Rubber Manufacturing Plant Inaugurated in Bomi

first_imgA female operator in action on Cooper FarmThe Cooper Rubber Processing Plant (CRPP), the first 100 percent Liberian owned plant that will manufacture retreaded tires, roofing materials, electrical insulators, fixtures PVC pipes, fittings, rubber gloves, among others has been inaugurated in the country.Mr. James E. Cooper is the vice president of the Rubber Planters Association of Liberia (RPAL) and is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CRPP.The CRPP was inaugurated on Monday, June 4, at a well-attended ceremony graced by major players in the Liberian economy. The plant is located in Blagai, Bomi Highway.According to CEO Cooper CRPP purchases rubber from local farmers across the country and process them into crepe technically specified rubber (TSR) 10 which is then exported to automobile tire manufacturers in Asia and the United States.He said the plant also has the capacity to produce ribbed smoked sheets for export. Mr. Cooper is assisted by a team of national and foreign staff with diverse training and experiences in rubber related operations and other related fields. Mr. Cooper described the initiative as “A Call to Action” for Liberian entrepreneurs.“This is a call to action and the beginning of a national conversation about the importance and significance of rubber manufacturing,” he said.He noted that the crepe TSR is the highest quantities of commodities made on the farm, processed and sent away. “We want to do all these here and this is why we have built this plant,” Mr. Cooper said.Mr. Cooper noted, “What we’re trying to do here is simple; people have serious issues in Bomi and the way to do that provides them with jobs to boost our country’s economy.”“One of the things we have to put together is to create jobs for our people…if a man does not have a job, there will be no dignity; there’s no hope for the family at home. So the establishment of the plant will be able to contribute to the government’s pro-poor agenda,” he noted.He said the farm was originally established by his father in 1956 and in 1962 they began to sell rubber to Firestone. “Today I see in front of me my dream being realized – the first ever state of the art rubber processing plant in Liberia. I can proudly say we have arrived,” Mr. Cooper said.At Monday’s ceremony, CRPP also celebrated the grand opening of its specialty tire manufacturing facility, which will produce tires, slippers and other rubber materials for the first time in the country.(From left) Mr. Cooper, Cllr. Mulbah and Police IG Sudue with other guests at the facility.The inauguration of CRPP, he said comes with many benefits, including the expansion of its employees from 156 to 300, expansion of the revenue base for the government, increase in the price of raw rubber to local farmers and knowledge transfer to rubber manufacturing from foreign rubber manufacturers to Liberians.Mr. Cooper also stated that the dream of processing rubber for export, especially as a Liberian was not only ambitious but challenging. Mr. Cooper said he engaged and succeeded in getting funding from a private investor, Bob Jackson of the Liberian Economic Development and Financing Corporation (LEDFEC).As a new entrant in the rubber sector of Liberia, Mr. Cooper has succeeded in transforming latex and coagulated harvesting, selling raw rubber to processing and exporting quality rubber to Malaysia and the USA.He also believes that to remain a sustainable job creation entity, he must venture into manufacturing of rubber products for sale throughout West Africa.Additional funding was also sourced from the government through the Rubber Development Stimulus Fund. “The funding was helpful in constructing the factory and the administrative building as well as procuring machinery and equipment. It also helped in the process of building the capacities of the workers,” Mr. Cooper said.Cllr. Darku Mulbah, Solicitor General lauded Mr. Cooper for the initiative and assured he would the support of the Liberian government.Cllr. Mulbah also encouraged other Liberians to unite in order to move the country’s economy forward as well as better the lives of its citizens.Reiterating Cllr. Mulbah’s statement of support to the Cooper Farm, Inspector General of Police, Patrick Sudue encouraged other Liberians to put hands together and ensure that Liberia becomes great.In several remarks, the president of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment LBDI, John Davies pledged his support to Mr. Cooper’s initiative.Meanwhile observers say the initiative undertaken by Mr. Cooper offers a shining ray of hope especially to small and medium Liberian rubber farmers who have long been exploited by the big rubber companies especially Firestone by paying little or nothing to local farmers  for their rubber.  Currently, the Government of Liberia forbids the export of raw rubber by small producers but yet allow Firestone and other large rubber companies  from doing so. According to themCurrently, according to a small rubber farmer(name withheld) there is a surcharge imposed on every ton of rubber sold by Liberian farmers and that tax money goes to the Liberia Rubber Planters Association(RPAL) which, rather than being of benefit to farmers  has since instead become a virtual cash cow for Government officials as there is no accountability by the  managers of such funds neither has there been any report over how much is being realized and how much has been realized over the years.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Beauty Boss: How Sephora CEO Calvin McDonald Leads Trends, Teams & Triathlons

first_img Fragrance Advisor (Consultant) Sephora Los Angeles, CA 3.6★ 23 hours ago 23h Assistant Manager, Client Experience Sephora Seattle, WA 23 hours ago 23h It’s 6 a.m. and the sun washing over the hills of Marin County, California. And Calvin McDonald is already awake. Before grabbing his smartphone, he decides whether today he’ll go for a morning swim or a run — an avid triathlete, every morning is dedicated to honing his craft and improving his times. Before his heart rate has time to settle, he’s dressed and packing a bag to head to the office. McDonald, 45, isn’t in a suit and tie, but instead he’s clad in riding gear, preparing for the 25-mile bike ride to work over San Francisco’s famed Golden Gate bridge.“That is my thinking time,” says the husband and father of four. “I do a lot of thinking through opportunities, thinking through challenges that I’m faced with, that the business is face with.”Sitting at the helm of one of the largest beauty retail franchise in the U.S., McDonald sees more opportunities than challenges. As President and CEO of Sephora Americas, he oversees an expanding base of over 430 stores across the Americas which has earned him the honor of being a Glassdoor Highest Rated CEO, according to reviews by his employees. With a 93% approval rating,  McDonald stands as this year’s top beauty CEO.“I’m very humbled, but I believe in winning through others and winning together,” says McDonald shyly of his recognition. “Glassdoor is one of the sites I go to and read the comments. Feedback is a gift and it’s a wonderful opportunity to hear what people are saying — the good, the bad and the ugly. I don’t want to just hear the good all the time. I want to see and hear what the opportunities are.”Much like his Iron Man competitions, McDonald isn’t afraid to get hands-on as he leads the pack. With over 10,000 employees (all with impeccable make-up skills), McDonald mixes his brand of accessibility, transparency and vision to stay connected to all levels of his organization. Whether he’s having dinner with store directors in a new market or hosting breakfast with new hires — yes, he’s met every new hire since he joined Sephora in 2014 — McDonald’s goal is to “to talk about the values of the organization, what we’re doing and hopefully inspire them and provide feedback.”Glassdoor’s Amy Elisa Jackson caught up with the beauty boss to dig into what makes him a highest rated CEO and how he has created a company culture as irresistible as Sephora’s products.Glassdoor: Being an accessible leader is more indicative of a start-up as opposed to a multi-national corporation like Sephora. Why has it been a cornerstone of your tenure?Calvin McDonald: Today’s generation can follow any celebrity they want through social media. They can interact with them through so many means. They not going to feel inspired and want to sort of work for and feel motivated by a leader that doesn’t take on the same type of accessibility. I’ve always invested in an authentic way to lead people by being approachable and I think that is how you have to lead organizations in today’s generation.Glassdoor: Give me an example of how that plays out in the average week.Calvin McDonald: Yesterday I was in Las Vegas speaking to about 500 of our store directors, specialists, and district managers sharing with them where we’re going, what I’m excited about, what my Top 10 favorite products are. It’s one of my favorites because I walk through the audience, talk about product and sort of have my own Oprah moment where I’m throwing out product to them. Then I spent the next few hours just walking the halls, taking selfies with them. I’m talking to them. I’m getting feedback. I think they respond to that sort of authentic leadership of I do care. I do want to listen. I do want to hear from them. I take action when they tell me something is not right. There is an opportunity or they share an idea. I truly appreciate the conversations and I think that comes across in an authentic way.Glassdoor: When you can’t be in every store all of the time for that personal touch, how do you work with your teams to ensure that employees are engaged and motivated? After all, retail can be a slog for those on the front lines at times.Calvin McDonald: I always say in retail sometimes the art is doing common things uncommonly well because there is a routine to retail in the stores. One could agree there is a mundane routine to it but how do you insure that every cast member either at the field support centers and or in the stores feel appreciated, are inspired by what they do day in and day out so that they can then obviously bring that energy and excitement to the client. One way we do that is by keeping the store environments exciting. Then, I make it personal. I’m a huge competitor. I love to win, but how I win matters to me. It is about winning as [a] team, winning together. I demand and expect from my operating team that we’re coordinated, that we’re aligned and work and think about the business holistically. We don’t think and work about our business in silos. I worked very hard to make sure that the operating team is truly a team that thinks about the business the way that I think about it versus thinking about it through their own little piece of the business.How we communicate and collaborate are key but equally important, and where I think a lot of organizations are struggling today, is coordination. We very much focus on how do we continue to be a coordinated organization. Most organizations are still set up and operate within silos. Most management teams are not coordinated. It’s difficult to do in particular as you are growing because we’re getting bigger through our own successes but I think it starts with leading by example. I demand it on my operating committee and I have recruited and brought in the people and promoted those that share similar values.Glassdoor: How do you loop the employees into that vision?Calvin McDonald: Every Friday,  I write a blog that gets posted across the organization and I talk about the travels, the stores, the markets that I’ve been. I celebrate sometimes the little wins and the big wins. Everybody stays informed and can celebrate.On LinkedIn, I have over 11,000 followers and a big chunk of them are Sephora cast members. Every morning I spend a few minutes and I see who is celebrating a work anniversary at Sephora and I personally send them a note every day. I don’t do that because I want huge fanfare. I do that because, again, we all have choices and the fact that people choose to work at Sephora I think is fantastic.Glassdoor: What’s one reason job seekers should want to work at Sephora?Calvin McDonald: On culture, we have a very unique culture here. Innovation is core to how most employees think and everybody owns innovation at Sephora. We’re disruptive. We never stop and we’re very action oriented which is very unique. How do we make sure that that culture thrives in a business that continues to have success is critical to us that people feel empowered, connected to the business is so important and then the talent? As we get bigger we need talent. We’re a unique business and we want to hire both recruit, retain and develop the right to individual.Glassdoor: Now for some fun ones Calvin. Tell me what was your first job?Calvin McDonald: My first job was delivering catalogs. I’m Canadian and I grew up in London, which is outside Toronto. My first job was delivering Sears catalogs actually.Glassdoor: I always used to get excited about when the Sears catalog came to the house — it was pages and pages of cool stuff.Calvin McDonald: I used to hate delivering the Wish book because the thing was about three inches thick and three times as long, but I think I earned 25 cents a catalog per household.Glassdoor: Now, grab your smartphone. What is the last app that you opened and what did you do with it?Calvin McDonald: I’m a competitor. There’s two apps in the morning I typically use. The first one is Strava. I post my rides in and out of work and I see how I did relative to my times. Then I’m obsessed with the CNN app and just what the heck is going on in the world right now.Glassdoor: Once you make the 25 mile ride back home and no one is calling you “Sir” or CEO,  what’s your evening routine?Calvin McDonald:  I have four children. When I bike home, I’m thinking through the day and I try to ensure that when I walk through the door I can be dad. I tuck my daughter every night. We have our ritual of reading the bedtime stories, and then with the older boys, we head down to shoot some hoops or some spend some quality time be it just hanging outside on the deck. When I get home, I love relaxing and just spending time with my wife and kids. 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