PAULDING – Three Paulding High School graduates will be inducted into the Academic Hall of Fame in May.

During the commencement exercise on Sunday, May 27, the latest hall of fame class naming Kenneth Manz (Class of 1969), Dr. Thomas Manz (Class of 1990) and Brian Gorrell (Class of 1994) to the distinguished list will be inducted. The commencement will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the high school gymnasium.

Kenneth W. Manz

Class of 1969

After graduating with distinction (3.76 GPA) from Purdue University as a mechanical engineer in 1973, Ken moved back to Paulding. Except for his college years, he has lived in Jackson Township all his life. Ken worked for eight years in New Haven, 15 years in Montpelier and 20 years in the family business in Jackson Township. He had two careers. The first 23 years as an engineer was highlighted by developing a test to improve truck radiators and developing refrigerant recovery and recycling equipment to protect the Earth’s ozone layer. The last 20 years, he was an entrepreneur starting InSource Technologies Inc. He retired from his full-time job as president and CEO of InSource on Dec. 31, 2016 and continues to work there part-time and serve as board chairman.


• International Harvester Motor Truck Engineering (1973 to 1981) at New Haven. Ken discovered that serious flaws in truck radiators were caused by thermal cycling (temperature changes). He developed a lab test to duplicate the failures and used the lab test set-up to work with radiator manufacturers to greatly improve radiator designs.

• Robinair Division, SPX Corp (1982 to 1996) at Montpelier. Ken became a world-wide expert in refrigerant recovery and recycling equipment for reusing refrigerants in vehicle and stationary air-conditioners. Previously, the refrigerants were blown to the atmosphere which damaged the ozone layer. He was named on 39 US patents. Under his technical leadership, the Robinair brand became the world leader in this type of equipment and remains so 29 years later. He worked with professional societies and manufacturing groups as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to write standards for equipment and recycled refrigerant purity. Ken earned an EPA Ozone Protection Award in 1993. Ken authored the book The Challenge of Recycling Refrigerants published by Business News Publishing (1995) for use by engineers and trade schools.


• InSource Technologies Inc. (1997 to 2016). Ken worked with family and friends to start a company one-half mile from his boyhood home and one mile from where he and his wife Gwen raised their family. The company started designing and building electronic products for Robinair. Soon it branched out to refrigeration products and wire harnesses and cables. After three to four years, the company began serving other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) by engineering and building their products and sub-assemblies to their specifications. Approximately 200 employees work at one location five miles east of Paulding. InSource builds products that get shipped throughout the USA as well as to Japan, Germany, Italy, Canada and China. Insource staff handle all functions of a design and build company and 40% of the office workers are engineers. InSource seeks to attract locally grown talent that can remain in the area and pursue a challenging career.

InSource builds products for Precision Planting used by Paulding County farmers on their planters and in their combines. They also build the wire harnesses and cables for Braun ambulances.

Ken learned to work growing up on a 56-acre farm in Jackson Township with his six brothers and seven sisters. His father, Elias, was a postal worker ending up as Paulding postmaster. His mother, Evelyn (Sauder), was a loving stay-at-home mom. He had excellent teachers at Paulding including his first grade teacher Mrs. Beltz and his high school math teacher Mr. Forrest Albert. He married a church girl, Gwen Steiner from Iowa, 43 years ago and they raised five sons and five daughters. The sons, along with three brothers and other family members, are an integral part of InSource. The daughters all have worked at InSource, but have married and moved away or chosen other careers. Ken recognizes he is not a self-made man. He thanks God and Jesus Christ his Savior for everything he has and is. He appreciates all who have shaped and cooperated in his life to prop him up and have made him what he seemed to be.

Ken is pleased to be inducted along with his next-farm neighbor and cousin Tom Manz, and with Brian Gorrell, the son of his lifetime friends and auctioneer mentor Larry and Sherry.

Dr. Thomas Manz

Class of 1990

Tom Manz graduated from Paulding High School in 1990. During High School, he participated in and won awards in the Chemistry Olympiad, math contests, and some other science-related contests.

After high school, he studied at the University of Toledo and graduated with a bachelor of science in chemical engineering in 1994. He attended graduate school at Purdue University and graduated with a master of science in chemical engineering in 1998 and a doctor of philosophy in 2009. His Ph.D. dissertation was on the computational modeling of olefin polymerization by zirconium and hafnium organometallic catalysts. His master’s thesis was supervised by Professor Nick Delgass. His Ph.D. dissertation was supervised by Professors Jim Caruthers and Kendall Thomson.

From 2008 to 2012, he was a research scientist (post-doc) at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he studied computational chemistry in the research group of Professor David Sholl in the school of chemical and biomolecular engineering. From 2013, Professor Sholl is now the chair of that department.

Since 2012, he is working as an assistant professor in chemical engineering at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M. He currently teaches classes and supervises an active research group in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at NMSU. His research group develops and applies computational chemistry methods to study materials. In 2016, he received a five-year career award grant from the National Science Foundation to fund his research program. To date, his research group has graduated two Ph.D. students and two master’s students. He is the author or co-author of a couple dozen peer-reviewed journal articles.

He is the son of Ben and Carolyn Manz of Paulding. His parents taught him a strong work ethic, to treat others fairly, and to always search for truth. Tom’s parents, middle and high school teachers, and college professors had a large influence on his education and career. His middle and high school teachers did an excellent job of teaching fundamentals while also providing a nurturing environment to stimulate a curious mind. At Paulding High School, he received a tremendous education in science and math that had a profound influence on his later career. He thanks all of his teachers. He especially acknowledges Dwight Kurtzman, who taught him chemistry and physics, is both a friend and mentor, and with whom he spent a couple summers painting houses.

Brian S. Gorrell

Class of 1994

Brian Gorrell graduated from Paulding High School in 1994. He received a bachelor of business administration in Accounting in 1997 from the University of Toledo, graduating summa cum laude and salutatorian of the College of Business. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Toledo, College of Law in 2002 with a Juris Doctor degree, and he was awarded membership into the law honor society, the Order of the Coif. Brian received awards in law school for being the highest ranking student in a number of classes, including legal research and writing; federal income tax; estate and gift tax; debtor-creditor law; and legislative process and drafting. Brian believes his academic experience at Paulding High School provided a solid foundation for his educational endeavors and specifically prepared him for his college experiences.

While in law school, Brian worked for Gilmore, Jasion & Mahler Ltd. in Toledo as a senior consultant/accountant. After graduation, he returned to his hometown to practice law and is currently a member/owner of Cook & Gorrell Ltd. in Paulding. Brian’s practice area focuses primarily on real estate, probate and estate planning, tax, and business law. Brian also serves as Director and Legal Counsel for the Paulding County Child Support Enforcement Agency and was previously an assistant prosecuting attorney.

Brian is admitted to practice in the United States District Court – Northern District of Ohio. He is also a licensed real estate salesperson (completing sales pre-licensing classes from Hondros College while in high school), licensed auctioneer (graduate of the Missouri Auction School), and title insurance agent. He is a member of the Paulding County Bar Association (secretary/treasurer and past president), Ohio State Bar Association, Northwest Ohio Bar Grievance Committee, Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, American Bar Association, American Society of Attorney-CPAs, Kiwanis Club of Paulding (past president), Paulding Entrepreneurial Network, and Ohio Land Title Association.

Brian is a member of the Defiance Church of the Nazarene and serves in various capacities at the church. He has coached youth baseball, basketball, and soccer in the Paulding community. Brian has provided pro bono legal services to a number of different organizations, charities, and churches in the Paulding area and has given presentations to different nonprofit groups and organizations in the community.

Above his academic and professional accomplishments, Brian is proud of his family. He and his wife Terra (Retcher) of 20 years were both born and raised in Paulding County and are both graduates of Paulding High School. Their two children, Brianna and Zachary, are currently students in the PEVS school system. Brian is the son of Larry and Sherry Gorrell and the grandson of Clifford and Reba Gorrell and Wayne and Ivah Lothamer.