The President's Corner
Recently, I met with Tom Lix at Panera at the Shoppes at Parma for coffee. I wanted to learn more about this fascinating man who has made Parma his home. You see, Tom knows what you and I know about Parma – it is a great place to live. I am happy to report that, like me, Tom is a huge cheerleader for Parma, specifically, and the Cleveland region, in general.
Tom’s father was a World War II veteran who met his mother at Fenn College (now Cleveland State University). They moved around the country quite a bit, but eventually Tom’s mother made her way back and settled in Parma. Tom came to Parma himself, after a long stint in Boston, to help his mom during the last years of her life and decided to stay here. “I love the Cleveland area because people help each other – there is a deep sense of community,” Tom explained. “Parma, in particular, has so much to offer, plus it is so close to excellent parks, Lake Erie, the airport, and downtown,” he added.
When Tom moved here he taught entrepreneurship and marketing in both the undergraduate and MBA program at Lake Erie College. In fact, I would describe him as a serial entrepreneur himself, as he has started many businesses over the year. This brings me to one of the reasons I am so impressed and intrigued by Tom – he is the founder and CEO of Cleveland Whiskey.
Tom started the company in 2009 with a laboratory and perfected a revolutionary method of making world class whiskies. Then, in 2012, his team put together their first facility and, in March of 2013, the company shipped its first bottles. From there, the company has flourished to profitability and they expect to produce over 100,000 bottles in 2021.
Because of their success, the company is now in need of a larger facility, so they are selling “whiskey bonds” to raise the capital. In short, for an investment of at least $1,000, you can loan Cleveland Whiskey some of the monies that will be used to expand their operations. Each bond has a 6 year maturity and is payable at 5% compounded interest or you may opt to be paid in bottles of Cleveland Whiskey.
Cleveland Whiskey’s mission statement is simple, “To make good whiskey and do the right thing.” I can attest that the bourbon is great. Further, the company has done the right thing during the pandemic. In fact, over the past several months, they have converted some of their operations to producing hand sanitizer, all of which continues to be donated to organizations and individuals throughout the region.
I share Tom’s story for many reasons, including the fact that I am so happy that he has made Parma his home. Although he is a relatively new resident, he is one of us – one who is dedicated to the community and its success and helping when neighbors are in need.
To learn more about Tom Lix, Cleveland Whiskey, and the Cleveland Whiskey bond effort visit clevelandwhiskey.com. In closing, I hope that you are staying well. Please continue to wear your mask, socially distance, and pray this pandemic comes to an abrupt end soon.
Parma City Council President Sean Brennan