Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 23, 2014
BUSINESS

Agri-Industrial Plastics founder handing reins to his daughter

Sep 17, 2013
PHOTO SUBMITTED Lori Schafer-Weaton will become president of Agri-Industrial Plastics when her father and company founder Dick Smith, fifth from left, hands over control Oct. 1. Smith will remain involved as executive chairman of the board. The Agri-Industrial Plastics management team is, from left, Rob Pettit, director of quality; Brett Ferrel, human resources manager; Mick Stielow, director of sales and marketing; Schafer-Weaton and Smith; Doug Robison, director of supply management; Geoff Ward, director of engineering; and Greg Baumann, plant manager.

Lori Schaefer-Weaton is no stranger to Agri-Industrial Plastics. As daughter of the founder, Richard K. “Dick” Smith, she worked on the first assembly line in 1978 and as summer help during high school and college. In 2004 Schaefer-Weaton officially joined the company as the director of business development.

In recent years, Smith, Schaefer-Weaton and their senior management team have developed a strategic business plan to help guide Agri-Industrial Plastics Company through another successful 35 years. A critical component of this has been a succession plan that will allow Smith to hand off day-to-day responsibilities to Schaefer-Weaton when she assumes the role of president on Oct. 1

The timing of the transition in leadership makes sense for this family-owned business. The same mission statement and company values that have been the basis of the company’s success during the first 35 years — Integrity, Quality, Innovation, Teamwork, Customer Satisfaction and Family Environment —will continue to be applied in framing the future success for the next 35 years.

Smith has expressed his utmost confidence in Schaefer-Weaton and their senior management team.

“I am most proud of the team we have assembled here at Agri over the years,” he said. “This team is more than capable of moving the company forward.”

Smith plans to stay involved in the company as chairman of the board of directors, which includes his wife Judy Smith, son Brian Smith and daughter Lori Schaefer-Weaton. Dick Smith has many “pet projects” he will continue to work on and has offered to assist in training a few recently hired engineering personnel by passing along his extensive knowledge of blow molding.

Schaefer-Weaton sits on the Iowa Association of Business and Industry Board and Executive Committee. She is currently serving as president of the Fairfield Economic Development Association,and sits on the advisory board for Project Lead the Way in Fairfield. She is married to Nate Weaton, general manager of Hill Phoenix in Keosauqua. They have five children: Cami (13), Jack (12), Abby (10), Max (9), and Sam (7).

 

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