Thomas M. Wamser, president and chief executive officer of Proteus Packaging Corporation
Company address: One World Packaging Circle, Franklin, WI 53132
Industry: Printing/Paperboard Packaging
Number of employees: 135
Family: Spouse (Anne), two daughters (Jennifer & Colleen)
What is the significance of the name Proteus Packaging?
“Proteus was a mythical figure in Roman culture that had the ability to change shapes and adapt to his current environment. We chose that name for our company as the designs for our packaging, both graphically and structurally, continually change and must adapt to current market forces.”
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
“The smartest decision made in recent memory was relocating Proteus to our campus setting in Franklin, WI. The new facilities and equipment provide a ‘state-of-the-art’ environment with elevated capabilities that promotes greater access to larger, highly-sophisticated clients.”
What’s new at your company?
“Currently we are working on ‘green’ initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint, IR technology for package identification and tracking, and development of anti-microbial coatings for the food and pharmaceutical industries.”
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“As we have forecasted continuing growth for 2013 and 2014, there will be openings for additional direct and administrative positions. We are very well positioned in terms of facilities and equipment. However, we are having some discussions regarding expanding our printing capabilities.”
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
“Our primary challenges in the next year will be to control health care costs in light of new government mandates, continue development of our ‘green’ initiatives, and be creative in our designs and use of materials to offer higher value product.”
How does your company continually innovate to keep a competitive edge in your industry?
“We work closely with our supplier base and equipment manufacturers to identify new technologies, materials and industry trends. We actively support and participate in industry associations, and our culture encourages creative approaches to solve problems or add value.”
Do you have a business mantra?
“Adaptive packaging for a changing world”
“This mantra ties together with our name and is symptomatic of our willingness to seek new, innovative solutions to problems.”
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“I admire Warren Buffett in particular. His acumen and success is legendary, but what inspires me most is his ability to keep all aspects of his life in perspective, not allowing one element to take control.”
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
“When we relocated Proteus Corporation and Transpak Corporation (sister company to Proteus Corporation) to our campus facility in Franklin, we had a “Grand Opening” event. Both companies had corporate shirts with their colors, green for Proteus and orange for Transpak. I did not want to wear either shirt for the event so I would not offend anyone. My wife solved the problem by taking both shirts, cutting them in half and sewing them together so that green was on one side and orange on the other. I think it was a big hit.”
How do you spend your free time?
“Two daughters and 11 grandchildren in Milwaukee keep Anne and me active. Other interests are golf and cars. I have a few performance cars that I work on and race occasionally and am an intermediate skill level golfer. Travel is another interest for Anne and me, and we try to plan one trip a year from our bucket list.”