Our experts share their thoughts on asphalt sustainability, innovation, safety and creating a culture of care.
MEET THE TEAM – TIM MACHELSKI
With a degree in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech and over 44 years of operations experience, including building a shingle manufacturing plant from the ground up, Tim Machelski was more than qualified to join Polyco as our new Chief Operating Officer. After spending time as a chemical engineer and learning how manufacturing plants and the people operating the plants function, he redirected his focus to operations. Tim looks forward to bringing this extensive experience to Polyco, supporting our team to build on our culture of quality and strong customer relationships. We spoke with Tim about his role and his hopes for the future.
What does the future hold for Polyco?
Before I say something about the future, let me tell you something about the past. My first interaction with Polyco was in 2012, when I went to Tom, the owner, with a need while working for a shingle manufacturer. We wanted to produce polymer-modified asphalt coating that could run at high speeds. Polyco developed a coating that ran smoother, faster, and better than the industry had ever seen. Now, RDP is going to help asphalt become a sustainable product. Polyco is on a growth plan. As we expand, one of my roles will be to keep this company true to its people and roots. I’m excited to help grow Polyco into a world-class organization.
What’s your history with sustainability in the roofing industry?
Under my sponsorship starting in 2012, GAF developed many options for recycling asphalt shingles, leading to the construction of a pilot factory in Lockport, NY, that creates briquettes of recycled asphalt from shingles. This was a considerable undertaking because sustainability wasn’t as big of a priority in 2012 as it is now, and the high price was a hurdle. Nevertheless, sustainability was and still is important to me, so we worked through it and opened the plant. I look forward to further growing Polyco’s—and my own—sustainability record.
What shaped you as a leader?
As a manager at one of the plants, I was approached by a 21-year-old man who had just started and he asked why my attitude was so poor. He said, “You set the culture because you’re the manager.” The next day, I went to HR and asked for a list of every employee. I realized the only ones I knew were the 10% I had to correct constantly. After this, I made it a point to talk to every employee. In fact, at one company, my nickname was “Mr. Rogers” because I warmly greeted everyone each morning. To take this further, I established an Idea Board—no matter who makes the recommendation, it is written on a board and doesn’t come down until it’s implemented or discussed. Respect, fairness, trust, and integrity make up the culture I want to set with my employees.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
I’m very active. I used to run marathons, and now I run for health. I’m also a barefoot waterskier—I can go 41 miles per hour across the water on my bare feet! Working on cars is another passion of mine. Recently, I combined what my faith taught me, “take your graces and share them with others,” with my car hobby and started buying cars, fixing them up then donating the restored vehicles to single mothers.