By Jennifer Erb
When Dale Dodrill came to WVU he didn’t know what Industrial Engineering was even though he was enrolled in the program. Based on published information about the Engineering School IE sounded right for him as he wanted to work with people rather than be in a lab or at a drawing board. While in college, Dale had four internships: Union Carbide (2 years), International Nickel, and Kurt Salmon (consulting). Dale stayed at WVU for a Masters degree in IE. He then started his career at Kurt Salmon.
One year into his career at Kurt Salmon, Dale got a direct commission from the Army barely ahead of a report notice from his draft board. This was during the Vietnam War. He was stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN teaching operations research to Amy officers there and in Hawaii, Vietnam and Germany.
Dale returned to Kurt Salmon after he served his military duty. He stayed at Kurt Salmon for 12 years, but his wife, Carolyn, eventually tired of him traveling so much. He was hired by Michelin to to be their North American Planning Manager, but was diverted to develop a strategy for what it should do with its part ownership in American Synthetic Rubber Corporation(ASRC). ASRC was critical to Michelin because it was Michelin’s main source of rubber in the United States. Dale presented his strategy recommendations to the senior leadership of Michelin in France. At the conclusion of the meeting, Dale’s recommendations were accepted. They offered him the position of Vice President of Manufacturing at ASRC. He turned them down, but offered to take on the role of President and CEO instead. Michelin accepted his offer. He was 35 years old. Dale stayed at ASRC for 17 years. During this time sales at ASRC grew from $54 to $150 million with 13 consecutive years of profits after 11 years of losses prior to Dale’s leadership.
After leaving ASRC, Dale was involved in a number of leadership roles in underperforming companies and has served as an independent consultant. He was hired to turnaround the companies or to develop an exit strategy for the owners of the businesses. Dale is retired now, but still remains active by serving on corporate and charitable boards.
Dale has had a lifelong passion for sports. At the time of this interview, he had played golf in all 50 states and 27 countries. The number of courses he has played is 630 and counting. Dale has also attended 35 Final Fours including 34 out of the last 37.
Dale’s other passion is travel. He has been to six continents and 40 countries.
Dale Dodrill is a general management executive with over forty years diversified experience in positions of increasing responsibility leading to the presidency of a $50 million operation that grew to a $150 million company.
He has experience in plastics, polymers, trucking and metals as well as Owner/President of a startup company. He has expertise in Strategic Planning, Manufacturing, Finance, Information Systems, Sales & Marketing, Engineering and Operations in both unionized and non-unionized plants. He is able to analyze complex business problems and organize to achieve results.
Kurt Salmon Associates, Atlanta, GA 1965 – 1977
Principal, Textile Systems Group
Provided service to over 30 clients of this major consulting firm. Assignments ranged from the design and implementation of a Management Information System to a study evaluating the potential reorganization of the State of Georgia.
Michelin Tire Corporation, Greenville, SC 1977 – 1979
American Synthetic Rubber Corporation, Louisville, KY 1979 – 1996
Chairman, President & CEO
1984 to 1996, 13 consecutive years of profits
IMW Atlas Industries, Inc., Louisville, KY 1998 – 2000
Purchased an equity position and became CEO of this startup company which produces, sells, and services fueling stations for vehicles using compressed natural gas (CNG) as a motor fuel.
Thomas Transportation Group, Louisville, KY 2000-2001
Appointed by the owner of this nationwide owner-operated flatbed trucking company to serve as President and to determine his future involvement with the operation.
Beneke Wire Company, Louisville, KY 2001 – 2002
Assumed leadership of this family owned producer of specialty aluminum wire in a period of transition and the first nonprofitable year in the prior ten years.
Mid-States Plastics, Inc., Mt. Sterling, KY 2003
Became President of this manufacturer of water meter boxes following the death of the former owner and President.
Excel Polymers LLC, Solon, OH 2004-2006
Executive Vice President
Provided assistance for this company to transition from a division of a major corporation to independent $400,000,000 annual sales, six-plant nation-wide Corporation.