After more than three decades under the leadership of owner and founder Skip Glatt, Gaim Plastics Inc. is entering a new era as the family business passes from father to son.
As of Sept. 30, Glatt is officially retiring at 71 and selling the company to his older son. The injection molder, doing business as Gaim Engineering Inc., makes parts for original equipment manufacturers and consumer products for the retail market. It's been in business since November 1989.
Many of Gaim's products are completely biodegradable and made from recycled material or scrap. Illinois-Gaim buys medical scrap — for example, improperly made syringes that are never used — and feedstock for such products.
"Nobody [else] buys trash," he said Sept. 8 by phone. "They let it go to a compounder, who plays around with it and then sells it for a tremendous amount of money." Gaim eliminates the middle man.
Glatt is particularly proud of his company's efforts to help customers turn their ideas into viable products.
"A lot of people have the greatest idea in the world but they can't get it to market," he said. "We have products in all the big-box stores." Gaim helps with everything from new product development and prototypes to marketing, packaging and shipping.
That's where his son comes in.
He said Ed Glatt, the firm's soon-to-be president and owner, has been a tremendous help in the marketing department, both for Gaim and its customers. Ed Glatt first worked in graphic design and marketing before joining the family business in 2009 as vice president of sales and marketing.
As it turns out, those were good skills to have coming into the company, "which didn't have any marketing or design — they had to farm that out," the son, Ed, said in a recent phone interview.