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Tuscarawas News Detail

André Thornton to Speak at Kent State Tuscarawas

Posted Mar. 11, 2011

André Thornton, Cleveland baseball legend and president and CEO of ASW Global, will be the featured speaker at Kent State University at Tuscarawas on April 5 at 7 p.m. in Founders Hall auditorium. Sponsored by the Voices of Distinction Series, Thornton will speak on entrepreneurship and diversity.

Although admission to the presentation is free, tickets are required and will be available while supplies lastat the main office in Founders Hall beginning March 29.

Thornton is president and CEO of ASW Global, a supply chain management company based in Mogadore, Ohio. Nicknamed "Thunder" Thornton, he also is a Cleveland baseball legend who played professional baseball for 21 years. He also serves as a President's Ambassador for Kent State University.

Thornton has more than 20 years of experience in entrepreneurial ventures. Prior to ASW Global, he served as one of the principals in Apple Partners, leading a highly successful restaurant management group that was sold to Applebee's International. Thornton also founded a successful consulting and sports management company and continues to speak nationally on executive leadership, organizational change and diversity.

During his time in professional baseball, Thornton was a first baseman and had many notable achievements. In 1979, he was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award, an annual award which recognizes the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team. He spent 10 seasons with the Cleveland Indians where he was a two-time All-Star and received the coveted Silver Slugger Award in 1984. Thornton is enshrined in the Ohio Baseball Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame.

In September 2010, Thornton began his role as the first President's Ambassador for Kent State University. Working with the university's Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, he will serve as a catalyst for change, promoting pluralistic understanding and mutual respect among diverse constituencies of students, staff, faculty and administrators at the university.

A native of Tuskegee, Ala., Thornton earned his bachelor's degree from Capital University, graduating magna cum laude.  He is co-author of the book, Triumph Born of Tragedy, and was twice featured in McGraw-Hill/Irwin national educational videos for his entrepreneurial and marketing leadership success at GPI Procurement Services where he served as president and CEO.

Thornton's community involvement and engagement activities include several organizations. He currently serves on the boards of the Greater Akron Chamber, the Greater Cleveland Partnership and the Ohio Region of the International Warehouse and Logistics Association. Previously, he served on the Board of Trustees for Nyack College, the President's Council, Team NEO Advisory Board and the Governor's Workforce Policy Advisory Board. He is a member of Leadership Cleveland, graduating from the program in 1997.

A limited number of free tickets for this Voices of Distinction speaker event will be available to the public beginning March 29 at the main office in Founders Hall. Office hours are 8 a.m. to  8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. Tickets are limited to two per person.

Kent State Tuscarawas is located at 330 University DR NE, New Philadelphia.

Media Contact:

Pam Patacca, 330.308.7473,

Kent State University at Tuscarawas

March 11, 2011