Meeting the Challenge of Change
President, Chief Executive Officer
When people meet Chris Jones for the first time, they will come away with many different impressions. Chris is interested and interesting. He’s articulate, he’s energized, and he likes you. Chris is a people-person, and he is completely intrigued by the interests and opinions of everyone he meets.
“That’s right — we actually invented a tool to help people buy less of our products.”Read More...
Chris was raised in central Connecticut, one of four children. He attended Stauton Military Academy in Virginia and joined the submarine service after graduation. He was a sonar specialist — the eyes and ears of a submarine — and participated in a number of highly classified missions during the Vietnam era.
Leaving the service after six years, he entered the family business, a New England-based chemical distribution company. In 1983, he found a customer who wanted to buy cleaning fluids in aerosol cans, but the major suppliers at the time refused to appoint Chris as a local distributor. Chris was undeterred.
The First MicroCare Products
“Our competition could have squished MicroCare simply by selling us some cans. When they said ‘no’ I just decided to make the product myself.” Chris joined forces with a customer who owned an aerosol filling company. Together, they packaged the first MicroCare aerosols, giving MicroCare its foothold in electronics.
“We didn’t love the aerosol business; we just wanted to satisfy customers,” Chris recalls. Today he feels that customer-oriented focus still pervades MicroCare. “It is the single most critical differentiator between MicroCare and everybody else in the business.”
Innovating for Success
“Once we got over the shock of the change, innovating became a key part of our DNA,” Chris related. “We became really good at experimenting, bobbing and weaving, adapting and innovating; better than our much larger competitors.”
This became a core competency, the backbone of their successes. Since the 1990s, the company has pioneered HCFC cleaners, siloxane cleaners, HFC and HFE chemistries, and now is the first in the world to introduce the new HFO chemistries to rework and repair in the electronics industry.
One of many products that put MicroCare on the success track came with the invention of the Trigger Grip™ dispenser. Simple and inexpensive, the TriggerGrip™ fits on to the aerosol cans from MicroCare and enables faster, better and safer cleaning of printed circuit boards while reducing the amount of solvent used. “That’s right — we actually invented a tool to help people buy less of our products,” Chris recalls. “It sounds crazy. But if you really help customers, they will be loyal forever.”
On a Personal Note
For almost forty years, Chris has had the same mantra: “Get good at learning new things. Challenge your assumptions. Bust down the walls that say ‘we have always done it this way.’ Innovate, or else you’ll be like companies making buggy whips.”
Today Chris splits his time between his homes in Connecticut and Florida. He’s married to Lucey and is the father of seven kids and the grandfather of eight.