ERIE, Pa.—It was two years ago that Jon Meighan, then an executive and plant manager with General Electric, began having serious thoughts about owning and managing his own business.
Little did he know that by August 2017 he would own one that operates in an industry he had no direct experience with.
Regardless, Meighan is now the owner and president of Lake Erie Rubber & Manufacturing, an Erie-based custom rubber molding and manufacturing company that is more than 20 years old. It's an aspirational move for the Erie-area resident, who combined two former companies—Skully Enterprises and Lake Erie Rubber Works—into one. His enterprise places an emphasis on using lean principles to drive continued improvement in safety, quality, delivery and cost for its customers.
That strategic move does make the transition an ideal fit, Meighan says, even though he had no previous experience in the rubber manufacturing industry.
"At General Electric I had worked in the supply chain area with a focus on welding. To be honest with you, though, the rubber business was a new one for me," Meighan said. "But I was looking for a business to acquire in (the Erie area) because the cost of doing business is low and there is a long (history) of successful manufacturing and (employee) know-how here."