John McClatchey Says It Will Be Business as Usual During SAF Transition
August 23, 2012

by Penny Stacey, pstacey@glass.com

Southern Aluminum Finishing (SAF) announced its succession plan earlier this week, which includes the retirement of John McClatchey from his role as president, effective September 1. His younger brothers, James and Penn McClatchey, will take over as co-CEOs, and John McClatchey plans to stay on with the company as chief financial officer and a member of SAF's board of directors. During the transition, he says it will be business as usual for the company's customers.

"Things are going to be pretty much the same," says John McClatchey. "I'll still be here."

McClatchey has been president of the company since 1988, and he says both his age and preparations for the future played a role in his decision to make the move at this time. "I'm 67 years old and I wanted to stay around and help the people who came after me to make sure all the transitions went smoothly," he says.

He will remain regularly involved, though. "It's mostly just that [my] supervisory [duties] will be less, but the main responsibilities will be the same," he says. "We're just really changing the organization a little bit so it'll be clear when things start to change who's in charge of what."

As he nears the transition, McClatchey took the time to share his thoughts about some of the changes he's seen over the years with USGNN.com™/USGlass magazine. The most major change he's seen, he says, is the efficiency of the business
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"When I first came here, we probably had a quarter of the sales staff [we have now] and probably three times the number of administrative people," he recalls. "I think that's probably because of the computerization of most things."

In addition, the company has had its own shift internally as well. "Our emphasis has changed over the years from wholesaling to fabrication," he says. "Fabrication causes a lot more worry and that's made my job harder."

Looking to the future, SAF currently is building an anodizing line in Redding, Calif. "We're in the finishing stages of construction right now," says McClatchey.

SAF was founded by the McClatcheys' father, Marvin, and still today remains a true family business. All three of McClatchey's own children are involved with the business as well. His daughter, Eliza Evans, serves as project manager; Carl McClatchey serves as controller; and John McClatchey Jr. serves as sales manager.

This story is an original story by USGlass magazine/USGNN™. Subscribe to USGlass magazine.
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