Garrettsville – Four Seasons Industries and Durajoint Concrete Accessories will both be moving to a new home, and luckily it is right here in Garrettsville!  Michael E. Diskin, owner of both companies, recently purchased the empty Amweld building on Industrial Drive and has been busy renovating the structure in preparation of moving his companies.Four Seasons Industries is a plastics manufacturing company that builds special, made-to-order plastic products for the construction industry.  Durajoint specializes in plastic accessories related to the concrete construction industry.
Mr. Diskin, whose background is in the corporate world, as a sales and marketing executive, was looking to get out on his own and bought Four Seasons Industries about 15 years ago.   He purchased rights to the brand name Durajoint approximately 10 years ago.  Originally from the west side of Cleveland, Mr. Diskin states his permanent address is now South Bass Island, but he maintains an apartment here in Garrettsville.  He is a ‘hands-on’ owner and is proud of his many long-term employees, some of which have worked their way up from machine operators to office work and sales.  Mr. Diskin states he “encourages advancement from within” and that opportunity is there for every employee, but they have to make it happen.
Currently, both companies employ about 25 employees, many of those local residents.  Both companies have also been growing during a period of slow economic times.  “Our industry primarily deals with construction which has been hit the hardest”, explained Mr. Diskin.  He is hoping that as the economy begins to recover, his business will grow even more.
He says they ship all over the world.  “UPS is our largest customer,” Diskin joked because of the volume of shipping they do using the carrier.  Currently they ship all over the United States and Canada.  They do a lot of business in Panama, Mexico, South America, and Japan as well.  Diskin states that his companies have been aggressive in the marketplace, and he is proud of the competition they give Sika AG, a company based in Switzerland, which is the largest construction products company in the world.
Diskin credits a lot of the opportunities he has had in expanding his company globally from participating in Ohio Trade Missions.  These missions are sponsored by the state through the Ohio Department of Development’s Office of Business Assistance.  According to the state’s website, these missions showcase Ohio companies abroad, assist small to medium-sized Ohio companies with exporting their products and services, and provide valuable networking and business opportunities that help Ohio companies grow and ultimately create jobs.
Both Four Seasons Industries and Durajoint Concrete Accessories are currently located in a 2200 square foot facility across the street from the old Amweld building.  “We’ve out grown the building we are in,” said Diskin.  The move gives his companies a lot more space, 158,622 square feet of space to be exact.  He’s already moved his warehouse operations to the new facility and is planning on having their offices moved and up and running by the end of September.  Mr. Diskin stated that the manufacturing equipment move is slated for December/January when work usually slows.  He said they would move half the equipment at a time so there will never be a complete shutdown.
The Amweld space is also much more room than Mr. Diskin’s businesses needs right now.  He is planning to lease the middle warehouse area of the new space as well as the 2200 square feet of the building he is vacating.  “The space we are vacating has a lot of power available, 2000 amps which is expensive to duplicate.”
Mr. Diskin went on to say when the idea of looking for a larger facility began, he had thought about the Amweld building but had been unable to make contact with the realtor.  “We seriously thought about moving into Streetsboro.  The move would have been difficult on some of our employees, but at the time it seemed the best option.”
Mr. Diskin credits local businessman Chris Perme in stopping that from happening.  According to Mr. Diskin, “Chris [Perme], who is involved with the [Garrettsville] Economic Development Group, found out about our situation and stepped into help.”  Mr. Diskin said Mr. Perme was key in keeping his companies here in Garrettsville.
When asked what he did to help, Chris Perme said, “All I did was listen”.  Perme had met Diskin’s son, Michael A. Diskin, who also works for his father’s companies, about 6 years ago.  When Perme heard about the issues in trying to expand the business, he reached out to see if there was something he could do to help.  “I put him [the elder Diskin] in touch with Joe Marinack.”  Chris said.  “That’s really all it took, someone to listen and show [their business] mattered.”
Joe Marinack, of Hermitage Capital Partners, was able to get the ball rolling.  The Village contracted with Hermitage Capital Partners last year to help with economic development, and just recently voted to renew the contract.  “Joe was able to get the job done and help Mike Diskin with the purchase of the Amweld building.”  Said Perme.
When asked if Garrettsville’s new job creation tax credit program was any incentive to stay in Garrettsville, or to expand his business, Mr. Diskin replied, “no, not really.”  He went on to explain, “My business needs to grow in order to hire new people.  The incentive doesn’t help that.”  Mr. Diskin said when he adds jobs it is because he needs them, not because of the incentive.  Additionally he stated, “The incentive is very small compared actual employee costs.”
Mr. Diskin explained that the principals of small business are all the same no matter what business you own, “you have to invest to grow”.  He is somewhat concerned about how new government regulations, especially health care, will affect his companies’ future but right now his concentration is on introducing new product lines for the industry and staying a step ahead of the competition.