January 3, 2017
Q&A with Featured Hockey Players in Business Member: Rick MacDonald
President/CEO JIT Packaging Aurora, Inc.
Where did you grow up?
Born in Windsor Ontario, Canada; raised in Sterling Heights, Michigan
What is your hockey history?
All youth hockey in Michigan
- Midget “AAA”
- Juniors in Detroit
- Kent State University D1 independent from 1981 to 1985
What business are you in now?
JIT Packaging Aurora Inc. is a privately held independent manufacturer and distributor of corrugated packaging. What sets us apart is our depth of product offering, innovative design, and “Just In Time” service. We do all things corrugated — low volume, high volume, specialty cartons, triple wall, point-of-purchase displays, retail consumer, food packaging, and assemblies.
How has hockey helped you achieve success?
We all understand that in hockey there are three periods of competition. Every hockey player has witnessed stark differences of performance between periods within the same game amongst the same teams. Ultimately hockey players know not to surrender in any moment when they are not at their best as a team. With creativity and discipline, successful hockey teams modify their approach during the three periods to create a positive outcome. The direct parallel in business is that all successful organizations embrace this mentality in order to thrive. In business you have to sell your value, maintain profitability, and defend against competition. In hockey, you have to come prepared, generate offense, and defend in order to succeed.
Success in hockey is measured by: wins vs. losses, goals and assists, plus-minus, shots on goal, save percentage, and total time on ice. In business, the metrics are spoken differently but oddly familiar: growth vs. decline, dollars and cents, recruitment and retention of talent, new product development, retained market share, and total years in business.
Hockey and business are both based on working as a team. Some days you are on the power play and some days you are in the penalty box. Regardless of your current circumstance, it is certain to change, and your reaction will influence the outcome.
Can you share a few fun facts about yourself?
When not selling “empty boxes” or playing hockey, I like events that include combustion engines and speed.