A history of innovation and integrity spread over sixty-five years and three family generations Click here to read Part 1 of the interview Congratulations to Ron Attman of Acme Paper & Supply Co. for being selected as one of the most admired CEOs. Click here to see the The Daily Record list and to register to attend the event honoring Ron and the other most admired CEOs. Acme Paper is a distributor of paper products, cleaning supplies, restaurants’ equipment and supplies, and other kinds of packaging products. The company is headquartered in Savage, Maryland and Richmond, Virginia. How many members of your family are involved in the business these days? RON ATTMAN: Right now, I believe we have… My father, who is 95, who still comes in everyday; myself and my two brothers who are involved in it on an everyday basis; and then I have three of my sons and a nephew that are involved. So what’s that? Seven, eight? I lose count of them. It sounds like your family relationships are an important part of the company. We really respect the family and the traditions of a family. That has been our driving force. I told that actually to my children the first day I had my three sons working in the business. I said, “Look, there’s going to be a lot of challenges through the years. Just remember that you’re always brothers and work with that in mind first. Everything else will take care of itself.” Our family is a big family but it’s not nearly big enough to get us by itself to where we want to be. You have to have great people working with you. We have 250 people that are part of Acme Paper—people that have been with us for a short time, and people that have been with us 30 and 40 years. You have to have great people to build a great company. What challenges do you face? I think some of the biggest challenges are that we are, one, constantly looking for new people to come and join us to help us continue what we’ve started. There’s a lot of people like me in my generation that are getting up there, and we need to find good, capable people to come in and take their place and have the energy to drive the company forward. When you had the recession in 2007–2008, we actually utilized that to bring in some good talent that was available, and that’s paying dividends now. Today, the economy is better, but it’s more competitive, so you have to, again, just make sure you’re at the top of your game so that you can differentiate yourself from all the other people that sell the same basic products we sell. What’s on the horizon? Do you expect Acme Paper will remain with the family? My brothers and I, you know, we’ve set of good example of working hard, treating our employees well, and hopefully—I mean I know that—the next generation that’s come in, they already have as much passion for the business as my brothers and I did. We were never really pushed to get into the business, and I never pushed my kids to come into the business. I always said, “If you want to do something else, this will be here for you.” We’re still working on the third generation of the business, but we have the fourth generation, the next generation is out there; I have seven grand kids, and nothing would please me more than if they would have that passion to do it too, but it’s without any expectations. It’s up to them. Click here to read Part 1 of the interview on citybizlist.com
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