As the end-of-the-year parties wind down and people head home for the holidays, M. Holland’s Mike Ojile is saying goodbye to a lot of friends. After 43 years in the plastics industry, Ojile is retiring, and there are heartfelt goodbyes to many people he’s known and worked with for decades.

There’s everyone in the M. Holland family, and the people he worked with at Styrolution and Ashland Distribution before that. Add to that the longstanding relationships with people he’s met and done business with over the years, many of whom now work at different firms but remain in an industry where there’s still an enduring loyalty.

But this is exactly how and when Ojile wants to retire. He wants to have fun with his family, play golf and travel, while his grandkids are still young and there are lots of birthdays and holidays to celebrate. He’s ready to trade in the gray Chicago winters for golden Arizona sunsets.

He’s thrilled to have spent nearly five years at M. Holland, a company that he’s always respected and for which he wanted to work for a long time. He’s happy that he is leaving M. Holland in great hands, as his friend and colleague Marc Fern leads a newly reorganized commercial team with single oversight over sales and sourcing.

“My retirement and the subsequent organizational change came at just the right time,” Ojile said. “In business today, speed is everything, and with the new streamlined organization at M. Holland, Marc has control over both sales and sourcing decisions and can drive things much faster.”

While speed is critical, it’s ultimately about people, Ojile noted. “At the end of the day, business is won or lost with people. It’s still a people business and that’s what puts M. Holland out in front. If you are faithful to our core values, and find people who live by them and continue to push themselves, you will succeed. M. Holland does an exceptional job of bringing in—and keeping—the right people, and letting them grow.”

Over the course of his career, Ojile has made 11 moves, including relocations to Kansas, Texas, Missouri, Ohio, California, Belgium and Illinois, and he fondly recalls great friends and the advantages of seeing all sides of the business from across the country and overseas. For more than four decades, he held executive positions in sales, plant management and sourcing, locally and globally. He joined M. Holland in 2012 to lead global sourcing.

Now he’s concluding the career chapter of his life, a chapter that he loved so much and was a center point for more than four decades. This holiday he’s kicking back, relaxing in the sun, feeling the stresses of work evaporate and beginning to plan his next adventure.

“The hardest thing about retirement is walking away from Ed Holland and the amazing business family that surrounds him,” Ojile said. “I can’t imagine ending my career with any other company, and being with so many great people.”


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