Ed Nofziger Is Citizen Of Year
The owner of Haas Door in Wauseon, he enjoys driving his own semi to deliver overhead garage door parts and visit with his customers.
He loves using his farm tractors to maintain the land he’s placed into conservation reserve. A parcel on the northwest corner of St. Rt. 2 and Co. Rd. 19 has played host to popular events where Monarch butterflies are tagged and released.
“I’m having so much fun, I can’t tell I’m working!” he said.
And, he enjoys working behind the scenes, facilitating civic projects locally, nationally, and internationally.
“I have an office chair, but I don’t plan on wearing it out,” he said. “I plan to sit in it as little as possible.”
Ed’s father, Dennis, loved carpentry work more than working on the family farm west of Archbold on Co. Rd. D. He built homes in Archbold, hung overhead garage doors in the community, and became a dealer in overhead doors.
Ed said his first job, for which he was paid, was at the Yoder & Frey auction yard.
“I used to jump off the school bus and run to Yoder & Frey. I’d drive tractors through the (sale) ring, and help load them for Elias Frey and Tim Yoder,” he said.
After graduating from Archbold High School in 1965, he worked at different jobs, including an overhead door firm in Defiance and at Napoleon Spring Works in Archbold, a manufacturer of overhead door parts.
He did alternative service in lieu of military service as an orderly at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, Ore., from 1967 to
In 1969, he became a partner with his father in the overhead door business.
1972, he married the former Carol
Ed contends it is Carol who deserves the Citizen of the Year honor.
In addition to raising three sons, she has been the treasurer of the companies Ed has owned.
“She has a watchful eye that keeps me on the straight and narrow,” he said.
The overhead door company incorporated in 1973 as Nofziger Door Sales. The business grew, moving from the family farm to a former schoolhouse that had been converted to a trucking company headquarters at the intersection of St. Rts. 2 and 66 north of Archbold.
The next move was to the Archbold Industrial Park in 1987.
In 1995, he purchased Haas Door in Perrysburg from a company that had difficulty running it. He moved the operation to Wauseon, where there was a large building available. Today, Haas Door employs 225 people.
Nofziger Door Sales was sold to Tom Rufenacht and his son, Jon, on Oct. 1, 2010.
Nofziger’s efforts in business have been recognized; he received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2000 and the International Door Association member service award in 2009.
Nofziger has been a lifetime member of Central Mennonite Church. He was (Continued from first page) on the committee that oversaw the construction of the recent addition.
Through his church, he became involved in Mennonite Economic Development Associates. The group promotes economic development worldwide.
“Erie (Sauder, founder of Sauder Woodworking) was one of the founding members. Lester Rich was part of the board. I took Lester’s spot in late 1980,” he said.
He has since left the MEDA board.
He is also part of Gideons International, which is famous for distributing Bibles around the world.
“That’s a big part of their ministry,” he explained.
He and his family also have been involved with the Laurelville Mennonite Church Center in western Pennsylvania since he and Carol were married.
The facility “is a wonderful seminar and retreat center,” he said.
The center hosts 300 to 400 children from Pittsburgh on four or five weekends a year for spiritual and fun activities. He has served on its board.
He is a member of Rotary International, first in Archbold and later transferring to Wauseon.
He also is a member of the board that oversees Fairlawn Haven and the Sauder Village board. He is a former board member of the Adriel organization, which provides services to children in need.
Behind The Scenes
It is behind the scenes where Nofziger makes his biggest mark. While never one to “toot my own horn,” he admitted he has donated money and material to a wide variety of causes.
Some of his donations have been in the form of challenge grants; if a group raises a certain amount of money, he would match the amount.
His nomination form said Nofziger “has helped many needy people financially; he is a very compassionate person.”
He said part of his work is about “planting seeds.”
“You never know what you do that could help someone.
“It gives you a good feeling when somebody comes up to you, and says, ‘remember when you did that?’”
The “that” he refers to, is, of course, one of Nofziger’s donations or services that made a positive difference in someone’s life.