My great grandfather, Charlie Rubin, was a founding member of the National Barrel and Drum Association. My grandfather, Max Rubin, was a strong supporting member as well, and looked to by many as a patriarch of the organization. He along with my father Richard is only one of two “Father & Son Duo’s” to win the Morris Hershson Award of Merit. I have been active in RIPA for about 2 years now, and it has proven to be interesting and fun. It is the coming together of our Industry from across the country to learn from each other, catch up on family happenings and more. The beautiful thing about this organization, though a decreasing faction, is the pride it takes in the independent family owned businesses that were the original creators of the group, as well as some of the most outspoken and active members. I could detail the history of our families involvement in RIPA for many pages, but I am not writing this article because of that. I actually want to shed some light on another Michigan Family Business, and their legacy.
Peter DeWitt of DeWitt Barrels won the Morris Hershson Award of Merit this year. I want to formally congratulate him on this award, as well as share my thoughts on both of our family’s impact on the Michigan economy. I do not think that it is a coincidence that the previous winner of the award was also a Michigan family owned business (My father Richard won the Morris Hershson in 2009). I also do not think that it is a coincidence, but rather an imperative statement of or our economy in Michigan, that despite a decrease in the amount of jobs and cutbacks in all sectors of government across the board, that these two family owned drum companies still thrived. Maxi provides over twenty families with jobs and benefits. We also try and provide a comfortable and fun work environment. (We even have office cats to lighten up the mood!)
I don’t want to get too far off topic here. Peter DeWitt, like my father, both have driven their respective companies forward at full speed during this most recent recession. Business leaders could learn a thing or two from these guys! DeWitt focuses on the reconditioning process and now Recycling, while Maxi has a broader product offering but doesn’t process drums in house. We do a lot of business back and forth, but more importantly we are both invested in competing with the bigger conglomerates for Michigan customers. It is a testament to both organizations that we continue to thrive in this highly competitive environment.
The message of this blog is too support your neighbor, your friends, and your fellow community members, whether you are competitors or complete strangers. The bottom line is the more you buy local and support your states economy, the more likely the benefits will come back to you. I want to again say that Peter has been a strong voice and active member of RIPA, standing up for reconditioners. Both past Chairman of RIPA, my father and Peter represent something that is dying in our industry:
“REAL BARREL MEN!”
Richards Acceptance speech 2009.
Reusable Industrial Packaging Association (RIPA) Website.
Tags: Barrels, business, Charlie Rubin, Economy, family-owned, Max Rubin, Michigan, Morris Hershson, Morris Hershson Award of Merit, NABADA, Peter DeWitt, re-conditioners, Reusable Industrial Packaging Association, Rick Rubin, RIPA, Totes