Fifty years have flown by for materials firm Modern Dispersions Inc.
Hungarian immigrant Janos (John) Kozma started MDI in his garage in Ashburnham, Mass., in 1967. Today, the firm makes plastic compounds and concentrates at a plants in nearby Leominster, and another in Fitzgerald, Ga., employing a total of 250.
The firm will host a special employee event to mark the occasion later this year.
Kozma left Hungary in 1956 at age 17 during the Hungarian revolution. He joined the U.S. Army in Italy and by 1960 was stationed at Fort Devens in Ayer, Mass. Kozma got his start in plastics at Foster Grant Corp., working in the color lab and gaining knowledge and expertise in color concentrate technology. He later worked at Cal Plastics where he was involved in purchasing, formulation, and product management.
By 1967, Kozma decided to go on his own, building a two-roll mill in his garage. This became MDI's first machine for mixing color concentrates. Kozma soon started manufacturing operations in Gardner, Mass., and eventually opened another plant in Gardner before consolidating both operations in 1983 at the current facility in Leominster. The firm added the second plant in Fitzgerald in 1987.
“Our success has been built by the many great employees who have continued to innovate and lead our company to new heights in terms of productivity, quality, and growth,” Kozma said in a recent news release. “Our simple formula has been to stay ahead of the curve in terms of technology, producing challenging formulations, and always being ready to provide close personalized service to our many customers.”
Today, MDI runs 18 extrusion lines with total annual production capacity of 300 million pounds. The firm serves a global client list in the pipe, wire and cable, film and compounding markets. MDI's products include carbon black masterbatch concentrates, white concentrates, and specialty additive compounds.
Kozma remains active with MDI as chairman of the board at age 78. His three sons also work there. Marton is president of MDI, Jan is sales vice president and Gabor is purchasing manager.