A conversation with Lou Beaudette, Dan Cameron and Wendy Formichelli, Admix Inc.
We are delighted to have Admix join NHBSR as a new member. We recently spoke with Lou Beaudette, founder and president of Admix, along with his colleagues Dan Cameron, Director of Business Systems, and Wendy Formichelli, Marketing Manager and a former NHBSR board member. We were excited to learn about not only their work, but their focus on creating and maintaining a workplace that balances work and family, along with their community efforts.
What they do
To help you visualize their products, think about a basic kitchen that you use for making whipped cream, cake batter, icings or the like. Now, take that image and multiply it by thousands. Admix makes industrial stainless steel blending machines that do the same thing as our kitchen gadgets, but on a much larger scale for the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. We can’t help but think of the machines from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
So, whether it’s ketchup, salad dressings, soups, or other products, Admix mixers have been helping companies like Kraft Foods and Campbell’s Soup make products in a highly efficient, hygienic way for 27 years. And it is clear that Admix is excited to be working on the cutting edge of the food industry. As trends change, they work closely with clients to adapt and modify equipment to meet their evolving needs.
As an example, one client wanted to transition from using high fructose corn syrup to using another healthier sweetener. Although simple in theory, it actually required the retooling of the equipment so that the process would remain highly efficient. This type of world class customer service is part of the Admix mission: they strive to gain a deep understanding of their customers’ needs then customize mixers for their specific process.
Food safety is also a top priority and Admix specializes in creating machinery that is easy-to-clean. They use the term CIP (clean in place), which means their sanitary equipment can be efficiently cleaned with minimal interruptions in workflow.
Becoming an ESOP
Lou Beaudette worked for a similar business for 15 years before founding Admix in 1989. He recognized a niche for more efficient food processing machinery and his vision – to provide great products, service and value to their customers while creating a work/life balance where employees truly enjoy working – has remained unchanged in 27 years. Lou wanted to create a company where employees feel valued and appreciated. Having had a contrary experience himself, he wanted to do things differently, ensuring that employees come first.
In 2001, Admix launched their Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP, which rewards every employee for working together as a team and family. The ESOP has been a great vehicle for employees to impact and drive initiatives at the company. Employee ownership encourages long-term employee engagement and gives people both a sense of responsibility and pride in their individual work, leading to success overall.
Admix employee owners also recognize that their responsibilities go beyond customers and each other, extending to their community and the environment as well. The ESOP provides the foundation to behave like owners, making decisions – big and small – that impact their triple bottom line philosophy of profits, people and community. Lou considers the ESOP a sustainability tool: by collectively making decisions that support the company in the long run, they are ensuring a long future ahead.
The word we keep hearing during our conversation is “team” and the commitment to creating a balanced work/life environment where employees truly enjoy working. This can be seen in a variety of ways, but a balanced culture is key. Admix worked hard to find the right balance so that employees feel they have the support and flexibility they need. If something comes up at home that they need to attend to, they can, while remaining committed to the work that needs to be done. Communication is at the center of it all—through newsletters, weekly updates, an intranet, and rallies, which focus on an open access culture. Increased employee training has been a strategic goal over the last few years in an effort to give employees growth opportunities, both personal and professional.
The Admix team shows its commitment beyond the company walls. Admix has a Let’s Give team, which meets and determines its community giving objectives for the year. The team has a budget and gives financial support or creates events or competitions that support organizations such as the NH Food Bank, United Way or Special Olympics NH to name a few. Employees also receive 10 hours of paid time per year to volunteer for causes that are meaningful to them.
When asked why they joined NHBSR, the team said they are excited about the opportunity to share best practices with other members. Their dedication to their employees is palpable, but they also understand that there is always room for improvement.
Although Admix has a small company, ‘family’ feel, its 60 employees have some terrific employee benefits, including Free Breakfast Fridays, Fresh Fruit Wednesdays, a no-layoff policy, and excellent long-term financial benefits such as the ESOP. In support of their employees’ families, they look forward to learning what others are doing in support of family-friendly workplace practices.
It was fun to talk with Lou, Dan and Wendy. We hope that you get the chance to meet them and learn more about Admix – its mixing technologies as well as its workplace culture. We should also congratulate them on their recent award. Admix was recently selected by the ESOP Association as the winner of the 2016 Award for Communication Excellence (AACE) for its presentation video. The AACE Awards are sponsored annually to recognize the outstanding communications and educational programs of its members. It’s definitely worth taking a couple minutes to watch the video as it captures the spirit, hard work and fun of the Admix team.
Admix is hosting a networking event for ESOP companies or those interested in learning about becoming an ESOP. The event will focus on employee engagement and be held on Thursday, October 20th from 2-4 p.m. at their Londonderry office. You can attend and then continue on to the NHBSR Sustainability Slam afterwards.
Please help us in welcoming Admix to the NHBSR community. If you would like to learn more about Admix, the team welcomes you to get in touch with Dan Cameron at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-627-2340.