Here's a first: a Rising Star with his own official day named after him.
When Alec Goecke was a lifeguard on Lake Erie in high school, he saved two classmates who swam out too far on a wavy day, recalled Goecke's brother, Andrew. "It was a big story in Cleveland and Alec has his own official day named after him in the city of Rocky River [Ohio]," Andrew Goecke said in his nomination of Alec Goecke for Rising Stars.
Today, Alec Goecke is vice president of sales for Rocky River, Ohio-based Mighty Line Floor Tape, a ShieldMark Inc. brand.
Their father, Tom Goecke, invented PVC floor tape to keep warehouses and employees safe while organizing industrial facilities to run as efficiently as possible. The durable peel-and-stick safety floor tape is an alternative to painted lines.
"Alec built us into a family business. … When my dad created the product, he was wonderful at sourcing the material and organizing production. But when it came to getting your brand out there, he was in need of assistance," Andrew Goecke said. "Alec joined my dad as a salesman fresh [out] of college at [the University of] Dayton, they shared a 10 [by] 20 office, bumping elbows as they moved around trying to grow the brand.
"Alec's career at Mighty Line is approaching eight years and since he headed up sales, total sales [have] jumped from $2 million to $20 million. Most family businesses have a history of the next generation having roles given to them. Alec built his own role. He essentially made it possible for the business to grow to what [it] is today while also instituting a culture that has allowed our family to thrive within a productive, learning environment," he added.
Alec Goecke, 29, graduated from the University of Dayton with a bachelor's degree in finance and started working at Mighty Line at 22.
Andrew Goecke said his brother has inspired the local Cleveland community that the Midwest is a place where young professionals can get a job and thrive. He calls Alec a "beacon of success in our community."
"If you are on the west side of Cleveland, you use Alec as the comparison for how to take where you are from and turn it into gold," Andrew Goecke said. "We hire local talent [and] we produce our products here in Ohio. We stand behind where we are from and that is a culture that all descends from Alec's leadership."
Andrew Goecke added that his brother "transcends what it means to be a millennial."
"He instantly relaxes new people in conversation, and he is the definition of a leader you want to support," he said.
Alec Goecke said he looks up to his father, who started the company and patented Mighty Line. "He took on all the risks and did something he believed in," he said, adding that his role model is a "great husband, loving father of four, a great grandfather, a great brother to over 14 siblings, a small-business owner and a military veteran."
"He always looks out for the people he cares about," Goecke added about his father. "He comes to work every day to make it a better place. To me he exemplifies what it means to be a great person."
Alec and his wife, Emily, have a 2-month-old daughter named Charlotte and a dog named Bear.