Paul Worstell Presents the Gordon Heffern Business Lecture at Mount Union College

November 03, 2009

Paul Worstell, president of PRO-TEC Coating Company, presented the Gordon Heffern Business Ethics Lecture on Thursday, October 29 at Mount Union College.  

“The four years at Mount Union, though they were turbulent years in history, Paul Worstellchanged me,” said Worstell. “It was about formation.”

As the first person in his family to graduate college, Worstell earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Mount Union in 1970. After graduation he spent 26 years with U.S. Steel’s operations in the Pittsburgh region. In 1996 he was named general manager of PRO-TEC Coating Company located in Leipsic, Ohio, a joint venture partnership of U.S. Steel and Kobe Steel, Ltd. of Japan to meet corrosion resistant steel demand.

Worstell became the company’s president in 1998 and earned a master of business administration degree from the University of Findlay in 1999. PRO-TEC currently produces 1.1 million tons annually and produces sheet steel for products such as fenders, car door and floor pans. The company also became a supplier of high-strength steel which ensures crash protection.

PRO-TEC was recognized by former President Bush in 2007 as a recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which focuses on performance, excellence and leads to sustainability. Worstell firmly believes in linking organizational culture to personal ethics. He discussed the company’s unique organizational environment created by wrapping disciplined processes in a culture of ownership, responsibility and accountability (ORA).

“Leadership is safety in which people can practice ORA,” said Worstell. “Leadership is service to the internal and external community. Leadership is trust.”

He emphasized the importance of having a belief system formed by mission, vision and core values. He stated that the company holds initiatives in order to meet the three objectives – be, do, have – and these will help shape what the company will look like in five to 10 years. He also explained that core values are words that describe behaviors.

“Everyone is to trust that an environment will be created behind these behaviors, providing an Paul Worstell attractive place to work,” explained Worstell.

Seventy percent of PRO-TEC employees have education beyond high school degrees, which were earned while working at the company. Further, PRO-TEC has a 0.6 percent absenteeism rate, 1 percent turnover rate, 99 percent internal promotion rate and no layoffs.

“If we can support the notion that organizational culture and personal ethics support belief systems, then the lessons learned become trust, steal great ideas shamelessly and share passionately,” said Worstell. “This will improve the quality of life.”

Worstell serves on the board of trustees of The Ohio Manufactures Association, The Ohio Partnership for Excellence, The Blanchard Valley Regional Health Center and the Black Swamp Area Council Boy Scouts of America. He is also a lecturer at the University of Findlay and Ohio Northern University on topics of leadership.

The Gordon Heffern Business Ethics Lecture was established by Mount Union College Trustee Gordon E. Heffern to encourage dialogue about the practical ways in which spirituality can transform the workplace. Heffern, a graduate of the University of Virginia, served as chairman of the board of Society Corporation before retiring in 1987.

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