Partnership Develops Student Entrepreneurs in Brookfield

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – In late 2020, Ron Emery, president of Alchemy Associates LLC, was having coffee in Howland.

An employee overheard the conversation on entrepreneurship that Emery and his colleagues were having and started talking to them.

“And he said, ‘Do you mind if I put you in touch with the head of the entrepreneurial program [at Brookfield High School],’ ” Emery recalls.

“I said, ‘No. Of course I’d love to have that dialogue.’”

Emery and a colleague, A.J. Bove, business development analyst at Iten Industries, took a tour of Brookfield High School and were impressed with what they saw.

Upon seeing the maker space, Emery and Bove came up with the idea of creating a skate park at the campus.

“We have a brand called Ramp Armor,” says Bove.

He and his team have been looking for a way to increase awareness of the product, which is used to surface ramps at skate parks.

Utilizing the maker space, the students are now creating swag items for Ramp Armor.

“Students are going to be working on fulfilling orders, they’re going to see the process from start to finish,” Bove says.

Brookfield schools superintendent Toby Gibson said the partnership is helping to get students ready for their careers. “Most schools focus on the college aspect, but what about careers?” he says.

Emery, Bove and Gibson spoke with Jeff Leo Herrmann during a recent episode of the Brain Gain Leadership Podcast.

The Brain Gain Youngstown Leadership Podcast is published at and on Spotify.