RICHMOND, IND. — John J. Farber was there when Primex Plastics Corp. was founded in 1965. And he has been a steady source of support for the company's growth ever since, according to company officials.
As founder and chairman of ICC Industries Inc., parent company to Primex, Farber has supported the company by taking the long view, allowing the company to continually reinvest profits and grow over time, according to Primex President Michael J. Cramer and Vice President of Sales & Marketing Tim Schultz.
Naming the company's new technology and innovation center after Farber is a way for the company to honor him. “It's a formal recognition of a lifetime of work,” Cramer said.
Described as a “humble, low key guy” by Cramer, Farber was not available for comment for this story.
“He's been involved, but also encouraging the continued development. So from that, it's nice to recognize his contributions, his involvement, his leadership,” said Schultz.
Farber was born in Timisoara, Romania, and arrived in this country in the early 1950s, Primex said.
He graduated with a doctorate in polymer chemistry from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, which is now part of New York University. He joined his father-in-law at Leslie Kleyman Corp., a small textiles export-import business. Farber formed its chemical trading division in 1952, sourcing chemical ingredients for paints that his family once made in Romania.
That company later become ICC Industries, which now includes the ICC Chemical Corp. subsidiary that trades and distributes chemicals, plastics and pharmaceuticals around the world.
“He encouraged us to have the ability to make decisions that were right for the long-term business. We weren't having to react and have reactionary decisions for the next quarter,” Schultz said. “We could make decisions that might take longer to evolve, but they were right for the business.”
Both Cramer and Schultz are long-time employees of Primex, so they've seen the philosophy work.
“We didn't have to meet [stock] market expectations. It's all about the long-term, not about the immediate,” Cramer said. “We are a testimonial of the philosophy for 50 years now.”
“It's not often when you can sit in the room with the chairman of a multi-billion-dollar corporation and have an open discussion and have the ability to make decisions to help the long-term expansion of an organization. It's pretty refreshing in today's business,” Schultz said.