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Chief Adhesives serves packaging, construction industry needs

FORT WORTH, Texas - Leonard Goode has spent more than 35 years working in the adhesives industry, having sold and managed the sales for one of the largest companies in the field.

With that experience, the Choctaw from Oklahoma decided to utilize his entrepreneurial spirit and form his own company, Chief Adhesives Inc., in 1991.

From there, the American Indian-owned corporation has grown and can boast a no-rejection and/or returned product in the last 10 years, said Dirk Bundle, Chief Adhesives sales and marketing director.

;'That's a very telling commentary on the quality and consistency of the products that we produce,'' Bundle said.

Chief Adhesives sells hot-melt adhesives for use in the packaging, construction and paper-converting industries. Consumer products that are shipped to stores that might have food items or other products in them are sealed with adhesives, or glue-like material, such as what Chief Adhesives produces to provide speed-packaging capability and tamper verification, Bundle said.

''That's the types of glue we provide for tamper evidence and high-speed packaging capabilities,'' Bundle said.

The product sounds simple enough: a special bonding material that keeps packaging closed. But as Bundle pointed out, the creation of the adhesive is a meticulous process that requires specific chemicals as well as a precise formula.

In formulating the adhesives, Bundle said a chemist is responsible for preparing the materials to customer specifications that include the customer's need, the adhesive's usage and the conditions under which the adhesive will be exposed.

The company then tests all of its products to assure they will work to those conditions, Bundle said.

To ensure that all aspects of the process are followed, Chief Adhesives promotes adequate employee training to achieve product reliability as well as to maintain safety.

''Besides the safety factor of having properly trained employees, it is critically important to have them properly trained to ensure finished product consistency,'' Bundle said.

The finished adhesive product looks like slats, or square white pieces, that come in different sizes. Each adhesive formula created is produced in vats where the materials are mixed and melted until they're homogenous, Bundle said. The adhesive is warm when it's completed, and from there, the material is cooled to be cut into the size the customers need, he added.

Customers melt the slats in a hot-melt unit and apply the adhesive to the appropriate paper or board stock, Bundle said.

Bundle explained that the adhesive products have to withstand storage, shipping and other high or low environmental conditions, which is why Chief Adhesives maintains specific testing procedures.

Since the adhesives are used with packaging for food products, too, Goode said his adhesives are Food and Drug Administration-approved for consumption and are not harmful.

Chief Adhesives' products are sold throughout the United States and in Canada and Puerto Rico.

Goode, president and CEO of Chief Adhesives, has been honored with various positions, both with the Choctaw Nation Tribal Council and the Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Business Council, as a leading minority businessman, Bundle said.

Also, in 2002, the pharmaceutical company Abbott Laboratories named Chief Adhesives its minority vendor of the year; in 2006, Cargill Inc. named the company its minority vendor of the year as well.

''We attribute a lot of our success to our employees,'' Goode said. ''They are responsible for making sure the right formulations are made correctly for the different products. Any employee has the authority to shut down the line at any time for safety reasons.''

Goode's philosophy is to treat all of his employees with respect and recognize them for their contributions.

''These are human beings, and they are important to us and are my family,'' Goode said. ''We're pretty proud of where we are and what we do.''

In addition to working in the adhesives industry, Goode served on the Dallas/Fort Worth Urban Indian Health Commission for four years, serving two years as its chairman.

''Our job was to help American Indians in urban areas to find medical help they wouldn't be able to afford,'' Goode said.

The company Web site, www.chiefadhesives.com, explains the adhesives manufacturing process and provides information to customers. Bundle said the company is redesigning its Web site, which will be updated in the first quarter of 2008.

For more information about Chief Adhesives' products and pricing, contact Bundle at (817) 534-6755 or dirkbundle@chiefadhesives.com.