Elite Plastics president celebrates 30 years

Dan Thurmond, President of Elite Plastics, has been working in the plastics industry for his entire career and at Elite Plastics for the past 30 years beginning when he started the business. Dan’s plastic experience began in high school when he took a plastics course and continued after graduation at the LA Trade Technical College where he studied plastics manufacturing. During this time he was involved with The Society of Plastic Engineers, a group he is still a member of today, and had his first apprenticeship with an affiliate company in 1969.

How did Dan go from an apprenticeship to starting his own business? He worked his way up through the plastics industry and eventually started two different plastics manufacturing companies. Dan started his first business, T&T Plastic Molding, in California and built it up before selling it four years later. He then moved to the Pacific Northwest where he began working at View-Master, the producer of stereoscopic children’s toys, where he gained experience running the molding, painting, and tooling operations there.

In 1985, Dan started Danegon Plastics with Egon Steinborn in Oregon. As the business grew, they eventually began working with GM Nameplate. GMN had been looking for a plastic injection molder as it transitioned from all sheet stock materials to injection molded nameplates that would snap into housing components. After a year and a half working as a subcontractor, GMN bought Danegon Plastics in 1995. From there, Danegon Plastics became GMN Oregon and was eventually rebranded as Elite Plastics, the name it currently holds today. While Dan stayed at the company, Egon Steinborn decided to sell his share of the company and went on to own a tool shop that continues to work with Elite Plastics today.

Dan agreed to stay at Elite Plastics for three years to ensure that the company was up and running. After working with GMN, he decided that there was, and still is, no better place to work and has been here ever since. 

Chris Passanante, GMN’s product line manager of plastics, explains that, “Dan is a wonderful person, his compassion and family values carry over to relationships with his employees.  He has a wealth of industry knowledge and experience, always open to suggestions and values all of his teams input.  I have been very fortunate to be part of Dan’s team for the last 14 years; he has been a great mentor and friend.”

Dan Thurmond is a huge contributor to the success of Elite Plastics and GMN as a whole. He has grown the business as technologies have evolved over time and brings a positive experience to everyone who has the opportunity to work with him. We want to thank Dan for 30 years of commitment to Elite Plastics and GMN.