8/1/2011 — Building on the past to create something new isn’t just central to the Warehouse District’s colorful history; it’s the driving force, today, behind Jeremy Flack’s decision to open a new steel company here.

Smartly dressed in a chocolate brown blazer, crisp blue-and-white shirt and khaki pants, Flack sits confidently at the conference table in Flack Steel’s offices at 425 W. Lakeside, and explains why there’s nowhere but the Warehouse District he’d rather call home, for his business or himself.

“The Warehouse District is a hip, vibrant neighborhood in a historically significant setting,” Flack said, “and we’re a fresh new company in a traditional industry. So being here helps communicate who we are. This building and the business we’re in date back to the 1800s, but renovation and new thinking have brought them both up to date. There are just a lot of connections.”

Holder of an MBA from Cleveland State University and a BS in finance from Miami University, Flack, 41, launched his company in May, 2010. It’s a “steel service center” – a distribution business that buys and sells steel throughout North America. It has 14 employees at its headquarters and three more who handle sales in Atlanta, Georgia, Knoxville, Tennessee and Ohio.

“What we do here in Cleveland,” Flack said, “is orchestrate the movement of products we buy from all the domestic steel mills in the United States as well as countries like India, Brazil, China, Taiwan, Russia, Korea, Japan and Mexico. We also manage the supply chain for customers who are original equipment manufacturers making branded products from the steel we provide.”

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