- May 01, 2010
CEO of Celplast Metallized Products
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- How did you get into the converting business?
Graduating in 1966 with a chemistry degree and an MBA, I wanted to make my mark in a fast-growing industry — plastics. I joined Celanese Plastic in film sales. I left to start Celplast as a distribution company with the idea of manufacturing when the right opportunity came about. Hostess Frito Lay going from glassine to metallized OPP was the opportunity.
- How do you describe your management style?
Empowering all and expecting everyone to be accountable.
- What keeps you up at night with regard to your business?
The concern that my customer's customer will not make it and take my customer down with him, leaving me with a horrendous bad debt. My solution to getting a good night's sleep? We now insure our receivables.
- Any hobbies?
I like to try almost everything at least once, which has led me to cross country ski marathons, summiting Kilimanjaro, rappelling, gliding, horseback riding in the bush, and scuba diving. My main interests are sailing, traveling, and grandfathering.
- What is the best advice you ever got?
To take the risk to become an entrepreneur.
- Who is your personal hero?
Like many people, it was my Dad. The son of a lumberjack in the Upper Peninsula, he went through school on scholarships earning two PhDs before starting work with Bell Labs on the Manhattan Project. Through a variety of R&D and manufacturing positions at Sylvania and JT Baker and being a single parent, he retired from PPG as head of the Coatings and Resins operations. This is a true testament to the results of hard work.
- What is the biggest threat to the converting industry right now?
There are a lot of perceived threats, depending on who you talk to, from global competition, environmental regulation, etc., but really these are simply demands for change and represent opportunities if we wish to take advantage of them.
- What is the key to growing a business in a bad economy?
Bad economies are opportunities. They force us to look deeper into what we do and eliminate waste. Then reinvest these savings into sales, marketing, and inventory and product development to ensure we do things better than anyone else.
- How do you retain good employees?
We treat everyone with respect and have profit sharing at all levels. Ongoing personal and professional development are essential to our culture of continuous improvement. Our education policy includes spousal funding and scholarships for employees' children.
- What is your motto?
Nothing is impossible; it can be done, and if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
About Celplast Metallized Products
67 Commander Blvd., Unit 4, Toronto, ON M1S 3M7 Canada; 800-866-0059
Founded 1983; 1 plant; 53 employees
Specialty | Vacuum metallizing plastic films
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