CEO Perspectives: Why We’re Here (2014 Regional Report: Midwest)

Midwestern CEOs talk about why they chose their current locations.

Jeff-JacksonWho: Jeff Jackson, President and CEO, Hoosier Gasket Corporation

Sealing Systems and Solutions, Indianapolis, Indiana

Site History: Founded in 1962 as gasket die-cutting shop in 12,000-square-foot facility in southeast Indianapolis; doubled its footprint in relocation the following year. Expanded again in 1979, adding 5,000 square feet to accommodate new screen-printing technology. In 1991, moved into 51,000-square-foot plant on the city’s east side. Continuing to add manufacturing processes, including edge bonding and rubber injection molding, the company again expanded in 2007 into its current building, a new, 130,000-square-foot corporate office facility and manufacturing plant in Keystone Industrial Park.

Why Indiana?: “The company was formed by three investors, including my father. And my father was born in Indiana.”

Reason for Location: “In 2006, we outgrew our facility and were being entertained by South Carolina, where we vacationed, to relocate. They offered tax relief and incentives. At that time, the city of Indianapolis stepped up and offered us abatements and interim tax relief. We decided to build in Indianapolis.”

Joseph-CecereWho: Joseph Cecere, President and Chief Creative Officer, Little Graphic Design

Graphic Design, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Site History: Founded in Minneapolis warehouse district in 1979, subleasing about 1,000 square feet. Relocated crosstown the following year, tripling their space. Subsequently moved downtown, taking about 8,000 square feet. In 1999, expanded again into 12,000-square-foot office space. In 2005, moved into current office location, about 18,000 square feet.

Why Minnesota?: Founder “Monica Little, who was then a recent Minneapolis College of Art & Design grad, saw the local advertising industry expanding, but there wasn’t much in the way of design services.”

Reason for Location: “Minneapolis is a hotbed of creativity. We have Fortune 100 clients down the block. We have longstanding relationships with local companies like Target and Wells Fargo and new clients, such as Minnesota Life, Ecolab and Timberwolf.”

Charles-SukupWho: Charles Sukup, President, Sukup Manufacturing Co.

Producer of Grain Drying and Handline Equipment, Sheffield, Iowa

Site History: Founded in 1963 in a welding shop in Sheffield; then, expanded into a new facility nearby. Last year, they opened two additional facilities in Sheffield: a 45,000-square-foot office building and a 100,000-squarefoot material-handling center.

Why Iowa?: “[The] major advantage of being in Iowa is we have a very well-managed state and a governor who is cognizant of what it takes for a company to be successful and grow.”

Reason for Location: “We are in beautiful agricultural country, close to our market and close to our biggest competitors. We’re a third-generation family business that’s bloomed where we have been planted.”

Michael-KrasmanWho: Michael Krasman, CEO, UrbanBound

Software Development, Chicago, Illinois

Site History: Founded in 2011, UrbanBound shares about 9,000 square feet in Chicago’s River North neighborhood with Hireology, a sister company.

Why Illinois?: “There is a huge advantage to being an entrepreneur in the Midwest. In the last 10 years, both the state and the city have really focused on building a technology community here through public-private partnerships, grants and the Invest Illinois Venture Fund. And since my business partner Jeff Ellman and I both grew up in Detroit, we’re not far from home.”

Reason for Location: “Chicago is a world-class city and River North is a happening neighborhood, drawing entrepreneurs, technology people and creatives. There’s a buzz to this neighborhood, a constant energy. I love it.”


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