Robert Sires, founder and CEO of American Elite Molding, which was recently named one of GrowFL's Companies To Watch for 2016, is a serial entrepreneur operating seven businesses across the country that are all based on the theme of Made in the USA. Sires originally worked for a family of investment bankers, operating an aerospace and medical device company for them.
"I caught the entrepreneurship but (bug) working for them," Sires said. "About 15 years ago we sold the aerospace and medical device companies and I was looking for dif (different) things to do. I wanted to retire but I was too young to retire. I was sitting on the board of a company that made nylon products and thought it would be interesting to get in to that business. I always liked manufacturing and I'm a believer in Made in the USA."
American Elite Molding is now the leading manufacturer in the U.S. of nylon cable ties, making everything from 4-inch to 36-inch cable ties. The company has grown to 150 employees. "We offer a full line of ties where our competitors do not," said Sires. "We have the ability to make competitive products in a commodity market, and we value our customers and treat them as kings. It's quality service and delivery that has allowed us to grow like we have."
Sires says that being named as a GrowFL Company To Watch is testament to his team as well as economic development infrastructure throughout the State of Florida. "We're very proud of that honor," he said. "We've worked very hard as a team to do what we've done. Our partners in Florida have been great, from the Governor to the county EDC to CareerSource. Everyone has helped us tremendously and we feel that not only is it a win for us, but it’s also a win for the state. It's a recognition of how hard we've all worked both internally and external to the company."
Sires’ advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is simple: "Do something that you love," he said. "Have passion for it and hire people who are smarter than you."
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