Tom Martin is a second generation rubber industry veteran who has been in the sector for three decades.
When he was born in Bay City, Mich., his father was running a mill for Dow Corning Corp. in nearby Midland.
“My dad couldn't wait to get to California,” Martin said. “We moved out when I was 1.”
During his career, he has spent a lot of time working in the silicone industry and has held such varied jobs as scooping hydraulic oil that dripped out of presses, to estimating jobs to mill operator to working with chemicals.
He is now vice president of operations of R.D. Abbott Co. Inc., in charge of all of the logistics that go on with order fulfillment, based out of the firm's headquarters in Cerritos.
During his time in the state, he said it is clear that the regulations that began with the Clean Air Act were vitally important. “When we came to California, we moved to Glendora, which is at the base of the foothills,” Martin said. “You couldn't see the foothills for a couple months of the year. I was actually sent home from school for third-stage smog alerts in the early 1970s.”
But a lot has been accomplished to improve the environmental situation since then, and what regulators are concentrating now is a bit of a stretch, he said. “There is no doubt we have cleaned up a major part of it. But that was the low-hanging fruit. Now they're on pretty tall ladders getting that fruit.”
From a business standpoint, the weather in California is a big aid to productivity. “We don't have snow days,” Martin said. “You want to work 365 days a year? You can here. We don't have weather shutdowns, and our natural disasters are fairly few and far between.”
This video and story came from an industry roundtable that Rubber & Plastics News hosted at R.D. Abbott Co. Inc.'s headquarters in Cerritos, Calif. To see complete coverage, including more videos, stories, exclusive online content and a photo gallery, go to www.rubbernews.com/California.