On January 1, 2021 the senior leadership team of Crafco, Inc. announced the retirement of longtime Vice President of Specialty Products, Jeffrey Stermer and the appointment of Lisa Zentner as Director of Specialty Products. “Jeff started out as a purchasing manager, negotiating the procurement of materials for equipment and sealants. That was 40 years ago. Crafco was a small sealant company at that time. Jeff was part of the original team that helped grow Crafco to what it is today,” stated Don Brooks, President of Crafco.
Stermer began his long tenure with Crafco in 1981, rising through the ranks as Plant Manager, Specialty Products Sales Manager, Specialty Products Division Manager and finally, Vice President of Specialty Products in 2013. Dedicated to meeting the needs of customers at the highest level, Stermer is credited for helping expand Crafco’s roofing materials into the industry-leading business segment it is today.
“Leading the Specialty Products department for the past 25 years has brought a profoundly deep sense of purpose to my life. The decision to retire has been difficult, especially with all the great people that I have had the pleasure of doing business with over the years. That said, I am equally excited to see Lisa move the department forward to even greater growth in the years ahead,” stated Stermer.
Zentner joined Crafco in 2010 as a Plant Manager and transitioned into the role of Technical Product Manager of Specialty Materials the following year. Prior to joining Crafco, Lisa directed many facets of all day-to-day operations as a Director and Plant Manager at Deery, a Zentner family business. A multi-faceted, Six Sigma Lean Black Belt certified professional who grew up through the preservation industry, Zentner steps into the Director of Specialty Products role with the unique ability to perceive and analyze challenges, conceptualize solutions and with the critical consultative and product guidance to ensure the healthy growth of the department for many years to come. “Jeff believed by helping the customer improve their product was the best way to provide service,” stated Lisa. I, too, share Jeff’s belief and am honored by this appointment. Alongside David Ploense, I am excited to grow the department to even greater heights,” she added.
David Ploense comes to Crafco, most recently from Owens Corning and will be assuming Lisa’s previous responsibilities as Technical Product Manager of Specialty Products. A Chicago native and Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) holder, Ploense has extensive successful quality, product, and process improvement project experience and as a skilled and experienced formulator, has developed several pioneering products over his career. David has also achieved expertise in the use of polymer modification of asphalt to produce sealants, pressure sensitive and hot melt adhesives, mastics, coatings, and emulsions. A member of a variety of industry associations, David brings a breadth of knowledge to the department. Ploense will be based remotely in Illinois.