Thursday, December 07, 2006
I decided to leave Seven Cycles and the bike industry and join Thornton Inc. a manufacturer of instruments to accurately measure water purity in a variety of industries.
Seem like an odd transition? Not really. I spent six years in positions of increasing responsibility with Festo Corporation, a global pneumatic and electronic controls and service provider, before transitioning into the bike business in 2001 to pursue my newfound passion for cycling. Festo serves some of the same industries as Thornton, pharmaceutical and semiconductor to name a few, So I have a basic expertise in their operating procedures. Festo is also of similar size to Mettler-Toledo, Thornton's parent company, equipping me to navigate internally as well.
It was not an easy decision to make. Seven Cycles is one of the premier companies in the bike business, one that is striving to do things differently and better than any other company. In fact, its manufacturing system based upon lean manufacturing (minimizing waste) meshed with my overall interest in sustainable business. In the end, despite my affinity for Seven's mission and engagement in their success, It became clear after conversations with friends and family that the opportunity with Thornton was something I would not pass up.
For someone interested in sustainable business and renewable energy, why go back "to the dark side" as one of my associates called it? First of all, "the dark side" is probably not the best term. The fact of the matter is that all companies have the potential to make tremendous positive and negative impacts in the global community. Certainly there are companies that are currently making great sustainable strides, but the ones that have yet to take action to minimize their environmental impact represent the bulk of the world's businesses and therefore the greatest potential. Therefore, is it not in my personal best interest to accept a career growth opportunity with someone I have worked with before and in the planet's best interest for me to take some small action to spread the sustainable gospel to a new place? I think so.