New President Buys Out ViChem

January 29, 2004
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GRAND RAPIDS — Vi-Chem Corp. announced this week that Leonard R. Slott has completed his purchase of the firm and assumed the presidency of it.

For the preceding eight years, Slott was vice president and general manager of the firm which manufacturers thermoplastic elastomers and engineered vinyl compounds and alloys.

According to the announcement, the move severs the 22-year-old firm’s ties with Nicholas Plastics, Inc.

By Slott’s account, the severance was critical to the company’s future while helping position it for a broader national market plus a global reach.

Although Vi-Chem has always operated as an independent company, Slott said the previous ties to Nicholas Plastics had, in some potential customers’ eyes, created the perception of a conflict of interest.

“This management buy-out,” he said, “will allow us to develop deeper and more expansive relationships with a broad range of automotive suppliers.”

Slott, a Grand Rapids native who is 48, joined Vi-Chem as a materials manager in 1985. He was one of a dozen employees. During the intervening years, he held positions of ascending authority as Vi-Chem underwent three major expansions.

The company is located at 55 Cottage Grove St. SE.

Slott said that as president he will focus on Vi-Chem’s new partnership with Limburgse Vinyl Maatschappij, a Belgian manufacturer and an affiliate of the Tessenderlo Group.

Vi-Chem will do so, Slott said, to promote its proprietary materials for engineered slush molding products for the North American automotive market.

He said Vi-Chem also is expanding its sales force in the Southwest and Northeast as well as Canada and western Europe.

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