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Melmor Associates Celebrates 50 Years

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Melmor Associates is celebrating 50 years in business, and the presence of its original owner, Mel Teles of Youngstown, Ohio, is still felt today. “Mel was a tough businessman, but was very fair. He had a gruff exterior, but was a very caring, generous man,” said Christine Simone, Office Manager. “Those of us running the company today all had the privilege of working for Mel, and we are grateful for that time.”

Following Mel’s death in 1991, Lee Johnson ran the company for the Teles family. Currently, Lee is the sole owner and president. He began working at Melmor in 1978 and purchased the company from the Teles family in 2008. He does the majority of the purchasing, and oversees all the company’s operations. Ron Sebest joined the company in 1984 and is Vice President. He oversees all production operations as well as sales. Simone, who has been with the company since 1985, handles all the administrative and accounting operations.

“We have survived for 50 years because of our management. Lee, Ron and I, are very like-minded people,” Simone said. “We all have different approaches to whatever the situation is, but we work well together, and will reach the conclusion that is best for Melmor and our customers.”

The company has seen good times and bad times. “With the economic downturn five years ago, we were forced to make some tough decisions, but it enabled the company to stay open when many small businesses were forced to close,” Simone said. “Lee and Ron made smart business moves that kept our business going, allowing us to rebound and make it to 50 years.”

Melmor, located in Niles, Ohio, sells used material handling equipment. “We have always sold used material handling equipment, which consists of steel containers, wire baskets, self-dumping hoppers … among other things,” Simone said. “The material is all used, and we recondition it and sell it to companies that either use them in their operation, or to people to re-sell them to other companies.”

Wire baskets, steel containers, and self-dumping hoppers are their “stock” items, but they sell a lot of other “odd” items if they get them as part of something purchased at an auction, or part of another deal that might be purchased. Most purchases come from auctions of companies closing or downsizing. They also purchase privately from companies for the same reasons. Some companies may have a surplus of items they are no longer using.

“We are a very family-oriented close-knit company,” Simone said. “We have had employees leave to work elsewhere, and eventually come back. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere and is actually a great place to work. Lee picked up where Mel left off. He genuinely cares about the employees and is very generous to all of us.”

Customers are the life-blood of their business. “Our company has modernized over the years, but our basic policies have not changed. Those of us in management are very “old school,” but in a modern up-to-date way,” Simone said. “We are very customer-service oriented. If a customer has a problem with their order, we will do everything we can to solve that issue so they are 100 percent satisfied. We are an honest company and genuinely care about our customers. We are very conscious of the fact that without them we would not be in business. They are the reason we are here, and hope to be here for another 50 years.”

For more information, contact Melmor Associates at 330/652-1784 or visit

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