In his own words: Mark Kattelman, Nevada Rubber Stamp

Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about Nevada Rubber Stamp.

Mark Kattelman: Nevada Rubber Stamp Co., Inc. was started in 1949. We have always been a marking-device manufacturer producing products such as rubber stamps, embossers and engraved signs. We currently have six employees.

NNBW: What role do you play in the company?

Kattelman: Nevada Rubber Stamp is a small family company, so one moment I am the president and CEO, the next moment I am in sales and the next moment I am producing rubber stamps.

NNBW: What kind of boss are you?

Kattelman: I like to hire good people and let them do their jobs. I do the best I can to explain my expectations and then let each employee use their knowledge and abilities to accomplish their tasks.

NNBW: How did you get into this business?

Kattelman: Our family has been involved in manufacturing rubber stamps since the 1930s. Basically I was born into it.

NNBW: Of all the things you learned from your parents, which do you feel was the most valuable?

Kattelman: My parents moved to Reno in 1972 to purchase Nevada Rubber Stamp from Nancy Rogers. Nancy told my parents that the customer who comes through the door wearing old cowboy boots, torn jeans and a musty old cowboy hat may just be the richest guy in town and may become your best customer. My parents passed this story on to me with the lesson that you need to treat everyone with respect. I have found over the years that those musty old cowboys tell great stories also.

NNBW: What do you enjoy about your job?

Kattelman: I enjoy working with the customers to solve the various problems that they have. We are very creative in our use of technology. I also enjoy the fact that our days are never the same.

NNBW: Anything annoying or frustrating about it?

Kattelman: In our business you must have very quick turnaround to keep the customers happy. I often wish we had more time to come up with even better solutions to problems.

NNBW: What are some of the challenges that you face in the next few years?

Kattelman: Technology has always been a double-edged sword for us. Automation has reduced the demand for our product. However, we have used technology to produce a better product faster. Keeping that balance will continue to be a challenge.

NNBW: What effect has the changing economic environment had on your company?

Kattelman: I think all companies are rethinking everything they do now. We are constantly questioning whether or not we are offering the correct product mix.

NNBW: How do you spend your time away from the office? Why are these activities important to you?

Kattelman: I love spending time with my wife and two boys. We love to camp, ski, play baseball/softball and attend San Francisco Giants games.

NNBW: If you could have a do-over on your career, what would you do differently the next time around?

Kattelman: I would not change anything. It is all about learning from your mistakes.

NNBW: What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Kattelman: If you are going to be a small business person, don't be afraid to pull the trigger and make a decision. The same person also said you must take vacations and give yourself a break.

NNBW: Any final thoughts?

Kattelman: During these tough times, I think it is more important than ever to be blunt and honest with your employees, customers and family members. It is those relationships that will help you get through this.

The basics:

Name: Mark Kattelman

Professional position: President, Nevada Rubber Stamp Co. Inc.

How long have you been in this job? 27 years

How long in the profession? 27 years

Education: University of Nevada, Reno - BS in Computer Information Systems

Best book you've read? "The Sea Wolf" by Jack London

What's on your iPod? Five for Fighting, Paco De Luca, Dierks Bentley and AC/DC.

The best movie ever? "Young Guns" and "Young Guns II"


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