Chamber lauds business leaders

BOARDMAN — Five local business leaders were honored by the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber at Thursday’s “Salute to Business” event.

Ryan Behenna, vice president of operations, melt and mill operations at Weathersfield-based Arconic Engineered Structures, received the Business Professional of the Year award. Behenna was recognized for safety upgrades and the installation of new machinery and equipment that has created job opportunities at the company’s six locations, with four in Ohio and one each in Virginia and Michigan.

The Business Executive of the Year award was presented to Rob Gorham, executive director of America Makes in Youngstown. Gorham is credited with increasing the Valley’s visibility through his commitment to additive manufacturing, including 3-D printing.

Penny Wells was recognized as Nonprofit Professional of the Year. A former social studies teacher in Youngstown, Wells is the executive director of Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past, which allows students to travel to the south to learn about the civil rights movement.

The CEO of HAPCO, Charles T. George, was honored as the Entrepreneur of the Year. His Kent-based company is a heat, tool and extrusion welding supplier and manufacturer. He is also the founder of Strangepresse, an extrusion head manufacturer, and Trip Tech Plastics.

Tyler Harden, president of Warren’s Exospec, received the Small Business Person of the Year award. Exospec provides technical services to local government and businesses. Harden also founded Warren Wireless, the area’s only locally owned wireless and fiber internet service provider.