WINNER: Industrial and Engineered Products and Materials
Theodore Zampetis is no stranger to taking on entrepreneurial ventures in the face of hardship. At age 7, he sold bagels before school for the equivalent of a penny to help support his family on the small island off of Greece where he grew up.
Today, he is president and CEO of Shiloh Industries Inc., a manufacturer of engineered metal products and a leading supplier to the automotive industry. He was asked to step into leadership of the company in the face of bankruptcy. Up for the challenge, the former board member refused to take a salary for three years and invested his own family finances to acquire shares of common stock to become a significant shareholder.
Dedicated to turning the company around despite the hurdles, Zampetis personally funded a 30-day trip to all of Shiloh’s locations to interview key stakeholders and identify the company’s problems. He then immediately set about implementing plans to cut costs and improve productivity.
He also handled a potentially devastating situation by creating an innovative finance structure, often attributed with saving the company. When a contract with a large customer was negotiated without his knowledge — and without the means to finance the capital requirements necessary to complete the contract — Zampetis flew to the customer’s headquarters to negotiate for capital to help Shiloh acquire the necessary equipment, as well as additional progress payments to aid the company’s capital expansion.
Zampetis’ initiative and drive to overcome adversity has served him and Shiloh well. He quickly saved the organization from bankruptcy and increased the worth of its shares, and has ensured its continued growth in revenue, staff size and its product line.
How to reach: Shiloh Industries Inc., www.shiloh.com.