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Running Between the Giants’ Legs: Wixon Turns 100

Posted: March 20, 2007

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People Power

Gottsacker views Wixon’s key strengths as its family atmosphere and investment in people. As a company located far from the industry’s east coast center, Wixon has found that it pays to empower staff. “We understand as a company that people are the key ingredient for us,” says Gottsacker. “And we continue to get them challenged. We’ve got two of our people going through MBA school; we’re paying for it.” The benefits, as Gottsacker sees them are twofold: first, the employees feel challenged and second, these people get more involved in the industry and are thus able to “remain on the cutting edge.”

Smart Growth

Gottsacker says that Wixon’s private status means that the company doesn’t labor under a “mandate for growth.”

“We can take a more pragmatic approach to growth and invest without having to worry about quarterly growth statements and analysts thinking twice about why we’re putting resources into [certain] areas,” he adds. Instead of trying to meet external expectations, Gottsacker says, “We’re looking at things to grow within what we think we do pretty well.” Wixon’s growth strategy is focused on a natural process, one derived from its centralized layout. “We have a single campus here,” says Gottsacker, “so communication [is direct]. The owners are in the lab right next to the chemists formulating.” Growing too fast or spawning far-flung locations would erode this, he explains. “We’d rather grow organically on this campus: one location, one campus and one company.” Any expansion, Gottsacker says, would have to fit Wixon culturally, and meet its strategy of developing new technologies and flavors. “