There's been a changing of the guard at compounder Michael Day Enterprises Inc., as company founder Michael Day has handed over the titles of president and chief executive officer to Chief Operating Officer Michael Cain.
Day, 62, will remain with the company as chairman. He launched MDE in Fairlawn, Ohio, in 1981, later moving to nearby Wadsworth, where it remains today. Prior to going on his own, Day had worked for plastics and chemicals firms Celanese Corp. and A. Schulman Inc.
Cain, 46, joined MDE in 2001 after 24 years at compounder Thermofil Inc. in Fowlerville, Mich. He initially was MDE's sales and marketing vice president and later was named COO.
``It's important to have a meaningful succession plan in place,'' Day said during a recent interview at the firm's headquarters. In his new role, Day said he will work on such issues as long-term strategy and raw material procurement.
Day, who is sole owner, added that Cain's experience with the polypropylene market while at Thermofil will benefit MDE as the market for nylon, its primary material, becomes more commoditylike.
``This is a great opportunity for me to bring the training and experience I have, and bring the whole picture together,'' said Cain.
Cain will handle more day-to-day business at the firm. MDE just wrapped up its best-ever fiscal year, with sales of $54 million for the year ended Sept. 30. The firm compounds engineering resins such as nylon, polycarbonate and acetal, and also does recycling work.
MDE also is in the process of refurbishing older lines as a means of boosting capacity 50 percent by 2007. The 135-employee company generates about half of its sales from the automotive market. That market has struggled this year, with lower sales at Big Three firms affecting many plastic part suppliers, but Cain said MDE is in a good position to weather the storm.
``We're pretty diversified in automotive, with no one application or one product tied in to an individual customer,'' Cain said. ``That spreads us out a little better. We've also worked to build up higher-margin specialty materials like lubricated compounds.''