Rick Omlor has a pretty simple motto for YSI Inc. to live by, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” The quote, from Margaret Mead, highlights the cover page of the annual report for the company that designs senior instrumentation and real-time monitoring systems for professionals who protect natural resources and aquatic life.
Since he joined YSI in 1995, Omlor has seen that, that quote is quite true at a company with such a high charge. As he was promoted up the company ladder, becoming president in 2000 and CEO in 2002, Omlor didn’t know how much his leadership style would have to reflect that idea. In late 2001, the Ohio EPA and Ohio Department of Health conducted well sampling that led to findings of volatile organic compounds in wells near YSI. While the problem had developed well before Omlor’s time, his charge was to rebuild the trust and belief both internally and externally that the company was more committed than ever to its goal of helping the environment.
He implemented full disclosure to both his people and the public. While many companies shied away from environmental pressures, Omlor saw it as an opportunity. YSI held town-hall meetings and answered tough questions to reassure citizens that the necessary steps were being taken to rectify the situation.
As YSI pulled itself out of the challenge, YSI dedicated more time and resources to community commitments and re-established itself as a good and responsible neighbor.
HOW TO REACH: YSI Inc., (937) 767-7241 or www.ysi.com