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Executives from Unicarriers Americas, a top Illinois-based forklift manufacturer, have announced a historic partnership with Chicago’s Roosevelt University.
UniCarrier, which is based in downstate Marengo, is run by a pair of Roosevelt graduates. Both UniCarrier president James J. Radous III and sales and marketing vice president Steve Cianci earned their Masters in Business Administration from the school’s Heller College of Business.
Getting Involved in Academics
As part of the partnership, executives from UniCarrier will mentor business students, as well as serve on the Heller College of Business advisory board. They also will participate in the Heller Business Forum lecture series and participate in business classes at the school’s campuses in Chicago and suburban Schaumburg, according to a UniCarrier news release announcing the partnership.
Radous said the ties between UniCarrier and the university already are strong, but that this new partnership reinforces them.
“UCA is proud to employ several Roosevelt graduates besides myself and we’re excited to be able to give back some of our time and talents to help shape the next generation of Roosevelt graduates,” Radous said. “Besides making the most reliable lift trucks, UCA aims to be a reliable member of the community. This is one more way that we are accomplishing that.”
Factory Tour Leads to Partnership
Plans for the partnership apparently were hatched when the dean of Roosevelt’s business school, Dr. Joseph Chan, met with UniCarrier’s development director, Juliana Nelligan, at the company’s Marengo factory on February 8. During that meeting, Nelligan showed Chan how the company’s forklifts were designed and built.
Chan said that meeting led to discussions about further ties between the school and the company.
“Julie and I sincerely thank Jim and the entire UniCarriers team for the warm welcome we received and the time spent learning about forklift manufacturing,” Chans said. “We look forward to working with these Roosevelt alumni, who are successful members of our area business community.”
Roosevelt has about 5,700 students spread between its two campuses. Besides business, it has academic programs in the arts and sciences, performing arts, education, and pharmacology.
Radous was appointed president of UniCarriers in January 2016. The company’s Marengo facility is headquarters for its North and South American operations and employs more than 350 workers.
Radous joined UniCarriers — formerly Nissan Forklift, North America — in 2009 as vice president of sales and marketing operations and has served as executive vice president of sales, Americas since 2013. He was the first to hold the role of executive vice president of sales, where he led revenue generation in the areas of business development and aftermarket, growing the company to a top-tier supplier of material handling equipment and increasing the company’s presence in the growing South American materials handling equipment market.