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March 1, 2005

4 Min Read
Editorial: Eggs to Omelets

MSnyder.jpgThe crew is running for the exits. Mike Raftus has retired from Canon Communications, parent of PM&A. Robert Schad is retiring from Husky?s day-to day activities, and John Galt is taking over. Don Duncan is retiring as CEO of SPI, and Bill Carteaux steps in.

Mike Raftus, 65, has been in the advertising-sales side of plastics publishing for some 30 years. I?ve known him for more than 20 of those years. Mike?s most recent title for this magazine was ?Associate Publisher Sales /International Director.? Mike was very successful, and he will be missed.

Mike is a man of many interests, but family always came first. A devoted father, he and his wife Maggie raised three daughters to adulthood, and Mike and Maggie are now grandparents. (In fact, everyone mentioned in this essay is married and has had children, presumably giving them plenty of work at home as well as work at work.)

Speaking of family?it?s been said before, but it?s still true?the crew at Canon that included Mike has been a second family to many of us.

Mike?s other interests include international travel and aviation, particularly military aircraft of the WWI and WWII eras. Over the years it has been my pleasure to travel with Mike, internationally and stateside as well. Mike can retire if he must, and we wish him well, but the rest of us are going into denial. Mike?s departure can?t quite be true. The plastics industry never lets anybody out scott-free anyway. It has a way of drawing people back in. Mark my words. The retirees will be seen in the industry again, in one role or another. The only way you get out of this industry is to die, and I?m not so sure of that.

Robert Schad, 76, head of Husky Injection Molding Systems (Bolton, ON) has announced his retirement plans. Schad says he will soon step down as president and CEO, but will remain as a member of the board of directors.

Schad founded the company in a Toronto garage more than 50 years ago. The official publicity release tells a Canadian version of the standard American Horatio Alger story?rags to riches. Born in Germany, Mr. Schad arrived in Canada in the early 1950s with $25 in his pocket and a letter of reference from family friend Albert Einstein. Today the company is a US$774 million business with customers in more than 100 countries.

John Galt, 44, has been designated as Robert Schad?s successor as president and CEO. Mr. Galt joined Husky after receiving a Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering from Ryerson Polytechnical in Toronto 1985. Since joining Husky, Mr. Galt has held positions in engineering, manufacturing, and customer service.

It would have been reasonable to expect that Mr. Schad would name a family member as his successor, but he has vigorously rejected that idea. In any case, none of Mr. Schad?s four children are closely involved with the company at this point. Mr. Galt no longer has close family ties. He was formerly married to Mr. Schad?s daughter, but he is since remarried, and lives with his wife and two children in the Toronto area.

Donald K. Duncan, 63, is retiring as president of SPI. Mr. Duncan began his service in February of 2000. Previously, Mr. Duncan was president and CEO of DuPont Dow Elastomers, LLC. Mr. Duncan spent 34 years with the DuPont parent company, where he was general managing director of DuPont?s Elastomers Strategic Business Unit.

William Carteaux, 45, resigned from Demag Plastics Group and took over as CEO of SPI on March 1. This should be good news for the machinery side of the business. Certainly neither of Carteaux?s predecessors had an insider?s view of the machinery business to the extent that Carteaux does. Don Duncan was a chemical engineer by training, and Larry Thomas was a lawyer. ?During his time at Demag, Carteaux oversaw a number of changes and improvements? goes the official version. In translation, that means that Carteaux was quite willing to break eggs to make omelets. The same applies to Galt.

Sometimes it has to be done. However, instead of omelets one might get just scrambled eggs. Worse yet, the outcome could be a mess of broken eggs.

Still, in today?s business environment, you sometimes have to make drastic moves to remain competitive. We wish Galt and Carteaux well in their efforts to get constructive results.



Snyder-Signature.jpg
Merle R. Snyder
Editor

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