"Starting an organization within an organization is tough," observes Ted Day, chair of the Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation. He should know. He's done it in his own business, Mo-Sci.
"Mo-Sci was started by my father [Dr. Delbert Day] in 1985. He was on the faculty at the Missouri University of Science and Technology." It was clear to Dr. Day and many others that he came up with very useful technology. He just couldn't get anyone to bring it to production. "It was do it himself or let the technology go away," Ted says. Dr. Day, the unintentional entrepreneur, proved his concept before too long. It's now called TheraSphere®. His tiny glass beads became a great delivery mechanism for radiation treatment delivery, starting with liver cancer, and now so much more.
Soon, Dr. Day saw that he needed help, and he looked to Ted. Ted's background in the medical industry was a significant asset. It wasn't long before other assets came to bear, too. Ted and Kim's son, Bret, was sweeping floors, and Kim was in the accounting office. It was, and still is, a growing family business that was beginning to have international reach.
Growth meant not just developing new products or new uses for what they had ("We're continuing to find new uses for the technology," Ted confesses.) but organizing in new ways so that they move in the right direction.
Now that Bret, developed some experience in the company, and with his education in business and finance, he's moved up from cleaning floors to leading a new subsidiary, "Engineered Tissue Solutions." "He's the only one of us who's actually qualified to run a business," Ted muses.
Ted, with his experience of creating a "company within a company" behind him, seemed like the perfect person to chair the Foundation. "My job is to be the bulldozer," he smiles. "I clear the path at a high level."
Kim has seen him do this before. Dating since high school, they were married while Ted was in pharmacy school. Their goal wasn't to build a multi-million dollar, international bio-tech company, it was to run a small town pharmacy. "Thank God for unanswered prayers," Ted Day reflects. He was about to buy a store right when the big chains were getting their foothold in the national pharmacy market. Instead, he opted for clinical and hospital pharmacy work. The timing, and the experience, served him well.
Kim and Ted are the first to say they have complementary roles in business, and life. "Kim gives good direction and guidance," Ted says. "Ted gives too much," Kim says. "But we work well together," she says with a smile. They both see the benefits of supporting the Foundation. "Ceramics is very important," Ted chimes in. "We want to support the industry we work in."
Ted knows that starting well is essential. "In the first couple of years we need to make a good impression. We need to get off to a good start with industry and key individuals." That means that programmatically, the Foundation has to make a difference. "Looking for talented young people is harder than ever before. We have an opportunity to mold a student's character and educational background as a contributing member of society. If done well, this can help humanity." That means engaging others for the cause. "We need to re-instill involvement of industry." It doesn't end there. "We have key professors on campuses that can identify high potential students with need. An early investment [from the Foundation] can funnel them into a career with a high potential for success."
Ted is clear that everyone has a role. "Every person has an opportunity to give back. Some individuals benefitted [from their careers] at a level to make changes in the future. Ours is a very noble cause."
Its vision like Ted's that will expand the Foundation's reach around the world. "If we don't get in our own way, who knows how far we can go."