Iron City Wood Products prepares to expand to Youngstown

By jeanne starmack


Inside a small office building on Wilson Avenue on Wednesday, Tina Yanssens hardly looked up from her desk as she blitzed through some work.

At the next desk over, her husband, D.J., had his phone on his ear and appeared settled in for a long conversation.

An employee waited patiently for D.J. to finish so he could get a signature on a paper he was holding. On a desk next to D.J.’s, looking curiously out of place in the office that was otherwise all business, was a stack of hamburger buns.

Outside, the seven-acre yard at Iron City Wood Products had its usual stack after towering stack of wooden pallets. A semi was parked across the street, and yard vehicles were darting in and out of the fenced area that contained the stacks.

For anyone who’s lived in Campbell during the past 25 years, those pallets and that traffic are a familiar sight. But in two months, the scenery on that stretch of Wilson Avenue is expected to change.

The company is going to start moving part of its operations to a building in the Ross Industrial Park on Albert Street in Youngstown.

Landlocked on its seven acres, it needs room to expand, Tina explained.

“We’re just out of space for inventory,” she said.

But the company’s headquarters, she said, will remain in Campbell.

“The family still has sentimental ties,” she said. “The office is going to be here for awhile.”

“My dad’s desk is still here,” she continued, gesturing toward the desk where the hamburger buns awaited their role in the company’s employee appreciation lunch, which took place Friday. “This was his business.”

The company, which recycles old pallets and brokers the sale of new pallets and shipping containers within a 400-mile radius of Youngstown, opened in 1987.

Tina’s father, David Muslovski, headed the business until June 17, 2010, when he was hit by a woman who was texting while driving and didn’t see him on his early-morning walk.

Muslovski’s wife, Denise, is now the president of the company. Tina is vice president, and D.J. is operations manager.

The loss of her father galvanized Tina into lobbying for a law that bans texting while driving in Ohio. On June 1, Gov. John Kasich signed that law.

The court case involving Whitney Yaeger, the 20-year-old woman who struck Muslovski, also is winding down, Tina said. Yaeger is expected to be sentenced for vehicular homicide in August.

Now, Tina said, she will redirect her focus back onto the business.

“It’s been a huge sense of relief to come back and focus on Iron City; it’s been a juggling act,” she said.

Depending on the time of year, the company employs as many as 50 people. Tina said she is not sure how many employees will work in Youngstown and how many will stay in Campbell.

Though the home office is in Campbell, employees who work in Youngstown will pay income-tax there. Though that’s a loss for Campbell, the city will not lose the money it gets from the state for license-plate fees for the company’s trucks, said Campbell Mayor Bill VanSuch.

VanSuch said he is glad the company is keeping its Campbell ties.

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