Marquis Top Business Owners

Ron Clem

Title: Owner and Chief Executive Officer
Company: Continental International
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States

Ron Clem, owner, and chief executive officer at Continental International,, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Business Owners for dedication, achievements, and leadership in rubber manufacturing.

Mr. Clem is a distinguished professional with over five decades of business ownership experience. Between 1967 and 1970, he worked as a salesman selling O-rings on commission. After a disagreement with the company’s owner, he received a loan from his father and founded Continental International in 1970, which continues to thrive.

Attributing his success to a strong spirit of competitiveness and creativity, he utilized these assets to complete coursework for an associate’s degree in business administration and finance from International Business College. He also completed coursework at Gaston College in North Carolina and Purdue University Fort Wayne, formerly Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne. He credits his greatest accomplishment was in his role as an occasional guest speaker for a sales class at a university, where he imparted valuable sales advice to students. He encouraged them to redefine the meaning of the word “no.” He encouraged them to think of it not as a definitive rejection but rather as an indication that success may require more time and persistence. This mindset shift underscores his belief in resilience and perseverance in the face of challenges within the realm of sales. His favorite pep talk to his own sales staff encouraged them to be creative, as this approach helped him acquire his nickname, “The Iceman.”

Mr. Clem has been recognized numerous times for his stellar business acumen. For thirteen consecutive years, he was the recipient of the Business Hall of Fame Award for the Best of Fort Wayne in Industrial Distribution for achievements in the field of O-rings and rubber components. A major automotive company presented him with the Supplier of the Year Award eight times throughout his career.

In the upcoming years, Mr. Clem is contemplating selling Continental International to a buyer who values the well-being of his employees. Presently, the company is in the capable hands of one of his daughters, who assumes the role of company head, while his other daughter serves as its purchasing agent. In the interim, Mr. Clem remains actively engaged in research and oversees substantial financial endeavors, charting the course for Continental International’s continued success. When he is not working, he dedicates his time and attention to fine dining, collecting antiques and art, playing euchre, and fishing.

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