By Jim Hagerty
ROCKFORD – This year marks 50 years in business for a Rockford manufacturing company.
Industrial Molds Group was founded in 1968 by Jack Peterson. Today, it employs 46 people as a leading producer of molds and plastic components for Fortune 500 companies. The company also includes sister company Pyramid Plastics that makes millions of parts for a wide spectrum of customers.
Six of Peterson’s sons worked for the company over the years and two of them have made the now three-generation business a career. Tim Peterson is the vice president while Eric Peterson is the operations manager. Eric’s daughter, Anna, is the office assistant. His son, Gunnar, is as an apprentice.
Tim’s son, Production Manager Andy Peterson, has been with the company for nearly a decade since graduating from college. Over the years, Andy says just as much has gone into perfecting family dynamics as the products that go out the door. That’s because a family owned company comes with a uniqueness, those dynamics that don’t typically affect other organizations.
First, there’s the challenge of separating business and family matters, which can come with blurred lines at times. But the Petersons make it work. Eric is more conservative, Andy says, more protective of the business in his management because he’s closer to retirement. His dad is more of a risk taker.
“I’m more aggressive in the things I want to achieve because for me there’s lots of time,” he said. “If we hit a few foul balls, we still have time to recover.”
Andy added that being part of the family means job descriptions are not always succinctly defined. The Petersons have a stake in the company; they don’t think twice about playing different roles. As for their 50th year in business, their plan is to grow both companies and provide sustainable jobs for their employees.
“We’re pretty excited about our 50-year anniversary,” Andy said. “I hope there are 50 more.”
Industrial Molds, Inc., is at 5175 27th Ave., Rockford. Pyramid Plastics is at 1027 Research Parkway.