Ryan Anticipates July Start for Refrigerant Plant in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Zoetic Global plans to be operating out of a downtown Youngstown building in July, the company’s chief global business development officer, former U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, said.

The company, which announced Ryan’s hiring Monday, has leased 28,000 square feet of space at 360 E. Federal St., Ryan said during a phone interview Tuesday afternoon.

“We’re shooting for July,” he said. “We’ll start with a handful [of employees], and then just as we grow it we hope to get up to hundreds at some point.”

Ryan said Zoetic’s principals reached out to him after he was named to the leadership council of Natural Allies for a Clean Energy Future earlier this year. In January, they met for dinner at the Chophouse in Howland and they laid out the details of the company to him.

“I thought, ‘Man, this really sounds interesting, but it sounds almost too good to be true,’” he recalled.

After a follow-up dinner meeting in Cleveland, they invited him to take a “bigger role” with the company. “It was really appealing to me,” he said.  

Zoetic is a minority-owned company whose primary focus is delivering energy, water and food technologies to areas of greatest need, according to the Monday news release. Specific initiatives include providing access to hydrokinetic, wind and solar power, energy efficiency technologies and systems for supplementing electrical supply and infrastructure in remote areas.

“We are incredibly proud to have Tim as a member of our leadership team,” Jerome Ringo, Zoetic chairman and co-founder, said in the release announcing Ryan’s hiring. “His commitment to making an impact in the fight against climate change aligns perfectly with our vision.”

Leaving Congress after 20 years – the Niles Democrat served 10 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives then ran for the U.S. Senate seat in 2022 that J.D. Vance won – Ryan said he “didn’t want to jump” into an organization where he wasn’t “completely aligned” with the company’s leadership. He noted both Ringo and Avery Hong, Zoetic’s CEO, share “working class sensibilities” and are committed to taking care of their workers.  

“Youngstown has the workers and the location Zoetic needs. This is a product that we need to ship around North America and the world. Youngstown is such a great location for us to be able to ship our products from,” Hong said in an email Tuesday. “We also want to be a part of reindustrializing America. No better place to start that than in the Steel Valley.”

Ryan will be involved in both the operation in Youngstown, which will handle Zoetic’s entire global refrigerant supply, and the carbon trading headquarters in Columbus, the former congressman said.

The refrigerant technology, which Zoetic acquired about a year ago, can help customers save up to 40% on their cooling costs. The proprietary refrigerant is shopped in cylinders that are used to replace the refrigerants in customers’ existing cooling systems.

The company is getting “a ton of interest” from New York City’s commercial real estate sector, Ryan said. Other potential markets include the food industry, shopping malls, data centers, such as those in Columbus, and casinos. Locally, potential customers could include large plants like Ultium Cells and Foxconn, the TJX HomeGoods distribution center and companies that ship food.  

“The market is huge, and there’s nobody that has any product like this,” he said. Interest in the product additionally is driven as many shareholders are demanding their companies show they are concerned about sustainability.

The company also is developing plans to share the carbon credits it generates through its business. People are tired of corporate greed and will be impressed with the new technologies that are going to be unleashed, Ryan remarked.

“We want to be a model of showing how [business is] supposed to be done, and we’re going to do it differently,” he said. “That, to me, is the most exciting part.”   

Pictured at top: The building at 360 E. Federal St., Youngstown, that has been leased by Zoetic Global.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.