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t would be natural to hear words like “profit and loss” or “marketing strategy” in a conversation about a company that designs and produces machinery for the stone-working industry. Words like “values” and “people” may come as a surprise.

But ask Park Industries’ Co-Presidents Joan Schatz and Mike Schlough about their company and they’ll tell you that values and people are exactly what make this St. Cloud business successful. “You can run an organization based on rules or you can run it based on values,” Joan said. The values approach is “the most effective on every front.”


Built into the essence of stone-equipment manufacturer Park Industries, is the firm belief that if you treat employees with integrity and respect, customers will follow.

Business Central Magazine // M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 1 7

That includes trusting and empowering employees – and knowing their names. When Mike’s dad, Tom Schlough, took over the family business from his father, Leon, in 1976, one of his goals was to always call each of the approximately 15 employees by name. “It’s amazing what happens when a leader does that,” said Tom, who retired as CEO in 2014.

Mike and Joan have continued that practice with their workforce, which now numbers 300. In fact, employees sometimes are incredulous at their leaders’ attention to personal details. Joan tells of a night when she was at Park to serve a meal to second-shift employees. She noticed two men nudging each other and whispering. When she called them by their names,

March/April 2017  

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Business Central Magazine

March/April 2017  

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Business Central Magazine