Chris Geib, President of Geib Industries, Inc., Franklin Park, IL
NAHAD: How was 2010 for Geib Industries and what is the outlook for the rest of 2011?
Chris Geib: We have been very fortunate at Geib Industries. We were extremely aggressive during the recessionary period. Instead of laying off employees we actually added sales force, added inventory and expanded our production capacity. That aggressive recessionary tactic really brought our 2010 numbers to record highs for Geib. Our first quarter here in 2011 was the best that we've ever had.
NAHAD: Is there anything new coming for Geib?
Geib: We're excited about a few new programs. Some of our vendors are moving toward what they call smart technologies. It monitors the condition of a hose assembly throughout its life. The technology is all about detecting and warning a user of an impending failure. This is also considered a green initiative because of preventing potential hazards and spills.
NAHAD: Which markets for the company are strong and which are weak? What impact does this have on your business?
Geib: The alternative energy market is very strong for Geib and also the primary metals market. Refineries - oil and gas- have been doing well. We can't keep up with all of our mobile OEM business, which has grown the most over the past 12 months. The construction and hauling industry has not bounced back ... all of the construction-related industries are way down.
NAHAD: You recently became a member of the association's board. Why did you want to join the board?
Geib: I had been approached by senior board members and talked a little about the process of being nominated and ultimately being elected. I've been in the industry a long time, and it's a passion of mine. I want to help shape the continued success of our industry.
NAHAD: What do you hope to accomplish while on the board and why?
Geib: I would like to continue the path of education NAHAD provides its members. Also, we want to really build NAHAD as a resource for not only distributors but also for distributors to market to their customers using something called the Hose Safety Institute. It is comprised of distributors, manufacturers and users who came together to build these guidelines for hose assembly. The Hose Safety Institute will give customers piece of mind that their supplier adheres to a set of standards when fabricating their hose hoses.
NAHAD: Which committees are you on?
Geib: I am serving on the Education, Training, and Services Committee; our Past President Alex McGill and Molly Thompson from NAHAD started a Young Executive Council, which I look forward to serving on, as well. The new council will have programs so that we can reach out to the younger up-and-coming generation. There doesn't seem to be much business succession happening in our industry. I think it's important to get the young executives and future leaders involved. We want potential leaders to realize that we do have a good time, and we do enjoy our industry.
NAHAD: What is your background in the industry? How long have you been working in it, and how did you get to where you are now?
Geib: I've been working in industry for 20 years. I started out pushing a broom, working summers and Christmas vacation. By the time I went to college I was given a sales position and beat the streets cold-calling in and around the Chicago area. I was promoted to sales manager, then to vice president and as of three years ago I became the president and owner of the company. Growing up in the hose business has been great. I wake up every day excited about what the new day will bring for my company and our industry.
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