What’s ahead for Binswanger: Q&A with David Draper, COO

By Jenni Chase, Glass Magazine
January 17, 2012
COMMERCIAL, RETAIL : BUSINESS

Following Grey Mountain’s acquisition of Binswanger Enterprises in early January, David Draper, pictured at right, was appointed COO, responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations. He succeeds Arturo Carrillo, former president and CEO of Binswanger, who announced he was leaving the company to join Grey Mountain Partners. Glass Magazine had the opportunity to speak with Draper about Binswanger’s future under the Grey Mountain umbrella. Following are excerpts from that interview.

GM: What management changes will occur at Binswanger, following the Grey Mountain acquisition? How do these personnel changes fit into the overall plan for the company?

We do not anticipate any additional changes. The experience and quality of the management team and the branch managers at Binswanger are one of the company’s greatest strengths.

GM: Will there be any changes that affect other Binswanger employees?

Binswanger has gone through a tumultuous period and emerged a company with a bright future ahead of it. We certainly want to build the momentum and capitalize on our team’s positive energy. The employees at Binswanger can look forward to being a part of a team that is dedicated to achieving a level of success that has not been achieved in recent years.

GM: How will Binswanger be different under the Grey umbrella?

The obvious change is the stand-alone business model. The newly found independence enables the management team and more than 750 employees to focus on exceeding the expectations of our customers and strategically growing into new parts of the market.

GM: Do you anticipate maintaining the current locations and product/service mix?

Grey Mountain acquired Binswanger to pursue a growth strategy. As a result, we anticipate maintaining all current locations and services while seeking opportunities to grow. We also will be aggressive in chasing new product options and diversifying our offerings.

GM: What are the three most important items on your agenda for the company?

1. Safety of our employees 2. Exceeding the expectations of our customers 
3. Building a strategic plan that focuses on growing the business while maximizing profitability

GM: How does your background prepare you for leading Binswanger?

Robbins LLC was acquired by Grey Mountain Partners in November 2007. I was a member of the Robbins senior management team during the transaction phase and subsequent years as a Grey Mountain Portfolio company. During the 4 years of being a Grey Mountain company, Robbins experienced substantial growth by more than doubling total revenue and profitability. We did this by embracing a philosophy of continuous improvement up and down the organization, developing aggressive yet realistic strategic plans, and evaluating and executing acquisitions that fit into our growth strategy. I know that we can employ the same type of philosophy at Binswanger with more than favorable results.

GM: Having worked in other industries, do you believe the glass industry is different than any other market or business? Why or why not?

I’m very excited to be working in the glass and glazing industry. There are a lot of similarities to my past in that good solid business practices absolutely make a difference. Plus, the passion for the product here reminds me of the rubber industry as well. I am sure as I settle in I will encounter some quirks about this world, but so far it has been a tremendous experience and I truly expect good things ahead.