Todd D. Olson, 2022 Honored Alumnus

Local businessman and community advocate, Todd D. Olson, Salem High School Class of 1981, has been selected by the Salem High School Alumni Association as the 2022 Honored Alumnus.

Todd has a long list of impressive accomplishments. Growing up in Salem, he was actively involved in the Boy Scouts of America and eventually earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He was the SHS Class of 1981 valedictorian and achieved a Presidential nomination to attend the prestigious United States Naval Academy where he graduated with distinction as a member of the Top Ten in his class.

Todd attended the US Navy’s Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Florida, and was assigned to the US Navy destroyer USS John Rodgers (DD-983) as the Communications Officer from 1986 to 1988. He then transferred to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and was assigned to the Reactor Department. When Todd decided to move into the private sector, he was honorably discharged and received numerous personal awards (medals) and various deployment citations.

Todd and his wife Julie moved to Pittsburgh, PA, and Todd attended Carnegie Mellon University where he graduated once again with distinction with a Master of Science in Industrial Administration. He moved to Washington, DC, after accepting a job with MCI, the second-largest long-distance telecommunications company in the United States. MCI was instrumental in legal and regulatory changes that led to the breakup of the monopoly of the AT&T Corporation. Todd was a key strategic player in the top levels of senior management at the company and was responsible for developing corporate strategies involving key merger and acquisition plans for MCI and the entire telecommunications industry.

In 1996, Todd moved back to Northeast Ohio to assist his father, Don Olson, in managing the family business, BOC Water Hydraulics. He spent eight years as the vice president of BOC, and he officially became the president and owner in 2005. Todd had the dedication and ambition to fulfill the vision of his father who started BOC Water Hydraulics in an office above a pharmacy in Salem. He has helped build the business to the current location at the corner of State Route 45 and State Route 165. Todd forged ahead and made BOC Water Hydraulics the industry leader for descale valves, decoking valves, mill cylinder repairs, and the highest quality engineering designs for a variety of hydraulic and pneumatic systems. He expanded operations and now has over 37,000 square feet of manufacturing space and a fully functioning production and machine shop on-site that includes 15 CNC machines and multiple 10 ton and above cranes. Todd’s hiring philosophy of “find the best talent in this area, and they will beat the rest” has always paid off. Todd consistently has hired Salem High School graduates because he knows Salem and believes in the people of Salem.

That belief in community has made Todd a passionate advocate for “all things Salem.” He has supported the technical trades at Salem Senior High School by consistently donating time and funding to upgrade the facilities and by hiring graduates from Salem at BOC Water Hydraulics. He has been an avid supporter of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and has volunteered his time by serving on several boards of organizations throughout the community, including the Sustainable Opportunity Development Center, the Salem Regional Medical Center, and the Salem High School Alumni Association where he successfully assisted with the building renovation that was completed in 2020.

“We are very excited to honor Todd Olson during this year’s SHSAA Scholarship Award Ceremony as he exemplifies the ideal candidate for the Honored Alumnus recognition,” said Frank Zamarelli, SHS Class of 1982 and SHSAA president. “He is a humble and dedicated member of the Salem community, and we recognize him for his service in the military and as a well-respected businessman.”

Todd and his wife Julie currently live in Lake Milton and have two adult children, Stephen, 27, and Rachel, 29.