Business is always a critical piece of economic development. Most often the people in businesses contribute mainly by spending their salaries in the area. But sometimes, a business owner comes along who sees greater needs and jumps in with both feet to help–on top of supplying jobs and salaries for community residents.
Met such a guy this week at well-attended conference sponsored by Benesch Friedlander aimed at bioscience businesses in Northeast Ohio. Jim Kish owns a highly successful engineering company–Engineering Elements, Inc.–located in Willoughby, Ohio. But he’s also making waves in nearby Lake County where he’s actively engaged in promoting at least FIVE major projects:
- rebuilding Fairport Harbor ($27 million project) and the surrounding area (total $65 million)
- promoting a traveling educational theater for kids
- working with I-Open and Entrepreneurs for Sustainability on a wind-powered electrical generation project
- with I-Open helping to create a robotics school in this area
- promoting the use of worm factories to create rich soil from vegetable waste (first effort turned down by the Cleveland zoning & planning folks–but it’s under appeal)
Reading about this guy’s activities makes me feel like a bit of an under-achiever. Know what I mean?
Oh, yeah, and in his spare time over the last 20 years or so, he’s developed a highly reliable technique for doubling his money in the investments game. Congratulations, Jim. You’re more living proof of how one person does make a big difference.