I am 59 years old, married for 39 years with two sons, both married, and four granddaughters. I am a graduate of Aquinas College and the University of Michigan Law School. My family owns Nu-Wool Co., Inc. and a sister company, Cellulose Material Solutions, LLC, both located in Jenison, MI. Established in 1949, Nu-Wool is the country’s oldest manufacturer of cellulose insulation (made from recycled paper), which it sells to insulation contractors, distributors and retailers throughout the eastern half of the US. CMS manufacturers thermal and acoustical insulation products from cellulose, cotton and polyester fibers, for use in buildings, automotive, office furniture, and packaging materials throughout the US.
Currently, the biggest challenge we face is finding talent, from general labor to highly trained. Finding and retaining general labor is particularly challenging in the current labor market.
A strong economy. New housing construction is a big driver for our businesses, and a strong economy helps create demand for new housing. A strong economy also means businesses are expanding and producing more goods, which creates more opportunity for our business-to-business products.
WHY I BELONG TO THE CHAMBER
The Michigan Chamber provides a voice for our company to have an impact on legislation, regulation and policy proposals in state government that we simply do not have on our own. The Chamber is very proactive with state government, seeking ways to improve the business climate in Michigan, which is important for us to remain competitive both within and outside the state.
WHY I SERVE AS A VOLUNTEER LEADER
I was on the Board of Directors for six years, which allowed me to stay informed on issues in Lansing which impacted our businesses – and help shape Chamber policies. I am also on the Chamber’s Energy and Environment Policy Advisory Committee, which gives me a voice on policies related to energy efficiency and energy regulation in the state. Our manufacturing companies are relatively large users of electricity and gas supplied through alternative energy suppliers, so I fought hard in the Committee to maintain the opportunity to purchase utilities from alternative suppliers in Michigan’s new energy law passed in 2016.
A KEY TAKEAWAY
Although we manufacture quality insulation products, we are customer service-focused businesses. That focus, including our value-added services, is what sets us apart from our competition.