Last year, custom blown film manufacturer Danafilms entered a new chapter in its 41-year history when it was acquired by German manufacturer RKW Group. Now, there’s yet another new page in the Danafilms story, one that celebrates the retirement of Danafilms president/chief executive officer Sherman Olson and vice president of sales Robert Simoncini, and the passing of the torch to an experienced management team already in place.
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
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,
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
“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
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