MARK BUSS, 59
CEO, Goright Plastics, Printing & Logistics LLC, Denver
Q: Describe your company, what it does, and its culture.
Buss: Goright Plastics, Printing & Logistics LLC is an extrusion blow molder with customers in the consumer products, packaging and hospitality industries. We also have on-site printing and distribution capabilities all under one roof.
Q: What was your first job in plastics?
Buss: It involved the packaging materials of consumer health and beauty products on the consumer products side of Bristol-Myers in the late 1980s and early 1990s in Europe. We worked hard to develop products that consumers would find attractive at the shelf and highly functional in use. Doing this cost effectively across a variety of European consumer usages and attitudes proved challenging. As the barriers across Eastern Europe opened up, we spent time visiting and seeking investments in molding facilities in the former Soviet satellite countries.
Q: Tell us about a mentor you've had in your career.
Buss: I had the distinct pleasure of two great mentors, one at Philip Morris International Inc. who gave me the opportunity to travel globally in a finance role at an early point in my career. He ensured I learned cross-culturally, in a hands-on manner with full accountability within a corporate environment more focused on protecting fiefdoms.
My other great mentor guided me in my transition from finance to operations and quickly into general management. The greatest mentors encourage initiative to allow subordinates to grow through real-world decision-making because they are not afraid to give credit to successful people in their charge.
Q: When did you become CEO, and what was your first goal?
Buss: Goright is my third CEO role and the most exciting to date. This role started in early 2016. It represents the chance to create a business from the ground up, assuring that the focus on employees, customers and business owners is properly balanced from day one. Our first and last goals are always customer satisfaction. If we stay aligned there, we will continue on an admirable trajectory.
Q: What's the best career advice you've received?
Buss: Mentoring others will pay back 100 times more than promoting your own self-interest. As I look back over the 35-plus years since I joined the post-college workforce, I can feel pleased that I have an enviable number of successful subordinates across the globe with whom I maintain strong connections.
Q: What advice would you give to someone starting at your company tomorrow?
Buss: Be willing to work at a very fast pace. We are a team that welcomes and values the opinions of all who join the group with a view towards mutual success. Those who challenge themselves every day in their own roles will gain the respect of the organization across the business functions. We don't have all the answers, but we are willing to break some eggs to get to them.
Q: What do you want your legacy to be as CEO?
Buss: Fostering fulfilled, challenged and successful employees at all levels, demonstrated by integrity in approach and purpose and care for the organization's people and goals.