ROSEMONT, ILL. (Dec. 6, 1:15 p.m. ET) — The Association of Rotational Molders on Nov. 3 inducted two rotomolding veterans — James Leitz and Daven Claerbout — as the newest members of its Hall of Fame during the Rotoplas conference in Rosemont.
Daven Claerbout and his brother Carl Claerbout are co-owners of Dutchland Plastics Corp. in Oostburg, Wis. Their father, William Claerbout, bought the rotomolding operation in 1967. He died in 2008.
Daven credited their father and their mother, Nancy, with building the company and fostering good corporate citizenship. She was unable to attend the ARM event, but the family videotaped the ceremony for her to view later.
Nancy Claerbout played a key role behind the scenes at Dutchland.
“My mother — and a lot of you don't know this — had tremendous business sense. She had a love for her employees. And best yet, she had a love for her two sons that were helping run the family business with the rest of these employees,” said Daven Claerbout.
He credited Dutchland's 200-plus employees for the company's success: “These people don't work for us, they work with us. They are absolutely fantastic.”
Daven Claerbout introduced several key employees who attended the dinner, including his daughter Lindee Claerbout, director of marketing and customer solutions, and son William Claerbout, assistant rotomolding production supervisor.
“I'm a lucky man because I get to see my children every day,” he said.
Daven Claerbout, Dutchland's executive vice president of sales, has served on the ARM board of directors for 10 of the past 11 years. Over the years, he has held a number of leadership positions with the group, including two stints as ARM president.
In rotomolding circles, the brothers are legendary for their contrasting personalities. Daven joked about it in his acceptance speech: “Believe it or not, Carl and I are exact opposites. I'm the one that is kind of the smart aleck and Carl is the brains.
“I'm the more outspoken one and he's more quiet. But I'll tell you what, if you want a partner in business, if you want a partner in personal life, you're not going to find someone better than Carl Claerbout,” Daven said.