Covelli named head of state business group

WARREN — Sam Covelli, owner / CEO of Covelli Enterprises, was named Grand Commodore of The Association of Ohio Commodores during a June 29 event held at the Huntington Club at Ohio Stadium.

The organization was founded in 1966 to assist the state in economic development efforts. Group members include government officials, university administrators, banking and legal professionals, trade organizations, economic development groups and manufacturing managers.

Covelli’s son, Albert, was also inducted into the association as a new member.

“I am humbled and honored to be elected to lead this iconic organization,” said Covelli. “My goal is to work with all of our members to help increase economic development in every part of our great state.”

Covelli Enterprises is the largest franchisee of Panera Bread, with more than 300 locations in eight states. The company also operates nine Dairy Queen and five O’Charley restaurants.

“I want to be part of growing the state,” said Covelli. “I don’t want any community in the state to feel left out.”

Covelli said there are some roadblocks to development in Ohio, but the state has a great workforce and can overcome them.

“A lot of people in Ohio are working together now,” said Covelli. “There’s less division.”

The association is a “great group of people,” Covelli said. “To be a grand commodore from the Mahoning Valley is quite an honor and I’m very happy about it.”

Covelli replaces Alan Stockmeister, chairman and one of the majority owners of a precious metals conglomerate based in Dallas.