Greg Knight, An Interview with the McDermott CEO ~ Anthony Beeler

 When was McDermott Cue founded?  Talk to us about the history of your company…Jim McDermott founded McDermott in 1975. Jim had been repairing cues for a number of years, and he had been observing the mistakes that he saw others in the industry making. He decided that he could do it better, so that’s what he set out to do. What he ended up creating were some of the most technologically advanced cues that the industry had ever seen. When he wanted to do something with wood that others said would be impossible, he would simply not take “no” for an answer. Jim would hire on the talent and purchase the equipment that he needed to get it done. He really was a visionary in the cue manufacturing industry.When did you take over?I purchased the company in early 2009. Like many other cue manufacturers, McDermott was struggling because of the market decline, but the company also had some of its own challenges internally that needed to be overcome. I have always been up for a challenge; I was excited to step in and get the company back on track.Didn’t your factory change locations sometime in the past few years?  Talk about the new factory and it’s advantages over the old factory.Yes, in 2012 we moved into our current location. The previous building was very nice – and very big – but the space was not set up well for our needs. Each stage in the manufacturing process was in its own separate room, so cues would constantly have to be walked from one room to the next. It slowed things down considerably. Members of our office and sales staffs were also separated from each other, so communication between them was not at the level that it could have been. In addition to improving efficiency and communication, buying this new building allowed us to modernize our equipment. Before we moved in, we were able to install a state of the art temperature and humidity control system along with some new production equipment. To do that in the old building would have required us to halt production while we remodeled. Another benefit of the new location is that we are right off of the interstate now, so the company is much more visible and easier for customers to find. Tell us a little about yourself.  Where you grew up? Family? Your background with pool, business, etc…I grew up in Wisconsin and went to college at MSOE University and Marquette University for my Bachelors and Masters degrees, respectively. Early on, I felt the calling to be a business owner and purchased my first business in 2008. I purchased McDermott Cue in 2009, and recently acquired a third company.Do you play a lot of pool? I play pool for fun a couple times per year. Tell me about your job?  What is your favorite part of work?  Least favorite? Most difficult?I enjoy being involved in all aspects of the business; every day is different which is what makes it fun. Getting to develop and implement new product ideas and production improvements are some of my favorite aspects of the job. Currently, the most difficult task is hiring reliable, skilled staff for our production area. The most rewarding aspect is the fact that we have grown to almost 35 people in the company. Personally, I am proud of being a job creator.Talk to us about your current cue line including: Cue of the Year and a Cue of the Month, McDermott, Star, and Lucky?

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