"I firmly believe that people and culture are a true competitive advantage for Teknor," he added. "I will demonstrate this by removing barriers, collaborating, and rewarding performance to ambitious goals and solve the most demanding business problems, all while emerging a more robust team."
Wiseman joined Star, a compounder and recycler, in 2021, less than a month after private equity firm Akoya Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in Star. He has almost 30 years of industry experience, including leadership roles with PolyOne Corp. (now Avient Corp.) and Americhem Inc. Prior to joining Star, Wiseman served as interim chief operating officer and board member for recycling technology firm GreenMantra Technologies of Brantford, Ontario.
Teknor Apex is one of North America's 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers. The firm operates 13 plants worldwide in the U.S., Belgium, Germany, China and Singapore and has annual sales of more than $1 billion. Its products include PVC compounds, thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) and engineering resin compounds, as well as garden hoses.
Teknor Apex is family owned and was founded by Jonathan Fain's grandfather, Alfred Fain, in 1924 as Apex Tire & Rubber Co. When Jonathan Fain's father, Norman Fain, went to work with his father Alfred in 1936, the firm was primarily a tire recapping company.
In 1945, it started a custom rubber mixing business and in 1949 began production of PVC compounds. In 1968, Norman Fain became chairman of the company. It was renamed Teknor Apex and in 1972 Jonathan Fain joined the family business.
In a 2016 interview with Plastics News, Jonathan Fain said he began working at Teknor Apex shortly after graduating from college in 1972.
"I wanted to take a year off and my dad wanted me to start the very next day," Fain said. "So we compromised and I got two weeks. I went and helped a friend build a log cabin in Vermont."
Fain added that family firms such as Teknor Apex "can take a long-term perspective."
"We can make different decisions, as opposed to an equity company where numbers make decisions," he explained. "For us, it's about customers and what we want to do with company."