Peter Bemis has worked for Bemis Manufacturing Co. for 38 of his 60 years, co-owns the firm with his brother, and became its CEO in July 2006 — shortly after being inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame. The brothers are the third generation of the Bemis family to run the 106-year-old, Sheboygan Falls, Wis.-based company (www.bemismfg.com) that began by making wooden wagons for children. It now manufactures a diverse range of compression molded, injection molded and extruded products — from healthcare products to tractor hoods.
Its proprietary group develops and sells Bemis-branded products, such as its well-known toilet seats, through retail and wholesale outlets. Its contract group custom molds and extrudes products for sale to original equipment manufacturers. Prior to becoming CEO, Bemis served as president of the contract group, responsible for developing new technology and new business opportunities to generate strategic growth. He holds 13 process patents.
The company has a reputation for investing heavily in new technology and continuous improvement. It is believed to be the largest U.S. coinjection custom molder, having implemented the process in 1993 after helping Milacron Inc. develop an early coinjection molding machine. The company, which began injection molding toilet seats in the 1960s, started extruding products in 1971 and is known as a leader in multilayer extrusion.
Bemis Manufacturing operates six plants and an estimated 140 injection molding machines in the United States, Mexico, Italy and England. Plastics News estimated the firm's 2006 global corporate sales at $290 million.
A native of Sheboygan County, Wis., Bemis graduated from Carroll College in Waukesha, Wis., in 1969, majoring in business administration and economics, with a minor in philosophy.