Meet the Team: Mike Bonn
Each individual on the Soltex team contributes to driving the company toward further achievement. The sales team in particular plays a large role in doing so through their continuous efforts to maintain strong relationships with existing customers while building new relationships with potential customers. Technical Sales Executive Mike Bonn, who is based out of Canada, has found continued success in sustaining and forming connections with Soltex partners.
Bonn joined the Soltex team after working previously in electrical transformer manufacturing. With such a background, it’s no surprise that he describes the most interesting project he’s worked on as the development of HyVolt C50A liquid for the Canadian Market. Playing a key part in its consumer rollout, his deep knowledge of the product became a major factor in the success of the product.
Now in his fourth year with Soltex, Bonn credits many of his accomplishments within the company to his strong communication skills and helpful attitude. The “genuine desire to help customers get what they need” guides his actions and the sincere communication he provides daily. He also explains that customer needs are treated as urgent saying, “When customers call, we answer the phone and get them the solutions they need to help their businesses run more smoothly.”
His strong communication skills have vastly contributed to the customer satisfaction which he believes leads to more new customers and overall higher sales revenue. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic created additional challenges in getting out in the field to meet new prospective customers, his commitment and knowledge have driven success.
When not tending to current Soltex customers or driving new business, Bonn prefers to spend his time outside. From fishing to camping, hunting, woodworking, and even gardening, he is no stranger to the great outdoors. The Rocky Mountains have a place in his heart as his favorite vacation spot and he even co-hosts a podcast about ice hockey called the ScuttlePuck.
Your Fumed Silica Source
Have you ever painted something and watched disappointedly as drips started to fall during the drying process? Soltex can help prevent reliving this experience by adding fumed silica to paints, thickening, and giving structure, without compromising opacity.
Fumed silica is considered an anti-settling, anti-sagging agent in paint and coatings because it improves thixotropic and rheological properties. In other words, fumed silica impacts how the paint’s viscosity reacts to temperature and applied stress, like being shaken or stirred. Furthermore, fumed silica aids in the prevention of corrosion by preventing the migration of water through the film onto the substrate below while strengthening film hardness and adhesion to surfaces.
In addition to paint, fumed silica can be found in a wide array of products including lubricants, powders, and elastomers. Lubricants and greases can be thickened (much like paint) by improving thixotropic and rheological properties and preventing drip too. Fumed silica can be added to powders to enhance free-flow and anti-caking characteristics, or to elastomers as reinforcement filler.
Fumed silica is extremely light and fluffy, but can be difficult to handle as it is a pure and relatively reactive source of silica in powder form. Often, the level of reactivity causes a shortage in supply even when the demand for fumed silica is high. However, Soltex is committed to building stock of fumed silica to support our customers, reducing lead times to better manage inventories.
Soltex is not only the industry leader in fumed silica stock but also in quality. Soltex fumed silica is unique because it is produced to high standards under ISO9001 Quality Management Systems. Product batches are tested during manufacturing and prior to shipment to ensure high-quality standards. So, the next time you grease a squeaky door or complete a satisfactory paint job, perhaps you can thank fumed silica for keeping your hard work and materials in place.
Meet The Team: David Collins Steps Up to Lead Business Development at Soltex
As Soltex continues to grow, we welcome new, talented individuals to our team. Filling a particularly essential role as business development manager is David Collins, whose leadership will be paramount to nurturing and cultivating continued company-wide success.
Collins explains that as the manager of business development, he has the opportunity to “look vertically within the organization to identify new in-organic business segments, products and additional opportunities that will strategically benefit” Soltex as a whole. Having joined the team just over three months ago, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in the chemical and lubricant industry. He explains that his diverse background gives him a broader perspective than most and allows him to think outside the box.
In speaking with Collins, it’s evident that he has already found a rhythm in his work. Between coordinating with multiple parts of the company to review market trends and identifying opportunities to propose new business ideas, his focus on improving the company’s revenue is clear. While navigating partnerships can be tricky, he explains that he is able to operate in a way that ensures “growth opportunities are still aligned to core philosophies” at Soltex. Soltex’s differentiation comes with its robust and quality product lines. The service-oriented approach to business additionally makes Soltex stand out among competitors.
As he continues to settle into the Soltex team, Collins details what it means to be successful to him, saying, “I see success as a moving target. By continually updating and stretching my goals, I am able to stay on track and motivate myself to keep working towards long-term objectives.”
Happily married with “three fully grown and independent children,” you can find Collins exploring many unique hobbies and interests outside of work, including blue water sailing and golfing. A big rugby fan, he’s also an avid follower of the Irish Lions. Soltex is thrilled to have him on board and looks forward to much continued success with his leadership.
Soltex Flies into Washington DC with NACD
Soltex recently had the opportunity to meet with Members of Congress and regulators as part of the NACD gathering where chemical distributors and their supply chain affiliates from around the country educate and advocate for important policy goals. Meeting in person with those who shape and enforce our laws is the most effective way to get your message through to Capitol Hill and federal agencies.
Two key Soltex team members, John Grimes and Bryan De La Rosa attended NACD Washington Fly-In, speaking on behalf of the chemical industry alongside NACD members. Grimes and De La Rosa on trade issues affecting responsible distribution and supply chain restrictions. During the congressional meetings, each attendee was led by group leaders to round-robin discussions about the companies and issues involving Superfund Tax, Generalized System Preferences (GSP) renewal, Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), and China 301 Tariffs.
Soltex acknowledges federal government participation in benefiting our trade operations with our Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee of the 18th Congressional District represents our Soltex headquarters. Representative Brian Babin of the 36th Congressional District represents our warehouse and technical laboratory in Baytown, Texas. The reminder of active communication with our politicians offers our voter voices to be heard and acts in support of our communities.
Overall, the NACD Fly-In event opens the doors of our policyholder offices to understand the needs in the chemical industry. We believe that the time shared reflects the values of our company and allows a stronger presence on Capitol Hill, federal agencies, and industry associations.
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