Ed has served as CEO of Northbrook, IL – based M. Holland Co. since 1994. The firm ranks as one of North America’s largest resin distributors, handling resins and compounds from more than 20 suppliers. M. Holland has around 3,000 customers and supplies more than 1 billion pounds of resin annually.

Ed took over as CEO after his father — company founder Marvin Holland — passed away. He describes his father as “a great mentor to me as I grew at M. Holland and M. Holland grew with me.

“My dad not only allowed change, but encouraged change, even when he did not completely understand it,” Ed explained. “He allowed me — or anyone else for that matter — to make mistakes. All he wanted was for us to learn from those mistakes. It’s more important to be comfortable to make decisions than to always wait for someone else to do so. He truly led by example.”

Although the company never articulated the term “core values,” Ed Holland said that his father Marvin “lived by them every day.” That’s continued within the company to the present day.

“We as a company have institutionalized our core values, and discuss them at every opportunity,” he added. “Then we live them every day. Our people articulate them to each other internally and externally. This is our foundation of our culture.”

Establishing and maintaining company culture is a large part of the job.

“My job as CEO is to be the protector of our company culture, develop and execute a long term strategy and to make M. Holland the place where the best-in-class people want to work,” he explained. “If we do these things well, being successful becomes much more feasible.”

Ed Holland, age 61, added that being a privately held business “allows [M. Holland] to make good long-term decisions.” Other companies “who have to report to Wall Street, watch stock prices or create a short-term return on investment for [venture capital] owners have different motivations and timelines that don’t necessarily benefit their customers, suppliers or employees.”

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