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Libra Industries names Jennifer Altstadt president

By: By Rachel Abbey McCcafferty
CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS

April 30, 2013

MENTOR, OHIO — Jennifer Altstadt, the former president of plastic closure molder Weatherchem Corp., has been named president of Mentor-based Libra Industries, a contract manufacturer of electronics.

Altstadt started at Libra Industries on April 15. Weatherchem, a Twinsburg, Ohio-based maker of plastic dispensing enclosures, was acquired late last year by Mold-Rite Plastics of Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Libra Industries' former president, Rod Howell, now has taken on the title of CEO. Howell, the owner and co-founder, said he wanted to hire someone who could take care of the day-to-day operations of the business while he focused on long-term strategic planning.

"So, it's going to be more of a team effort," Howell said.

Howell said he had been trying to do both as president and realized he would need to split those duties if the company was to continue to grow. Libra Industries currently brings in $30 million to $35 million in annual revenue, Howell said, and he'd like to see that double in the next few years.

Altstadt is the "last piece that we need" to grow, Howell said.

Howell said Altstadt is well respected in the field and possess the education, training and experience to lead Libra Industries. At Weatherchem, she created an employee-friendly culture that promoted teamwork, he said.

Libra Industries, which employs about 150 at two plants in Mentor, has spent the last few years investing heavily in equipment and infrastructure. Howell said it is time to begin leveraging those investments to sign new customers and to enter new markets.

One such step is the company's recent registration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to build finished medical devices. Libra Industries has served the medical field in the past, but only could build subsets of devices, Howell said. The FDA registration allows it to build complete, non-implantable medical devices, expanding the company's potential reach into the medical market.