When I first heard how David Bolland came to lead Plymouth Foam, I was stunned. Most businesses, including Plymouth Foam, don’t have a plan in place for what to do if three top executives — including the two owners of the company — are killed in a plane crash. After the tragedy, Bolland, who led sales and marketing efforts, helped guide the company through the loss as well as keep it on track and poised for additional growth.
Plymouth Foam’s past challenge prepared it well for COVID-19 and all the changes it has created for the company. While dealing with the new workplace realities of wearing masks and social distancing, Bolland and his team kept to their plan to launch Earthhide, a line of environmentally friendly and sustainable products customized for several industries. Turn to page 22 to read Jessica Thiel’s cover story on Plymouth Foam.
While COVID-19 has affected all industry sectors in one way or another, hospitality and tourism have endured some of the biggest losses. Most hotels and restaurants were closed or severely limited in their operations for months. For the most part, they still aren’t back to where they were before mid-March. Turn to page 28 to read my Insight Insider feature on how various hospitality businesses are handling the challenges.
With one-fifth of New North workers employed in manufacturing, the latest industry trends and products are of great interest to many. In this month’s Don’t Miss, Jessica writes about the 10th annual Manufacturing First Expo & Conference, which will be held Oct. 20-22. Like so many other events in 2020, Manufacturing First is going virtual. A virtual event will allow more people to access more information and content, with attendees having the option to listen live or later since the event will remain accessible for a month. Turn to page 70 to get the full details about this year’s event.
As the weather cools and an increase in COVID-19 cases becomes likely, I think this nugget from Manufacturing First keynote speaker Daniel Burrus is good advice for all business owners: “Post-pandemic success will be determined by what you do now, not post-pandemic.”
Manufacturing First Expo & Conference
The 10th annual Manufacturing First Expo & Conference is going virtual in 2020. The event is taking place Oct. 20-22 and features keynote presentations, webinars with live question and answer sessions, and networking opportunities and exhibits utilizing AI technology.
Women’s Leadership Conference
Registration is now open for the Women’s Leadership Conference presented by New Sage Strategies. Participants can attend the Oct. 15 event in person at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay or virtually. The conference is an all-day professional and networking event designed to inspire women to take their careers to the next level. womensleadershipwi.com/registration
An extra dose of Insight
Listen to Plymouth Foam President and CEO David Bolland discuss the culture journey he and his team have pursued for the past several years.
Bolland’s interview is just one of the many Insight has done during the past 10 years with New North business leaders that you can find online at insightonbusiness.com/home/cover-story-videos.