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Thornton & Co. brands itself for future growth

By: Frank Esposito

March 21, 2014

Resin distributor Thornton & Co. has overhauled and expanded its management ranks to allow for future growth.

In the last year, Southington, Conn.-based Thornton has hired industry veterans Josh Prieve and Todd Maples. Prieve has 13 years of market experience and will serve as the firm’s sales director. Maples previously worked for Nova Chemicals Corp. and will serve as Thornton’s prime polyolefins director, as the firm works to emphasize that product area.

Thornton also recently hired William Zeronsa as chief financial officer and has added several business development managers as well. Market veteran Nathan DeAngelis continues to serve as a vice president, overseeing the firm’s polyethylene trading operations.

Thornton also has embarked on a branding campaign focused on a statement of “Get what you need, when you really need it.”

“It’s time that the plastics industry understands more about Thornton & Co., both who we are and what we do,” vice president Jake Thornton said in a news release. “We’re expanding domestically and internationally.

“We’re making serious investments in the company infrastructure,” he added. “A brand campaign was the next step in the evolution of the business.”

Thornton was founded in 1994 by resin industry veteran Paul Thornton, Jake’s father. The firm distributes prime and wide-spec grades of polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene throughout the U.S. and Canada. Last year, Thornton & Co. expanded its sales efforts in central and South America, Jake Thornton said in a March 20 phone interview.

In 2013, Thornton & Co. distributed about 325 million pounds of resin, up 12 percent vs. 2012. Sales volume in pounds is expected to grow at an even higher rate in 2014, Thornton said. The firm’s 2013 sales were evenly split between prime and wide-spec, but Thornton said that mix eventually could move to 75 percent prime.

Like many North American distributors, Thornton & Co. is looking to benefit from large resin capacity additions — primarily for polyethylene — that are set for the North American market in the next 3-4 years.

“That growth is what’s keeping us in business,” Jake Thornton said. “There are going to be opportunities to sell a lot more resin, and that should lead to growth throughout North America as well.”