The Gray file Featured

8:00pm EDT July 27, 2006
Born: Tuscarawas County

Education:
Bachelor of science degree, Kent State University; MBA, Ashland University

First job:
I started right out of college at Lauren Manufacturing. I was actually working as a sales engineer in a new product line that we were developing.

What is the biggest business challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest business challenge was starting Edgetech. We basically started that business from a concept and grew it into what it is today.

There are just so many challenges and opportunities in that entire process. The overriding challenge was building something from a concept to a viable business. Start-ups are not easy. It’s difficult and painstaking work.

What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
Ninety-nine plus percent of your people that work in your business come to work every day wanting to do a good job. If they’re not doing a good job, there’s probably something in the management process or in the process itself that needs to be corrected.

It’s not the people. The people want to be valuable. They want to leave at the end of the day feeling as though they are successfully participating in the business.

Whom do you admire most in business and why?
My admiration for Mr. (Dale Lauren) Foland is probably second to none. As the founder of the business, his ability to give so much to everybody, his ability to not micromanage, his ability to allow others to make mistake after mistake when he was the one at the end of the day [who] was the loser of the dollars that went behind many of those decisions.

For him to be so supportive and continue to build a strong team and continue to allow people to make mistakes and grow has been phenomenal.