2009 30 under 40 winners

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Michael Saroka, 30

Vice president of operations, Goldray Industries, Calgary, Alberta

Saroka’s father founded Goldray Industries when he was about 8 years old, so he spent most of his life contributing to the growth of the company. He has found that it’s not good enough to know the needs of your customers; you must understand the dynamics of your entire business network. “It’s important to not only be very knowledgeable about your area of the industry, but also your customers’ and suppliers’ areas. You should really understand what your suppliers go through and what’s under their control, as well as your customers and what they need to supply their customers. Having a good knowledge of that makes you a resource for everyone.”

Saroka
 

Having this level of interaction with the supply chain, however, has taught Saroka that focusing on his best customers is ideal for the health of the business. “The ones that are worth giving your effort, you should give all the effort you have. And the ones not worth your effort, you shouldn’t waste too much time on.”

Saroka recalls how, as children, he and his brother would make puzzles out of scrap glass on the cutting table. So when it came time to step into a role with the family business, he was ready to jump in. “I wanted to take a week off between high school and starting work and I don’t even think I did that. At that time, there was a whole bunch of stuff to get done so the day after I graduated, I was at work.”

One-word description of the glass industry: Changing
One-word description of self: Adaptive
Career history: 2006-present, vice president of operations, Goldray Industries, Calgary, Alberta; 2004-06, R&D/samples coordinator, Goldray Industries; 2003-04, senior team leader of laminating, silk screening, painting and samples, Goldray Industries; 2002-03 R&D/samples coordinator, Goldray Industries; 1996-2002, graphics/samples coordinator, Goldray Industries
Education: 1996, Bishop Carroll High School, Calgary, Alberta
Diversions: Learning new things. “I love learning anything and everything. I got some DVDs on calculus just so I know how to do it.”
Family: Wife, Barbara; two dogs
Favorite book: “Atlas Shrugged,” Ayn Rand
If a movie were made about your life, who would you cast to play you? Hank Azaria
Connections: 4605 52nd Ave. S.E., Calgary, Alberta, T2C 4N7, 403/236-1333, michaelsaroka@goldrayindustries.com, www.goldrayindustries.com

 
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