If Don Mastaglio has not done it all, then he certainly has done more than most. He has hosted a television show, served in the Army National Guard in Wisconsin, worked in radio, sold printing presses and airplanes and owned a plastic bag company named GNS Polybag Inc.
Now at the age of 60, he had two options: retire and collect rent checks from his real estate tenants or try something new.
As usual, he did the latter.
Mastaglio was an investor in Innovative Plastic Technologies, an acrylic processor in Waukesha, Wis., before it filed for Chapter 7 liquidation. He decided to reopen the plant last November as Acrylics USA LLC after some convincing from former IPT employees Dave Enders, Don Kaja and Tim Kaja.
Now Mastaglio is working hard to revamp the 36,000-square-foot facility. He has spent $600,000 for renovations, research and development.
The plant originally was designed to produce acrylic sheets for tanning beds, but Mastaglio and his six employees are looking into other options. One of them is to create a sheet that can be used for hurricane protection.
``What we're thinking is, if we can make this, this is a product that could be used in place of shutters or plywood,'' Mastaglio said by telephone.
To make a commercially viable product, Acrylics USA has to make a sheet that can uphold Miami-Dade County's stringent building standards. This means it must withstand a 9-pound two-by-four fired at it at 35 miles per hour.
The company has other applications in mind, too, Mastaglio said, including using impact-resistant, fine-finish, thin sheets for the screens of global positioning systems, personal digital assistants and cell phones.
Mastaglio reopened the plant because, he said, it is the only cell-cast acrylic sheet plant in the Midwest. Its competitors are on the East Coast, according to Mastaglio.
``Our unique touch is we can handle smaller batches,'' he said. Mastaglio touted his ``Dynamic Peacock'' program, which can create any color sheet in one day.
``It's our small size that allows us to do these things. It's the reason that we can create one color or fill small orders,'' he said.
This isn't the jack-of-all-trades' first exposure to the plastics industry. He and his partners bought GNS in the early 1980s, and sold it about 10 years later.
Among his other credits are hosting Let's Go Skiing, a television show he syndicated throughout the upper Midwest. And, not surprisingly, he also has been a salesman - for Beech Aircraft Corp. and Heidelberg USA.
When asked why he changed jobs so frequently, he said, ``I'm an entrepreneur. I'm always coming up with ideas, and I like to follow them.''