YOUNGSTOWN Siemens Corp. President and CEO Eric Spiegel has good reasons for giving $440 million in software and training to Youngstown State University, and the least of them might be his Mahoning Valley roots.
For certain, Spiegel is proud of his local heritage, including grandfathers Philip Kotmier and Allan Spiegel, who worked years at Youngstown Sheet & Tube and Wean United. His father, Allan Spiegel, was a local businessman who had owned and operated businesses like Olympia Sporting Goods and Commercial Insulation, Spiegel, 56, recalled during a phone conversation from his downtown Washington office.
"I grew up learning a lot about the steel industry," Spiegel said. And while he hasn't forgotten that, he knows it's not his grandfathers' steel industry that will propel his hometown into the future. That might just happen with some help from Siemens.
"Shale is nice and will give the community a real boost, but longer term, this software-led manufacturing, we think, is going to be the next wave, and we think Youngstown-Warren is going to be well positioned in the next wave," Spiegel said. "And that's why we gave the in-kind donations to Youngstown State."
Spiegel talks more about his area background and what he sees in the Valley's future in Sunday's Tribune Chronicle.