Company: Ace Products and Consulting
Why he was selected: Hailed by multiple nominees for his business acumen and technical expertise in the rubber/silicone industry. Sharp launched his own company in 2015.
What inspired you to pursue a career in the rubber industry?
During my final year of college, a family friend told me a local business, Edgetech (now Quanex), was hiring engineers. When I applied, I did not know what Edgetech made or what their manufacturing process consisted of. Therefore, I must admit that initially the thing that moved me into the rubber industry was the opportunity to get an engineering job five minutes from my house and prior to graduating. Edgetech offered tuition reimbursement and worked around my class schedule for my last year of college. These factors made it an attractive opportunity for me. The endless opportunities in the rubber industry have kept me engaged in it ever since.
How has working in the rubber industry broadened your view of the world?
My work in the rubber industry has brought me to 15 different countries. Additionally, I did a one-year work assignment in the United Kingdom. Through this experience I have learned that while the world is big, our industry is very interconnected globally. Global factors have a strong influence on markets, pricing and technical developments.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Had someone asked me this question five years ago my answer would not have been where I am today. I am glad my journey has taken me beyond what my expectations were. Five years from now, I expect to have expanded my business and business ventures. I hope to be more involved in the development of the industry infrastructure. I want to be making an even bigger difference in my community and people's lives.
Other interests: After his oldest son, Chace, was diagnosed with autism, Erick and his wife, April, launched awareness campaigns. He participates in research studies, co-teaches a professional and parent collaboration course at Kent State University, and is co-director of his church's special needs ministry. Their other son, Ian, is almost two years old.