Robert Grossman, 90, and his partner, 83-year-old Tom Schidel, are back in the rotational business a dozen years after they sold Rotocast International Inc. to Rotonics Manufacturing Inc.
I think that you have to keep busy and you have to keep busy doing something you like, Grossman said.
Grossman and Schidel reacquired the Terracast line of planters and Classic Lamp Posts and light globes from Rotonics. They started the business, GSC Industries, in Miami on Sept. 1.
The president is Lou Blondin, who had been Rotocast International's marketing manager. GSC is outsouring its rotomolding to another company, which Blondin declined to identify.
Grossman joked that he is too old to run a manufacturing operation. Rotocast was a large company with five factories when the partners sold it to Rotonics in 1998. I don't want to go back in business at 90, he said.
But Blondin said Grossman and Schidel are full of good ideas and marketing savvy.
They're about as enthused and energetic as they can be. They're making calls and being as creative as usual, Blondin said. We picked up where we left off.
Grossman and Schidel, both members of the Plastics Hall of Fame, founded Rotocast in 1967. Grossman was the first president of the Association of Rotational Molders. They installed the first rotomolding machine in the state of Florida to produce polycarbonate light globes.
Now we're back in the same business, Grossman said.
Rotocast also pioneered the rotomolded decorative lamp post now also offered by the new company. The lamp posts are made from a hollow outer shell of polyethylene, molded on a rock 'n' roll machine. The poles are reinforced with a galvanized steel pole down the middle. Larger lamp posts use a filament-wound composite pole, Blondin said. The supplier injects foam between the shell and reinforcing pole.
The large Terracast planters are sold to landscape architects and specifiers.
Although GSC is not doing the rotomolding, the company's first priorities are quality and on-time deliveries.
What did Grossman and Schidel do between selling Rotocast in 1998 and stating their new company? Hint: It wasn't golf all day. They got into real estate.
When they sold Rotocast to Rotonics, the partners kept ownership of the factory buildings and land in Miami; Knoxville, Tenn.; Brownwood, Texas; Las Vegas; and Bossier City, La. Rotonics rented the properties. Grossman and Schidel invested the money into more real estate and buildings.
When the real estate downturn hit, they started a mortgage broker firm to help buyers secure credit.
Now they're plastics guys, once again.
Grossman said the Great Depression molded him into a hard worker. What it produced was sort of a conservative guy whose idea is that work is a good thing to do. I just never got over working. I enjoy it. I love the people I meet and things that I do, he said.