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B.J. Alan pulls out of Valley chamber

Published: Tue, October 12, 2010 @ 12:10 a.m.


Bruce Zoldan


Tom Humphries

Zoldan: Humphries ‘crossed the line’ in governor’s race

By David Skolnick



Prominent businessman Bruce Zoldan has withdrawn his wholesale fireworks company as a member of the area’s chamber of commerce, saying its chairman is taking too active a role in the gubernatorial race.

Zoldan, chief executive officer for B.J. Alan Co., told The Vindicator on Monday that the decision was made after several of his employees urged him to have the company resign from the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.

What triggered the reaction, he said, was Tom Humphries, the chamber’s president, co-hosting a fundraising event Monday for John Kasich, Republican candidate for governor.

“The president of the chamber crossed the line when he” agreed to co-host the Kasich event, Zoldan said. “I feel Tom Humphries made a mistake here.”

Zoldan said his company will rejoin the chamber if either Humphries steps down as president or the chamber’s board establishes a policy not permitting its president to participate in “public partisan political activity.”

Humphries said he’ll take Zoldan’s request to establish a policy to the board for consideration.

“I have an opinion on” Zoldan’s request, Humphries said. But he declined Monday to share it with The Vindicator.

Humphries said, “I really am disappointed as a citizen” that B.J. Alan has left the chamber over his support of Kasich. “I could have sworn I woke up this morning in the United States and was allowed to support whoever I wanted.”

Zoldan is the second person to have his company quit the chamber over this issue.

On Friday, Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras’ law firm resigned from the chamber and said the local party will no longer support it in any way if Humphries remains president.

Supporting candidates is acceptable for Humphries, but as the head of the chamber he went too far by co-hosting the Kasich event, Betras and Zoldan said.

Zoldan had a fund-raising event Oct. 4 in his Canfield house for Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, with Vice President Joe Biden.

Zoldan also attended Kasich’s Monday event at the Warren home of another prominent businessman, Sam Covelli.

Zoldan said William A. Weimer, B.J. Alan’s vice president and general counsel, invited Humphries two times to the Strickland and Biden event, but the chamber president didn’t attend.

“It’s important the chamber board get the message that our community comes first and we should have friendships” among Democrats and Republicans, Zoldan said. “We need bipartisan support.”

Zoldan said he’s had fundraisers at his home for Democrats and Republicans.

Humphries said among the major issues he has with Strickland’s administration is it didn’t hire his company, Data Voice Systems Review, in 2007 for a contract with the state lottery commission.

Humphries said his company’s proposal would have saved the state more money than the company that was awarded the contract, and his firm was the only Ohio-based business seeking the job.

“It’s a personal issue” for Humphries, and that shouldn’t be the case for someone who is the face of the chamber, Zoldan said.

The resignation of B.J. Alan is being done “very politely and very respectively,” Zoldan said. “I hope mine is a temporary resignation.”

Zoldan said he’s a longtime supporter of the chamber and just gave the organization $5,000 last week for economic development.


1huckfinn52(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Kasich and his Republican Party colleagues have consistently voted and advocated for the outsourcing of jobs so the biggest corporations can make a bigger buck at the expense of American jobs, to allow Wall Street to wreak havoc on our economy at the expense of our 401K's and investments, to remain dependent on big oil instead of creating tens of thousands of new green energy jobs. And the Chamber funds these Republicans with millions of dollars in attack ads on Democrats. When I see a Chamber of Commerce membership plaque on the wall, I'll think twice before buying there.

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2Letstryagain(218 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

In this country, politics is a battle, it is heated, it is messy, and out comes a solution. This is the way we govern ourselves. Problems? You betcha! Rather do it some other way? Nope!

The Chamber of Commerce should have a policy, and I am surprised it does not have one. I hope the new policy says that the Chamber of Commerce will not make political endorsements. I hope the new policy says this is America. We ecourage our members to engage in lively debate, provide financial support to THE candidate for office they believe will do the best job, and to be active in the political process in a way that best fits their personal situtation.

It should be clear, that however they participate, it does not represent the position or imply the endorsement of the Chamber.

Now, can we get on with something more important. Please.

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3justonevoice(94 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

"after several employees urged him".....this is a company who fires employees if they become ill and are admitted to the hospital. I know of two at least.

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4UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

The Chamber is RIGHT - Ohio needs John Kasich to fix the mess being left by Ted Strickland after 4 years. BIG GOVERMENT Is a business killer.

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5NYR1(19 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Let's not forget that Betras and Zoldan were key figures in bringing Barney Frank to the Valley. And Zoldan wants to act like he is politically responsible. Who's next? Nancy Pelosi?

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6lee(544 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I bought $200 worth of his product several years ago, at least 1/2 did not work now I know why" progressive" thinking, it never works

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7burford(95 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

that the decision was made after several of his employees urged him to have the company resign from the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.

This whole story smells. This is a tight fisted, top down owner who is going to make a decision because several employees urged him to do so?

Do you think the people stuffing the sparkler boxes even care about Betras or Humphries.

Zoldan is friends with Cafaro. Betras has represented Cafaro. Maybe there is a connection besides the fact that Zoldan and Humphries are on different sides of a political race.

But more importantly. For a wealthy businessman to get involved in a petty political fight is quite......well, petty. This shapes the image of this community: petty, squabbling, unpolished, lacking in leadership.

Let's all thank Mr. Betras for another embarrassing moment.

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8Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

To Bruce Zoldan , Thank You for doing the right thing

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9Reader(126 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Who cares if Bruce Zoldan the hypocritical mass importer pulls away from the Chamber?
Bruce Zoldan and Dave Betras are trying to impose their views on the public and are using the news outlets to do so.
I truly don't have an issue with Tom Humphries co-hosting a fundraising event. He has the right to support and believe in which ever gubernatorial candidate he chooses. I believe he can excersise this right sepparate from his job and the work he and the Chamber do to benefit the Valley. If this is the worst thing he has done as the Chamber President, then I applaud him for his service!

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10Silence_Dogood(1670 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

“The president of the chamber crossed the line when he” agreed to co-host the Kasich event, Zoldan said. “I feel Tom Humphries made a mistake here.


Zoldan said William A. Weimer, B.J. Alan’s vice president and general counsel, invited Humphries two times to the Strickland and Biden event, but the chamber president didn’t attend.

Zoldan said his company will rejoin the chamber if either Humphries steps down as president or the chamber’s board establishes a policy not permitting its president to participate in “public partisan political activity.”


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11Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Tom Humphries, AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN, can support whoever he wants. Just because someone is a head of a Chamber of Commerce does not mean they cannot openly support a political candidate. This event was not a Chamber event, this was an event co-hosted by two individuals.

To his credit, Bruce Zoldan being in Mahoning County is a good thing, and I will not go so far as to say some of the things that are being said about him on here.

To his discredit, Zoldan has always played both sides against the middle, but usually falls on the side of the Democrats because that is who is in power here. If it was a Republican county, he would fall on the side of Republicans. That is how he is. Having said that, Zoldan is wrong to be throwing gernades on this issue, especially when he himself is hosting gubernatorial candidates.

I will reserve my opinion of people who play those games, but at the bare bones of it all, this is Betras throwing a tantrum because the leader of one entity in Mahoning County has decided to throw his support behind someone other than a Democrat, and for dear Counselor Betras, that is too much to bear.

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12AtownParent(565 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

"But more importantly. For a wealthy businessman to get involved in a petty political fight is quite......well, petty. This shapes the image of this community: petty, squabbling, unpolished, lacking in leadership."

I hope this is not a surprise, this is the standard for how it has been in the valley and will continue to be as long as we allow Betras to dictate how and who we should vote for and if you don't you should no longer be a Democrat.

"Bruce Zoldan and Dave Betras are trying to impose their views on the public and are using the news outlets to do so."

You hit the nail on the head with this one statement.

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13author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Tom Humprhries is about Tom Humphries 1st, 2nd and third. Then, he might care about our community.

What started this whole thing? Tom Humphries DIDN'T get a government contract for his PERSONAL business that he leverages against his Presidency in the Chamber for what you ask?

More government contracts.

Without taxpayers money the chamber would be out of business. In 2008, the chamber of horrors received $995,000 in government contracts. Wonder how much 'Uncle Tom' Humphries made personally from these contracts - other than his $175,000 salary?

The Chamber of Commerce under Humphries is the fourth branch of government in the valley.

PS was weird that Zoldan justified leaving the chamber after a few of his employees asked him to go. Bruce always seems to have to hide behind something. Like, Ohio making it legal to buy his firecrackers in Ohio as long as you sign a piece of paper that is worthless.

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14palbubba(802 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

In other words Zoldan and Betras do not care about what is best for the Valley, they are only interested in getting their own way. They slam any Republican for sending jobs overseas while Zoldan imports from China a greater percentage of product than Wal Mart. I always knew that the Democratic party's cry for CHOICE was a farse. This is just another proof of that. huckfinn52 can you site one instance of Kasich voting to outsource jobs? I didn't think so, what flavor is the Kool Aid this week. I'll state again that party blindness is part of the problem not the solution. Just for the record I'm a registered Democrat, but would be lieing if I said I was proud of it.

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15Fattkidd(45 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

The Chamber of Commerce is un-American, point blank, end of story. They are using money donated from foreigners, foreign companies and foreign gov'ts to influence our elections. This is flat out wrong. The Chamber has also been the LEAD INSTIGATOR of these job-killing 'free-trade' policies that have seen our jobs shipped overseas to COMMUNIST coutries so that these greedy bastards can make an extra buck exploiting SLAVE LABOR! To HELL with the Chamber of Commerce. And, for you teabaggers that didn't notice or read the article, Humphries is upset at Strickland because he DID NOT give him a nice state gov't CONTRACT. So, who are the ones sucking from the public teet? Hypocrites are what they are! "NO! Gov't is BAD for YOU! But, Gov't is GOOD for US!!!". That's their motto and mantra. They hate gov't... when it's giving money to poor brown skinned people... but they just loves themselves some gov't when it comes to pork-barrel contracts!
That giant sucking sound you hear is the Chamber of Commerce helping another Valley employer move their shop to VIET F-ING NAM for CHRISSAKE!!!

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16Reader(126 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Freeatlast posted 1 hour, 20 minutes ago

"To Bruce Zoldan , Thank You for doing the right thing"

What is "the right" thing here? "Right" by what standards? Did he do something to serve the valley? Did he do something heroic?

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17One_Who_Stayed(240 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I find it kind of strange that everybody seems to think the Chamber should not have a recommendation when it comes to political candidates. . .

The UAW does, the Vindicator does, AARP does, AAA does, AA does (well maybe not AA). Dave Betras and Bruce Zoldan certainly do. Why is it that a politically educated organization should not have an opinion when the others above certainly do and are free to express it.

They shouldn't because their recommendation rons contrary to what Betras and Zoldan want.

The 2 party system sucks. Vote the candidate that you agree with regardless of some stupid-ass party affiliation.

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18walter_sobchak(2672 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

There are many problems with this whole story and many of the criticism is unwarranted and misguided.

The state lottery commission is governed by state law to spend certain percentages of its income on certain things, like advertizing and reimbursements to agents. To say that the contract Humphries was bidding on was some kind of sweetheart deal is incorrect. However, I don't think it is right that the head of the Chamber also has business like this. You know there are going to be conflicts of interest. I would think the Chamber would have rules preventing this; it's not like it was the Rotary Club.

That being said, to demonize Bruce Zoldan is foolish. He has chose to locate his fireworks distribution business in the Valley and he supports many wothwhile causes. He is also a good businessman and we need more like him. Sure he sells cheap Chinese fireworks, but do you really believe that they can be produced in the USA cost-effectively? The EPA regulations would destroy them. So as long as China will make them cheaply, import them. And, being a good businessman, Zoldan also plays both sides of the fence and hedges his bets no matter who is in power.

Dave Betras, on the other hand, is a power-hungry mongrel who makes money chasing ambulances and getting rich off the misery of other people. That is why he is head of the Democrat party. He wants to fashion himself as the next Valley kingmaker, the next Don Hanni. But, he can't fool me or any other thinking person. He can make all the caring, touching, personal TV commercials he wants, saying he is just trying to get the compensaton you deserve. What he is really trying to do is maximize his profit per hour so he can get rich. And, this is the USA, there is nothing wrong with maximizing your profit. But, don't be disingenuous! Sure, he will do pro bono work for one or two deserving souls or organizations. But, ask him if he would take a case on a guaranteed not-to-exceed price or reduce his commission from 33%. Fat chance.

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19fedup2010(18 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

where else are the manufacturing of fireworks to be??? It is illegal to make in the States, and what other holiday is BJ Alan suppose to make money, besides the 4th of July.. And the Chamber- President should have an opinion, but to his self..he's the president of the Chamber..Once again, the passing of the buck- is what Youngstown does best, always giving opinions and never solutions

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20mommy3(13 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Ooooh look over there! It's the chamber of commerce! BOO! Look there because we don't want you to focus on unemployment, crumbling infrastructure, crime, blight, poverty, etc. etc. etc.

Betras Humphires and Zoldan can kiss my behind... these are made up distractions and they fool no one. These three and every other pol take their cues from their masters on high, freaking kabuki theater. They all make me sick.

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21candystriper(575 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it has exceeded fundraising targets from small business this year,despite the poor economy. 62% of small businessmen are unhappy with the Obama administration. Vote the harassacrats out of business.

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22Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

TO READER@ He did what he thought was right AND that is the right thing to do . It may not be what you or I think is right . But it is his idea of right and he put his business on the line and if you do not like it do not do business with him . As CENSORESHIP said Both parties have ample pile of losers, leeches and liars in their ranks.". But few stand up and put their jobs or businesses on the line . Would you ????

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23CBDactivist(125 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Betras and Zoldan
Come on Guys-
Your acting childish
If you don't do what I want I quit and I am taking my ball back home so you can't play with it! Are you still in 3rd grade?

So you want to quit and hurt the entire Vally, Youngotwn and Warren area.

Selfish and Childish!

Hey did you ever think about having a rational discussion like adults?

Just too political.

I have an Idea, Why not just Quit the Democratic Party, your both doing more harm than good!
Putting politicals above all else!
Shame on YOU!

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24Reader(126 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

@ Freeatlast
" He did what he thought was right AND that is the right thing to do . It may not be what you or I think is right . But it is his idea of right and he put his business on the line and if you do not like it do not do business with him . "

see that is just it, I am not sure he did what HE thought was right. Had you read the article, you'd clearly see he didn't do it because HE wanted to:

"the decision was made after several of his employees urged him to have the company resign from the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber."

Still don't think he did anything great, just made a fool of himself and just incase it didn't work in his favor, he can blame his employees for pressuring him into a snap decision for free publicity.

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25Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Reader @ you have the right to feel anything you want . And it is very obvious you can not see my point and that makes this conversation pointless .
Thank you for your time

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26DOLE2(595 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Look mommy,I blew my finger off using uncle Brucey's cherry bomb made in the peoples Republic.Why didn't the Democrats insist on a warning label on the package?

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27Education_Voter(1167 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

If the Chamber is a Republican group, then Democrat customers can exercise THEIR rights to find other places to take their business.

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28DOLE2(595 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Is ACORN a member of the National Chamber?

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29DOLE2(595 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

What does B J stand for .......?

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30Aware(255 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Fireworks are made in China. Hello. THEY know how to put them together. In most of the USA (IF AT ALL) - assembly is NOT allowed. Since Americans have such a large a large appetite for fireworks, Zoldan responds. Hey..tell the people in in this area 'no Fireworks'. You people are so stupid. I applaud Bruce Zoldan and I cannot stand Humphries. Zoldan is a shrewd businessman and has alot of power. His money will talk. Screw the Chamber. They suck and our company is also resigning.

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31Aware(255 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Fireworks are made in China. Hello. THEY know how to put them together. In most of the USA (IF AT ALL) - assembly is NOT allowed. Since Americans have such a large a large appetite for fireworks, Zoldan responds. Hey..tell the people in in this area 'no Fireworks'. You people are so stupid. I applaud Bruce Zoldan and I cannot stand Humphries. Zoldan is a shrewd businessman and has alot of power. His money will talk. Screw the Chamber. They suck and our company is also resigning. To: Free and sotired - agree.

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32Aware(255 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

CBD - Your grammar is awful. Typical Republican.

It's you're NOT your.

Come back when you can write properly.

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33Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Try this on for size.

What if the reverse was true, and Tom Humphries held a fundraiser for Ted Strickland?

Bruce Zoldan would not withdraw from the Chamber and Republican Chairman Munroe would not be carrying on like a big crybaby because he has more class than Dave Betras.

Everything would be okay in Democrat Land because Humphries would have done what the Democrats would have wanted. Humphries would have been praised for his excellent judgment and everything else.

Spare me the hypocrites in the Democratic Party, because if it was the reverse, we would not have this story.

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34fedup2010(18 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

@ lombardo
and it is people like you who are a problem instead of the solution to the world..really it is 2010 and with someone like you spewing out nonsense.."Good Old Folks" as your self always forget that it was a republican president and congress that got us in this mess...Selective Memory how good it is...LOL

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35Education_Voter(1167 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Alex, in that case, Republican members of the Chamber would be upset and withdrawing.

His behavior and the behavior of the state and national Chamber have made their organization appear to an arm of Rupert Murdoch. I actually would prefer it to be an arm of the Republican Party.

But either way, I have lost respect for it.

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36harleydog(243 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Would they be pulling out of the Chamber if the Chamber endorsed Strickland?? Doubt it.

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37kk80586(229 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Aware (42 comments) posted 17 hours, 51 minutes ago
" CBD - Your grammar is awful. Typical Republican.
It's you're NOT your.
Come back when you can write properly.
Flag this comment if offensive:
! "

aware---that makes you a "Typical Democrat"....when you have no valid point nor able to refute another posters point...attack the spelling and/or grammar. Come back when you have a point.

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38howsad(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Why does anyone care what Zoldan does? He's not a very good person in anyway possible. He treates his employees like slaves working them during the firework season hrs and hrs at less than half their normal wage for anything over 40 hrs. Sad enough it is legal. Normal companies pay overtime...not Zoldan,he pays less than half your wage if anything at all & thinks you should be greatful. During those long hours, food is brought in at dinner time but the regular employees cannot take part in it until the "important" employees eat first. Then the b-days...if you are not on his "list of importance".....you cannot have a piece of cake!!! Yes it is true....
Then the x-mas parties.....you are forced to go to his hockey game in order to get your bonus check which is so small it doesn't put a dent into helping most people. Then, if you are one of the people that deal with outside companies & they send you a x-mas gift...you are to turn that gift over to Bruce so his people can send out thank you notes and then Bruce will decide if he wants the gift for himself, his family, his friends or if he should raffle it off to his employees providing no one of importance wanted it. So to companies out there...if you deal with a employee of BJ Alan and want to send them a gift...get their homel address or they will never receive that gift. Great person that guy is right? Now he doesn't even give a x-mas bonus and he did away with raises also!!! It is a horrible co. to work for but people do so because there are no jobs out there so he knows people are just stuck. He also got rid of quite a few employees several years ago so he too helped in the rise of unemployment. I know a few of those employees and they were not lazy employees or they would have been fired not layed off. Then....to keep the cost down...other workers were just fired even though most did their jobs well also!!! Bruce wants everything his way or no way at all and his top people do anything they can to please him even going against their own beliefs. It is true...do what I say, agree with me or I will take my toys and cake and go home. I say just go home.....no one really cares anyway.
We do live in the US and people do have the right to support any political party they wish..... As far as his products being imported....he would never want his products to be made here...after all....then it would cost more money for him and his profit would go down...can't have that. He pays only pennies on the dollar for his products and sells them for a whopping profit....He lives great and his regular hard working employees (not the VP's)are in poverty. I'm just glad I was never unfortunate enough to have to be so desperate as to work for a company like that. I say the Chamber of Commerce should send the guy a thank you note and ask him never to support them again for he is not the kind of person they want the support from anyway!!!

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39candystriper(575 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

After Glen Beck urges listeners to donate to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce it sets a record one fund raising 10 am...


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40DOLE2(595 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Come on Edna,pack up the kids and lets go blow $300.00 on fireworks.....

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41fedup2010(18 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

@ howsad
How sad you must really be to lash out like that, I did work w/ the BJ Alan co and never experience any issues that your talking about and I was with the company for many years and was one of the employees that was layed off during the mass layoff. And yes it was hard work and we worked long hours during the season, but Bruce and a few other people gave me a great recommendation to proceeded onto my current job and I am greatful. And of course your going to work hard during the fourth of July, that is their time of the year, and we would have to work hard and long to get the product out that has people standing in line for hours to get. So yes, we would have to work long hours, just as any where else when they are focused on a certain holiday. And I'm sure that every employee that has worked at BJ Alan does not feel the same way, but I'm sure that if Bruce closed up shop and moved somewhere else, Y-town and everyone like you would have something negative to say also. As hard as job are to come by today, yes we should all be greatful to work anywhere. And as far as the x-mas bonus, it is hard to even find companies now, that even give you a bonus or x-mas party,

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42chughes759(2 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

The perfect name for you...."howsad"!

'Howsad' it is that you can't appreciate the fact that you are employed at all. A lot of people aren't right now.

'Howsad' that you feel the need to dwell on something as insignificant as a birthday cake. The company employs a lot of people. If there was a birthday cake for everyone in the building that's all we would do is eat cake. PLUS, you worked here so you know how big the room is where they meet to have cake. Most of us are waiting in the hall and can't even see what's going on so why make a big deal about it?

'Howsad' that you are so narrow minded that you can't think out of the box and realize the Christmas parties were at the Ice Zone because it was big enough to hold everyone and it was cost effective. Since there are only a few weekends in December to have a party, yes, you most likely attended a hockey game.

'Howsad' that you can't just appreciate the fact you got a Christmas bonus to start with. Most companies don't give them at all.

'Howsad' that you think that this is the only company that works long hours for a few months out of the year. EVERY company has there busy times. Did you not consider that it might get busy during the 4th of July when you got hired by a fireworks company????

'Howsad' that you have such tunnel vision that you have a problem with the fact that this company sells products from China. Name me three things you have purchased in the last month that WEREN'T made in China.

'Howsad' that you think that you should be fed because you work long hours. Did it ever occur to you that everyone isn't invited in to share the food since there is a limited quantity.

'Howsad' that you think there is something wrong with a gift given to an employee, because of his association with this company, should be given to Bruce. Did it ever occur to you that you would not have been associated with the gift giver in the first place if you didn't work here? Would you have sent a thank you note?

Do I agree with all the policies and procedures around here? Of course not.

Do I wish the hours weren't so long sometimes? Of course I do.

BUT.........I also enjoy the shorter days during the summer, the paid week off, the freebies for sports events (YSU, Scrappers, Phantoms, etc.) and all the other little perks that are offered.

'Howsad' you can't do the same.

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43Fattkidd(45 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

The C of C has done more to hurt this Valley & its people than any other organization, including the mob.
Just this past year, when Obama admin FINALLY took steps to stop China from illegally DUMPING steel pipe onto US market to explicitly put US pipe makers out of biz & gain market share, US Chamber of GREED, I mean Communism, tried to BLOCK them, lobbied against & threatened to take 'retalitory measures' against Obama Admin. Well, now you know what those measure are.
But, go ahead & donate last of your hard earned $, from your job that Chamber tried to outsource, if u want.
But, let me ask y'all this, are u better off now, after losing steel industry to China & 'free trade' & 30million manufacturing jobs to 'Reagan Revolution' & death of unions or, were u better off in 1979 when we still made things here, when US was worlds leading exporter of finished manufactured goods, worlds leading importer of raw material, worlds biggest creditor nation (everyone else OWED us money) & had worlds largest trade SURPLUSES! & all this w/a 70% tax rate!!! WOW!
Are u better off now w/Ronnie's union killing 'free trade', tax cuts for rich who then used $ & trade policy to literally DECIMATE middle class in US & export jobs to China!? Are we better off now that we're LAST among industrialized nations in exports, 1ST in EXPORTS of raw materials, worlds LARGEST DEBTOR nation, & have largest trade DEFICIT of any nation, EVER?
If u think we're better off now after 30yrs of tax cuts for rich & corps, deregulation & 'free trade' then, by all means, vote GOP & C of C.
If not, then start voting for folks who have your economic interests at heart & quit believing all BS hype about gays & muslims & socialists et al ad nauseum! Quit listening to drug addicts Beck & Limbaugh & start using your brains for once! Only reason we ever had middle class & our current, albeit declining, standard of living is because your fathers & grandfathers, UNION MEMBERS ALL, fought against these greedy corporate robber-barons!
Now, y'all are content to belive corporate propaganda talking heads like Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, etc.?

Shame on YOU!

We all deserve pain & misery that's coming our way because we've let ourselves be duped by these highly paid LIARS into believing that WE are the problem. That WE make too much money! WE want too high a living standard! WE are wrong for wanting safe working conditions, clean air & water, a secure & comfortable retirement!
Yes, we'd ALL be MUCH better working for SLAVE wages like those in CHINA while dumping more toxic waste into air, rivers, lakes.


30 yrs of tax cuts, dereg & 'free trade' w/all promises of MORE jobs, HIGHER income & a better life for our kids! &, LOOK AT WHERE WE ARE!!!!

We LOST 30 million high-paying mfg jobs during this process!!! &, they want LESS TAXES & LESS REGULATION & MORE FREE TRADE!!

&, y'all lap it up like a bunch a whupped DOGS!


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44fedup2010(18 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

@ chughes759


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45Education_Voter(1167 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Here we go again....The worst goverment money can buy.."We come to buy America...not to save her..."

If Rupert Murdoch gave one million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and another million to the Republican Governors Association to support Kasich, then rest assured there is ten times more that we do not know about.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-... :
"Hundreds of millions of secret dollars are pouring into congressional and state races in this election cycle. The Koch brothers (whose personal fortunes grew by $5 billion last year) appear to be behind some of it, Karl Rove has rounded up other multimillionaires to fund right-wing candidates, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling corporate dollars from around the world into congressional races, and Rupert Murdoch is evidently spending heavily.
No one knows for sure where this flood of money is coming from because it's all secret.
But you can safely assume its purpose is not to help America's stranded middle class, working class, and poor. It's to pad the nests of the rich, stop all reform, and deregulate big corporations and Wall Street -- already more powerful than since the late 19th century when the lackeys of robber barons literally deposited sacks of cash on the desks of friendly legislators."

"Whupped dogs" indeed. Lick the hand that slaps you, middle class Republicans.

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46Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

"B.J. Alan pulls out of Valley chamber"

Do I really give a rat's derrière ?



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47Education_Voter(1167 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

You like pictures?:

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48Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago



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49unb3l3ivabl3(2 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

To assist “howsad” in their endeavor: to explain what “at less than half their normal wage for anything over 40 hrs” means. What BJ Alan Company does is called “half time.” This applies to their salary non-exempt workers only (which Connie Hughes at chughes759 is not so I’m sure she doesn’t know what this is). Half time is calculated in the following manner:

(Remember although this is only an example, this scenrio is still real)
The salary non-exempt employee receives an hourly wage of $10 / hour which equals $400 / week. If in a week an employee works 50 hours the base wage is recalculated. $400 divided by 50 to equal $8 per hour. The $8 is now divided in half to equal $4 per hour. The employee is paid $4 per hour for the 10 hours of overtime. Their salary for this week is now $440.

If the employee works 40 hours of overtime this week (which at BJ Alan is not unheard of during the last couple of weeks leading to the 4th of July) their wages drop significantly. Now, you divide $400 by 80 hours. This equals $5. Remember, now the $5 needs to be divided in half to equal the hourly wage paid for anything over 40 hours. The employee receives $2.50 an hour for the additional 40 hours of overtime. Their salary goes from $400 that week to $500. Yes, redo the math, please. For 40 hours of overtime the employee makes $100. This averages out to $6.25 per hour worked. (Take $500 and divide it by the 80 hours worked = $6.25 per hour.) Which is well below minimum wage.

And yes, this is the legal way to pay salary non-exempt employees with a fluctuating work-week. For those of you who don’t believe this, feel free to look it before continuing to read.

@chughes759: As far as the long hours are concerned: I’ve worked for many different companies and you are correct that they all have seasons where you may have to work more than others. But the sad fact is that it is unheard of to work your employees for 2-3 months straight without a day off and to work them from 8:30 in the morning to whenever you feel like letting them leave. I’m honestly shocked that there hasn’t been a fatal car accident or anything else. The employees are zombies by the time all is said and done and half of the work done needs to be triple-checked because the people are no longer functioning at a reasonable level. No, the government doesn’t mandate anything against this, no more than it mandates employee breaks; however, even OSHA advises that employers should give breaks because it helps with productivity, brings up morale, and lowers accident rates. The same theory can be applied here. As far as receiving a week off of compensation, that’s not guaranteed and there have been times where it’s not been received. Most of the people I know would rather work their normal hours all year long than to receive an extra week off. Relationships are stressed, people are stressed. You miss out on so much of your life and life is just too short.

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50unb3l3ivabl3(2 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

To continue since my completed post was too long:

Here’s the simple truth to all of this: If Zoldan took away his company, many more people would be jobless and miserable. Does that mean I agree with the company practices? Obvisiously not. Do I want the company to stick around? Yes. However, I wish the employees would be paid fair wages (most haven’t received a raise in over 3 years), I wish all employees would be treated the same (all rules don’t apply to all personnel) and I wish this was a company where people felt they could actually voice their opinions constructively so that real progress could be made and actual changes could be implemented.

Oh yeah. The funny thing? No one’s even mentioned the “volunteer” work hours that have to be worked at the hockey games or the lack theirof of compensation. I’ll let someone else explain that.

As far as the political aspect of this article: it’s a free country. The constitution guarantees freedom of speech. Tom Humpries has the right to support whatever candidate he wants to during his personal time, the same as Bruce Zoldan. So what if their positions don’t coincide? This country was founded so that everyone could voice their opinions. And frankly, I love the fact that the internet allows those of us with limited resources to actually voice ours.

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51Education_Voter(1167 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

You might want to think about starting a union.

Do you think Tom Humphries is too stupid to know how to give a contribution privately? Of course, his vote is private and he can vote as he likes.

But the only reason he gets any notoriety at all is because of his position as President of the Chamber of Commerce. He decided to use that notoriety to hurt the enterprises of the members that gave him a position and support the Chamber with their dollars.

For example, the county, some school districts, and townships belong to the Chamber. The elimination of the income tax that John Kasich has threatened could put them out of business.
Now maybe you agree with Kasich's proposal. But Tom Humphries is supposed to represent those endangered enterprises, and he betrayed them publicly.
It's like he's asking to no longer be their representative.
You complain about Mr. Zoldan's company (although of course, you too are free to leave a bad situation), but it is not as bad as the behavior of the President of the Chamber because you are not at the same time claiming to be Zoldan's public relations director.

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52Education_Voter(1167 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I was actually thinking of the $1 million that Rupert Murdoch gave the Republican Governors Association to spend on attack ads against our governor
and the additional millions he gave to the National Chamber of Commerce, which has donated to the Kasich campaign.

I do resent Rupert Murdoch and a United Kingdom corporation donating to influence an election in our state. If you think the 1st time ever endorsement of Kasich by the state Chamber of Commerce and Humphries's actions have no relationship,
I have some Lehman Brothers stock you might be interested in.

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53Education_Voter(1167 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Have it your way:
Chamber of Commerce President overlooks the inconsistent platform of a mediocre candidate and holds a fundraiser for him. This is in revenge against the current governor because bids his private business made for state jobs were not considered a "lock" despite his political clout.

It just doesn't make as much sense to me.

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54pilotman(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I am so amazed at the suggestions for BJAlan to bring their mfg here and unionize...why? Unions have done squat for the Valley...why no new mfg jobs here? because they dont want to be close to this backwoods union mentality. Congrats Bruce on your success.....keep 'em flying. And you pro unions folks, look around.

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55Chunkybare(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Oh wahhhhhh so typical democrat party whining. Ill never understand the democrat party and the "I dont like what you are saying sooooooo im taking my ball and going home" I worked on putting a roof on that company and building yrs ago. A much better company then. Many were busy many were happy but union costs sent Zoldan to China to have his product made and now he wants along with the biggest democrat party whiner Dave Betras to shut down free speech in Ytown Commerce. So typical

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56fedupalso(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

It is terrible that voicing your opinion leads to being called names. I've known several people that worked at BJ Alan and I hear the same thing ---it is not a good place to work. Maybe some have it better than others. Maybe some are up the butts of the important people and get treated better also. I've read the comments. Maybe the person defending the cake issue is on the cake list & always get their piece of cake so the heck with the others? I heard the x-mas parties are at the ice zone so it looks like alot of people are at the game. Maybe it can hold alot of people but if it were truly for that reason only, why do the employees get forced to go watch the game with the others and not permitted to stay in the room where the party is being held? Also, if a gift is given to a employee from a outside source, no matter how that person met the other person the gift should stay with the intended receiver. After all...it is because of the hard work of the employee that the gift was given to them in the first place. Maybe you feel it should go to the owner of the company because you yourself never get a gift sent to you so you will get someone elses? I know when I receive a gift I always send a thank you note and I also look for the made in USA on labels and items that I buy. I know for a fact that I can list more than 3 things I bought at any given time that came from our country and not china. I've heard that there are many employees at BJ that do not deal with customers but are forced to stay at the office until the all mighty tells them they can go home. They just stand around and talk & play games on the computer in the meantime until they get word they can leave.Yes there are some that swear they are just so busy but the rest of the employees know they aren't any busier than the others they just play the game better. I too am glad I've never worked at a place such as that & never will. I get a bonus every year & do not have to attend a party in order to do so. I am greatful for my job & my employer. I hope the ones that are unhappy can one day find that great job and leave that place. I read also about the pay rate schedule and can only say it should be illegal for that way of paying someone to be legal. It is not worth someones time to work for that rate of pay. I bet the moral of the employees is really high? I'm sure the employees would much rather be with their families then be forced to stand around and be bored to death. Getting a free ticket here and there if the owner decides you are worthy of them and getting a few hours off early in the summer does not even compare to what should be owed to the employees as far as I can tell but I guess it would be better than nothing? I look forward to going to work and it should be that way.!!! Good luck to those BJ Alan employees that are looking for a better place to work. Keep looking!!

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