GCP INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS ing leader who has spent decades coaching en- trepreneurs on how to achieve strategic business success through work/life balance. For the past 10 years, Gary’s son Craig has worked alongside his father, putting his skills as VP of Marketing to great use in the tech/innovation side of the business. Together theymake a formidable team. Back in the late 1980s, Gary was developing and selling innovative tire recycling facilities to interest- ed parties around the world. Gary recalls,“After a few years, in 1997 I sold out of that business, and began working full time with a sheet rubber matting com- pany in China. Using recycled rubber, our job was to develop a high quality, long lasting sheet rubber material that could compete with the North Amer- ican incumbents. We started in October of ’99; got our first order for a customer in British Columbia; continued to develop a fewmore customers, and the rest is history.” GCP Industrial Products was meant to be a small business, perhaps a couple million dollars a year selling matting, but it soon became clear that no one else in the industry was using recycled mate- rials to make commercially acceptable products.As a result, GCP’s customers started asking for more. Gary’s intuition told him there was a wave coming from China, and he wanted to be on top for the ride. Thus he began ramping up his partnerships and product offering. “From that point on we focused on mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with our cus- tomers and factory partners,” says Gary.“We became experts at sourcing things, buying them, developing, managing the quality, and bringing them back to North America.We pioneered working with China. We didn’t use government resources, only person- al ones. I ended up writing a book called Guanxi –the Chinese expression for a close relationship and trust.We work with all our suppliers and cus- tomers on that basis.That’s howwe’ve grown from $500,000 in 2000 to $20 million this year, and have built a diverse and experienced sales teamwith rep- resentation in Canada,U.S., China and Mexico.” Craig adds,“The innovation and product devel- opment side of our business is what enabled us to grow and stay ahead.Much of that is driven by customer requests and identifying opportunities in the marketplace.As much as we were pulled into markets early on,we’ve now been shifting and adapting to provide products and services that may