The best words of advice Trevor Mund has received — "get up, dress up and show up every day" — have been instilled in his head since high school.
"This statement has made a lasting impression on me. Getting out of bed, dressing up for working and physically showing up is only part of it. Getting to work, doing my absolute best every day, relying on my values to do the right thing every time — this is how I have tried to approach every day," he said.
When asked what job he would like to have in the future, Mund said it would have to be his current job: controller at Reed City, Mich.-based Reed City Group, a full-scale mold building, press making and plastic injection molding company.
"I feel extremely fortunate to have the challenges and responsibilities of this job this early in my career. These things make the job exciting and fulfilling," he said, adding that maybe down the road he would envision himself as CEO of a company and "leading a team of talented people to achieve great things together."
Mund, 24, earned his bachelor's degree in accounting from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. He joined Reed City Group, then called Reed City Tool, as a co-op student serving as a janitor.
"I had grown up around the plastics industry as my dad was a mold maker and plant manager at Reed City Tool," he said in his Rising Stars survey. "I was instantly attracted to the level of sophistication and complexity of building a plastic injection mold."
Reed City Group President and CEO John Barnett, who joined the company in May 2017, nominated Mund for Rising Stars.
"I quickly began to see why he was so highly regarded by the previous owner of the business and the new equity group that bought the company and placed me here. The previous owner saw his work ethic and dedication early on when he gave Trevor a grimy and grease-soaked press to clean," Barnett said in an email statement.
"Rod Weck, the owner of the business at the time, thought it would take Trevor days to clean that press. Trevor accomplished the task in a matter of hours and promptly asked for his next chore. Rod would load Trevor with work, and Trevor would accomplish the task always ahead of time and with flawless execution.
"When Trevor started his accounting degree at Ferris State University, Rod decided to fund the education as a way to retain Trevor and keep [him] involved in the business. This ended up to be one of the best investments Rod could have made. Trevor excelled in his accounting curriculum and began learning the business from Rod's financial controller. By the time Trevor graduated, he had complete command of the accounting function and was instrumental in revamping the way that the company began tracking costing standards. … Since I have been here, Trevor has continued to grow and develop as one of my leaders," Barnett said.
Mund said his biggest achievement so far has been successfully closing on a multimillion-dollar acquisition of the company by Argosy Private Equity and Stone River Capital Partners. Barnett said Mund was relied on heavily during this time and that his "tireless work was the catalyst that enabled the deal to get completed."
"Working and learning my way through the due diligence process for the first time was rigorous and a steep challenge. I feel quite lucky to have been given the opportunity to be a part of the transaction as I am a much better businessperson today because of the experience," Mund said of his accomplishment.
Barnett said Mund is not afraid to ask tough questions of the leaders, his insights are challenging, and his business acumen is well beyond his years.
"He is thoughtful and engaged and deeply cares about the company. He continues to learn and understand our industry and is constantly trying to find other applications in the plastic industry that our company can assist," Barnett said. "This 24-year-old young man has become my right hand. I have literally never seen a person at such a young age be responsible for so much. And he absolutely performs like an all-star."