Ron Gallas, right, receives the Pioneer Award from NAPIM
president George Sickinger.
There have been a number of iconic pigment leaders over the years. People like Rucker Wickline, Tom Rogers, Marv Gallisdorfer and many others made their reputations as leaders in the pigment field.
Ron Gallas, director of global sales, Flint Group Pigments, has had the opportunity to work with many of these leaders, and the Pioneer Award recipient has made his own mark in the pigment industry.
“I was graduating from Grand Valley State College in Allendale, MI in June 1977, and my counselor said there was a sales job open with a chemical company called Chemetron in Holland, MI,” Mr. Gallas said. “I told the counselor I would stop by and drop off my resume to see what would happen. When I got to their offices, they would not just let me drop it off, but they wanted to give me a interview on the spot.
“Well, two guys named Tom Rogers and Rucker Wickline interviewed me on a Thursday and they called me in the next day to offer me the job,” Mr. Gallas added. “I have been in the same business ever since.”
BASF acquired Chemetron in 1979, and Mr. Gallas left to join Ridgway Color, a smaller pigment company led by Mr. Gallisdorfer.
“We grew sales at Ridgway, which was part of Sinclair & Valentine, and purchased the Borden Pigment Company in Cincinnati, OH where sales continue to grow,” Mr. Gallas said. “Then Flint Group purchased Ridgway Color, Chromatic Color and Drew Graphics and that's when CDR was formed.”
Reunited with Mr. Wickline, Mr. Gallas’ responsibilities continued to grow. Today, he is director of global sales in the current Flint Group Pigments; the company’s annual sales have grown from $50 million when CDR was formed to $500 million in 2012.
“Sales kept on growing,” Mr. Gallas said. “BASF Holland was purchased, and growth continued. Flint Group was sold to CVC, and we acquired the BASF pigment facility in Shanghai, resin facility in Coronno, Italy and the nitro chips plant in Fretin France. Growth continues. I have been lucky to have always been with a strong, healthy company, with lots of growth and opportunities, like Flint Group Pigments.”
Mr. Gallas noted that Mr. Gallisdorfer, Mr. Rogers, Mr. Wickline and Craig Foster president, Flint Group Pigments, Chips & Resins have been major influences on his career. Oustide of work, Mr. Gallas enjoys golf, biking and spending time with his grandchildren.
Mr. Gallas said he was shocked to receive the Pioneer Award.
“I am stunned, honored and happy that I chose the right industry to work in 36 years ago,” Mr. Gallas said. “How times does fly.”
His colleagues give Mr. Gallas tremendous credit for the company’s success.
“Over the years, Ron has adapted to the vast changes in both the industry and within Flint Group,” said Craig Foster, president, Flint Group Pigments, Chips & Resins. “The successful transformation of the Pigments division from a relatively small U.S.-based flush color company into into what is today a global producer and supplier of flush, toner, chips, resins, varnish and dispersions has been led by Ron through his ceaseless enthusiasm to bring value to our customers and to our company.
“For Ron, business starts and ends with his genuine love of the team he works with and his determination to meet our customers’ needs,” Mr. Foster added. “He has taken that spirit with him as his role has expanded into a truly global sales leadership position. Whether Ron is Shanghai, Sao Paolo, Cincinnati or Stuttgart, his focus is on ensuring his team meets our customers needs the right way, the Flint Group way.”