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About You and Tropical Paradise Plastics LLC...
My job function in the company:
Years in business:
About Tropical Paradise Plastics LLC:
While we have been in manufacturing for thirty years, this is the first foray into the Water Sports Industry. We have developed and manufactured a molded raft with a glass bottom and a neoprene dry mask. The dry mask blocks out all ambient light and reflections from above while allowing the used a wide-angle view of the underwater environment. This was specifically developed to add Market Share to snorkel boat operators who weren't getting more than 20% of the tourist market. With the Zayak Sea Sled, many people who would have never snorkeled are finding that they enjoy spending more time on the water. Unexpectedly, we find that ardent snorkelers, spear fishermen and lobster/scallop divers are appreciating the comfort and features of the Zayak Sea Sled also.
Goal(s) for 2013:
Our goal is to introduce the Zayak Sea Sled to all the tropical regions around the world this year. While we currently manufacture in the USA exclusively, we have already received US and International patents and will be looking to expand our manufacturing to Australia in 2014.
Greatest achievement in 2012:
We have succeeded with some proprietary manufacturing techniques that allow us to mold our newest model in a way that has never been done in the industry previously. When we introduce our Model G-1 next year, it will be revolutionary for the Zayak AND the kayak.
About You, "The Professional"...
What I find most rewarding about my job:
I have been very fortunate to spend thirty years as an Industrial Designer, Engineer and Entrepreneur. It was in my early retirement that the Zayak was created. I was interested in developing something "fun" for my children and grandchildren when they visited us in beautiful Sarasota. It is to Kenneth, Nolan and Ashley that I dedicate the Zayak Sea Sled. How could 'work' be any more rewarding than that?
What I am most proud of (professionally):
That I was able to hire many people and see them exceed beyond their expectations. Too many young people come into the job market with absolutely no sense of direction. It is rewarding to see them learn, mature and exceed.
Greatest piece of business advice I ever received:
From the movie The Graduate in 1967, I was 'advised' to "go into plastics".
Where I see myself and/or business in 5 years:
Tropical Paradise Plastics will be a somewhat bigger 'small business' (I love small businesses) and we will be shipping product into all the corners of the world. We will be donating a portion of our profits to protect the coral reefs worldwide and that would be just fine with me.
About You, "The Person"...
Favorite place to dive:
The Caribbean...I love the Virgin Islands
Most memorable dive experience:
I was young and I was diving alone (I know!!) in Bermuda when a school of fish that were joining me for the better part of twenty minutes suddenly decided to disappear. I was certain that I was in danger. Of course, there was nothing chasing me as I swam hastily back to the dock, but I still couldn't get my foot out of the water quickly enough. I think I learned a lot that day.
From Abraham Lincoln..."I met a man today that I didn't much care for. I must get to know him better".
Something people would be surprised to learn about me:
I enjoy trying, and doing, all manners of things. I have raced Porches; skied the Alps, Rockies and Sierras; sculpted stone; carved tiki's; authored a book; photographed twenty countries and started golfing at 58. As long as I'm still above the sod, I'll find new things to do.