By David Hood, Induron CEO
My father, William E. Hood, was a true Southern gentleman. His reputation for being kind, humorous, respectful and giving has long outlived him. He is still remembered as Santa Clause because he dressed up each Christmas and entertained children for years from his home on Memory Lane in Birmingham.
He is also well remembered by the paint industry for his many contributions to the industry, including serving as the first industry President of the National Paint, Varnish and Lacquer Association (now known as the American Coatings Association). More importantly to some, he is known for his long term chairmanship of its by-laws committee. His ability to make his annual report a “laugh out loud” and widely anticipated part of the annual meeting is still remembered by many in the industry. Everybody who knew him loved him and enjoyed being around him. My father loved them too!
He was a father and mentor to me. Being a gentleman and respecting everyone I come in contact with are still my guiding principles. He was and still is a very important factor in my development as a man, a father and a husband.
My dad’s business partner, Louis A. Prosch, Jr. was, however, an even more influential business mentor for me. Mr. Prosch (as almost everybody—especially me—called him) was as Germanic as his name suggests, and I just LOVED him and his “all business” attitude. He was demanding, critical and forceful in his commands—especially to me! I don’t think I ever got away with avoiding responsibility, slacking off, being lazy or any other inappropriate behavior at work. He was great about making the job clear, criticizing poor work and praising good work. He taught me the importance of concentrated, hard work.
He was a big part of the reason why I was able to lead Induron successfully through good times and bad to the point that I could sell it to my son in good shape to thrive for another generation. Most of the independent, private paint companies in the U.S. are long gone, but we are still here making special products that our customers want and need.
Mr. Prosch and my father were important mentors to me, and I think of them often as I try to emulate them with my business philosophy every day.