MAPP Board Member Profile: Craig Carrel

Plastics Business

MAPP’s Board of Directors encourages plastics processors to utilize the knowledge contained within the MAPP network. To familiarize readers with the Board, each member will be profiled by Plastics Business ENews.

Craig Carrel, president, Team 1 Plastics, Albion, Michigan
# of Employees: 75
# of Presses: 25
Industries served? Automotive

How did plastics become your career?

Plastics have been my career since I graduated as a chemical engineer from the University of Utah. I sort of evolved into it. I was hired by Celanese to work in their plastics plant in Bishop, Texas. I went to work for them but I always wanted to start my own business since I was a teenager. I pushed them to let me into a sales/market position and moved up to Detroit to sell plastics for the automotive industry. While working in Detroit for Celanese I met my two partners, Gary Grigowski and Jim Capo. We started Team 1 together on December 1, 1987.

Describe Team 1 Plastics.

We are a precision injection molding company focused on the automotive market. We produce small, complex plastic parts for the Tier 1 automotive supply base. We specialize in powertrain, air induction, instrument panel clusters, HVAC controls and switch components. In addition we also specialize in light pipes which are clear lenses in switches for light transmission. Our machines range from 25-300 tons, which is on the small end for most automotive molders.

In what areas are you willing to share your experiences with other processors?

We’re pretty open to sharing, within the MAPP community in particular. We’re very people-focused. We look to hire exceptional people and concentrate on creating a great culture for people to excel and grow. We’re getting ready to receive our second-in-a-row award for “Best Places to Work in Plastics.” A key part of our culture includes an excellent safety record. We value the safety of our employees and haven’t had one lost time accident in over 5,200 days (over 14 years). Finally, we’re an open book company, which means we share financial information with our employees and base our bonus on our profitability. Everyone has access to the company financial information, except individual wages, which leads to better decision-making at all levels. It focuses everyone on the same goal, and everyone has a vested interest in the outcome.

Contact Craig Carrel at 517.629.2178, ext. 211, or email