It's all in the family at Vip Rubber & Plastic Co. Inc., founded by Howard Vipperman Sr. in 1961. And it appears the firm intends to keep it that way.
A third generation of the Vipperman family is moving into top leadership positions at the company, fulfilling a succession plan that's been in place for more than a decade at the LaHabra, Calif.-based molder and extruder of a variety of rubber and plastic parts.
First it was Howard Vipperman Sr., who served as president from 1961 to 1979. Next came his son, Howard Vipperman Jr., who took over as president in 1979 and held the post until the company's recent transition.
Now Bernardyne (Deena) Campana — the niece of Howard Jr. and his sister Kathy LeClair and a granddaughter of the founder — has assumed the role of president as her uncle steps back, although he will continue as chairman of the firm.
Three other members of the third generation will join her in taking over key leadership positions at the firm. Albert Perez is the new vice president of aerospace, Cindy LeClair has moved up to vice president of marketing and Martin Perez has been named technical director.
Vip's succession plan didn't just happen overnight, Howard Vipperman Jr. said. "We have been working toward succession for the better part of 10 years and it is clear that the next generation is ready to go."
Campana, LeClair, Albert and Martin Perez join second-generation family members in management positions within the 58-year-old business: Kathy LeClair, chief financial officer; Tom LeClair, vice president of sales; and Dean Gillespie, vice president of technical sales.
Other third-generation members who hold key posts include Brent Westbrook, sales manager; Lisa Perez, accounts receivable; and Peter Jonelet, outside sales for aerospace, local accounts in the Los Angeles area and international accounts.
The management staff also includes George Phillips, general manager; Frank Serna, La Habra plant manager; and George Phillips Jr., Minden, Nev., plant manager.
"I feel that we have put together a great team," Vipperman said. "We are literally poised for dynamic growth and stable management for decades to come."