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issue: November 2005 APPLIANCE Magazine

People
Bradley Wucherpfennig of Phillips Plastics Corporation


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After serving as vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) for 3 years, Bradley Wucherpfennig was named president and chief operating officer (COO) of Phillips Plastics Corporation located in Prescott, Wisconsin, U.S. in May of last year.

Wucherpfennig and his management team are putting their focus on providing support and leadership to achieve four main goals—to increase profits, grow sales, improve the customer focus, and maintain Phillips’ People Process, a culture of working together.

“We are making headway in all areas, but we have a lot of work ahead of us,” he says. “In support of these goals we have also developed a new organizational structure that is allowing us to promote from within—tapping talent within our company and giving employees the support and tools they need to succeed.”

On the road to success a company can come across some unexpected challenges. “I would like to think that I have never been caught totally off guard because I believe in employing risk management planning to anticipate challenges, especially within certain market segments, and then developing strategies to deal with the situation ahead of time,” says Wucherpfennig. “Early on in my career I spent many years within international business, which gave me a wide breadth of experience that I now find myself drawing upon.”

Wucherpfennig says learning to admit that you don’t know all of the answers was one of his most valuable lessons as it allows you to surround yourself with experts in those areas, making success possible.
Learning experiences such as these began in 1975 when he received his Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, U.S. In 1976, Wucherpfennig became a certified public accountant while working for Ernst and Young in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. He worked as a senior accountant at Cornelius in Anoka, Minnesota, from 1978 to 1981. He then moved on to HVAC producer McQuay, Inc./SnyderGeneral Corp. as director of International Finance. He held this position from 1981 to 1987, and in 1982 received his MBA with an emphasis in management from the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis. He joined Schwing America, Inc. as CFO and executive vice president and COO from 1987 to 2001. In 2001, he began his career with Phillips Plastics Corporation.

“Becoming president of Phillips Plastics has been the most rewarding achievement of my career,” comments Wucherpfennig. “I have had other high level jobs in other companies, but at Phillips I have been given the opportunity to help grow the business, and I am really enjoying all the rewards and challenges that brings.”

His next goal is to create enthusiasm and excitement among employees, customers and suppliers in order for Phillips Plastics to continue its achievements along with maintaining significant economic returns.

“I like to work and play hard—I have all the oars in the water at all times. My management style includes working with my team to set goals, but then empowering them to make decisions at the first opportunity,” explains Wucherpfennig. “Phillips is ranked as the 28th largest injection molder in the nation, so I believe empowering employees is imperative to our success.”

In his free time, he spends time at his farm in Elmwood, Wisconsin, where he enjoys reclamation work on a trout stream. He also enjoys reading and golf.

 

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