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July 16, 2009 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-07-16

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of Bloomfield Hills, who is executive
vice president of Guardian Industries,
Corp. of Auburn Hills, and nephew of
the late William Davidson, Guardian
founder as well as a philanthropist;
and trustee Ronald Weiser of Ann
Arbor, former ambassador to Slovakia.
"The driving force behind the board is
Patricia Mooradian, who is president
and secretary," said Weiner.
Ford Chairman Bill Ford Jr. says he's
"delighted" that Weiner has taken a
leadership role in the Henry Ford. "I've
enjoyed working with Evan and greatly
admire the work he does. He combines
outstanding business and leadership
skills with a genuine concern for the
community. He works tirelessly and
effectively to make the world a better
place, and to have a positive impact on
the lives of those around him.

Historic Connection
The Levy Co.'s strong commitment
to the Henry Ford is no coincidence.
\\Then the elder Henry Ford sought
investors for his fledgling company in
the early 1900s by roaming the farms
and villages around Detroit, he visited
the farm of Edward C. Levy Sr. Levy
declined to be an investor, but he was
so enthralled by the budding industri-
alist that he eventually gave up farm-
ing, bought two trucks and formed his
own trucking company.
In 1922, Levy went to see Henry
Ford, reminded him of his visit to
the family farm and, with a simple
handshake, made an ironclad agree-
ment with Ford to haul slag from the
new Ford Rouge Plant. Slag is basically
waste material; the plant produced
plenty of steel slag that needed to be
hauled away. The Levy Co. later started
hauling slag at other steel mills, then
began crushing and selling it as road-
based material. The Levy Co. now
processes more than 30 million tons of
slag and natural aggregates per year for
a variety of industries and applications.
"My father wanted to help Mr. Ford
build the Ford empire with his trucks,"
related philanthropist Edward C. Levy
Jr., 77, of Bloomfield Hills, who now is
majority owner of the Levy Co., with
Weiner as the minority owner. "My
father saw an opportunity to turn a
seemingly 'useless' product into an
enterprising business — a reinvention
of slag that was ahead of its time."
As a result, Henry Ford and Edward
C. Levy Sr. began a business and phil-
anthropic relationship that endures
today, and the two companies have
grown together. "As a closely held,
family-run company, we don't mea-

sure success by our short-term earn-
ings; we measure it by the trust and
loyalty we've earned from our custom-
ers," said Edward C. Levy Jr. His father
died in 1981.
The Levy Co. now is part of a net-
work of 50 affiliated companies and
joint ventures employing 2,500. It
serves 23 steel mills in North America,
Australia, Brazil, France and Thailand.
Weiner often travels to these sites on
business, making his heavy involvement
in community activities even more of
an amazing feat. Born in Minneapolis,
he got a bachelor's degree from
Colorado College and became a pre-
med student, working at a Minneapolis
hospital in the summers. "But my father
bought a clothing distributorship in
Chicago, and my mother pointed out it
would be a nice thing if I moved there
to help dad out," he reflected.
Weiner met his wife, Gwen, a local
symphony violinist, in Chicago; they
have been married 29 years and have
three children. Weiner's father-in-law,
Jim Stone, was chief financial officer
of the Levy Co. and "he invited me in
1981 to join the company to work on
some special projects:' said Weiner. "I
stayed here and the rest is history"

A Guiding Light
Jim Rosenthal of Bloomfield Hills,
who has known Weiner through busi-
ness connections for 12 years, says,
"Evan is a highly intelligent, very
astute businessman."
Rosenthal is owner and president of
National Lumber Co. in Warren. "If it
were possible to invent a special pair
of X-ray glasses to look into one's soul,
Evan's would be the brightest soul of
all. He's pure, honest, unselfish and
would do anything to help you out,"
Rosenthal said.
When Rosenthal's father contracted
cancer several years ago, he called
Weiner for his opinion on doctors,
hospitals and treatment. "He was over-
seas, but he returned my call, followed
up on everything, and was persistent
about getting all the information I
needed," Rosenthal recalled.
Ironically, Weiner had to apolo-
gize for cutting short his interview
with this writer, rushing off to Royal
Oak's Beaumont Hospital where his
expertise and board connections were
needed again, this time for consulta-
tion on treatment for a relative who
recently became ill.
"But I'll follow up and we'll finish
the discussion:' he insisted. "I want to
make sure you to know how proud I
am of my work at the Henry Ford." E

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