MoldMaking Technology

AUG 2018

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8 MoldMaking Technology —— AUGUST 2018 EAB Ryan Katen, MMT EAB member and General Manager at Micro Mold Co. Inc., says that every successful company will be confronted with "passing the torch" at least once and hopefully multiple times. There are different ways to go about suc- cession planning, depending on the specifics of the individuals and the company that is transitioning its leadership. I can speak to what we did to ensure a smooth transition and how it worked for us. To begin with, my father told me he had three choices: Pass the company on to his children (if they were interested and it was a fit—the preferred option), sell the company to a third party or close the company. Obviously, closing the company would have been the last resort. We took the following steps to form a solid succession plan that was based on his experi- ence and, more recently, my experience and my brother's experience. First, you must sit down with all of the shareholders and discuss what each of your individual goals are and what your vision is for the company's future. It is important to treat the discussion like you would any other issue where your goal is to devise a solution that you can all support. Every company is unique, and you will not always see eye to eye, but it is never too early to have this discussion. In our case, we discussed our plans for exiting the company someday. We also made plans for potential, unexpected departures and how the company will financially and logistically handle those events. Without those plans, an unexpected situation could cripple a company financially. Next, meet with a lawyer and an accountant. They will ensure that you consider all of the possible exit scenarios, like death, disability or retirement and whether you have children or a spouse who may wish to run the company and your employees. We have worked with most of our people for a long time and they mean a lot to us. We do not want to jeopardize their jobs by putting the company in a very dangerous situation financially. The lawyer and the accountant can create the plan based on all of this information and your cur- rent shareholder agreement. They also will call your attention to any potential issues, like tax penalties, and help you avoid them. Once the succession plan is written, make sure you understand and agree with what you are signing. If something happens, the succession plan legally dictates what will happen. Finally, recognize that a company's vision and goals change over time, as do the plans of your shareholders. We have revisited our succession plan twice since we took over our company in 2011. A good plan can help the next generation get started on the right foot. A bad one could leave it extremely vulnerable and prone to failure. Dealing With the Inevitable: Succession Planning Ryan Katen President and General Manager Micro Mold Company Inc. Erie, Pennsylvania 814-838-3404 ext. 238 EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD (EAB) The EAB enhances the standing of the publication and strengthens its professional integrity through the active involvement of its members. The Board represents all aspects of the mold manufacturing industry with a balance of moldmakers, molders, original equipment manufacturers and academia, and various moldmaking segments and job functions. A member is selected based on his or her experience and knowledge of the moldmaking industry to serve a three-year term. Kylee Carbone Director of Talent Development Westminster Tool Plainfield, Connecticut 860-564-6966, ext. 244 Will J. Cipkar Technical Sales Crest Mold Crest Thermal Technology (CTT) Division Ontario, Canada 519-737-1546, ext. 117 Andrew Garstkiewicz Senior Advanced Manufacturing Engineer GE Appliances, a Haier company Louisville, Kentucky 502-387-1259 Ryan Katen President and General Manager Micro Mold Company Inc. Erie, Pennsylvania 814-838-3404, ext. 238 Tim Krieger President Krieger Craftsmen Inc. Grand Rapids, Michigan 616-735-9200 Gabe Meldrum Plant Manager International Mold Corp. Clinton Township, Michigan 586-783-6890 Gerardo Miranda (Jerry) Global Tooling Manager Oakley Foothill Rand, California 949-900-7785 Francine Petrucci President BA Die Mold Aurora, Illinois 630-978-4747 Ryan Pohl Founder Praeco Skills LLC Grand Rapids, Michigan 616-951-2133 Rich Stueber Engineering Manager NyproMold Instructor, Lake County Community College Clinton, Massachusetts 847-855-2252

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