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Home : Volume 24 : Fall 1997 :
Distinguished Service Award for Thomas J. Mohs

Thomas J. Mohs

Thomas J. Mohs
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Thirty-one years ago, in a basement office and a garage, Tom Mohs was working on designs for a new thermoform machine. With a BS in mechanical engineering from UW-Madison, he had just spent four years working with Monsanto Company in Connecticut where he was an engineer in the packaging division.

Mohs was making ends meet by working as a consultant when he came across a new thermo-form machine that was very similar to the one he was designing. He put away his blueprints, invested $16,000 for the new machine and started Placon Corporation. The company turned a profit in its first year.

Since then, Mohs' vision, mission and values have positioned the company and its employees to learn and grow. Today Placon is a family owned business that employs 285 people in 285,000 square feet of space. 1996 sales topped $41 million.

Placon is a leader in creating integrated packaging solutions and brings 30 years of problem-solving experience to create marketing, manufacturing and distribution advantages through packaging. Mohs holds four patents on thermoformed plastics packaging and related machinery. The company ranks among the top 20 packaging thermoformers in North America, according to Plastic News magazine and serves Fortune 500 clients throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In 1993, Placon received the Governor's Award for Solid Waste Reduction after reducing the amount of waste the company sent to landfills by 97 percent.

In addition to providing vision and leadership to his own organization, Mohs has served on numerous boards of directors and committees. He is a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, the Executive Committee of Thermoforming Institute, and Technical Club of Madison, and is a registered professional engineer in Wisconsin. Mohs has been a generous contributor to the College of Engineering's hybrid electric vehicle challenge fund, and is a member of the Industrial Liaison Council and Vision 2000 committee.


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