“Godfather of Silicone” Marks 50 Years of Service
January 8, 2021
“You can tell a lot about a person by the way those closest respond,” says Keith Thomas, President of RDAbbott. “By that measure,” Thomas adds, “John Carroll is the Godfather of Silicone.” Known affectionately as “JC”, John Carroll reached 50 years in the rubber industry in 2020. As RDAbbott celebrates this milestone, industry veterans are honoring JC’s contributions – and his character. “Some of the people I respect the most in our industry got their mentorship and inspiration from JC,” Thomas explains.
Five Decades of Service
During his industry tenure, JC has worked for GE Silicones, J-Sil, Dow Corning Corporation (DCC), Dow Corning STI, and RDAbbott. Through various mergers, acquisitions, and company name changes, JC has excelled in the rubber industry through roles ranging from Lab and Quality Technician to Executive Manager, Sales Representative, and Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Prior to becoming a Senior Account Manager for RDAbbott, JC was a Dow representative who sold silicone rubber for 22 years. When JC retired from Dow five years ago, his legacy was already established.
“You’ve been invaluable at developing solutions, growing territories, and delighting customers,” wrote Robert Hansen, the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of DCC, in a July 2015 letter to JC. “Most notably,” Hansen explained, JC helped Delphi Packard Electrical Systems (now Delphi) and its molders to develop Weather Pack technology that “began the application of silicone rubber for automotive connectors.” Hansen also credited JC with playing an “instrumental” role in the integration of J-Sil to DCC STI (now Dow).
Selling and Challenging
Rick Ziebell, Technical Fellow and Vice President of Technology at RDAbbott, recalls working with JC at DCC STI during the late 1980s. “He inspired the entire company to get the work done,” says Ziebell, who was busy solving challenges as a rubber chemist and quality engineer. “I have spent much of my career trying to manufacturer or develop all the stuff he sells,” Ziebell adds, “and boy can he sell it.” Jennifer Perez, RDAbbott’s Chief of Staff, confirms JC’s sales acumen. “JC could sell snow to an Eskimo,” she says. “He has an amazing way with people that makes them want to buy from him.”
JC’s passion, determination, and ability to find win/win solutions are just part of what makes him a successful salesperson. “JC exudes passion for silicone rubber customers and tirelessly works to find solutions that meet both supplier and customer needs,” says Scott Kearns, Principal at ElastaPro. Yet, JC will also “challenge you over and over again,” Kearns adds, “pushing for what he believes is necessary for mutually growing the business.” The high standards to which JC holds himself are evident in a story from his DCC STI days.
Leading and Mentoring
As Rick Ziebell recalls, JC led quarterly meetings where he held salespeople accountable for their forecasts. During one meeting, JC “pounded so hard on a conference room table, to bring order and focus, that the table broke.” Some might see this as having an iron first, but Ziebell notes how “we always celebrated wins under JC leadership” since actions – not words – were what mattered to JC. “John’s fearless passion and dedication for serving the customer,” says Mike Dunbar of Dow, “demanded that when having account responsibility, you knew and understood the press operator all the way up to the CEO.”
JC’s sense of humor and grace under pressure have also endeared him to colleagues. “His laugh and way of turning around something difficult, like a bad situation or a product that did not perform, was clearly one of his strong points,” recalls Mark Stevens of CRI-SIL Silicone Technologies, LLC. Today, JC continues to be a valued mentor. “JC has graciously taught many people about the business or about techniques to be successful,” says RDAbbott’s Janice Jones, “and for his taking me under his wing, I am very grateful.”