1. Tell us a little bit of the history behind the company.
Carbit Paint was founded in 1925 by Lester Westerman who was later joined by his younger brother, George, in 1928. The name Carbit comes from a durable black product containing the components CARbon black and BITumen. The business started out making industrial coatings, primarily to protect steel, but evolved into “trade sales” i.e. house paints. Later, we created mirror backing coatings, FDA approved coatings and numerous military spec coatings. The company has moved locations four times in the near North Chicago neighborhoods before finding its current location on the east branch of the Chicago River.
2. What is your role in the company? What is your favorite aspect of the business?
My role at Carbit is the Operations and Plant Manager. Whether it be good or not so good problems, I like the diversity that my days bring. No two days are the same. It has been a joy to work with such a dedicated family and team for the past five years.
3. What has been the most rewarding aspect of your Forum experience and the CFBC?
The most rewarding aspect has been the connection I have made with my Forum members and all of the people I have met from the CFBC. For a time before I joined the Titans Forum, I felt like I was on an island with my daily struggles. The more I got to know my Forum, share my experiences and learn of theirs, the more I was able to relate and solve deep issues in my work and personal life.
4. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love music, especially going to live concerts. Living in a city where a majority of acts come through, I have seen some of the best concerts out there including Fleetwood Mac, My Morning Jacket, Grateful Dead, Wilco and many others.
5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Denver. It is so close to the mountains yet still has the urban feel. I really like to hike and ski and have become a big fan of the craft beer scene that is exploding out there.
6. What one book would you recommend to your fellow CFBC members?
Leadership by Ken Kurson, which is a great autobiography about the life and successes of Rudy Giuliani.
7. What music have you been listening to this week?
Glen Hansard, The Grateful Dead, alt-J, and Derek and the Dominos