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Former Spartech chief Holt lands at Proto Labs

By: Frank Esposito

February 7, 2014

Former Spartech Corp. leader Victoria Holt has been named president and CEO of quick-turn manufacturer Proto Labs Inc.

In a Feb. 6 news release, Proto Labs founder and chairman Larry Lukis said that Holt's "track record of leading companies with large and diverse operations…makes her an excellent choice" to lead the firm.

Maple Plain, Minn.-based Proto Labs uses injection molding and CNC machining to make custom parts for prototyping and short-run production. The publicly-held firm posted sales of $126 million in 2012.

Holt led Spartech — a leading plastic sheet maker and compounder — from 2010 until the firm was sold to PolyOne Corp. for $393 million in early 2013. She received a golden parachute payment of more than $5 million in cash, equity, pension and benefits after leaving Spartech.

Prior to joining Spartech, Holt had been senior vice president at paint, glass and coatings maker PPG Industries Inc. At Proto Labs, she will be replacing Brad Cleveland, an original employee from the firm's 2001 launch.

Cleveland has said he wants to start his own company, possibly in the alternative energy field. Cleveland's "fantastic organizational and team-building skills have made the company what it is today," Lukis said in the release.

He added that Holt "has the complementary experience to build on our accomplishments and leverage Proto Labs' strong platform in the years ahead."

In August, Proto Labs officials announced that the firm was buying a 175,000-square-foot building in Plymouth, Minn., about 10 miles from its headquarters. Proto Labs will spend about $15 million to turn the building into a production site by mid-2014.

Proto Labs already has four buildings totaling 300,000 square feet in the Twin Cities area. The firm employs 490 in Minnesota, including a site in Rosemont. Proto Labs also has facilities in Telford, England; and Yamato-Shi, Japan.

On Wall Street, Proto Labs' per-share stock price has enjoyed substantial growth. The price was near $40 in early 2013 but closed near $78 on Feb. 6. The firm has been public since February 2012.