This edition of Heavy Metal is about succession planning — both at your company and in your personal life. It's a very important subject.
What sparked this was the Plastics Academy's announcement that Dennis Tully, the president and owner of MTD Micro Molding, is getting inducted posthumously into the Plastics Hall of Fame.
Dennis was just 58 when he passed away. I'm about that same age. So is Don Loepp, editor of Plastics News.
MTD won the 2018 Plastics News Processor of the Year award, which we announced last year at our Executive Forum.
Don and I visit all the Processor of the Year Award finalists. And we knew MTD well, since the Charlton, Mass., company was a finalist twice before it won. Micromolding is endlessly fascinating, and MTD is one of the best. Many of their teeny medical parts go into your body and are absorbed — just thinking about it is amazing. It's remarkable that any plastics company could do that.
Don and I spend an entire day at each finalist, and we ask tons of questions. Don always asks if the company has a succession plan. Does the owner have any kids who want to take over? Would you look to sell the company? That type of thing.
Well, Don asked Dennis Tully that question in our finalist visit to MTD on Feb. 13, 2019. And I joked, something along the lines of: "Don, Dennis is our age! Does he really need a succession plan?"
We ended up picking MTD as the Processor of the Year Award winner. Just two weeks after our visit, Dennis Tully died of a massive heart attack on Feb. 28. It was a week before we named MTD a winner at the Executive Forum in Naples, Fla. The MTD team canceled their travel plans, of course.
So yes, you do need a succession plan. Everyone should have one.
The other part of the story is this: My wife Nancy, passed away on Feb. 22 of last year, just six days before Dennis. It was unexpected. She was 57. I woke up that Friday morning and she was dead.