A Bittersweet, Exciting Change

Reflections on the change in CSP leadership

Published in CSP Daily News

By
Paul Reuter, Chairman emeritus and contributing editor

Paul Reuter

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Yesterday’s CSP Daily News Flash contained some excellent news for our customers and all the members of the CSP team, who will remain in place to grow the company.

It was just about 22 years ago to the week that I founded CSP, and yesterday I turned the ownership and leadership over to two outstanding individuals: Mike Wood Jr., the company's new CEO, and Mike Wood Sr., CSP's new chairman.

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One of the many advantages of my job over nearly four decades of meeting great leaders and studying great companies is what it has taught me.

A key learning: Embrace change. So for some time, I have been working on how to transition my leadership.

CSP has a first-class team, working in fast-paced, exciting industries. Our team has innovated a very successful mix of products and brands.

So my job as I saw it was to find a path for them that included leadership energy, passion and resources needed to grow in these very exciting times we’re navigating. The Woods bring all those ingredients, and far more.

I will become a member of the board and an investor, and hold the role of chairman emeritus.

On a personal note: Yes, it is a bittersweet day for me. When I began my career the summer out of college, I never could have dreamed the good fortune and experiences I would have. But most of all, it’s about the many, many people I have met in all areas of my career. Today, the CSP team is undoubtedly the cream of the crop.

One of our board members late last week asked me how I was feeling about the expected transition. Well, I told him it's like when my children went off to college or, more so, when I gave each of my three daughters' hands away in marriage. As a father, you cannot help but feel joy for what's ahead for them, but you also know things will no longer be the same. For all of us to grow, we need to embrace change, and we need to believe that you are never too old to be what you want to be.

I have no doubt that the best is yet to come for CSP, the industries we serve and me personally.

So thanks to the so many I need to thank, and thanks some more. I look forward to seeing you around our "industry campus."

Paul Reuter

By Paul Reuter, Chairman emeritus and contributing editor
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