It’s been fun taking you through a full customer journey with ThermoPro, we’ve heard from every department. You got to meet the delightful Customer Service team, the elusive Engineers, the orderly Operations and Purchasing managers, the effervescent Process Coordinator and even our warm-hearted Shipping and Receiving clerk. These amazing people form ThermoPro.
But, there’s still at least one more name to add to that list. It’s time to talk with the “Big Dawg,” yes, the UGA fan himself, President and Chief Executive Officer, Greg Weigle.
Interview after interview, I keep hearing how great Greg is: he’s “kind, thoughtful, caring, the type of person you want to go above and beyond for.” Personally, I’ve known Greg for about a year and yes, he’s a wonderful man. Always has a good story to tell, and you can hear the smile on his face over the phone.
What I didn’t realize was how much the respect and honest affection went both ways between ThermoPro employees and the CEO. I sat down with Greg and asked him a few questions, some strange but all prying at why he does what he does. The answer was always the same, no matter how the question was asked…
“It’s all about the employees. If they are happy, they will take care of the company.”
How Greg Got Here
His “origin story” is a bit unusual. Greg told me he always loved creating things. He has a self proclaimed “entrepreneurial spirit” that has guided his career path.
He started a CPA firm, Cyber Financial Solutions, back in 2000 to help small to medium sized businesses. Around 2003 or 2004, in order to drum up business, he would answer ads from the newspapers. He responded to ads looking for controllers or hoping to hire a new Chief Financial Officers for their company.
In the early days, ThermoPro often used newspaper ads to hire new (and amazing) employees. This situation was no different, they were searching for a new CFO. Greg contacted the former company owners and asked if they had considered an outsourcing solution.
Obviously, they were interested but had no idea what a great relationship was being created. Greg bought the company in 2017.
It can be challenging to take control of an existing company. As with any team, there’s an established dynamic among employees and management. The first thing Greg told everyone when he bought the company was that he “hated drama.” Starting out with this mindset really cleared the air and gave the employees a chance to breathe easier.
I asked Greg about his vision for the future. He always knew he wanted to grow the business. But, because the business really has 2 major facets, it’s difficult to decide which direction to grow in, custom or proprietary.
It’s like “2 trains going down 2 different tracks. Keeps things exciting.” He did admit that finding balance between the two is a bit of a challenge.
Creating custom thermoformed products is rewarding. You are bringing someone else’s vision to life, it has to be perfect. There’s satisfaction in such meticulous detail and truly making something new.
The other side of the coin is creating fun proprietary games and products. Having a creative outlet to not only make something new, but make something fun that will bring others joy, is inspiring as well.
Everyone I had the pleasure of interviewing had something to say about company culture. The people make the culture but it has to start from somewhere and usually that’s the CEO. I asked Greg what he not only wanted the company culture to be, but also what he felt like it was. I truly wasn’t surprised when he said:
“Family. Close knit. Supportive.”
I heard this before from the passionate employees, but it’s inspiring to see such ingrained values from the top down and bottom up. It isn’t an accident that Respect for the Individual is at the top of the list of core values for ThermoPro.
Greg is passionate about his people. He told me his employees inspire him with their dedication. “No one is just going through the motions, they all seem to really care about what they do and how they do it.”
It’s even more endearing to me when I know why they care: they care because he cares. I’ve spent months talking to each department and whereas they are all very different people, they all have one thing in common, they feel valued and respected at work.
Greg is a Dog (Dawg)
Now hear me out… Greg moved to Georgia in 1981 for a business opportunity. He had family here and loved visiting so he decided to stay. Without the love and support from his family, especially his wife Donna, he wouldn’t be here with these amazing people.
I had to ask Greg one curve ball question. I asked him “what animal are you the most like?” After laughing at my surprise question he said without a doubt, he was a labrador. He sees those dogs as loyal, fun, friendly, and they are usually people persons. I couldn’t agree more.
Greg’s family embraced Georgia, including UGA, so that’s who Greg roots for on the weekends. However, since ThermoPro is based in Atlanta, he has been forced to fraternize with many Georgia Tech graduates. He admitted to me that he was a “quiet Georgia Tech fan”. Too bad I couldn’t keep that a secret.
I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting the ThermoPro family. I know I did.