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In 1970, Sherman Olson left Hobbs Manufacturing to start Danafilms from scratch. With the assistance of his former Hobbs boss, Robert Simoncini, Olson built his first two lines from angle iron spare parts, and still found enough hours in the day to make sales calls, handle the company ledgers, and build a third line - again with Simoncini’s help - in that first year. By 1977, Olson’s budding company had outgrown its original Marlborough, MA, location, and moved to a new 19,000 square foot plant in Westborough, MA. Also in that year, the company had grown to the point that it could support several staff members, allowing Simoncini to join Danafilms on a full-time basis.
Through the years, Danafilms grew exponentially, today manufacturing more than 100 million pounds in two plants at Westborough and Franklin, Ky. Key to that steady, organic expansion, explains Danafilms sales manager Steve Crimmin, was the fiscally conservative philosophy Olson and Simoncini fostered since the company’s infancy.
“Both Sherm and Bob made sure that the company was in good shape to expand and could handle expansion when necessary,” explains Crimmin. “As a result of their philosophy, the company never experienced the big ups and downs that some companies have over the years. Here, Sherm and Bob created a very solid company, and there’s a real legacy in that.”
That legacy - whether illustrated by tangibles like two booming plants filled with film extrusion lines of all sizes and capabilities, or intangibles like business philosophies that call for fiscal responsibility and consistent reinvestment - has true staying power with the competent leadership that continues to show the way forward.
To that end, the current management team includes Crimmin, a 20-year Danafilms employee, as well as 39-year Danafilms veteran Alan Simoncini, son of Robert. The younger Simoncini joined Danafilms as a machine operator, and gradually rose through the ranks to general manager and vice president, where he remains today.
“The current management group has been managing the day-to-day operation over the last five or six years,” says Crimmin. “In recent years, really, Sherm and Bob were there to provide experience and guidance, helping during some of the transitions along the way.”
Crimmin remains confident that the guidance that Olson and Simoncini provided these last few years, coupled with the experience that the capable management team gained in their own tenures at Danafilms, will contribute to the sustained success of the company, as well as a continued focus on the best possible quality product and service.
“Really, our customers won’t see any changes in the way we do business,” concludes Crimmin. “This is the way we’ve always handled our company and our customers.”
Danafilms also recently named Mark Turano as its newest sales manager and Clark Sylvester as its new plant manager at its Westborough, MA, location.
For Turano, a Connecticut native who most recently worked as director of sales at blowmolded container manufacturer Consolidated Container Co. in Texas, the move to the Danafilms team is a homecoming in more ways than one.
“It feels good to be back in New England,” says Turano. “But it also feels great to be where my expertise and experience lies - and that’s in flexible packaging.
“When I was considering the move to Danafilms, I really admired the technology here, their market knowledge, and the potential for growth,” says Turano. “Now that I’m here, I look forward to working with a team that is committed to their business and committed to the future of their customers’ business.”
Turano, who holds B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering as well as Materials Engineering from the University of Connecticut, plus an M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic, has spent 20 years of his 23-year packaging career in the flexible arena. Prior to working for Consolidated Container, Turano worked five years at flexible packaging manufacturer Printpack, overseeing the Frito-Lay and Hershey Foods business there. Before his time at Printpack, Turano served as Sales Manager at Reynolds Metal Flexible Packaging for seven years.
Sylvester, also a long-time Massachusetts resident, most recently worked as Project Engineer at Westfield, Mass.-based Prolamina and will take responsibility of the production operations at Danafilms’ Westborough plant. Sylvester studied at University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth, MA, where he attained his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology.
Prior to working at Prolamina, Sylvester served as plant engineering manager at Berry Plastics’ Easthampton, MA, plant, as well as plant manager and operations manager over the course of 15 years with Pliant Corp. (previously Huntsman Corp.) at that company’s South Deerfield, MA, facility. Sylvester says he looks forward to using the process knowledge gained in these roles to work through new challenges at Danafilms.
Almost “right away, I was involved in blending customer needs, our people and our production capabilities to meet the challenges of that our customers bring us,” says Sylvester. “That’s what I’ve been doing in the past, and I look forward to answering those challenges while pushing the quality and efficiency of our Westborough operation.”