James R. Swartwout is chairman and chief executive officer of Summa Industries. Swartwout became CEO of Torrance, Calif.-based Summa in 1990.
He has led its growth from $3 million in annual sales to about $150 million over the last 12 years. Summa, whose shares are publicly traded on the Nasdaq National Market, has acquired 11 plastics businesses since 1993. The steadily growing processor reported profit of $7.3 million on sales of $123.6 million for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31.
Summa has been busy with acquisitions, including two in December 2000. That month Summa bought the assets of the Ram Belts & Chains division Rainbow Industrial Products Corp. of Reading, Pa., and Plastic Specialties Inc. of Olive Branch, Miss., a key competitor in the molded lens market.
Summa is diversified across several plastics processes. The company ranked 66th in Plastics News' most recent survey of North American injection molders, with relevant 1999 sales of $87 million. The company also placed 128th in Plastics News' latest ranking of pipe, profile and tubing extruders and 151st among film and sheet manufacturers.
Before joining Summa Industries, Swartwout was a principal in a private leveraged-buyout venture. From 1984-86, Swartwout was executive vice president of Delphian Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif., a manufacturer of analytical instruments, and had held management positions at Farr Co. of El Segundo, Calif., a manufacturer of industrial filtration systems.
He earlier worked for American Air Filter Co. of Louisville, Ky., and Eastman Kodak Co. of Rochester, N.Y., and is a former U.S. Navy officer. He earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Lafayette College and an MBA from the University of Southern California.
For more information about Swartout and his company, see the Summa Industries Web site at www.summaindustries.com.