Run a search engine query on Ted Dean and plastics, and a reader will probably find pretty quickly his official position as the CEO of Tru-Vision Plastics. However, there’s a lot more to the fellow than just being another name with an executive title.
When Ted Dean started Tru-Vision plastics, he did so with only three people and a big idea about how to make plastics work better. Now, the same company is grossing over $2 million, employs 14 staff and is looking to rapidly expand even further at the same pace. However, Ted Dean as a person is more than just a title at his company. He’s also a bit of a character himself. It makes a difference in the motivation that keeps Tru-Vision on its path.
Real Estate Facilitator
Now in his early fifties, Dean responded to rapid growth by moving his main company facility and systems to a new site eight times the original and cramped 10,000-square-foot that the original operation worked out of. Some 13 years later, the operation was busting at the seams and desperately needing more space.
Ever the optimist, Ted Dean not only readily acknowledges the success Tru-Vision has already had, but he also expects that the current new gross achievement will be easily broken in 2023.
Puts his Faith in Action
Dean also puts his faith in his work; Tru-Vision is founded on Christian principles, evoking hard work, dedication, discipline and a team trust perspective in the staff as a whole.
The cornerstone of Dean’s business focuses on building a better mousetrap. Customers come to Tru-Vision with a need, and Dean makes sure his team churns out a viable solution that works in a real-time, practical application. Whether it’s product bins for Walmart or quick-cover price flaps for grocery stores, Tru-Vision is designed to produce.
Experienced Capital Investor
Ted Dean started his involvement in plastics primarily as an investor only. A different pair of individuals had the business idea, and Dean with the primary cash flow capital provider. However, the pair, for some reason, bailed out, leaving Dean running the whole show. Since he had a vested interest, running the business was an automatic “yes” if he wanted to get any of his original money back.
A Professionally Trained Engineer
Running Tru-Vision wasn’t necessarily Ted Dean’s primary career calling. By trade and training, Dean was an electrical engineer.
An Uncommon CEO
However, as a CEO, Dean isn’t behaving like a typical company leader millionaire. His focus is long-term, so that means not just hiring good people but also retaining them. One key factor is putting the profits of the business back into, so he takes a quarter of the company’s profits and gives it to the employees as an annual reward when available. It engenders loyalty back and forth. And they not only work for Tru-Vision, but they also protect the company and enhance it as well.
A Very Involved Dad
Ted Dean is a big family man as well. He has four kids literally spanning a full generation. The youngest is a tender age of eight and the oldest is almost thirty. His wife and partner has been with Dean over three decades as well. Good thing with all those kids involved. Being a single parent and running a business is not a good combination for personal mental health.
Silent Influencer of Masses
Ted Dean’s products are worldwide, and most people have no idea. Being the biggest producer of product strips like Stic-N-Pic that allow retailers to hang product vertically off walls or edges to expand limited shelf space, Tru-Vision strips are practically synonymous with potato chip and snack holders for sale.
So, yes, Ted Dean is a lot of things people are not aware of. That’s okay. His family and employees know what makes up the character of the man. He proves it every day in action versus just words. Yes, there are days when Dean just wants to go back to tinkering with automation and figuring out how to make things happen with electrical components, but Tru-Vision is part of who Dean is now. Trying to separate the two would probably be a bit like trying to separate Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; it’s not possible now. Eventually, at some point, Dean will have to pass the baton on to let Tru-Vision carry on after him, but that’s not anytime soon. In fact, he fully expects the company to easily reach 25 to 30 employees before even needing another bigger building to keep a roof over everything.
Most importantly, Dean’s staff and his family know he’s fully dedicated to their wellbeing, and the Tru-Vision employees return that loyalty with dividends as a result. That fundamental difference stands out; and it’s probably one of the primary reasons Tru-Vision has been able to skyrocket forward from a micro-business to where the company is today. As Dean takes the company to its next level and new resource utilization for tighter efficiencies, easily becoming a mid-size company in the future, he and Tru-Vision will likely face a lot of growing pains and transition to a bigger organization. A lot can get lost in the fog of growth. However, bets are, if Dean stays on track, Tru-Vision is still going to run like a tight-knit family. It’s everyone’s stake in the company’s success going forward now versus just a single investor.