A resolution recognizing Mr. Mark A. Cleveland on being honored with the 2014 NEXT Award as Entrepreneur of the Year.

WHEREAS, Mr. Mark A. Cleveland, CEO of Hobby Express, retired CEO and co-founder of Swiftwick, took home top honors at the 2014 NEXT Awards as Entrepreneur of the Year by Nashville business leaders; and

WHEREAS, the NEXT Awards, is hosted by the Nashville Area of Chamber of Commerce and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and recognizes the area’s most innovative entrepreneurs and their high-growth businesses; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Cleveland reversed earlier decisions at Hobby Lobby International, Inc. (now Hobby Express USA) and determined to return from China and elsewhere the manufacturing of the famous line of TELEMASTER brand balsa airplanes, so that today the entire line of iconic balsa TELEMASTER kit aircraft is produced in Tennessee; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Cleveland recognized the potential in Swiftwick, a sock brand and with partners co-founded a new company, which rose from zero revenues to nearly a $6 million run rate and the leading market maker in cycling, running and hiking socks. The company is proud to manufacture almost all of its performance product in Tennessee, creating good jobs and export opportunities; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Cleveland set the goal for Swiftwick to earn and they ultimately did win the 2014 Governor’s Award for Trade Excellence (GATE Award) featuring companies who focus on exporting products that add revenue and can highlight strong Tennessee brands worldwide; and

WHEREAS, some of his accomplishments include earning 2014 and recently the 2015 Williamson County Impact Award, the Nashville Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO Award, and the 2014 Best in Business Award for a company under 26 employees. Mr. Cleveland also made the IN CHARGE list for manufacturing executives as published by the Nashville POST; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Cleveland and Swiftwick acted with generosity after the March 11, 2009 Tsunami that devastated, among other regions, the city of Sendai (仙台市 Sendai-shi?) the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, and the largest city in the Tōhoku region. Four years ago, on approximately the date of this resolution, they did send a large shipment of Swiftwick socks to the relief area with the help of FedEx. This was done in coordination with Mark’s Brentwood Morning Rotary Club, other of Middle Tennessee Rotary Clubs in the District and a Rotary Club in Japan that coordinated distribution for relief purposes. Mark was honored by the Japan American Society of Tennessee (JAST) with a prestigious Iris Award for this initiative and was also recognized as the 2011 Rotarian of the Year in his Club; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council recognizes Mr. Mark A. Cleveland, an outstanding entrepreneur and leader in business innovation, for his service to the citizens of Nashville and offer our congratulations on his success and wish him well.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as recognizing Mr. Mark A. Cleveland on being honored with the 2014 NEXT Award as Entrepreneur of the Year.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Council Office is directed to prepare a copy of this Resolution to be presented to Mr. Mark A. Cleveland.

Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Tony Tenpenny, Duane Dominy, Erica Gilmore


Referred to: Rules & Confirmations Committee
Introduced: June 2, 2015
Adopted: June 2, 2015
Approved: June 6, 2015
By: Mayor's signature

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