Kent State holds 53rd Annual Bowman Breakfast

Olivia Minnier

The 53rd Semi-Annual Bowman Breakfast continued the discussion on the global impact of Kent area businesses as well as the boost they give the economy locally.  

Sponsored by the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce and Kent State, the event has been a tradition since 1963. Mark Polatajko, senior vice president for Finance and Administration, took the place of President Beverly Warren in welcoming businesses to the event and introducing Kent City Manager Dave Ruller as the facilitator for the speakers.

Howard Fleischmann, president of Euclid Vidaro Manufacturing Company, was the first to speak at the breakfast. Euclid Vidaro manufacturers lint-free clothing and auxiliary items for tech industries that are developed in Kent.

Fleischmann gave a brief overview of the company’s history and emphasized their deep roots in the Kent State community. He said the company strives to make their products affordable so that they can be used by clean rooms in universities and their garments are current used in the Liquid Crystal Institute.

“We really stress making our products at affordable prices to universities,” Fleischmann said.

Brad Bass, plant manager at Land O’ Lakes Kent Super Spreads, discussed the huge turn around the butter company’s local plant has had and the boost in production from 2013-16.

“We went from ‘Kent can’t’ to ‘Kent can,’” he said.

Bass also mentioned the importance that Land O Lakes takes in giving back to the community, stating that they’ve donated 40,000 pounds of macaroni and cheese to the Akron and Cleveland food banks.

“One of the things our company is a very strong believer in is giving back,” he said.

Alex Feil, president of Schneller LLC—which manufacturers decorative laminates and other materials for commercial aircrafts—discussed how the company spreads the word about Kent on a global scale. Schneller works with all commercial air carriers and all major tier-1 suppliers, making the chance of seeing their products high for the average air travel passenger.

“You’ve (all) been sitting on or standing on a Schneller product,” Feil said.

Kent City Manager Dave Ruller said that they give the city a promotion boost right in their headquarters list.

“I love the fact that they list their corporate headquarters as Paris, Singapore, Kent,” he said.”I love that.”

At the close of the speaking portion, Ruller commented about the importance of these companies to the city and promoting Kent on a larger scale.

“They’re taking a little piece of Kent around the world everyday,” he said.

 Olivia is an administration reporter for The Kent Stater, contact her at [email protected].