Since joining Thogus Products Cos. (www.thogus.com) in 1997, Matt Hlavin has been the driving force in the 51-year-old company's growth. He was named president of the Avon Lake, Ohio, custom injection molder in early 2009 after gaining experience as sales representative and as vice president of sales and marketing.
Twelve years ago Hlavin took the bold move of firing Thogus' automotive clients, which accounted for more than half its sales. He and his team took this opportunity to identify other prospects, technologies and resin manufacturers. Since then he has implemented metal replacement solutions, rapid prototyping and biomedical engineering and design.
Hlavin is no stranger to manufacturing since he is the grandson of one of the founders, Jack Thompson, who formed Thogus with Walter Gus. Thogus – named after “Thompson + Gus” – began in 1950 as Master Mold & Die and changed its name in 1958 when Thogus Products molded its first tube and hose fittings.
Today, the company runs 27 presses, employs about 55, and has become active in some new product areas. Additionally, Hlavin established a pair of sister companies, Radiation Protection Technologies, which creates radiation shielding components, and Rapid Prototype & Manufacturing, which turns out three-dimensional prototypes and production-ready parts without the need for tooling by running a pair of Stratasys fused deposition modeling machines.
Hlavin, who earned his bachelor's degree from