Long before he became a leader in the packaging consultation business, David Lubin demonstrated his ability to succeed in several other ventures. He learned important lessons in each setting along the way, but one experience stood out most because it felt like family.
Not every company gives you a candid look at their business through the eyes of their top executive. However, it is our privilege to introduce you to David in our latest employee profile.
An Eye for Business and Market Dynamics
From his college education to his work experiences, David founded his career on understanding business, the market, and the workings behind them.
He began his professional life after graduating with his degree in economics from the University of Michigan in 1982. From here, he earned his CPA license and went to work in public accounting.
It was granular work at first, but this hands-on introduction to business was invaluable. Working as a CPA for over five years, he really learned to appreciate the importance of what went into business finances. Among other aspects, he saw first-hand how costs, accountability, and so many other factors contributed to a company's success. Assets and the potential for ROI interested him so much that it would guide him to his next career move: commercial real estate.
When he moved on to work in commercial real estate, it gave him an additional understanding of business development. He couldn't stay away from financial work for long, however. After six years in commercial real estate, he took up the career move of his lifetime.
Smart Work, Hard Work, and Network
David gives a great deal of credit to how relationships have played a role in his career. In one particular example, it was a friendship that helped him learn of an opportunity at MJS Packaging.
In a way, you could say David's role as company president hinged upon a friend of his, a CPA, telling him about another friend who was a CPA for MJS Packaging. Through this network, David learned of how the controller for MJS Packaging was close to retirement and David appeared to be the perfect fit.
"I then started as a controller for MJS Packaging," David detailed. "That was April 1, 1993. It seems like yesterday -- until I think about the journey over the years and to today."
David excelled in his role as controller and rose to several more positions over two decades' time. In that time-span, he served as CFO and COO before he became President in 2014.
Each experience built upon the last. Each role came with challenges and opportunity and each role led to accomplishment. David was able to succeed and even amplify success because of his ability, but also because of the close-knitted nature of the business. David saw how relationships were vital within the company as well, including interactions with remarkable mentors along the way.
Continuing an Important Legacy
From the beginning, David learned he could count on Marty Jacob for insight. Marty, a member of the Jacob family and long-time president of MJS Packaging, wanted to see David succeed. David had an impressive handle on the knowledge he needed and certainly had potential, but Marty complemented that with his own experience.
"Marty had a very consultative approach," David recalled. "He had an incredible memory and was very willing to share his knowledge and philosophies. But he also let you be you.”
Additionally, David appreciated how Marty took a humble and constructive approach.
"Marty didn’t say 'you can’t' or 'you won’t' — instead, he imparted his wisdom and let you decide."
This meant a great deal to David. Marty had a consistency and helpfulness to his approach that was invaluable.
"I appreciated his many sayings, too. For example, he would sometimes say that '[he] might not know what to do, but [he] did know what NOT to do'. You have to look at a challenge from another direction sometimes, and that was a very useful way to think of it."
With David's personality, knowledge, and helpful influences along the way, nothing was out of reach.
A Team Approach to the Packaging Consultation Business
As much as David is thankful for Marty's involvement, he continues to be impressed by a spirit of teamwork company-wide.
"Our company is what it is because our employees are passionate about doing their jobs," David affirmed. "Historically, we had the Jacob family members dedicated to the family business. I'm proud to see how dedication also extends to employees everywhere in the business."
As a result, the company does well because individuals don't have to be born into the business. In many ways, what MJS Packaging has now is even stronger.
"We have a tremendous group of people who are dedicated to the services and the solutions we provide," David extolled. "They want to be entrepreneurial; they want to make a difference."
"We stay close to the business, and can be fairly nimble due to our size. We believe in hiring good people, giving them the resources they need to do their job, and getting out of their way so they can do it."
Preparing for the Latest Trends
During his time at MJS Packaging, David has seen quite a few trends arise. Between his work as an involved member of the industry serving on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Container Distributors (NACD) and what he hears as buzz from his team, there are several particularly important trends he is sure to highlight.
"Of course we’re seeing things like customers moving to more sustainable resources and taking different cost cutting measures like lightweighting," David explained. "But there are two other trends that intrigue me the most."
The first is the move toward more customization in packaging.
"For those who can afford it, customization means a completely custom package. But for those who can’t, they can still get the custom look and feel through decoration and unique uses of stock components."
Such customization can be a great option for smaller businesses and those who want to stand out locally. In other words, it can be a great fit for another big trend that David identifies: the craft movement.
"We’re seeing this in several industries, including micro-distilleries. Although many big businesses are getting bigger, we love seeing these small start-ups, and enjoy working with them to get started.
It takes us back to our roots when we started as a one-man bottle business, offering services with a local and personalized approach."
Continued Community Involvement
When it comes to David's service and stewardship, we are thankful to say we don't have to look far for examples. In fact, much of this post is inspired by that type of thoughtful approach he takes towards our customers and company. However, we know him for going beyond our work in the packaging consultation business, too.
"Being involved in the community is really part of the fiber of both our company and my family," David explained. "When I started at MJS Packaging, I took the company’s community involvement to heart, and I urge our employees to get involved as well."
As a corporate effort, David and MJS Packaging employees stay active with the Ronald McDonald House as well as with the United Way. David also takes time to serve as an individual as well. He serves on the board of several community groups that range in mission. This list includes Friendship Circle, New Horizons Rehabilitation Center (serving as vice chair), B’nai B’rith, and Wayne State University (on the Board of Visitors for the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts).
Business and Family
It isn't something he would bring up, but we know David is well-known in the packaging industry -- often described as a likable and sharp leader. He would rather talk about the company's success, but we know him as integral part of it.
When you do ask David about the business, he regards it as an organization of people first. He also uses the word 'family'. Max Jacob may have started the business in 1885, but Max's family carried the torch for over a century. Today, David is thrilled to be the next part of that legacy.
"The people of MJS Packaging are like family to me now and I take a lot of pride in running a family organization. This is especially true for one that is over 130 years old."
Looking forward, David sees the business' history and its capacity and it fills him with optimism.
"We're headed in a great direction. Personally, I’m very passionate about continuing to grow our business. And when I look at the organization, I know we have great resources and team members who contribute to that."
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