SSOE adds jobs, boosts revenues in Toledo

GIVEN the economic hailstorm pounding down on U.S. business, Tony Damon ought to be one frazzled CEO.

The automotive sector, for which his SSOE Inc. designs factories, is in free fall.

Major retail chains, another important source of revenues for the architectural/engineering firm in downtown Toledo, have scaled back store construction.

And as hopes for corn-based ethanol and other gasoline alternatives have faded, a plant construction boom in which SSOE participated has gone bust.

Mr. Damon, 56, admits that recent developments have caused him anxiety. But he is anything but frazzled.

"We're confident going into 2009," he said, seated at a granite-topped conference table in his stark white office on Madison Avenue. "We have a great backlog of work."

SSOE is one of downtown's quiet success stories.

As Fortune 500 firms have cut back or pulled up stakes, SSOE has bumped up its employment in Toledo's city center to 500 people making an average of $60,000 a year.

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