While Young has been at the forefront of Speed Exterminating since 1998, the business dates back more than 106 years, founded in 1908 by John W. Speed (Young’s great grandfather). After Speed, the business transitioned into the hands of Young’s grandfather, and later his father. In 1963, the pest company was relocated to Old Brooklyn before once again being passed down to the next generation -- at which time Young acquired the reigns to the family business.
Alongside his dedicated and passionate perspective toward the family’s industry and business, Young has also maintained a deep-rooted connection to volunteering and service.
“I saw [my father] take great pride in having a strong small business community in Cleveland, and I feel that way too,” Young says. “Small businesses are the back bone of Cleveland. If there is going to be an economic revival in Cleveland, it’s going to be because of small businesses.”
Turning his passion into action, Young co-founded the grassroots event, “Pedal for Prizes,” and has also provided leadership for the Cleveland/Akron Cystic Fibrosis Annual Bike Race. In doing so, he has achieved the ideal combo of mixing work with pleasure.
“When I want to get away from the office, I’m big into bicycling,” Young says.
Having been an avid cyclist for over 20 years, Young -- along with four other Old Brooklyn residents -- eventually came to unite his love for cycling with his deep-rooted Old Brooklyn heritage to create the event, “Pedal for Prizes”.
The objective for the event is simple. “The idea is to just get on the bike and ride,” he says.
With its inception in 2010, the event was founded with the idea of bringing together businesses in the Old Brooklyn community while also promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. Each participant is presented with a map that pinpoints 20 destinations. For every destination reached, the riders are given a raffle ticket to be entered for a chance to win various prizes such as Cleveland Indian’s tickets or bicycles. Destinations are divided between local businesses/merchants and points of interest, and are announced on the day of the event.
The event, says Young, provides him the opportunity to give back to and promote a community that means so much to his family and business. “You succeed because the neighborhood succeeds. It’s not my success; it’s the neighborhood’s success,” Young says.
Growing from 75 participants in its first year to over 600 people in 2013, “Pedal for Prizes” has been making a noticeable impact in its surrounding communities.
“Biking gives me an avenue of things I’m capable of doing. I can’t solve world hunger, but I do have a connection to cycling,” says Young.
Along with “Pedal for Prizes,” Young has also been actively engaged in the Cleveland/Akron Cystic Fibrosis Annual Bike Race. Created in 2012, the event raised $40,000 its first year and doubled to $80,000 this past year.
For an involved small business owner like Young, the desire and urge to volunteer is always in abundance and, despite a busy work schedule, he always finds time to give back.
“I want to give back to this community. I want to take time to make a difference,” he says.