Brenan Riehl joined GW Plastics in 1988 and rose quickly through the ranks, from sales and marketing vice president, senior VP and chief operating officer to, in 1998, president and CEO, when he also joined the GW board.
GW Plastics, with about $80 million in annual sales, also is a case study in how to serve the healthcare market. Over the past decade the company has successfully flipped its core concentration from automotive to the more recession-resistant healthcare sector, working closely to develop new products with and do clean-room molding for various big-name medical product brand owners.
GW offers new-product development and prototyping services through to mold construction, close-tolerance injection molding and component assembly, serving the healthcare, automotive and consumer/industrial markets. In early March, the firm won Plastics News' 2009 Processor of the Year Award.
Prior to joining GW Plastics, Riehl spent five years with GE Plastics in Pittsfield, Mass., where he served in a number of market development positions — most notably helping the engineering resins supplier to successfully establish a new technology polymer business.
He started his career with the plastics products division of Owens-Illinois in
Riehl — who goes by the name Ben — also is a member of the board of directors for NSA Industries LLC, a Vermont-based sheet metal and fabricating company. A graduate of St. Lawrence University in