Ask gastroenterologist Nicholas Jarmoszuk Sr. if he imagined that one day he’d be co-owner with his wife Diane of Skylift Inc., a company heralded as a leading provider of easement specialty equipment, and he responds with a laugh.
“I had a relative in that profession, and we decided to do something together,” he says. “It led to this path.”
The road to Lorain, Ohio, was a long and winding one for Jarmoszuk, who was born in Innsbruck, Austria, and lived with his family in Salzburg for three years. In 1950, the Jarmoszuks immigrated to the United States aboard the army transport ship USS Black Forge, when their son was 4.
“My parents applied for a visa to come here because they didn’t want to live with communism,” he says.
They traveled by train from Ellis Island to Kinston, North Carolina, where his father, an engineer, found work in the tobacco fields. After spending time in Pennsylvania, the family relocated to Passaic, New Jersey. Jarmoszuk’s stellar academic record landed him a full-tuition scholarship at Don Bosco Prep High School, a college preparatory school for Polish boys, followed by a fellowship to Seton Hall University. He earned his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
“I knew I wanted to be a doctor since I was 5 years old,” Jarmoszuk says. “My mom revered our family doctor, and the profession intrigued me.”
Throughout his educational experience Jarmoszuk never lost touch with the woman he met in Passaic who would become his wife. When World War II began, the Russians entered Poland, rounded up Diane’s family and put them on a train to Siberia. After several years, Diane’s father, a member of the Polish Resistance, was able to secure passage to India for the family. Before ultimately moving to New Jersey, they spent time in Penley, England, where Diane was born.
“Nobody spoke English there, so when Diane came to the United States at age 5, she didn’t speak one word of it,” her husband recalls.
The couple married in 1970, and are parents of three children. Sonja, 48, is a pediatric dentist; Nicholas Jr., 45, is Skylift’s chief financial officer; and Andrew, 36, is head of sales at Skylift. The family moved to Ohio in 1979, when Jarmoszuk accepted a position as gastroenterologist at Lorain Community Hospital (now Mercy Health–Lorain Hospital). He retired in 2019.
The idea for Skylift was born at 3 p.m. on Easter Sunday 2000.
“We were wrapping up brunch, and our family started talking about it. I came up with the name. Why do we call it Skylift? Because we make lifts and the sky’s the limit. We made our first machine in a 2,500-square-foot building, and we’ve grown to 18 acres with room to expand.”
The company employs a staff of 90. Equipment is designed by in-house engineers who use 100% American steel.
Jarmoszuk is proud of the fact that Skylift is recognized as a state-of-the-art leader in manufacturing machines used for a variety of tasks, including utility poll installations, extractions and maintenance, transformer maintenance, tree trimming and storm response efforts to restore power throughout the united states.
“We are,” he says, “the Cadillac of the industry.”
That gratification extends to where he makes his home and does business.
“I spent most of my career practicing medicine in Lorain. There was no way I was going to leave,” Jarmoszuk says.