We are excited to welcome Jeff Lackey to the Induron team. Jeff recently joined us from Iowa. With his extensive background and experience at all levels of the industry, he will make a tremendous addition to our Induron team. To learn a little more about Jeff, check out our Q&A with him below:
Q: What are your responsibilities?
A: As the Technical Director, I will be accountable for all technical, lab and QC capabilities.
Q: Tell us about your background, experience in the paint/coatings industry and how you came to work for Induron.
A: My B.S. is in Polymer Science from the University of Southern Mississippi, and my Ph.D. is in Polymer Science from the University of Akron. I spent over 20 years working for Dow Chemical, moving from the bench to management, managing a wide range of polymer technologies in just about every market that utilizes polymers. I spent a short time at Cook Composites and Coatings as the Technical Director for their coatings polymers business, developing and providing products for just about every coatings company in the U.S. I then moved to Vogel, a mid-sized paint company based in Iowa. I moved from Iowa to Birmingham and Induron in mid-September 2019.
Q: What’s the most challenging part about your job?
A: We don’t have the resources of “the big guys” so we need to excel at focus and prioritization as well as leveraging external capabilities.
Q: What’s your favorite part about what you do?
A: I’m very competitive; I love developing a product and technology that our superbly trained sales team can use to take business from one of our large competitors. Induron specializes on “the hard stuff”, the markets with extremely demanding requirements, so it’s especially gratifying when we develop a product about which people have said “that can’t be done”.
Q: Tell us about a project you’ve worked on that you are especially proud of.
A: At one point I was working on a very unique technology that we discovered was enabling in the area of cancer research. We got a letter from a woman who said her husband had been suffering from bone cancer and the drugs they gave him to manage the pain in his last month made him unable to communicate. He received our technology as part of the late-stage development and she said it allowed him to spend quality time with her in his last months, and she thanked us for giving them the gift of that time together.
Q: Are you seeing any new trends in the protective coatings industry?
A: We continue to see the growth of lower VOC requirements, such as the OTC 2 areas in which we sell. Of course, the standard “Faster, cheaper, easier to use” needs are as applicable to the protective coatings market as it is anywhere.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
A: “I know you’re mad at me for setting you up on that ambush blind date but get over it and call that girl up and ask her out again.” –My best friend, 41 years ago, who introduced me to my wife, Edie.
Q: If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead, who would it be and why?
A: The Apostle John – so many questions about what day-to-day life was like and all the things that were never recorded!
Q: What person has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
A: My father. He came from an extremely poor Mississippi farm family, joined the Air Force as a way to make a living and serve his country, and excelled in everything he did. He taught me about service, duty, being a leader in your family and how to balance being tough but being caring.
Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: This one is hard because I love good quotes. But I’ll choose one from R.W. Emerson: “What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say.”
Q: Tell us a little about your family, pets and/or hobbies.
A: I’ve been married to my wife, Edie for 39 years. We have a son who lives in Midland, MI with his wife and our granddaughter and grandson (7 and 5), a daughter in Grand Rapids, MI with her husband and two more of our grandkids (a boy who is 5 and a girl who is 2). Our youngest daughter is living in Kansas City (still single). I love to read – my kindle app is loaded with fiction and non-fiction. My mother lives two hours away from here in Mississippi, so this move allows me to see her much more often than I could previously.
Q: Where is your favorite place to be?
A: Anywhere where we can have our entire family together!
Q: If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
A: Being a fighter pilot was my dream my entire life as I was growing up on Air Force bases around the world wherever my dad was stationed.