Retiring ODW executive to be first inductee in Hamilton Business Hall of Fame

John Guggenbiller credited with mentoring others and helping spark Hamilton growth.

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

John Guggenbiller, president of ODW Logistics’s transportation division, will transition from an executive to an adviser at the end of the month before retiring after nearly 50 years in the industry.

Also at the end of this month, Guggenbiller will be honored for his lifetime of business acumen, leadership and mentorship by being the inaugural inductee of the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame.

“We have recognized businesses for being a great entrepreneur or great business person, and even contributions to the community, but this is going to be more about a business leader who is giving back to mentoring and giving other opportunities to get started,” said Dan Bates, Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce president and CEO.

“This is really based upon what John has stood for. A lot of people don’t really understand what he’s done for other people coming up through the ranks and helping ODW get started, and mentoring them and bringing them along.”

The Business Hall of Fame was developed by the chamber of commerce and in concert with some of those people Guggenbiller helped. Brian Woods, a vice president with ODW Logistics, has only worked for Guggenbiller since graduating from Indiana State University in 2004, starting at American Standard, which is now Amstan Logistics.

“John has an entrepreneurial spirit, coming from a hard-working, poultry farm background up,” said Woods. “We wanted to celebrate John for just everything he’s done for certainly all of the employees here, working with, mentoring, grooming, but also recognizing the city for being a great partner, allowing us to do business in a downtown district that’s just growing and flourishing.”

And co-creating this hall of fame with the chamber, current and future Hamilton business leaders can be recognized for a lifetime of business achievement, not just in business success but in molding and mentoring the next generation of leaders.

“I think it’s a great way to highlight the movers and shakers, the folks that are making a difference and have made a difference,” Woods said.

Butler County Finance Authority CEO Joshua Smith said Hamilton’s resurgence has a lot to do with ODW Logistics and Guggenbiller.

“You can’t write about Hamilton’s revitalization without talking about ODW Logistics and John Guggenbiller,” said Smith, Hamilton’s city manager from September 2011 until this past April. “Their decision to grow in Hamilton was a critical catalyst for many of the developments that came later.”

As ODW was experiencing growth 15 years ago, Smith said ODW could have re-located their Butler County operations to somewhere along the Interstate 75 corridor, and said it was “huge” for Hamilton to retain the business, and move them in 2014 to One Renaissance Center at 345 High St.

“The bigger win was their employees being involved in Rotary, volunteering at RiversEdge and Operation Pumpkin, and having many of their workers located in Hamilton,” Smith said. “Without ODW choosing Hamilton, much of the recent growth never would have happened.”

Guggenbiller, who’s lived in Hamilton since 1994, said he’s probably not the most deserving to be the inaugural inductee, but called it “a great honor” and said he’s “very appreciative of being recognized for the things we’ve accomplished here at ODW.”

He was brought on to help with transportation brokering for ODW Logistics, but formed in 2009 ODW LTS (Logistics and Transportation Services) as a company under the ODW Logistics umbrella, operating in the BizTech Center in Hamilton.

“We were a company trying to provide different solutions to our customers, so I would say the biggest accomplishment since coming over to ODW was to transform the warehouse and transportation provider to a solutions-based supply chain provider,” Guggenbiller said.

The Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame is set for 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, at 345 High St.

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