february 2011 business magazine

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Most Admired CEOs of 2011 - In this special section, we recognize area business leaders whose names were submitted to the Business Magazine as consistently demonstrating strong leadership, integrity, values, vision and commitment to excellence in their business dealings.



    VOLUME XXIV, NUMBER 2 FEBRUARY 2011Manufacturer & Business Association


    CEOS OF 2011

    / PAGE 8

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  • FEATURES > 2 / SpotlightHamilton W. Strayer, retired company president, discusses his thoughts on leadership and how Erie Strayer Company found its niche as leader among concrete batching equipment manufacturers.

    8 / Most Admired CEOs of 2011In this special section, we recognize area business leaders whose names were submitted to the Business Magazine as consistently demonstrating strong leadership, integrity, values, vision and commitment to excellence in their business dealings.

    19 / On the Hill Association State Government Relations Representative Anna McCauslin explains how Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett can balance the budget by following the example set by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

    22DEPARTMENTS > 5 / Business Buzz12 / HR Connection 16 / Legal Q&A20 / People Buzz

    EDITORIAL > 7 / Health Matters How investing in your employees can help you lower your health-care costs.STEPHANIE FUDURICH

    11 / Legal BriefWhy mediation is becoming an increasingly popular option for business leaders who want to resolve their commercial disputes.GREGORY P. ZIMMERMAN

    15 / Blue Ocean StrategyHow to unlock new demand by looking at strategic groups within your industry.ANGIE ANGUS 5

    < SPECIAL SECTION / Insert Learn about the upcoming professional devel-opment and computer classes available at the Manufacturer & Business Association, in our new quarterly Training Catalog!

    Register now to receive your FREE e-Edition of the Business Magazine online at www.mbausa.org!

    BUSINESSM a g a z i n e


    Manufacturer & Business Association

    Most AdMired

    Ceos of 2011

    / PAge 8

    Blue Ocean Strategy Center


    February 2011

    February 2011 > www.mbausa.org > 1

  • Please describe Erie Strayer and the products you manufacture. My father, George H. Strayer, started the Erie Steel Construction Company in 1912 with 10 employees. The company fabricated structural steel for the construction of factories and office buildings in the Erie area. Some of those customers were Lawrence Hotel, Boston Store, Richford Hotel, Erie Forge & Steel, and many of the factories on West 12th Street. One of the most repetitive customers was Eries General Electric.

    World War II came along and the company started manufacturing thousands of clamshell and dragline digging buckets for the Corps of Engineers and Bucyrus Erie.

    In the late 1950s, the company changed its name over to Erie Strayer Company, which was more allied to the industry. Also, at that time, the company began to manufacture concrete batch plants for the domestic and international markets.

    The industry-wide recognition and international scope of our operation might surprise many Erieites. We have secured a premier spot among our competitors.

    What is the size of your operation employees, facilities and production? Our manufacturing plant and office facilities, located at 1851 Rudolph Avenue, are in a 175,000-square-foot building on 21 acres. It can be seen from the I-79 northbound overpass between West 26th and West 12th. ERIE employs approximately 100 people.

    As the second generation in your family to run Erie Strayer, how would you describe your leadership style? We describe ourselves as a fiscally conservative company and are so known throughout our industry. This has been our management style during three generations, and it has served our business well.

    I am now retired, and my son, Robert F. Strayer, president and CEO, owns and manages the company. Kyle Strayer, my grandson and Roberts son, has recently joined the company with the goal of becoming the fourth generation leader of Erie Strayer.

    We always emphasize the family-owned advantage when dealing with our company. It is a basis for stability and is confidence-inspiring for our customers. Our stability and longevity are rare in todays climate of mergers, acquisitions and closings.

    In your opinion, what are the most important qualities of a successful CEO? Remain true to your word and never play favorites. In other words, be fair, firm and consistent with unwavering integrity.

    Be inspirational. By garnering the title CEO, you must be passionate about your position. If you are able to convey this passion and excite others, then productivity will be improved and employees will feed off of and grow from your energy.

    Since 1912, Erie Strayer Company (ERIE), headquartered at 1851 Rudolph Avenue in Erie, Pennsylvania, has been a major force in manufacturing. Hamilton W. Strayer, retired company president, was the second generation to run this international business, and it was under his guidance that the company found its niche as leader among concrete batching equipment manufacturers. The Business Magazine recently asked Mr. Strayer to share his thoughts on the company and leadership.

    VOL. XXIV, NO. 2 FEBRUARY 2011

    Copyright 2011 by the Manufacturer & Business Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial, pictorial or advertisements created for use in the Business Magazine, in any manner, without written permission from the publisher, is prohibited. Unsolicited manuscripts cannot be returned unless accompanied by a properly addressed envelope bearing sufficient postage. The maga-zine accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. The Business Magazine and Manufacturer & Business Association do not specifically endorse any of the products or practices described in the magazine. The Business Magazine is published monthly by the Manufacturer & Business Association, 2171 West 38th Street, Erie, Pa. 16508. Phone: 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660.

    Mission StatementThe Manufacturer & Business Association is dedicated to providing information and services to its members that will assist them in the pursuit of their business and community interests. Board of Governors

    Manufacturer & Business Association2171 West 38th Street Erie, Pa. 16508 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660 www.mbausa.org

    Manufacturer Yvonne Atkinson-Mishrell& Business John ClineAssociation Board Dale Deistof Governors Timothy Hunter Dan Ignasiak Mark C. Kulyk John B. Pellegrino Sr., P.E. Dennis Prischak Robert S. Pursell Lorenzo Simonelli Sue Sutto Phil Tredway

    Editor in Chief Ralph Pontillo rpontillo@mbausa.org

    Executive Editor John Krahe jkrahe@mbausa.org

    Managing Editor & Karen Torres Senior Writer ktorres@mbausa.org

    Contributing Angie Angus Writers Jessica Crocker Stephanie Fudurich Gregory P. Zimmerman

    Photography iStockphoto.com

    Advertising Sales Lori Maus Joint 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660 ljoint@mbausa.org

    Design, Production Printing Concepts Inc. & Printing printcon@erie.net

    2 < www.mbausa.org < February 2011

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    SPOTLIGHT > by Karen Torres

    Have a vision with regards to the direction of the organization. These visions then must be converted to strategies that will grow the business, keeping the organization one step ahead of the industry and lead to continued success.

    Of all the company presidents/CEO in the country who do you most admire? I would have to say the one that jumps right out at me: Warren Buffett. Buffett has had an uncompromising work ethic from a very young age that has led to his continued success. Regardless of his wealth and accomplishments, he has remained unusually humble and has donated billions of dollars to charity. He keeps his personal life as simple as possible, yet his business ventures are brilliantly strategic. He is a genius investor and decision-maker.

    What was the best business advice you ever received? Know your competitors products and their capabilities, and then keep a step ahead of them.

    What management book would you recommend?