The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

October 26, 2013

Forging a new future

Wendell August rises from ashes, opens new home

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP — A day after witnessing a fire destroy his Grove City business 3 1/2  years ago, Will Knecht vividly remembers walking through the ruins with his insurance adjuster.

“He told me, ‘Be prepared to be out of business for nine months,’ ” said Knecht, president of Wendell August.

Unfazed, Knecht and his employees pulled together and within five days had the metal giftware company’s workshop up and running at a new location and its office operations established in two weeks. Help came from everywhere, workers, the community – even complete strangers.

“Western Pennsylvania is such an amazing place,’’ he said. “The people just wrapped their arms around us.’’

Standing in his company’s newly completed $8 million complex on Thursday in Springfield Township, Knecht watched as shoppers bought merchandise on this first day of the “soft’’ opening of the retail store. Comprising 52,000 square feet, the complex has all the company’s needs in one location – retail, production, offices and warehouse.

The retail store’s design has a combination of modern, vibrant colors with snazzy shelves but still keeps the company’s historical American look with woodwork throughout.

Designed by Jerry Herschman, a Cleveland architect and a Knecht friend, new ideas for the business were created within the design. In the back office everyone, save for the company’s chief financial officer, works in an open, cubicle-like environment – including Knecht.

“People were a little nervous about this,’’ Knecht acknowledged of office workers. “But we want to have a collaborative, collegial place to work in.’’

To compensate for the openness, several conference rooms were created where private discussions can be held. Other features in the office include TV monitors that will continually post financial and production numbers that the staff can see daily.

“We always want to be on top of what we’re doing,’’ Knecht said.

An area was created where employees can create displays and practice presentations for trade shows, which are vital for sales.

Text Only
Local News
  • News briefs from April 24, 2014

    April 24, 2014

  • Bus cameras will be listening, too

    Hermitage School District is taking advantage of a recently enacted exemption to the state’s wiretap law in allowing officials to turn on the audio recording capability on school bus and vehicle video cameras.

    April 24, 2014

  • Union, city OK 4-year contract

    Hermitage’s nonuniformed employees have a new four-year contract that gives them average pay hikes of 2.5 percent a year and the opportunity to live outside the city limits, while allowing administrators more flexibility in scheduling.

    April 24, 2014

  • 2 principals to be hired

    Sharpsville Area school directors needed a shove to make a decision but the board voted Tuesday to interview candidates and hire two principals for 2014-15.

    April 24, 2014

  • Prison term upheld for sex offender

    A sex offender challenging a 4- to 8-year prison sentence for a probation violation lost an appeal of that sentence.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man, 24, must register as sex offender for life

    The Ohio man who exposed himself to Sharon girls on their way to school last fall must register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life when he gets out of jail.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man deemed predator – for now

    A former Sharon man was sent to the state prison system Tuesday for corrupting the morals of a teenage girl, but the question of whether his penalties under Megan’s Law will stand could be subject to future legal proceedings.

    April 23, 2014

  • Not even waste will be wasted

    Tom Darby admits he wishes the startup of the anaerobic digestion process at the Hermitage Water Pollution Control Plant had moved along much faster.

    April 23, 2014

  • 3rd Earth Fest draws families to Penn State

    Penn State Shenango’s Earth Fest has become a spring tradition for area residents.
    Families poured into downtown Sharon for the campus’ third annual sustainability celebration.

    April 22, 2014

  • Amish clean Shenango River Volunteers protect Shenango River

    Shenango River Watchers has spent more than a decade working to clean up the Shenango and improve recreational access to its water and banks.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • For many, recycling’s become way of life

    When Pennsylvania mandated curbside recycling for its larger municipalities in 1998 – those with more than 5,000 people – there was grumbling about government interference in the lives of everyday people.

    April 22, 2014

  • Many items can’t be thrown away

    The computer screen in front of you isn’t likely to do you much harm, at least not until it’s tossed in a landfill where the lead-filled components start to leak and eventually find their way into your drinking water, according to Jerry Zona, director of the Lawrence-Mercer County Recycling/Solid Waste department.

    April 22, 2014

  • David Sykes' solar panels Earthworks

    While touring Germany last year, David Sykes spotted solar panels resting in a residential back yard.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burned using Icy Hot, woman claims

    A Grove City woman has sued Chattem Inc. and Rite Aid of Pennsylvania Inc., alleging she suffered a second-degree chemical burn using one of Chattem’s Icy Hot pain relief products.

    April 21, 2014

  • Family outing Family friendly

    “We’re No. 5’’ isn’t a sports cheer you’ll hear any time soon.
    But considering the lumps the greater area has gotten over the years on economic rankings, it’s an outright victory.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo