Lifetime Achievement Alumni 2014 Dennis Parass

Join us as we a look back at our Lifetime Achievement Award alumni of the past 25 years. These outstanding individuals have truly left an indelible mark on Niagara and have inspired countless other entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses in Niagara.

Over the last 24 years, NEYA has inducted 33 entrepreneurs into our Hall of Fame by bestowing them with this prestigious recognition. Click here to see a complete list of our Lifetime Achievement Alumni and join us on March 1, 2019 as we bestow a new group of deserving entrepreneurs with this honour at our 25th Anniversary Awards Gala at the Fallsview Casino Resort.

Tickets for the 25th annual Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Gala to be held March 1, 2019 at the Fallsview Casino Resort are now on sale. Tickets are limited, so order early!


A professional engineer with an MBA from York University, Dennis Parass’ career in custom engineering spans more than 35 years. He brings the same philosophy to business as he does to his personal life: act with integrity and be the best you can be. As president of Handling Specialty, located in Grimsby, Parass had the opportunity to do both. The first part of his career he worked for large, international companies. He spent 14 years with a division of the US-based multi-national Ingersoll Rand, which made specialty bearings. There he worked his way to increasingly senior positions in the United States, Canada, Brazil and Europe.

Back in Canada once more, he joined Wajax UeC Ltd, a major manufacturer of vehicle-mounted equipment, as Vice-President of sales and engineering. While acknowledging that working at larger companies gave him good insight into what a company could be, Parass found his own inclinations lay more with the challenges of a smaller business. In 1983 Parass took a job with Handling Specialty in Grimsby, Ontario as Vice-President of marketing. When the founder and president retired in 1989, Parass accepted, the position of president. Outside of the office, Parass gave his time to several organizations. He has been a member of the board of Niagara Enterprise Agency, the Lift Manufacturers product section of the Material Handling Industry and the board of Young Life of Canada. He has also been a board member of Walker Industries and also sat as Chairman of Questica, Inc. In 2012 Dennis sold Handling Specialty and now splits his time between Niagara and Florida.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to enterprising entrepreneurs in our community who have significantly impacted the development of economic ventures in Niagara. Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients are individuals who have spent several decades of their lives shaping Niagara, building a legacy, and contributing positively to our community. Save the date and join us on March 1, 2019 for NEYA’s 25th Anniversary Awards Gala.