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Local manufacturer Deflecto lives to see 50

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On The Beat Industry News In Brief

Deflecto LLC, a local company that invented some commonly used household and office products, almost didn’t see its 50th anniversary in Indianapolis.

At the end of 2008, the company warned that it planned to shut its north-side headquarters and factory and a Fishers warehouse and put 219 people out of work.
 

OTB main Deflecto LLC makes plastic venting products and office supplies. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

The company survived because of a last-minute intervention by two key retail customers, Chief Financial Officer Paul Thompson said.

“It could’ve been a lot worse,” he said. “We made some hard and difficult cuts, but we survived and we have a plan for growth.”

Deflecto, which celebrated its golden anniversary on July 27, now has about 150 employees in Indianapolis and Fishers.

The company says it’s the world’s largest maker of chair mats, bicycle reflectors and dryer venting supplies. Its main retail outlets are Ace Hardware, Home Depot and Wal-Mart. Thompson declined to name the customers that propped up the company.

Local entrepreneur C.P. Meyer started Deflecto in 1960 when he invented a plastic air deflector to prevent factory compressors from freezing. He soon realized the deflectors could be used on home vents to deflect air away from windows and furniture.

Five years later, Deflecto came up with the now-ubiquitous wall pocket when an employee, looking for a way to sort invoices, turned one of the deflectors upside down.

The Meyer family sold the company in 1998 to a private-equity group, The Jordan Co. of Deerfield, Ill. Deflecto remains the flagship brand of Jordan Specialty Plastics.

The company has manufacturing facilities in Dover, Ohio; St. Catharines, Ontario and in China. Venting products and some injection-molded office supplies, including the wall pockets, are made in Indianapolis.

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  1. By the way, the right to work law is intended to prevent forced union membership, not as a way to keep workers in bondage as you make it sound, Italiano. If union leadership would spend all of their funding on the workers, who they are supposed to be representing, instead of trying to buy political favor and living lavish lifestyles as a result of the forced membership, this law would never had been necessary.

  2. Unions once served a noble purpose before greed and apathy took over. Now most unions are just as bad or even worse than the ills they sought to correct. I don't believe I have seen a positive comment posted by you. If you don't like the way things are done here, why do you live here? It would seem a more liberal environment like New York or California would suit you better?

  3. just to clear it up... Straight No Chaser is an a capella group that formed at IU. They've toured nationally typically doing a capella arangements of everything from Old Songbook Standards to current hits on the radio.

  4. This surprises you? Mayor Marine pulled the same crap whenhe levered the assets of the water co up by half a billion $$$ then he created his GRAFTER PROGRAM called REBUILDINDY. That program did not do anything for the Ratepayors Water Infrastructure Assets except encumber them and FORCE invitable higher water and sewer rates on Ratepayors to cover debt coverage on the dough he stole FROM THE PUBLIC TRUST. The guy is morally bankrupt to the average taxpayer and Ratepayor.

  5. There is no developer on the planet that isn't aware of what their subcontractors are doing (or not doing). They hire construction superintendents. They have architects and engineers on site to observe construction progress. If your subcontractor wasn't doing their job, you fire them and find someone who will. If people wonder why more condos aren't being built, developers like Kosene & Kosene are the reason. I am glad the residents were on the winning end after a long battle.

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