NEO Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Distribution and Manufacturing
owner and president
HB Chemical Corp.
HB Chemical Corp. started as a distributor of carbon black in 1986 and has since expanded its product line offering to more than 300 under Jeffery Rand’s vision and leadership. Rand joined HB Chemical in 1998 as a sales rep after working for a competing chemical distributor. The founder of HB Chemical, Hill Browning, was looking for assistance to successfully grow the business, as well as a successor.
Rand soon became minority shareholder and by 2006 had assumed the role of president. In November 2009, he purchased the company from the retiring owner during one of the most difficult economic periods.
The company’s solid performance in times of economic uncertainty has helped to strengthen HB Chemical’s relationship with its bank and has allowed the company to continue to expand both physically as well as economically where others ceased operations.
Rand is committed to finding ways to improve the distribution process through privately owned warehousing capabilities. With a privately owned warehouse, HB Chemical can serve a wide variety of customer sizes and fulfill orders from entire containers and pallets of product to five gallons of product. This would not be possible in large public warehouses.
This capability along with fulfilling same-day orders with no upcharge and no price gouging of customers during times of rising prices has differentiated HB Chemical from competitors.
Rand also strives to look for ways to improve HB Chemical’s global footprint as evidenced by the decision to move into Mexico. He believes the most likely expansion strategy will be to look for financial partners in international companies who don’t currently have North American distribution capabilities.
Today, HB Chemical is a clear reflection of Rand’s vision. Its distribution strategy with the use of private warehousing has resulted in a 60 percent increase in sales in the last two years with a corresponding increase in net income of 190 percent.
How to reach: HB Chemical Corp., www.hbchemical.com