WHO WE ARE
It is no wonder we are passionate about innovating fascinating older spaces to become great new businesses.
We recognize character in the past. We build upon that character to make stronger futures for all of our enterprises and their communities.
The Cene [pronounced seen] family’s entrepreneurial spirit began long before we came up with the name Renaissance 2000 in 1987.
The family has owned and operated thriving aluminum extrusion manufacturing firms in greater Youngstown since the 1930s.
Longtime owner and president of Astro Shapes LLC, Bob Cene, Sr., was known for his great love for baseball and helping young players to pursue their dreams. In 1994, with the help of his architect son Bob Cene, Jr., he built a baseball complex on the grounds of an old coke manufacturing location, essential in the steelmaking process.
Nearly 25 years later, Bob Cene Park is home for many high school and college programs in the area, but also summer and fall leagues for 15 & 16-year olds that would feed players into a more challenging Class B baseball league.
Bob Cene, Jr. remembers his father’s words:
“Give our youth a bat, a ball, and a place to play and they will never go astray.”
Bob Cene, Sr. died in 1999, having seen this dream come true – a dream that helps young athletes become dedicated, disciplined ballplayers whose skills even take some of them to college and beyond. They gave new life to old industrial space. Where blast furnaces once roared, now you will hear the roar of cheering crowds and the crack of bats.
Repurposing old space for new opportunities…that’s the mission of Renaissance 2000.
Renaissance 2000 was founded in 1987 by Bob Cene, Jr. and his son, Ryan Cene.
We are inspired by the classic Renaissance man – the person whose passions cover many subjects. We enjoy architecture. We are committed to community. We seek out new business opportunities. And we want to combine them in every opportunity.
Renaissance 2000 looks for rich, historic places that are brimming with story. Upon that backdrop, using all of our architectural and entrepreneurial imagination, we build tomorrow’s success stories that enrich communities.
Our newest enterprise
We relished the idea of renovating the historic L.N. Gross Building in Kent, Ohio. Then we discovered that Kent’s water was named “Best Tasting Municipality Water” in 1995 at the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting and was in the top five six more times. So we are developing a unique bottled water business that will call the L.N. Gross building its home – combining our passion for preserving the past and building the future.
Using one part savvy, one part serendipity…we are always on the lookout for fascinating projects that become wholly new enterprises for Renaissance 2000.
Bob Cene, Jr.
President | Architect
He wanted to be an architect all his life. From assembling model cars and trucks, to using his uncle’s tools and refinishing the basement for his mother’s in-house beauty shop. Bob Cene, Jr., studied Architecture at Kent State University, dedicated himself to architecture and later established the Cene Program in Architecture at Kent State University, offering NAAB-accredited degrees in architecture, scholarships and the opportunity to study abroad.
Vice President | Business Development
He grew up at working at his grandfather’s side at Bob Cene Park. He learned the value of hard work and treasures the memories of traveling to Mexico with his grandfather to watch the family’s sponsored team compete internationally. Ryan also worked in the family’s aluminum extrusion business from his early years. Rotating through various manufacturing positions, he gained a thorough knowledge of the entire process and learned how to run a business. Applying his financial skills, he ended his time at Astro Shapes coordinating pricing and profitability analysis. Ryan Cene studied Finance and Entrepreneurial Business at Duquesne University, and now also serves as the Executive Director of Youngstown Class B Baseball and Bob Cene Park.
After earning a degree in Chemical Engineering at Youngstown State University, Kait worked in manufacturing for Youngstown Pipe & Steel, LLC. She brings her talent to Renaissance 2000 as a professional steeped both in science and marketing with retail experience. This unique combination of expertise is perfect for our vision of finding unique opportunities in architecture and entrepreneurship.