Experience Speaks: Lyle Reigel

  • President & CEO of US Paper Converters

  • Management Style | Open-door policy

  • Personal Motto | Honesty and hard work

  • How did you get into the converting business? I was an electrical contractor, and I wired a very small converting company. They went bankrupt, and I purchased the business.

  • What is the key to retaining good employees? Treat them fairly with good wages, job security, and safe working conditions.

  • What is the key to growing a business in a bad economy? Consistency. We believe in our product, so we continue to upgrade our equipment to maximize quality and production.

  • What is the biggest threat to the converting industry right now? Imports are a threat, but overall the economy has a huge impact on the industry.

  • What do you enjoy most about your job? Knowing I'm responsible for providing employment for many families in the community.

  • What do you enjoy least? The extremes of the workload, which frequently are beyond our control.

  • What keeps you up at night with regard to your business? Nothing keeps me awake at night! Seriously, when a situation occurs that creates a problem for one of our employees, it upsets me because I feel responsible for hard-working, dedicated people in my employ.

  • What advice would you give to somone just starting out in this business? Work hard and understand what's happening throughout your entire facility. Hire honest, hard-working people, then trust them to do their work.

  • How do you handle a difficult customer? Consistency. If issues arise, I personally discuss the situation to come up with a creative, fair way to resolve the problem.

  • What is the biggest mistake you made and how did you fix it? Not tracking every roll of paper that entered our building. Today we can pull up any roll of paper on our computer with the push of a button and review its history.

  • Any hobbies? I am a wood turner and occasionally exhibit my work in art galleries. I enjoy riding my motorcycle and working outdoors, particularly with heavy equipment. I also enjoy caring for animals in the wild.

  • What does your company do for your customers that makes them enjoy doing business with you? Good old-fashioned quality and service. At US Paper Converters, the phone will always be answered by a real person.

  • What is the best advice you ever got? Know your competition.

  • Do you have a personal hero, and if so, who is it and why? My mother is my personal hero. She modeled the hard-work ethic and traditional values until the day she died.

US Paper Converters

  • 4808 W. Converters Dr., Appleton, WI 54913
  • www.uspaperconverters.com
  • Founded 1983; 2 plants; 125 employees
  • Specialty | Rewinding, sheeting, trimming

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in our industry? Write to yolanda.simonsis@penton.com.


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