The 2018 Rybacki Memorial Invitational teed off this weekend at the International in Boston. This year's tournament was the largest yet with some 140 guests enjoying a weekend of golf, entertainment and industry camaraderie. According to Larry Rybacki, President of SIGMA, "We expect to clear $65k or more from our golf day. All proceeds will be donated to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and funds will be earmarked to support the research programs of Dr Freidman".
So many friends of mine have battled cancer. We all know someone who has been afflicted. I think as you get older, we tend to take stock of our lives and giving back becomes all the more important. We've been thrilled by the waterworks industry's response to the Invitational. People have gone beyond the call of duty in supporting this event".
My family and I will be forever grateful.
If you are interested in supporting The Jimmy Fund at Dana Farber, please visit http://www.jimmyfund.org or email
Industry Perspective: Global Sourcing in the Current Landscape
By Mitchell Rona, Executive Vice President, SIGMA
The current climate is defined by uncertainty. Our turbulent political situation makes the prospect of global sourcing especially daunting, and the recent tariffs have further complicated the landscape. Many companies have come to rely totally on global sourcing and are importing iron components and other materials, exclusively from China. With the recent tariffs targeting goods from China, companies may be facing significant cost increases, and for this reason, should be looking to diversify their supply chains with some urgency.
While "re-shoring" is the buzzword of the moment, the reality is that there are simply not enough domestic producers of iron components to meet the demand at any price, particularly in the short term. Because the primary target of anti-import sentiment and policy seems to be China, prudent supply chain professionals are diversifying their sourcing and approaching providers in India.
Entering the Indian market is challenging. Creating an infrastructure for sourcing, engineering, manufacturing, and trade there requires a sizable commitment of time and money, and this is compounded by the difficulty of transacting business in a developing country.
Opening a new supply chain in a new country may not be the right move; choosing an established operator is often a more cost effective and strategic option.
SIGMA cultivated a strong presence in India 33 years ago, and continues to have "boots on the ground" there to ensure that our quality standards are upheld, and US business protocols are followed.
SIGMA eliminates the need to open a new supply chain in a new country. Rather than requiring customers to find and develop their own relationships, SIGMA has a turnkey operation, enabling us to deliver quality components with minimal risk and hassle.
This in-country presence mitigates risk and protects customers from many of the problems they may encounter when sourcing globally. While it is clear that challenges can always arise with this type of enterprise, SIGMA's well-established infrastructure enables us to address issues efficiently and productively.
With the industry--and the world-in its current state of flux, it is unquestionably strategic to broaden supplier bases, both domestic and global. SIGMA will continue to operate in China and India, as well as domestically, maintaining optimal supply chain efficiency for our customers. What may start off as a prudent and defensive move for a segment of a business could wind up saving significant costs-and protecting the business as a whole.
On September 7, SIGMA celebrated five significant anniversaries. A team event was held at the corporate headquarters in Cream Ridge, NJ, complete with a tent, barbecue, a Mister Softee truck, and an awards ceremony.
We congratulate the following employees and thank them for their professional, dedicated service to the company:
- Mitchell Rona, Executive Vice President, 30 years
- Craig Schapiro, OEM Sales/Product Manager, 25 years
- Scott Johnson, Warehouse Associate, 25 years
- Melissa Perrine, OEM Business Development Assistant, 10 years
- Michelle Hacker, Imports Assistant, 10 years
CEO Victor Pais was on hand to share his recollections of working with his valued colleagues over the years:
"Mitchell came to SIGMA after he realized his first job selling payphones may not lead to a lasting career! That early quick instinct has served Mitchell well ever since. I knew he was a 'keeper' in the early days -- when I was in the office one Saturday morning and a lady came to the office looking for Mitchell. It was his mom and she thought she would find Mitchell at the office, even on a Saturday, as 'he loves his work!' Mitchell was ready to visit China even in the early years of China's growth and he came with me on his first trip to China. We went to dinner with customers and dinner became a karaoke evening. Mitchell was game, he got up, and had no idea what he was singing; he just made it up as he went along, singing whatever came to his mind (or lips), comfortable in the knowledge that his Chinese hosts would not follow his lyrics! I did not blow his cover! Mitchell has always wanted to do whatever it takes and learn as much as possible about everything. He's been a great asset, shown longevity, commitment, and loyalty. Over the last several years, he has managed our Global Sourcing and Supply Chain while continuing to steer our strategic and valuable OEM business; without Mitchell, there would be no OEM, which has grown to account for a full quarter of SIGMA's business."
Mitchell himself adds, "When I started working 30 years ago, I didn't know anything about the casting or waterworks business. I've now been at SIGMA for more than half my life. The reason I have stayed is the people; my relationships with my coworkers and customers have been key. The friendships I've built here at SIGMA and in the industry have made all the difference. When I stalled a bit 18 years back, I took on OEM as a total new opportunity. When I felt that way again 10 years back, I opted to pursue my MBA even under difficult conditions. I love any challenge as it leads to a new opportunity" Mitchell was glad to have Andrea, his wife of 24 years and Max, his elder son, at this milestone event. As a pleasant surprise, his mom showed up too!
Victor described Scott Johnson, Warehouse Associate, as "the strong and silent type. When we started SIGMA, the product was all stored outside. We relied on people like Scott to contend with the heat, wet, and cold. We needed people like Scott who knew the product; Scott and people like him are our mainstay." Scott adds, "SIGMA is a team effort and I'm glad to be part of this team."
In describing OEM Sales/Product Manager Craig Schapiro, Victor jokes, "What does he do for SIGMA beyond running our fantasy football league? Well, Craig is one of those all-rounders. He came in as a Customer Service Representative, but he's so versatile that he rose quickly through the ranks. We needed someone who was extremely knowledgeable to run our E-Products group and he graciously accepted. He has risen to the challenge. Craig has a wealth of inside knowledge about SIGMA." Craig accepted his award with a tribute to his colleagues, "My 25 years' service award is a testament to everyone here at SIGMA. When you work with people you like then time goes so much quicker!" Rarely caught off guard, Craig was pleasantly surprised when his wife Stacey arrived to celebrate with him at his milestone event.
Best wishes to all for continued success!
SIGMA Opens New Location in Edmonton, Alberta
SIGMA has opened a new facility in Edmonton, Alberta to improve service to our customers in Western Canada. Like our headquarters in Eastern Canada, we have launched this new facility in conjunction with Concord Supply.
Canada Regional Manager Dave Pietryga explains the move; "We saw a need to expand our footprint into Western Canada in order to serve our customers more efficiently. With product on the ground in Edmonton, we can now offer same day or overnight delivery. Before we opened the new facility, we often had a two-day delivery time, which was too slow. SIGMA always puts the customer first, and in this case, that meant expanding to meet the growing demand for our product."
Sales and service divisions are still headquartered in Ontario.
SIGMA's Hydrotec Maxi F1 Channels and Grates Appear in the Current Inifinti Commercial!
Hydrotec, We're Gonna Make you a Star!
The ad shows the car speeding around the Bilster Berg Drive Resort and Club in Germany, where the Hydrotec system was installed to optimize drainage and ensure driver safety.
With racecars that average 137 km/hour, the track required a reliable drainage system. A properly drained, dry road surface is crucial to ensuring optimal driver safety and automobile performance. The Bilster Berg facility is used for recreational driving and racing by club members, as well as for research and development by the automotive industry, so a dry track was a high priority.
Formula 1 architect Hermann Tilke led the planning and construction of the facility, and he sought a high quality, reliable, state of the art drainage system. Several options were considered, and ultimately Tilke selected Hydrotec Maxi F1 channels and manhole covers.
The narrow curves of the track presented an installation challenge, which Hydrotec addressed with a thoughtful layout
and mitre cuts in the channels.
The Maxi F1 was ideal for this application due to its modular design system, durable fiber reinforced concrete, integrally cast ductile frames and ductile grates. Maxi F1 meets a load class F rating and excels in projects requiring maximum resistance in load bearing applications.
Spotlight on Polywrap
SIGMA is fully stocked with Polywrap LLDPE, the polyethylene encasement film sleeve that provides essential anti-corrosive protection to ductile iron pipe.
Polywrap is made when carefully controlled molten resin made from virgin polyethylene is forced under high pressure through a die-head, producing a bubble of polyethylene in a vertical column. This column, or tube, is cooled and gathered onto spooling equipment.
The product is designed to meet the ANSI/AWWA, C105/A21.5 standards,
and is crucial for use in residential, municipal, and commercial applications. Without it, pipes are susceptible to corrosion, and if the pipes degrade, there is high risk of a disastrous situation. Flooding, contamination, and sewage leaks can ensue, causing major health and safety problems for communities. Coating pipes in Polywrap prevents these situations.
Currently, SIGMA stocks 4 colors of Polywrap. Black is the standard, and comprises 90% of all orders. Blue Polywrap is used for water applications, green for sewer, and purple for reclaimed water. Scott Marlow, SIGMA Manager of Special Projects, comments on the growth of this product line, "As more and more customers learn that SIGMA offers Polywrap, we are seeing an increase in demand for it. It is domestically sourced, and because we have a national logistics network, we are a reliable supplier for our customers. They see that we provide quality product and efficient service, and they keep coming back for more."
For more information about Polywrap, please contact Craig Schapiro, National Product Manager for E-products and Accessories, at
or 1-800-999-2550 x 1238.
|Dan Lansing, Inside Sales & Inventory Manager, Western Region
SIGMA has always taken great pride in our people, which we believe to be our greatest asset. "Meet SIGMA" provides a way to introduce our team members to the industry. This column features the stories of our dedicated professionals who are committed to delivering the best quality and service to our valued customers every day.
Dan Lansing's career with SIGMA tells the classic story of how hard work and dedication yield success. He was hired by SIGMA in 1992 in the warehouse to paint fittings. He quickly worked his way up to warehouse manager, but after 5 strong years in the job, tragedy struck. Dan was in a serious car accident resulting in a six-month hospital stay and was confined to a wheelchair for a year. As a result of his condition, Dan was no longer able to work in the warehouse-but SIGMA had another plan for him. He explains: "I was offered a job as an inside sales rep. I had no computer experience, but SIGMA gave me this opportunity and I am forever grateful. I had to learn computers, Excel, all the other systems. I owe all that I am to SIGMA. I really can't imagine where I would be if Larry, Victor, and Chris King had not put me on this path."
Years later and fully recovered, Dan now handles 90% of inventory, has daily contact with territory sales managers, has developed significant expertise in Excel, and handles most of the onsite computer issues for the Western Regional Office. Over the years there have been personnel changes, and Dan has assumed more responsibility for the region. He is nothing but grateful: "I am so fortunate work here. I'm especially thankful to have Dana Wax as my colleague--my 'work-wife'. When you work with someone so closely for 25 years it's beyond a marriage. We've been through a lot together with work and also in life. And I am so thankful to Larry, my Regional Manager Chris King, and Victor Pais for putting their trust in me and putting me where I am today."
When he is not delivery outstanding service to SIGMA and our customers, Dan enjoys golf and spending time with his family. He and his wife Tanya, who is an accountant pursuing her CPA, have three children between them. Nick, the eldest, is recently married, and lives in Lakewood California. Next-in-line Kylie is married and has two children, Emma and Sophie. Also in Lakewood, the young ladies have the benefit of living near their doting grandparents, Tanya and Dan. Youngest daughter
Sydnee started as a freshman in college this fall. Dan and Tanya are looking forward to empty nester-hood, and enjoyed a preview of this new chapter earlier this year with a spectacular trip to Hawaii.
We salute Dan for his dedicated tenure at SIGMA and wish him continued success.
Ajay Roy and David Busto
SIGMA is pleased to welcome two new hires to our team.
In the case of Ajay Roy, who joins SIGMA as Global Engineering Manager, we should more accurately say welcome back to the team. Ajay was a valued member of SIGMA's Engineering and Management team for years; he took an eight-year hiatus, to pursue other opportunities and earn his MBA.
Ajay's experience in quality management and process improvements, particularly with domestic manufacturers, is invaluable. He will help guide SIGMA's supplier base to improve their productivity and quality assurance systems. Ajay will also assist our OEM team, providing engineering reviews and support to expedite their growing volume of potential business. Ajay will also help develop and implement Management Action Plans to support our ongoing and new business.
Ajay will begin working out of the Southeast Regional Office in Alabama, and will eventually relocate to the Corporate Headquarters in New Jersey.
David Busto, Western Region Territory Sales Manager covering
Oregon and Washington
David Busto joins SIGMA as a Territory Sales Manager in the Western Region, covering Oregon and Washington, and working closely with TSM Wayne Pederson. David comes to SIGMA with significant sales and management experience, and also holds a Chemistry degree from Evergreen State College. He began his career as a chemist, but quickly realized he was more suited to sales. His success in sales was a blessing and a curse, "I ended up moving around a lot, every couple of years, and even though I was being promoted and gaining more responsibility, I was ready to settle down. So I came home to Washington and very happily landed at SIGMA." His approach to the business is simple: "Never stop improving, never stop learning, always get better. I read and research all the latest books and articles on business and sales, and I also read and research the 'classics' to make sure I have as much information as I can gather to be the best salesman I can be."
When he's not selling SIGMA product, David splits his free time between the golf course and the stage. He's an avid guitarist, and appears frequently at open mike nights, performing both original songs and covers.
Welcome back, Ajay; welcome to the SIGMA family, David, and best wishes to you both for much success!
SW Region, Astros Never Settle
What does the SIGMA's Southwest Regional Sales Team have in common with the Houston Astros? Their motto: "Never Settle."
The SIGMA Southwest Regional Sales Meeting, held in late September, provided the employees an opportunity to meet with corporate leadership and sales management to share strategies and goals for both the short and long term. The meeting culminated with a trip to the ballpark, where the Astros shut out the Mariners.
Jake Rona, Sports Correspondent
With the number of avid golfers in the SIGMA family, it comes as no surprise that Jake Rona, son of Executive Vice President Mitchell Rona, is an enthusiast. But his passion for sports does not end there. Jake is one of the founding members of TheWrightwayNetwork.com, an online network that features up-to-the-minute coverage on all major sports. Their media include articles, blogs, and podcasts.
TheWrightwayNetwork.com began as a podcast on the platform Backsportspage.com, and expanded to their own site as their audience continued to grow. Jake explains, "A huge number of consumers of this content are young guys our age-high school, college, or just out of college. But the producers of the content are much older. We wanted to provide a voice on sports coverage that reflects our generation."
A high point in Jake's career occurred in late August, when he covered the PGA Northern Trust Tournament. "We had press credentials for this event. PGA does a really good job enabling smaller media to gain access to the pros. I was able to interview Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. When I asked the questions, people turned and stared, because normally it's ESPN and USA Today who speak up, and there I was, this 18 year-old kid. It was great."
Jake will continue building his sports writing career while attending George Washington University.
We at SIGMA place tremendous value on our SIGMA family. With that in mind, we celebrate the joy and success of our employees and their loved ones, and we share their good news...
From the Northeast Region:
Congratulations to Lori Grant-Peters, Engineering Assistant, on the marriage of her daughter, Erinn Sudul, to Ryan Wilkins. The wedding took place on September 1 in Lori's backyard on a beautiful late summer day.
Congratulations to Melissa Kraemer, Supply
Chain/Customer Service-OEM, on her marriage, which took place on August 18. Melissa Perrine, OEM Business Development Assistant, served as her maid of honor!
Congratulations to Don Muller, Controller, and his wife Kerry, on the birth of their son, Kieran James Muller, who arrived on July 12 at 9:53, weighing 7 lbs 2 oz, and measuring 21 ½ inches long.
Congratulations to Vice President of Information Systems Raju Kakani, and Accounts Payable Associate Latha Kakani on the marriage of their son, Sashank, to his beloved, Anusha.
Congratulations to Sales and Marketing Support Associate Donna Jones, who rode her spotted saddle horse Sienna in the 7the Annual Open Space Pace & Festival of Horses Parade in Freehold, NJ. The event began with a parade that marched from the Freehold Hall of Records to Freehold Raceway, where there were educational exhibits, amateur horse races, under-saddle races, and many other amusements for all ages. The goal is to raise awareness about preserving open spaces in NJ and the racehorse industry. Proceeds benefitted equine and agricultural non-profits including Rutgers Equine Science Center, Monmouth County 4H Clubs, Standardbred Pleasure Horse Org. of NJ, Harness Horse Youth Foundation, Special Strides, New Jersey Horse Council and others.
Congratulations to Operations Manager Jim Carr. He and his wife Diane are now the proud grandparents of John Patrick, how arrived on August 1 at 2:57pm, weighing in at 7 lbs 7 oz, and
measuring a length of 18 inches.
Congratulations to Nona Chamberlain, Inventory Control Associate, whose 4H club, the "Barnyard Bandits" took home eight trophies at the 2018 Burlington County Farm Fair this year. Nona' granddaughter Alexis Lerche showed eight rabbits and won eight prizes including two "Best in Breed."
From the Southwest Region:
Congratulations to Operations Manager Jim Stohr on the birth of his granddaughter, Olivia, who arrived on August 7, and weighed 7 lbs, 5 oz. Congratulations also to TSM Jessica Stohr on her new niece!