imageNovember 16, 2020

Three weeks ago, we concluded our first virtual Global Leadership Meeting with great success. Held annually, this meeting is meant to provide an update on the state of the company, chart a course for the future, and serve as a platform for our company leaders to connect and collaborate. Though I would have preferred seeing attendees in person, the virtual format was engaging, insightful and another reminder of how we must overcome challenges during the pandemic.

“Yesterday, Now and Tomorrow” was the theme, and the presentations provided context on RPM’s past, present and future. What I shared during my presentation is that we have come a long way since the initiation of our MAP to Growth program. The pace of change has been rapid—both internally and externally. Through it all, we have performed exceedingly well due to the resilience of our people.

One thing I learned along the way is that the market values growth over efficiency. Throughout our history, we have been exceptional at growing the top line. Now, thanks to the MAP to Growth, we are a much more efficient business as well. This is a one-two punch that is very powerful in terms of our ability to compete and win in the markets we serve. It has us well positioned for another decade of growth and success.

Other meeting presentations included:

  • MAP to Growth updates from Vice Presidents of Operations Mike Sullivan, Gordy Hyde and Tim Kinser;
  • Goals, Targets and Objectives (GTO) insights from Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis Scott Copeland and Construction Products Group Vice President, CFO and Treasurer Jaime Brink;
  • Big ideas for growth from Group Presidents Dave Dennsteadt, Paul Hoogenboom, Ronnie Holman and Terry Horan;
  • Strategy development from RPM Director and Caterpillar Vice President of Enterprise Strategy Julie Lagacy;
  • Investor perspectives from Vice President and CFO Rusty Gordon, Vice President of Global Tax Matt Ratajczak and Bank of Montreal Chemicals Analyst John McNulty;
  • Corporate values and environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices from Senior Vice President, General Counsel and CCO Ed Moore and Vice President and Associate General Counsel Tracy Crandall; and
  • Resiliency in the midst of a global pandemic from Vice President of Corporate Benefits & Risk Management Janeen Kastner and Exercise Physiologist Sharon McDowell-Larsen.

To conclude each of the two nights of meetings, we held our annual 168 Awards, which celebrate the best and brightest aspects of our company. We’ll profile the winners in subsequent issues of RPM Around the World. For now, I wanted to briefly mention those individuals, products and companies below to recognize their achievements:

  • Innovation Award: Euclid Chemical for its Color-Crete concrete pigment and Color-Matic G dispensing equipment
  • Connections Creating Value Award: Performance Coatings Group South Africa for taking on the management of several significant product lines in the region
  • Thomas C. Sullivan Acquisition Impact Award: DAP’s acquisition of Touch ‘n Foam
  • First Minnesota Award: Jaime Brink and the CPG Global Finance Team, who addressed various accounting, control and compliance challenges over the past few years
  • MS-168 Growth Award: CPG Wigan Facility
  • MS-168 Plant Award: Consumer Group DAP Dallas
  • MS-168 Value Engineering Award: Rust-Oleum
  • Stephen J. Knoop RPM Spirit Award: Peggy Fynan, Executive Vice President, Performance Coatings Group

Please congratulate our colleagues on their achievements and find inspiration in their accomplishments to produce your own award-winning work. I’m eager to see who will be honored at next year’s 168 Awards, and I hope we have the opportunity to recognize them with a more traditional, in-person presentation.

As always, thank you for your investment of time and talent in the growth and success of RPM.


Frank C. Sullivan
Chairman and CEO


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