To all my friends;
I apologize that it has taken me so long to get this news to you, but as of January 3, 2012 Commonwealth Oil has become a Wallover Company. I have been staring at a blank page, wondering what I could possibly say to my suppliers, friends and acquaintances who have helped me build Commonwealth Oil into the successful, honest and competitive company it is today, and all I could come up with was, ‘Thank You!’
I want to assure you, first and foremost, that Wallover Company is an incredible organization. Upon meeting its Executives: Hub Marquis, Eric Kielts and Bill Percy for the first time, I was completely blown away at the knowledge of the metalworking industry and dignity these gentlemen possess. Naturally, I had two major concerns before signing over Commonwealth Oil, first- I did not want to see anything change at Commonwealth Oil, including how we do business, and neither does Wallover. Secondly, Michele was far into her cancer when negotiations began and at that time we were supporting her through her illness. Wallover gave me their word that they would continue to support her. Incidentally, she passed only a few days after the signing, but it truly demonstrated to me that Wallover was an ethical company and people I myself would like to do business with.
My decision to sell the company has not been an easy one, and finding the words to explain and thank you for your years of partnerships have been even more difficult. I began Commonwealth Oil as a distributor of lubricants, and moved into blending and marketing our own formulas. My fondest memory and greatest accomplishments as President and CEO of Commonwealth Oil has been one and the same. It all has to do with EDM fluid. Developing EDM fluid and then gaining approximately a 65% market share is a big deal especially in the U.S. market. Those early days of EDM were just tons of fun. I spent a lot of time crisscrossing the United States speaking to thousands of people about this new thing called EDM and how it pertained to my EDM fluid. The big deal about Commonwealth Oil’s EDM fluid was how much longer it could perform than other EDM fluids.
Also, one of our competitors at the time stated in their MSDS that male operators using this fluid could experience cancer of the scrotum. (Yes, you read right!) I knew what caused this and the component in Texaco’s fluid that did this was not in our fluid. The first time I gave my speech in Chicago I was sweating bricks knowing this topic was coming up and when I got to that point in the speech I was amazed at the reaction from that room full of men! What was really amazing is that one year later Charles Nunnelly from G.E. Jet Engine in Evindale, a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio called to thank me for my speech. He said he started thinking about what I was saying and how his boss had died from the same thing. He decided to have himself checked and as luck would have it he was in the early stages of the same form of cancer. They caught his in time and consequently had a complete cure. After that speech my whole presentation became an obsession. I really felt that I was contributing to the betterment of these operators.
My decision to sell the company is a sad but exciting one for me. I am starting a new company called Herdman Technology Limited. Though I can’t share with you may of the details, as it is still a start-up, Herdman Technology manufactures experimental fuel for one automotive company. I will also be getting involved in some very unique research at two Universities. Both of these projects are completely different than anything I did at Commonwealth Oil.
I am very excited about this new chapter. I am also looking forward to traveling with my wife Cathy, who I might add has been so supportive of me for all these many years. I owe Cathy a real debt of gratitude, “Thank you Cathy.” I also look forward to staying in touch with all of you. If you are ever near Kingsville, Ontario at 5:30am, I can be found at the Tim Hortons, or you can e-mail me at email@example.com and my cell number remains: 519-977-3957.
Maxine Watters will now be the General Manager of Commonwealth Oil and I will be at her beck and call for the next 6 months! Maxine has been with me for many years and understands the business better than I do- I know she will do great!
It has truly been a pleasure meeting and working with all of you. I know I am leaving Commonwealth Oil in excellent hands and hope that we will stay in touch in the years to come. I have met some really great people doing this, and I cannot thank you enough for supporting the company, myself and my team here at Commonwealth Oil for the past 30+ years.
Best of luck to all of you,