SAN DIEGO - Seymour Rabin, now 75, bought Ridout Plastics Co. Inc. in 1968, and his son, Elliott, 41, took over as president in 1986 - but only after he considered teaching art history or making surfboards. Elliot made surfboards for awhile when he was in college. Ridout, however, distributes sheet, rod, tube and shapes; operates a retail store; manufactures acrylic and plastic parts; and makes business literature and brochure holders under its Clear Presentations trademark.
The transition took time.
``Since I grew up in the business, many long-term employees still saw me as the long-haired surfer they watched grow up,'' Elliott Rabin said.
His father keeps an office for personal business and to ``keep an eye on me and his investment.''
Ridout, which employs more than 40, was named San Diego's 1995 family-owned small business of the year in a May 4 ceremony.
The Small Business Administration evaluates staying power, family-business linkage and generational involvement in the annual competition.
Ridout Plastics churned out more than 30,000 acrylic pins in yellow lightning-bolt shapes during the Chargers' march to football's 1995 Super Bowl, and it made a custom housing for the America's Cup trophy - now on its way to New Zealand.
Equipment includes three computer numerically controlled router/shapers, three panel saws, eight table saws, a milling machine and a forming oven. Growing export trade to Mexico, Japan, Canada, Australia and Chile represents about 8 percent of Ridout's anticipated 1995 sales of $5 million.