Seizing opportunities

Industrial Manufacturing

When William J. Centa and J.D. Sullivan Jr., along with a group of investors, purchased Mayfran Holdings Inc. from a British conglomerate in 2004, they invested a significant portion of their personal net worth into the company.

As they began leading the company — which provides engineered solutions for scrap and coolant management and material handling — they initially added key people and refocused efforts to improve organizational effectiveness and increase manufacturing efficiency. They also refocused efforts on increasing engineering standardization and expanded customer relationships and on broadening international cooperation.

But good times don’t last forever. Centa, Mayfran’s president, and Sullivan, its chairman and CEO, witnessed some of the toughest economic times of the company’s 77-year existence in 2009, but it has emerged stronger and leaner and ready to enter a new phase of growth. Mayfran’s products remain in demand in part due to the increased demand for gas and oil, as well as the high price for reclaimed metal. Although Mayfran is based in Cleveland, Centa and Sullivan see it as an international business, and it has offices on three continents. Conditions are right for the company to flourish and expand geographically into emerging markets including Mexico, Eastern Europe, China and India. It also plans to leverage its expertise in the European filtration market to expand that market in North America and Asia, and it is exploring possible increased market share opportunities with existing customers.

Sullivan and Centa are also dedicated to improving the corporate culture, no easy task when conducting business in nine or more languages on six continents, but they believe that the cultural improvements have helped the company succeed.

Involvement in the local community is also important to them. Centa supports the Juvenile Diabetes Association, the Kidney Foundation and United Ways of Cleveland and Lake County.

Sullivan is a trustee of Cleveland Scholarship Programs, University School and the Cleveland Art Association.

Both in the business and in the community, Centa and Sullivan have proven themselves as true leaders.

How to reach: Mayfran Holdings Inc., (440) 451-4100 or