As president of third-generation family business Pride Solutions LLC, Jack Daggett oversees a 25,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Hutchinson, Minn., with four very different divisions processing ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene.
Founded by the Daggett Cos. in 2002, Pride Solutions supplies agricultural components for corn and soybean applications (May Wes Manufacturing), performance snowmobile skis (C&A Pro), contract manufacturing services for direct compression molding (Pride Engineered Plastics), and custom electromechanical assembly services (Pride Assembly).
"The collaboration and synergy of these business units permits Pride Solutions to be agile, resourceful and practical," Daggett said in his Plastics News survey.
At age 28, he has two years of experience as company president and is a finalist for the Emerging Leader Award to be given Sept. 20 as part of the 2018 Made in Minnesota Manufacturing Awards program organized by Minnesota Business magazine.
The family is already in a celebratory mood. Tom Daggett, Jack's father, who is president of Hutchinson Manufacturing LLC, will be honored that night with a lifetime achievement award. His parents, Bud and Doris Daggett, started the metal fabrication business 65 years ago, filling orders for clothesline poles and picnic table frames.
Tom Daggett began working there at age 12 and by 16 he was working his way up from the production floor. Under his leadership, HMI grew into a multimillion-dollar company with global sales mostly in the defense, nuclear and industrial markets, 107,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 150 employees.
In 2002, when another Hutchinson, Minn., business, May Wes Manufacturing, went bankrupt, Thomas Daggett bought the aftermarket agricultural product company and kept it going, saving jobs at the busy harvest time. He then formed Pride Solutions LLC as an umbrella company for May Wes and other facets of the business specializing in processing UHMWPE.
"Dad has a tremendous amount of knowledge running a business and managing people in good times and in bad," Jack Daggett said.
He hopes to have a similar impact. Beyond building a company with a great reputation that attracts new customers, Daggett said he would like a legacy of giving people fulfilling careers that they enjoy while enabling them to support their families.
To that end, Pride Solutions has some promising agricultural and snowmobiling products that are finalists for the best made-in-Minnesota business-to-consumer product awards. The products are May Wes's G4 Stalk Stompers, which flatten and fan-out corn stalks so air and moisture can accelerate decomposition, and C&A's XPT snowmobile skis, which are designed to provide increased control and smoother rides for 2012 and newer trail sleds. Technically, the performance skis have mid-center keels to alleviate darting and improve tracking as well as a raised tail to make it easier to go in reverse.
Jack Daggett credits employees for helping Pride do everything from developing a brand of snowmobile skis for performance trail machines and snow-cross racers to meeting demand for high-volume agricultural components to contract manufacturing one-of-a-kind part runs.
"Surround yourself with the A-team and do not micromanage," he said. "I am happy to say I have the A-team here at Pride Solutions and owe a lot of our success to them."
To prospective new hires, Daggett suggests living by the company's core values — safety, customer focus, brand integrity, respectful and collaborative environment, personal accountability and innovative — and asking a lot of questions.
"There is no dead end job here at Pride, and we really invest in dedicated employees," he said.
Daggett graduated from Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minn., with a business management degree and coaching minor. He is active with finance team of the Hutchinson Economic Development Authority, a peer advisory group called Vistage Minnesota, and belongs to an archery club.