Born: Morrow County, Ohio
Education: Bachelor’s degree, mechanical engineering, Purdue University
First job: Janitor
What do you like best about being a leader?
The most rewarding part of it is to watch the fruits of your effort in the growth of people and the business. You sit back and see Tom Jones’ son or daughter has gone off to college and done exceptionally well. That person has been employed for you for 20 years, and you know that the company you started provided the income for that parent so they could nurture the child and have them go off to school and accomplish things maybe they otherwise couldn’t have. That’s extremely rewarding to watch your own employees improve and grow. Does ego come in? Yes, it does, but I try not to do it for ego. When somebody tells me that their son just got a scholarship to graduate school at XYZ, it makes you feel good because, in some way, you know you contributed to that.
Mellott on leadership: Leaders are born; managers you can train. Certainly, you can improve and hone leadership skills, but I’m not sure you can take somebody who’s not a leader and make a leader out of them because that’s not ingrained in their mannerism and personality.
Mellott serves on the boards of Inter-Pac Inc. in Tupelo, Miss., and Storopack, along with U.S. Bank and The Plastic Loose Fill Council.