Experience Speaks: Janet Steiner

President of Thoro Packaging

Recommending | Good to Great by Jim Collins

Personal Motto | If you don't make dust…you eat dust.

How did you get into the converting business? My dad, Macy Dabek, invited me into Thoro Packaging when he became ill in 1982. The board of directors elected me president/CEO to continue my father's vision of quality and customer satisfaction.

How would you describe your management style? I am very passionate about my company and the folding carton industry.

How have management styles changed? My dad ran a very autocratic company. I work with teams and have an open-door policy.

What is your key to retaining good employees? Thoro Packaging is a team. We offer many programs including bonuses for all employees based on safey, quality, and profitability. Thoro also has a strong program of progression within our organization. Many entry-level employees are now in key roles.

What is the key to growing a business in a bad economy? Get referrals from existing customers; look for new customers in your key markets; and keep an open line of communication with your employees, i.e., monthly plant meetings. Focusing on our existing customers is our number one priority.

What is the biggest threat to the converting industry right now? Complacency.

How do you handle a difficult customer? Communicate early and often, look at the situation from the customer's viewpoint, and leave the door open for more conversations.

What is the biggest mistake you made and how did you fix it? Hiring a consulting firm without first discussing it with my board of directors was a big mistake, but we have worked through it.

What do you enjoy most about your job? I enjoy the variety. One thing my dad said: “This business is not boring.”

What do you enjoy least about your job? I least enjoy having to terminate an employee.

Who is your personal hero and why? My personal hero is Jacqueline Kennedy, because of her grace, class, and style, and her commitment to her children.

What are you most proud of in your business? Because of my dad, I was given an opportunity. I truly love this business, and now my son is strongly involved in Thoro.

What does ThoroPackaging do for customers that makes them want to come back to enjoy the experience of doing business with you again and again? We provide our customers with exemplary customer service, on-time delivery, and a willingness to assist them with their folding carton challenges by offering options and improvements to make sure they have the ideal folding cartons to meet their needs.

Thoro Packaging

1467 Davril Circle, Corona, CA 92880

www.thoropkg.com

Founded 1968; 1 plant; 100 employees

Specialty | Printed folding cartons

What qualities do you think a successful leader needs? Share your perspective. Write to yolanda.simonsis@penton.com.


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