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Tim Czmiel, Magna Partners Cited for Business 'Turnaround of the Year' By Turnaround Management Association.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Timothy P. Czmiel, CTP, of Magna Partners, LLC, today received the Turnaround Management Association's "Small Company Turnaround of the Year" award for his work saving more than 200 jobs with Modern Plastics Corp. of Benton Harbor, Michigan.

"This engagement is a case study in how a local community can work with a company to stabilize jobs in the area. Significant credit should be given to Benton Harbor Mayor Charles Yarbrough, Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Jeff Noel of Cornerstone Alliance for their assistance," Czmiel said.

Czmiel got the assignment to help Modern Plastics, a 65-year-old privately held firm, in August 2001. The company was on the brink of shutting down after losing $1.9 million on revenues of $24 million. It makes highly- engineered plastic components for a variety of industries with a heavy concentration in the automotive industry.

Czmiel became CEO of the firm for the turnaround. He immediately inventoried future orders, asked senior officials to select the employees who were necessary to fill those orders and -- based on their recommendations -- let 30 percent of the workforce go.

"We had to go through a very painful step very early on. Without it, there would be no Modern Plastics today," Czmiel said.

Czmiel and the company's senior management then began working with suppliers and creditors to gain the time necessary for the remaining 200 Modern Plastics employees to post results.

"After the job cuts, we went from shift meeting to shift meeting and presented the status of the company, the fact that there would be no further job cuts, and outlined the employees' role in the turnaround process. I told them they would never work harder in their lives. Each of them accepted the challenge and performed wonderfully," Czmiel said.

Southwestern Michigan took note of its longtime corporate citizen's situation as well.

"This firm has many friends in its home community, including the city of Benton Harbor, Lake Michigan College, and the Cornerstone Alliance & Chamber of Commerce," Czmiel said. "Each of them has assisted in unique and important ways."

Cornerstone Alliance & Chamber of Commerce awarded Modern Plastics its 2001 Merlin Hanson Challenge Award in February 2002. The Alliance also went to work with the city of Benton Harbor to find dollars for critical Modern Plastics capital needs through various programs. Lake Michigan College, southwest Michigan's community college, responded to important Modern Plastics training needs.

Benton Harbor Mayor Charles Yarbrough said, "It is easy to support Modern Plastics. There is no better social program than a good job with real benefits. Anyone can see that.

"And, in the mid 1980s, when the city had a financial crisis, Modern paid its property taxes early so that we could pay our police and firefighters. Now, with them in a pinch, it's only fair that we do what we can to help."

Benton Harbor and the Cornerstone Alliance's determination to help Modern Plastics has resulted in notice from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that $450,000 from a federal brownfield program is on its way to help the company update its capital equipment.

Meanwhile, the employees at Modern Plastics continue to post favorable results.

"We have a going concern because we are able to meet customer needs at a favorable margin. As long as we do that Modern Plastics will have a solid future," Czmiel said.

Magna Partners, LLC is a private management consulting firm that offers a range of services including advising institutional creditors on financial and operational restructuring of businesses, raising capital for transitional or troubled companies and its specialized turnaround management and corporate restructuring services. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, Magna creates workable solutions to complex business situations.

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CONTACT: Chris Robling of Jayne Thompson & Associates, +1-312-658-0445 or +1-312-343-2026, or Timothy P. Czmiel of Magna Partners, LLC, +1-630-288-3570 or +1-630-886-7051
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1U3MI
Date:Oct 28, 2002
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