage and handling solutions.
The employee stock ownership plan invests staff in company success and keeps customer satisfaction top-of-mind. Any employee-owner with 20-plus years of service receives an engraved brick that becomes part of the William K. Slife Foundation Wall, honoring the late founder.

col_DerekGrossoDerek Grosso
President, CEO and founder
Columbus Young Professionals Club
After moving from Washington, D.C., to Columbus in 2005, Derek Grosso recognized the city boasted everything you can imagine to lure in young professionals, except an organized effort to reach out to them.
Thus, the Columbus Young Professionals Club was born.
A networking group, social club, volunteer network and an athletics coordinator all in one, the CYP Club, now 9 years old, has 21,000-plus registered members who live and work in the greater Columbus region.
As president, CEO and founder Grosso has led the organization into new territories by launching CitYPulse: The Young Professional’s Guide to Columbus; Wonderful Workplaces for YPs, an annual list of the top 40 Columbus region employers; and YP360, a nonprofit to develop future leaders.
The CYP Club hosts nearly 200 annual events, offers 40 different recreational sports leagues, logs 20,000 volunteer hours and has raised more than $300,000 for area nonprofits since its inception.

col_BobGroteBob Grote
J.E. Grote Co.
CEO Bob Grote, the second generation to head J.E. Grote Co., has led the manufacturer into the next phase of its life cycle.
With a long history and stellar reputation in the food processing industry, Grote and his management team set their sights on expansion via acquisitions, buying two companies in 2007 to expand into automated sandwich manufacturing and the snack food market’s root vegetable processing.
This diversification has allowed the company to weather ups and downs in the capital equipment markets. Vanmark Equipment LLC, which works with the French fry industry, now represents one third of J.E. Grote’s overall revenue.
Recently, Grote has steered the company to a more open attitude toward partnering with industry leaders in the equipment supplier base. Customers are asking for more complete solutions, so what was once a competitor may now be an ally — an important directional change for the business.

col_TomHarrisTom Harris
HMB CEO Tom Harris instills a “do the right thing” mantra among the IT consulting firm’s 170 employees, empowering them to develop custom solutions to solve client challenges. Employees who “do the right thing” are recognized at quarterly meetings and in the company newsletter.
In 2008, HMB partners realized they needed a more scalable model relying less on the executive team working on every project. The result was a formal reorganization of company structure that served as a catalyst for recent success.
HMB has built a company culture based on ethics, technical quality and work/life balance. Harris advocates continued learning and development, instituting a structured mentorship program to help both senior and junior professionals grow. HMB University offers continuing education through hands-on events, technology deep dives and a technology book club.
He also has led support of local organizations, including Battelle for Kids, area science, technology, engineering and mathematics initiatives, and Columbus Service Days.

col_MichelleHeritageMichelle Heritage
Executive director
Community Shelter Board
Despite a strong economy in Columbus and Central Ohio, many people aren’t reaping the benefits. The number of single adults in homelessness grew 14 percent in the past three years, and the number of homeless families increased 65 percent.
As executive director of the Community Shelter Board, Michelle Heritage facilitates and leads the community plan to end homelessness. The Community Shelter Board’s family system has achieved excellent, well-documented results. On average, families are in shelter for only 21 days and 71 percent find permanent housing. But the number of families in need has surpassed current available resources.
So Heritage led an intensive two-and-a-half-year community-wide planning process to develop a groundbreaking new model to aggressively address homelessness by focusing on four outcomes: double the rate of diversion, reduce the average length of stay, increase successful housing outcomes and address the issues that resulted in homelessness to prevent it from happening again.