Family run business: Monmouth Rubber & Plastics Corp.
By RUBBER & PLASTICS NEWS REPORT
John M. Bonforte Sr. and John Bonforte Jr. hold a certificate at the Gasket Fabricators Association’s Gasketing and Converting Expo, held recently in Orlando, Fla.
Founder: John M. Bonforte Sr.
Headquarters: Long Branch, N.J.
Number of employees: 53.
Key family members active in the company: John M. Bonforte Jr., president, chief operating officer.
What it does: Monmouth Rubber & Plastics is a U.S. manufacturer of closed cell sponge rubber and plastic foam.
Markets served: Automotive, medical, sports, construction, electrical, miscellaneous industrial.
Number of generations involved in the business:Two.
What are the strengths of a family owned business? Family values. Our family values guide us in our business operations: How we treat each other, our employees and our customers. We bring to work the Bonforte family values and apply them to all aspects of our business.
What are the challenges of a family owned business? John Jr. is our succession plan. He now owns Monmouth Rubber & Plastics. He grew up in the business. After college, he worked for GE Plastics, learned the realities of the world, and then he came back ready to assume his current role. His having complete ownership resolves many possible issues. I advise; he decides.
Do non-family members hold any executive or ownership roles? Joann Buonomo is the office manager (who has) 42 years with Monmouth. Putting family values to the front is important. All issues are worked out just fine.
How much does the younger generation influence decisions? All four of my children and many of my grandchildren do and have worked at various tasks in the company. They bring vitality and a fresh approach, which helps us to stay focused on the people aspects of business.
Something you might not know about the company: When Monmouth started, there were 13 companies that manufactured closed cell sponge rubber buns. When I said I was going to go into manufacturing the above products, many said I was crazy. They said, “All 13 companies are struggling with quality, etc.” My answer was, “You can be crazy and still have a good idea.’ Today there are three of us left in the U.S. We are doing just fine.”
What advice would you offer a young entrepreneur who wants to start a family run business? Follow your dreams. Stick to it. If you feel it in your heart, run with it. Don’t give up. Be prepared to dream in the sky with your feet planted firmly on the ground.
And another thing: As a U.S. manufacturer of closed cell buns, Monmouth offers all the things that the government is trying to do to bring business back. The firm believes its business model works, products proudly made in the U.S.
Monmouth Rubber & Plastics Corporation’s new owner succession plan
LONG BRANCH, NJ – The final phase of Monmouth Rubber & Plastics Corporation’s succession plan was completed January 1 with John M. Bonforte Jr’s assumption of the roles of president and COO of the sponge rubber and plastic foam manufacturer.
Formerly Monmouth’s sales manager, Bonforte took over the company’s day-to-day operations in early 2010. He had begun his Monmouth career as a high school student, working the second shift after school and during summer breaks. Bonforte became the company’s sales manager in 2004, with responsibilities for sales, quality and customer service.
“A carefully devised and well-executed succession plan ensures the longevity of any company,” Bonforte said. “And longevity is a major key to corporate success.”
The change of ownership coincides with Monmouth’s increasing significantly its production capacity.
“Monmouth already is a leader in the manufacturing of closed cell sponge rubber and plastic foam. The increased capacity will further solidify Monmouth’s leadership position in the market,” Bonforte said.
Extensive technical expertise
“The other critical element in our continued success is our technical support,” company founder John M. Bonforte Sr. said. “As other closed cell sponge rubber and plastic foam manufacturers shut down, a significant need persists for the kind of extensive technical expertise and knowledge that only we have.
“Our technical support is second to none – and available to anyone with a serious interest in our industry,” said John Sr., who will remain with Monmouth as general manager and technical director.