A Conversation with ... Dan Davitz, MagicRack

Columns From: Products Finishing, ,

Posted on: 12/1/2011

It’s hard to track down Dan Davitz these days, as business at his company is keeping him and his employees busy, busy, busy.

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It’s hard to track down Dan Davitz these days, as business at his company is keeping him and his employees busy, busy, busy. Magic Rack specializes in the design and manufacture of industrial paint racks, paint hooks and accessories used in liquid spray, powder coating, e-coat, flow coat, fluidized bed and plating products finishing applications. The company was started by Davitz’s father back in 1979 and also includes Production Plus Corp., which oversees the company’s steel rack and hook technology available for home organization.

 
Your father started the company more than 30 years ago, and you followed him as president. Did he give you a “fatherly nudge” to get into the finishing industry, and what was it like to eventually fill his shoes?
DD: My father started the company after I had already started working in the computer industry. On the side, I helped him at trade shows and learned about racking and the finishing industry. Due to a merger, I was between jobs when my father offered me a position that was assumed to be short term. I found out later that he was already thinking about retirement, but he was concerned about who would keep the business running for the purpose he had started it: “To honor God and support Christian ministries around the world.” Today, we still run our business with his purpose as our mission.
 
Tell us about that corporate belief, and how you’ve brought it to fruition.
DD: In every aspect of our business, including relationships with employees, vendors and customers, our goal is to exemplify excellence, integrity and good will—to name only a few of the Christian values my father built the company on. The real reason my father started Production Plus Corp. was not to make money for himself, but to help support financially many Christian-based organizations working toward helping people discover God’s love for them and purpose for their lives. Today, we continue that mission.
 
Magic Rack emphasizes the fact that its products are “Made in America.” How important is that to your firm and to the U.S. manufacturing sector?
DD: In a recent article from the Wall Street Journal, it was reported that 2.8 million American jobs, most of which were manufacturing, have been lost to China in the last 10 years, accounting for more than 2 percent of our unemployment. Today, we still have unfair trade policies. Our own company has experienced tremendous losses due to many of our customers moving their manufacturing overseas. We believe the success of not only our own company, but all manufacturing in the U.S., depends on people buying quality goods made in America, and we intend to advertise that we sell those products. We also believe people want to know what’s made in America so that they can choose to buy Amercian-made products. 
 
I understand you and your wife, Magic Rack Vice President Tammy Davitz, are quite the vocalists. Where do you perform, and how did you get your start?
DD: Like many other vocalists, we were both very involved in local church music from a very young age. For a number of years we traveled part time in a gospel singing group and served in various capacities of music in our home church. Today, we do very little singing due to time constraints and other interests. However, we are still asked occasionally to sing at weddings and funerals!
 
What book or article have you recently read that you would suggest to a friend or colleague?
DD: John Maxwell has a number of books on leadership that I would recommend.
 
What’s the best piece of personal or professional advice you’ve been given?
DD: Personal: “If I strive to live selflessly, putting other’s needs before my own, people will see God in me.” Professional: “A very successful business man was once asked to sum up in one word the most important thing to a successful business. He replied, ‘Organization.’” I also heard a very successful leader once say, “If it’s not worth tracking, it’s not worth doing.”
 
What are you currently listening to on your car stereo?
DD: Local news in the morning and Fox News, Sean Hannity or Mark Levin in the evenings. n

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