Execs to Speak at YSU Graduation Ceremonies

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Two executives, both Youngstown State University alumni, will speak at the university’s commencement ceremonies May 11.

Sam Grooms, CEO of Hy-Tek Material Handling in Middleburg Heights, will speak at the morning graduation for students in the Williamson College of Business Administration, Beeghly College of Education and College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. 

In the afternoon ceremony, the president of the professional hygiene division at Essity, Don Lewis, will speak to graduates of the Cliffe College of Creative Arts and Communication, Bitonte College of Health and Human Services and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

Grooms has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from YSU and was the starting center for the football in 1979, the first YSU team to play for a national championship. He was on the Board of Trustees from 2016 to 2018. He has spent his entire career at Hy-Tek, starting as a sales representative. Since becoming CEO in 1997, the company’s revenues have increased eight-fold. 

Lewis also holds a baccalaureate in business administration and in his position leading the professional hygiene division at Sweden-based Essity oversees a 110-country, $3 billion business, including the Tork brand. He started his career as an operations manager for Stambaugh’s Hardware and in 1992 joined Encore Paper, which was acquired 10 years later by Essity for $90 million. He stayed on after the acquisition, first as president of the company’s North American tissue business, then as president of North America and Latin America before his current role.

Both commencement ceremonies will be held at Beeghly Center. The morning ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m., with the afternoon commencement beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Pictured: Sam Grooms and Don Lewis will be the featured speakers at YSU’s commencement ceremonies May 11.

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