Develop solutions, not products
Remaining innovative requires solving our customers’ biggest performance challenges.
Many of you know by now that Dan Peterson, my predecessor, has moved on to another role in the company. His promotion opened up this opportunity for me, and I’m thrilled to join a company known for unrivaled quality and performance.
My first exposure to AMSOIL came many years ago when I was snowmobiling. While I didn’t know the details behind the product, I did know that snowmobilers who used AMSOIL synthetic two-stroke oil were passionate about the brand and product performance. They also took better care of their sleds and were often faster than others. While that was many years ago, it did stick with me as I grew from snowmobiles to boats and cars.
Fast forward to late 2016 when I first learned that AMSOIL was seeking a Vice President of Technical Development. The position promised a chance to innovate and develop industry-leading products, areas where I find particular enjoyment. I’m especially excited about joining a company with a strong premium brand and rich history of excellence. I am also somewhat of a gearhead outside of work, enjoying all things mechanical and motorized. I see this opportunity as a great match for my background, experience and interests.
Another aspect I’m looking forward to is meeting you, our Dealers. From day one, it’s been impressed on me how important you are to our success, and I’ve already heard stories about the passion and enthusiasm you have for the company and products.
To kick off what I hope to be a long, mutually beneficial relationship, let me tell you a bit about myself.
I’ve spent most of my life around eastern Wisconsin, first graduating from Lawrence University, in Appleton, with a B.A. in Chemistry/ Biology and later at graduate school, where I received an M.S. degree from the Institute of Paper Chemistry. While in graduate school, I focused on chemical engineering. I also have an M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin.
I spent more than 20 years at Kimberly Clark, where I led product development and innovation teams for many of their billion-dollar brands, including HUGGIES® and KLEENEX®. I also worked at Miller Electric, where I was responsible for new products and innovation for their Industrial Products area. In that role I was responsible for identifying new solutions for the company’s largest customers in the ship-building, structural steel, power-generation and construction areas. My recent positions included leading the corporate innovation efforts for The Newark Group, a company located on the east coast, but with converting and manufacturing plants in northern Illinois and Wisconsin.
On a personal note, my wife and I have two grown sons. During time away from work, we enjoy downhill skiing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling during the winter months. In summer, we love to fire up the boat and get out on the water. I also enjoy triathlons, having competed in the Hawaiian Ironman in Kona.
I hope you can see just how involved I’ve been in my career with innovation. I believe innovation and new products are absolutely critical to a company’s growth. While many companies focus on products, I find that in this new world of “online everything” and reduced time for people to do the things they really want, delivering solutions that exceed the needs of customers is essential.
Which brings us back to AMSOIL. The fact that AMSOIL enjoys status as a premium-performance brand resonates with me. AMSOIL has a strong pipeline of products that offer solutions, and I am looking forward to assisting in the launch of even more products to come.
While improving the products we already have is important, it is equally important to identify new solutions and new markets. I enjoy talking to customers to identify gaps in current products and also underserved markets. I find it especially gratifying to develop products that solve problems and then see those products in the hands of people, making their lives better.
Toward that objective, I look forward to meeting you and working together to develop products that meet our customers’ needs and continue to pace the industry. I also look forward to keeping you up to speed with what we’re doing right here in this column.