Inside Fibre Glast – Meet Josh Leath
Last year, we were able to bring on a new Product Manager here at Fibre Glast. Since starting, Josh Leath has hit the ground running, shaking things up, and learning a lot along the way. We sat down with Josh to ask him about his history, and where we can expect the Fibre Glast product line to go in the future.
Fibre Glast: Tell us a bit about your background.
Josh Leath: I grew up around the Dayton Ohio, area, I graduated from Wright State University. I spent the first ten years of my career as a Product Manager for an electronics distribution company. It was a large, global corporation, where I managed thousands of products. Some of which I was the brand manager, including an exclusive brand of tools and a brand of test equipment. It was a great experience, but I was ready to broaden my career and wanted something a little more focused in the terms of products, customers, and industry. Fibre Glast is also privately held, so it presents a new learning experience and a role where I can make a big strategic difference in the company.
Being from Dayton, I’ve always been an aviation geek. We have one of the largest R&D air force bases—Wright Patt–in our backyard
What led you into the composites industry?
As most boys growing up through the 80’s and 90’s were, I was always fascinated with aerospace, cars, weaponry—pretty much any “toy” you could make out of carbon fiber. It’s high tech and it’s beautiful. When I learned about this opportunity, I was extremely excited to become a part of this industry. As of the week of this blog, I’ve only been with this industry for 5 months. There’s something new to learn about our customers, material advancements, and new challenges in the industry every day. Our customers are all excited to tell you about their projects, processes, and what they want to try next.
At Fibre Glast, we serve a huge array of markets. Do you have a favorite, or is there one you’re more passionate about?
There’s probably two in particular. Being from Dayton, I’ve always been an aviation geek. We have one of the largest R&D air force bases—Wright Patt–in our backyard. Now as an adult, I have friends working on those programs—where they are utilize a lot of incredible technology and composite materials. I also love car technology and supercars—there’s a documentary on Netflix right now called Apex, I’ve watched it 3 times already (and it’s amazing in 4K). Carbon fiber used to be a luxury in automobiles, now it’s a necessity to get them down to weight and government fuel standards.
The more I learn about the innovation going on in our industry, the more I fall in love with it. There’s companies and customers like Tesla, BMW, SpaceX, Oak Ridge National Lab, and thousands of schools and universities solving more and more problems using composites. Even 3D printing is advancing in the composites world to provide tooling and now finished parts. There’s a company just south of here, Cincinnati Inc, that does a lot with this 3D printed composites technology.
So in your time here so far, we’ve seen a few new lines introduced. Can you tell us about them?
Going through some of our customer feedback, we picked up on a lot of requests for a non-skid additive for gel coat—like when you need extra traction on a boat floor, or even a patio, skateboard, or anything that might get slick. There’s a lot of mineral additives on the market that do not produce a consistent or lasting solution. We found the perfect material that can be broadcast or mixed directly into a gel coat—you can’t do that with a mineral additive.clay, clay tools, scissors, sprayers, and new sizes of fillers. Again, my background was in tools and chemicals, and I understand the importance of a high-quality tool that you need to depend on with every project. They can really make a difference between success and failure on a project.
Can you give us a glimpse into the future at Fibre Glast? What new products can we expect?
We have a lot of exciting things we’re going to release through 2017. From coatings to vacuum infusion products. All of these products fill gaps in our current line. We’re also expanding the line of unidirectional carbons and our room-temperature prepregs due to the popularity of these materials.
And if we have a roll of material under 10 yards, we don’t hang onto it forever waiting for the right-sized order, we simply sell each remaining roll length on clearance corner for 30% off or more…
Some of our best products are inspired by our customers. If you have a product idea, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What can you tell us about Fibre Glast that some of our users might not know?
We really go out of our way to make sure the customer is getting the best quality material. Most companies will cut corners to save a few dollars. If there’s even a ding in a can or packaging, we won’t ship it out. We partner with some of the best composites manufacturers in the country to make certain our materials are consistent and built for our customers’ needs.
Also, I’m a bargain shopper… and there’s some really great deals to be had on our Clearance Corner. All of those “dinged” cans, for example, are moved immediately to clearance corner. And if we have a roll of material under 10 yards, we don’t hang onto it forever waiting for the right-sized order, we simply sell each remaining roll length on clearance corner for 30% off or more (sometimes you even get some bonus material if it’s between yardages)! Check it out.