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Publishers Letter


Reading the delightful series of interviews that starts on page 20 brought back a ?ood of good memories. Lisa Tocci and Khusro Khan have spoken with numerous industry executives about how they landed in the lubricants industry – was it accident? Or birth? Or? – and elicited their advice for a young person thinking about entering the business. Youll ?nd some keen insights on what makes this business run, and youll ?nd agreement that it can provide deeply satisfying careers.

Valvolines Fran Lockwood offered an intriguing comment. Were in a mature industry, and that generally means slower growth, lower risk and lower rewards. But management of a business at the end of the growth cycle can be the most challenging of all, she contended, because the solution to long-range pro?tability may require radical change.

Jeff Hoch of FL Viscosity Oil (now part of Petronas) observed that if you look around the industry, most of the individuals are old. In fact, the average age of the employees at my company is 55. So … there will be room for young people to come in with fresh new ideas. (While 55 might look young to some of us, I guess that just reinforces Jeffs point.)

How did you get into the lubes business? Odds are it was accidental. I answered an ad in the Washington Post 25 years ago, and had the good fortune to be hired by Steve McCollister of McCollister & Co., Art Withrow of Withrow Co., Hugh Bruner of Inter-State Oil, Pres Bagley of White & Bagley, and Trip Dryden of Dryden Oil to join their associations staff. All of those companies are gone now, swallowed up or liquidated. But a new generation of companies and industry leaders is making this industry a leaner, greener force to keep industry in motion.

New this year, our annual Lubricants Industry Sourcebook will have a searchable, online edition as well as the familiar printed book. If your company is in the U.S. or Canadian lubricants industry, or is a key supplier to this industry, watch for our survey in your inbox this month. As always, only companies providing current information will be included in this years book, so please complete and return your survey promptly.

Lisa, Gloria and everyone at LNG join me in wishing you and yours a healthy, happy New Year!

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