Alex Baranpuria, Vice President & General Manager at Ivy Exec recently interviewed Mike Mumau, President at Kee Safety. Kee Safety, Inc. is one of the world’s leading Safety Solutions Suppliers. We have been providing industry specific solutions such as railings, barriers, perimeter protection, fall prevention and many other applications since 1934.
Alex: Baranpuria: In which area of your company do you expect the most growth over the next 12 to 18 months?
Mike Mumau: The company is going to continue to grow because of our aggressive regional expansion plan to locate our people closer to our customers and closer to the projects we jointly work on together with our customers.
Alex: What changes and challenges do you think your company and industry will see in the next 5 years?
Mike: The largest challenges we will likely face will come from an area that we also benefit from at the same time. We are a safety company and our products are designed to meet OSHA, CSA, ANSI and ICC building and safety standards. Government regulation does keep people safe and the enforcement of those standards has been a benefit to us. At the same time though we believe that the government has gotten over involved in the affairs of businesses and industry regulation. This interference creates market uncertainty and that is never good for American businesses.
Alex: What led you to join KEE SAFETY?
Mike: What drew me to join Kee Safety was a culture from the owner on down to make a difference…to separate people from hazards. It is in the fabric of the company. It is what we do. We are also a small enough company that if we want to do something a few people can come together quickly, make a decision then go out and make it happen. After some time in the corporate world this has been refreshing to me.
Alex: What three words best describe your culture?
Mike: Passionate, Committed, Always changing to be better than we were yesterday (yeah…I know that last “word” was more than one…
Alex: What are the two best perks that employees get at your company?
Mike: First, the company still pays 100% of employee benefits. I do not know one company left that does that. The second is the fun of working with people that are building something and not just showing up to work trying NOT to get noticed.
Alex: Which leadership qualities best ensure success at KEE SAFETY?
Mike: It is critical that we lead…that we look for ways to DO things, not provide reasons why they will not work. Being entrepreneurial and taking ownership of the area, team or department that a leader is responsible for will make or break a leader at Kee Safety.
Alex: What gets you excited about going to work each day?
Mike: We are growing so fast that sometimes it feels like we are making it up as we go. There is nothing routine or boring about that. The fact that WE are creating “it” provides so much energy to what we are accomplishing and makes it easy to go to work…though sometimes it does make it hard to go home.
Alex: What is the biggest misconception that you encounter about your industry?
Mike: That safety is about compliance. That is so wrong in the end. Safety is about protecting people and separating them from hazards. There is no question that OSHA has safety regulations but we should be protecting our people even if there was no regulations!