Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

SPI Member Paragon Manufacturing: Family Owned for 60 Years

Bill Wright returned home from World War II, after serving in the Army Corps of Engineers, and was working as a toolmaker when he made a mold for a five-gallon pail for a customer. When the customer couldn’t pay him, he kept the mold and bought an injection molding machine instead.

That’s how Paragon Manufacturing got its start in 1953 in Melrose Park, IL, just outside of Chicago, and 62 years later, Wright’s family still runs the company, which recently became a member of SPI.Paragon1

“I started on payroll 25 years ago,” said Sheila Wright, the daughter-in-law of Paragon’s founding father. On her business card, Sheila is the company’s treasurer, but the realities of family-business ownership mean she wears many, many hats. “It’s a family business so we do everything. Whatever you want me to be at the moment, that’s my job,” she said. “Scrubbing presses, fixing toilets, everything.”

Sheila’s three children, ages 23, 27 and 30, all count themselves among Paragon’s 50-ish employees as well. The total fluctuates seasonally, and the facility works 24/7, five days a week, but Sheila said that the company is growing. “We’re actively recruiting,” she noted. “The kids are taking it to the next level.”

Paragon2The pressures of running a small business made SPI membership a win-win proposition for Sheila and the Paragon team. “As a small business there are things that we need help with. You need a place that is a source for information on your industry,” she said. “We’ve been impressed with the sources at SPI, with the organization, with all you have to offer, and the cost benefit is off the charts.”

Though Paragon has only just begun its SPI membership, the company has quickly ingrained itself in the SPI community, attending events and working with others to help SPI enhance the already “off-the-charts” value it delivers to its members. Learn more about the company on their websiteParagonLogo

Leave a Comment