President, CEO and chairman, TimkenSteel
Ward J. “Tim” Timken Jr. learned from the example set by his parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles. The company’s history—Timken Co. and now additionally TimkenSteel—shows a pattern of giving. There is the impact of creating jobs. There is the philanthropic work. Timken knows his family’s contributions and strives to continue the effort.
“I was raised in a family that believes that you give back to the community that you benefit from,” Timken said. “That is the message I grew up with, that I have personally embraced and that I pass on to my children as well.”
The president, chief executive officer and chairman of TimkenSteel urges company employees to give back to the community that provides their livelihood. They are encouraged to get involved with organizations. The company matches gifts to charities. There’s an effort to be engaged.
“When companies get disengaged from their community, they lose their roots and that’s not a good thing,” Timken said. “Quite frankly, our roots are deep, and they are deep because our people are involved. That’s the important part.”
It’s a matter of leading by setting an example. Timken hopes the company policy helps to set a tone and encourages employees to engage with the community.
“People get it, that giving back is important,” Timken said, noting that company employees are helping at United Way, ArtsInStark, Habitat for Humanity and other organizations. Volunteering never is easy, and it takes away from other activities, Timken said, but once you start, it is rewarding.
Much of Timken’s work is focused on economic development. He has served several years as a trustee with Team Northeast Ohio, which has worked to market the region, create jobs and attract new companies.
During the past year, Timken also co-chaired the Regional Competitiveness Council that reviewed the area’s development organizations and recommended the merger of Team NEO and NorTech, a development group that has focused on technology. Now the two groups are combining their strengths in an effort to make Northeast Ohio even more competitive.
Timken also has a seat on the Ohio Business Roundtable and serves on the American Iron and Steel Institute’s board.
There are several reasons to focus on economic development, Timken said. He wants to see continued growth in the region and the state’s economy. It means Ohio is becoming a better place to work and do business. A healthy economy also makes Ohio a good place to live and attractive to people.
Another reason? “It just comes back to it’s the right thing to do,” Timken said.
Seeing good results from the economic development work is rewarding, Timken said. “I think we’re moving the ball here, so from a big picture point of view that feels good.”
As for a favorite activity, Habitat for Humanity ranks high on Timken’s list.
When he started working with the company in the late 1990s, Timken joined co-workers as they built houses in the community. He enjoyed helping to frame the walls. “I love going to a building site, getting the walls up and getting the roof on.”
It’s even better when the project is finished. “It’s one of those really personally rewarding ones,” Timken said, “where you can stand next to the future owner of the house and swing the hammer. It feels good.”