Kent’s own American Coupler Systems (ACS) on Mogadore Road was recently selected as the Best Success Story for “creating new market opportunities in uncertain times”.
For any one who may know ACS CEO Joe Zeno, or happened to be present at the Kent City Council meeting nearly a decade ago when he made an impromptu pitch for strategic thinking as part of the Blue Ribbon Panel finance conversation, this award should come as no surprise.
As the City faced some of the toughest financial challenges in the last 25 years, Joe stopped by and urged Council to think like a business and invest strategically to leverage the natural advantages that the Kent community has at it’s disposal.
He urged Council to avoid taking the easy way out and thinking they can cut their way out of the recession.
He was an early advocate for partnering with the University and re-investing in the downtown.
Joe is passionate about what he does and I think his passion for Kent’s downtown helped give us the confidence to act a little bolder than most cities are willing to do — and 10 years later Joe’s advice has proven prophetic.
Joe’s message helped Kent pull itself out of the great recession stronger than ever — so I’d expect nothing less for his company.
I don’t see Joe as much these days but his comments to City Council those many years ago continue to echo in everything we do.
It’s great to see him and his company honored for practicing what he helped teach us.