CEDAR RAPIDS — Three locally-grown Cedar Rapids businesses will be recognized Nov. 14 by the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance.
HR Green, Nelson Electric and Russell’s Guides will receive Bravo! awards at the annual Good Morning Cedar Rapids event from 7:15 to 8:45 a.m. at the Cedar Rapids Marriott. NewBo City Market, MOvMNT Dance Co. and the Highway 100 project will also be highlighted.
Howard R. Green, a 23-year-old civil engineer, founded HR Green, 8710 Earhart Lane SW, in 1913. The company has offices throughout the United States providing engineering and technical services to the transportation, water, governmental services, senior living and energy markets.
In January 2009, HR Green bought Houston-based Sparks-Barlow-Barnett Inc., which provides specialized civil engineering services to government and private clients. In July 2009, HR Green acquired SEC Group Inc., a Chicago consulting engineering, planning and surveying business with offices in Chicago, McHenry, Yorkville and New Lenox, Ill.
Ron Nelson founded Nelson Electric Co., 618 14th Ave. SW, in 1969. John Negro, who joined Nelson Electric in 1973 as a journeyman wireman, became a project manager in 1975 and began to purchase the company.
Negro completed the purchase of Nelson Electric in 1977 when the company employed eight people primarily focused on residential work. Nelson Electric has grown to employ 130 people working in all phases of the electrical construction industry.
In 2001 an employee stock ownership plan was started with Negro selling 10 percent of his stock to the ESOP. Another 10 percent was purchased by the ESOP in 2008.
The long-range plan for the ESOP is to purchase controlling interest.
Russell’s Guides, 1660 42nd St. NE, was founded by E.B. Russell in 1889 as a print shop. A year later Anthony Tschirgi, 17, acquired the operation.
Tschirgi launched separate guides listing railroad timetables for the Midwest and Southwest. The pocket-sized book instructed sales people on train schedules throughout the region, as well as listing hotel and restaurant information.
In 1927, the company introduced Russell’s Official National Motor Coach Guide, doing for the bus industry what it did for railroads.
Today, Russell’s Guides publishes a monthly guide that shows the timetables of the majority of intercity motorbus operators in the United States and Canada. Over the years, U.S. military bases have been major customers along with transportation buffs.