George Madras Inducted 1993 - Class of 1947
One of George's regrets about his high school years at Woodward was his inability to fully participate in the school sports he loved. During George's days at Woodward, his after-school time was filled with working on his parent's small farm and several others in the area.
Located at 1917 East Manhattan Boulevard, the farmhouse, sans indoor plumbing, was surrounded by 10 acres of land. The Madras Family farmed the land, raising produce and farm animals.
George, however, did not let his hectic after-school schedule squelch his love of sports; he simply participated in independent teams. For several years, George played football for the North Toledo Merchants and Federation basketball.
After his 1947 graduation, George worked several positions in local industries. Looking for his niche, George decided to become a carpenter. He took a job with a local builder, who was involved
in the construction of new homes and commercial buildings. His brother, Michael, also worked for the same firm.
Wanting to be their own bosses, the brothers went out on their own and started a partnership called Madras Brothers in 1950. They built many homes and commercial buildings in northwest Ohio and southern Michigan, including a sub-division in the latter.
After a decade, the Madras brothers decided to put their efforts toward other types of construction. In 1960, they saw a future in the swimming pool industry and dove in! With George's wife, Carol, they formed Imperial Pools and Supply, Inc.
Brother Michael decided to "get out of the pool," retiring in1982. Since then, George runs both locations of this second generation family business with his wife, their daughter, Linda, and her husband, Tom Gorey.
George has parlayed his entrepreneurial acumen to additional business ventures. In 1964, he and Carol formed a limited partnership called Madras Associates to construct a commercial building on Alexis Road to accommodate Imperial Pools and several other businesses. Other real estate and investments were added. Today, the operation is still active.
During 1976, the couple developed a second limited partnership called Madras Investments Company. Beginning with the construction of a rental building for a fast food operation, several other parcels of real estate have been added. His daughter's family shares partnership in this venture.
Illustrating that his business propositions aren't just "all in the family," George formed a corporation in 1977 with William B. Szabo. Szabo/Madras, Inc. develops land in Oregon, Ohio, for home construction. In 1990, George and Szabo's son, William P., formed a partnership called 445 Earlwood Co., a commercial rental enterprise located in Oregon.
A la Michael Dukakis, George attributes his success and motivation to his immigrant parents, Nicholas and Josephine, and to his wife and fellow business maven, Carol, his best friend for 41 years.
Bill Prebe, fellow Hall of Fame recipient who nominated George, said, "Many young people leave Woodward just as George did-ready to go to work to make something of themselves. George represents what an individual of average circumstances can achieve by sheer determination and hard work.