October 30, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
42°F

Brunswick company Philpott celebrates 125 years

State Rep. Dave Hall, right, shares a joke with Mike Baach, president and CEO of Philpott, Friday morning during a celebration commemorating 125 years in business at the company’s Brunswick headquarters. (LOREN GENSON / GAZETTE)

State Rep. Dave Hall, right, shares a joke with Mike Baach, president and CEO of Philpott, Friday morning during a celebration commemorating 125 years in business at the company’s Brunswick headquarters. (LOREN GENSON / GAZETTE)

More than 200 employees, family, friends, business leaders and government officials crowded Brunswick’s Industrial Park on

Friday morning to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Philpott.

The company was founded in Cleveland in 1889 as a rubber hose and belting supply house by John W. Philpott, whose two sons-in-law managed the business before he sold it to employees under an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. The company has grown to include six subsidiaries and now supplies a diverse array of products.

“The tenure of employees here is very long,” Mike Baach, president and CEO of Philpott, said.

Medina County Commissioner Pat Geissman said the company has tripled in size since 2009, and she praised the work of Baach.

“Philpott has grown to be one of the most respected polymeric solutions companies in the country,” she said.

Guests of Philpott’s quasquicentennial anniversary were treated to a barbecue lunch under a tent on the company’s property in the Industrial Park.

Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell, who worked with Baach when Baach served as economic development director for the city of Medina, said Baach’s work to remain innovative helps keep jobs in the region.

“You and Philpott work to keep the jobs here instead of in some other state — or worse, some other country,” Hanwell said.

Brunswick Vice Mayor Vince Carl said it’s an amazing feat for a company to survive both world wars and the country’s Great Depression and remain a strong and stable company.

“In 1889, when this business opened, was the same year the Eiffel Tower opened, and beasts were still the main form of transportation,” Carl said. “The only way to make it that long is to remain innovative.”

In his remarks, Baach thanked the Philpott family and said he appreciated the hard work of company presidents, like Joe Kuzma, who served before he took the reins in 2006.

Baach succeeded Kuzma, who retired after leading the company for 12 years.

“Joe taught me how to appreciate this company and the roots that it came from,” he said.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com. Follow her on Twitter @lorengenson.