Details about the character and generosity of Skip Nevell and Bert Nada of Diamond Polyethylene Products Inc. were disclosed May 13 in a retirement tribute at a California Film Extruders and Converters Association meeting in Norwalk. Neither asked for recognition, and each indicated some embarrassment at the exposure.
Diamond founder Nevell ``has an incredibly uncommon and valuable gift,'' having mastered ``the art of having enough,'' said Pete Grande. Command Packaging of Vernon, Calif., headed by Grande and his partner, Albert Halimi, purchased Diamond Poly of Los Angeles on Feb. 1.
``[Nevell] elected to contribute to every Diamond employee's retirement plan. As a result, today several of Diamond's employees have retirement accounts funded with hundreds of thousands of dollars,'' Grande said.
Nada and his wife, Kathryn, ``have no children of their own,'' but - under intensely private and costly arrangements - they have put a couple of dozen children through college, Grande said. ``These kids were not relatives or even friends.''
The Nadas assisted with enrollment arrangements for youngsters who, ``barring a miracle, would not have been able to go to college,'' Grande said.
Nevell and his father, Herbert, were Webster Industries sales representatives prior to founding a related business in 1960 and Diamond in 1962. Nada served as a Diamond intern in 1971, returned in 1977 as a minority owner and intends now to pursue other private interests.
Ready for retirement at age 68, Nevell approached Command. ``After 43 years of building a business, there were only two things that were important to Skip: his employees and customers,'' Grande said.
``It takes true leadership and character to be content with what you have and who you are,'' Grande said of Nevell. Grande learned about the retirement accounts in reviewing Diamond's finances.
Since the sale, Command has offered employment to each Diamond employee and invested in upgraded equipment for Diamond's product lines, and plans to consolidate some Diamond equipment in the Command plant.
The transaction brought together Command's value-oriented bag business, mostly using high density polyethylene, and Diamond's higher-end lines, mostly using low density PE.