Danny Mishek started in the industry selling plastic and metal containers from Minneapolis to Montana. He knew that "a lot of products were made and most needed some sort of packaging to get them from vendor to consumer."
"Simply, it was job security," Mishek said.
His parents started VistaTek LLC in 1996. Mishek graduated from Mount Mercy University in Iowa with a bachelor's degree in marketing and public relations in 1997, then he joined the company in 1998.
Stillwater, Minn.-based VistaTek started off in rapid prototyping with one machine and zero customers and has since evolved into a custom manufacturer with in-house capabilities such as mold making and injection molding.
"It took us about five years to rebrand ourselves and let people know we're no longer really your prototype guys," Mishek told Plastics News in 2020.
Mishek said the company has developed products made from plant-based plastics "to ease the burden and use of single-use petroleum plastics."
"We have designed around the flaws of these plant-based plastics to make them more functional and useful. By creating premium products, we have changed the perception of Earth-friendly plastics," he added. "Our products are being celebrated instead of tolerated."
Mishek noted that while he does not "oppose petroleum products," he believes consumers "should use those materials for medical devices, aerospace products and other products that need to last and hold up against heat, UV, sterilization and tensile strengths."
"We need to be wiser in our material selections so we don't back ourselves into a corner because of poor, shortsighted decisions," he said. "Plastics have enhanced our lives, but our end-of-life approach and our lack of vision to change certain behaviors have made knee-jerk reactions and policies that are not sustainable in their own right."