STL Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
John H. Kramer Jr.
President and CEO
Cambridge Engineering, Inc.
John H. Kramer Jr. earned his way to the top with more than 20 years at Cambridge Engineering, Inc., including establishing successful sales in some difficult regions in the U.S. He has worked in nearly every area of the company that was founded in 1963 by his father and uncle.
With his overall company experience and ability to draw people together, over the past eight years as president and CEO Kramer has driven the organization through the economic downturn.
The company that set standards in the heating industry was very dependent on industrial and commercial building starts. So, during the recession, Cambridge’s core market, warehouse new construction, dropped by more than 90 percent.
With Kramer’s leadership, the company has rebuilt to prerecession revenues and profitability. By focusing the core sales and marketing team on retrofitting existing commercial infrastructure, Kramer has launched four new companies to build additional markets.
He envisions a growing and stable company that is shielded from the ups and downs of the commercial construction market.
Thus, Kramer is always looking for opportunities to use Cambridge’s products in new ways, such as when he traveled to China last year to explore expanded distribution.
During the recent recession, Kramer also had to make difficult downsizing decisions that affected employees and their families. However, by treating the people with integrity, respect and care, he was able to keep the relationships with these individuals strong so they were willing to return as the business recovered.
Kramer’s investment in people development is significant. He regularly sends his leadership team through training and supports an internal coach — the vice president of quality, keeper of corporate culture.
Cambridge also has an employee recognition program, an online CambridgeU that provides more than 3,000 training courses to employees, and a variety of team activities.
How to reach: Cambridge Engineering, Inc., www.cambridge-eng.com