When Conair Group decided to move its Jetro subsidiary from Bay City, Mich., to its headquarters in Franklin, Pa., in 1997, Tony Forgash Jr. and three other company officials resigned and started a new pelletizing services business called Bay Plastics Machinery Corp.
"It's not a revolt," Forgash told Plastics News for a June 1997 story, adding that the departing engineers and salesman simply didn't want to relocate and had a critical mass of experience "to do the things we know best."
Twenty-five years later, Bay Plastics Machinery is celebrating its silver anniversary as a manufacturer of strand pelletizers and related equipment while memorializing its founder, who died June 30, 2021, at the age of 80 at the Cleveland Clinic.
Forgash was an old-school draftsman and innovator with patents to name that helped turn a small-town business on Saginaw Bay near Michigan's so-called thumb into a global enterprise.
Forgash was also known for his kindness, generosity and integrity, according to his son, Jim Forgash, who is vice president of sales for Bay Plastics Machinery.
"Dad decided that instead of uprooting his family and moving to Pennsylvania, he would leave and start his own company and work to keep most, if not all, of the Bay City-area employees. He took the less selfish approach and kept the Bay City operation going," Jim Forgash said in a news release.