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W.M. Barr & Co.’s products are used in homes all across the country, but the company says it has never lost sight of the human element in its operations. “We come to work every day to take care of people, whether that's by helping our customers take moisture out of the air, make paint stick or take care of their homes,” the company says. “Our products help businesses grow, professionals get the job done and homeowners refurbish. And we’ve been doing it for over 60 years.”
One of the most influential events on Steve Clemente's style of management was not a merger, acquisition, new supervisor or similar major occurrence.
“Probably the single-biggest impact to my leadership style was when I had children,” says Clemente, president and CEO of Nebraska Book Co. (NBC). “I think that really helped me put things into perspective and balanced me as a leader, as it really helped me separate home from work – and be better in both roles.”
Lon Stam has seen a lot of changes in the crane industry since he followed his father’s footsteps into the industry in 1973. Between an increased focus on safety and technological advances in operator controls, the crane industry is a far cry from the dangerous business it was when Stam, a co-owner of Mountain Crane Service, started out.
One thing that hasn’t changed over the years, however, is the approach Stam’s company calls the “Mountain Crane law: on time, prepared, safety compliant.” Stam says this ensures Mountain Crane Service delivers quality work when customers demand it while operating safely.
John Vlay has held many positions in the nearly 30 years since he went to work for Jensen Corporate Holdings. When Vlay joined the company right out of college, Jensen was still a small landscaping company, headed by its two owners, an office manager and about a dozen men in the field. He started as an estimator and created standardized bidding procedures and processes. In 1994, he was promoted to vice president of estimating before moving up to be president of Jensen’s construction division. In 2005, he entered his current position as CEO of Jensen Corporate Holdings.
Most industrial customers tend to look for many of the same qualities in a supplier. They want a partner that can meet high standards for quality, adhere to strict design specifications, provide value and offer cost advantages. Indiana Rotomolding Inc. has found that not only does the process of rotational molding meet these requirements, but also has organized its operations to ensure customers’ needs are met with the highest-possible value.
Based in South Bend, Ind., Indiana Rotomolding has three facilities in its home state – those three are known as Elkhart Plastics – as well as Littleton Plastics in Littleton, Colo., and Portland Plastics in Ridgefield, Wash.
Charles Hardcastle has taken on a number of roles during his more than 40 years as president of Consolidated Paper Group. “We’re a small company, so I’ve had to do a little bit of everything,” says Hardcastle, who joined the Bowling Green, Ky.-based janitorial supply distribution company shortly after it was founded in 1960 by his sister Lila Greene and her husband, Edward. “I’ve done sales, been a purchasing agent, even a legal counsel.”
For nearly three decades, Acres Group has helped its clients beautify their lawns with its landscape maintenance and installation services. CEO, owner and founder Jim Schwantz notes that none of this was possible without the firm’s quality staff.
“We really are blessed,” he declares. “We count on each other and trust each other. It allows a business to continue to grow.”
The PC, high-pressure water pumps and a long-wearing tungsten carbide material are the technologies that led to OMAX Corp.’s success, but when the company got its start in the early 1990s, it was uncertain that the market would accept its new technology. OMAX’s founders wanted to use state-of-the-art technologies to make high-pressure abrasive waterjet machining practical, affordable and easy to use. Their success stems from their dedication to this objective, and their ongoing search to find ways to help customers.