Q&A with Hope Timber President Tom Harvey

HopeTimber2

NEWARK – Tom Harvey’s company Hope Timber has become a family affair.

Harvey started the company in 1994 on his own, but since then his wife Debbie and their four children — T.J. Harvey, Kevin Harvey, Timmy Harvey and Therese Bear — have all joined the company in various ways.

“Wherever help is needed, we all jump in and do our thing,” said Harvey, who is the company president. “With the advent of my sons and family getting involved in the business, we’ve been able to grow exponentially.”

Now the Hope Timber Companies, which employ about 55 people, have grown to Hope Timber Pallet and Recycling, Hope Timber Mulch and Hope Timber Garden Center.

Harvey started the business after moving to Granville in 1993. He had worked for the 7UP Bottling Company for about 20 years and moved around the country nine times. Harvey and his wife decided they need to make a home for their children and chose central Ohio after living in the area twice during his time with 7UP.

The company started as a pallet recycling business, located at 141 Union St. in Newark. Harvey said he applied for a grant from Coshocton Fairfield Licking Perry Solid Waste District to start a recycling program soon after starting Hope Timber.

“That was instrumental in the start-up of our company,” he said.

The company repairs and resells pallets, but also builds new ones. And any pallets that are too broken to be repaired are turned into mulch, which led to the start of the company’s mulch business and garden center, located at 2135 W. Main St. in Newark.

The company grinds wood throughout the year to prepare for the busiest months: March, April and May.

“We grind wood everyday, all day, all year long to prepare for this spring onslaught of shipping it out,” he said. “We ship 90 percent of our product in three months.”

When Harvey retires he will pass the business down to his children. He said it’s an incredible blessing to hand Hope Timber over to people he knows will run it well.

“My kids grew up in this business and they did the lousiest jobs that we have,” he said. “I think they saw the long term potential of getting involved in our business and they have shined and they are smart, young, aggressive business people.”

Seriously …

Q.What do you enjoy most about your job?

A. “The challenge of growing a profitable, sustainable operation.”

Q.What are you most proud of about this company?

A. “I’m most proud of my family’s willingness to see and act upon the potential of all of our businesses.”

Q.What has been the biggest challenge in leading this company?

A. “I think the biggest challenge was the first seven or eight years of establishing ourselves so that we could grow and we were able to grow because of the efforts of my sons and wife and daughter.”

Q.What would you like people to know about this company they may not know?

A. “In our business we keep over 200,000 yards of wood waste out of the landfills per year. Those are turned into reusable pallets or landscape mulch … We also accept homeowner’s tree trimmings and brush and leaves and any kind of organic material that they generate. They can bring it to either one of our two locations here at Union Street or at West Main Street and all of that is recycled into mulch.”

Q.How has this business changed through the years?

A. “With growth we have had to invest significantly in people, in our physical plant and in equipment. … Managing that growth is foremost of our goals here in the next three to five years.”

On the lighter side …

Q.What is your favorite movie?

A. “Dances with Wolves”

Q.What is your favorite TV show of all time?

A. “M*A*S*H”

Q.What’s your favorite type of music?

A. Classic Rock

Q.What is your favorite book?

A. Trinity by Leon Uris

Q.What is your favorite sport or activity to participate in?

A. Golf

Q.What is favorite sport to watch?

A. Golf

Q.What is your favorite pro baseball team?

A. Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs

Q.If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

A. To know the future

Q.If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A. Barbecue ribs

Q.Who is the person you most admire in your life?

A. His wife, Debbie

Q.Who is a public figure you most admire?

A. Martin Luther King Jr. and Theodore Roosevelt

Q.If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?

A. Scotland to play golf at St. Andrews Links

Q.What was your least favorite class in high school?

A. Chemistry

Q.What was your favorite class?

A. History

Q.If you could be in any other job or profession, what would it be?

A. A charter sailboat captain

mdevito@gannett.com

740-328-8513

Twitter: @MariaDeVito13

Found in The Newark Advocate May 20, 2017

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