Kaddas Enterprises has taken off in the five years since CEO Natalie Kaddas expanded her outlook through a Goldman Sachs training program for small-business executives.
The second-generation family business that began in John Kaddas’ kitchen in West Jordan, originally supplying light plastic parts for airplane waste tanks, has grown into an international operation.
On Wednesday, the company will formally move into a new industrial-park facility on Salt Lake City’s west side — a structure three times the size of an existing operation where a thermoform manufacturing process creates plastic products that, among many other things, prevent explosive encounters between birds and large power lines.
The move into this expanded facility was funded, in part, by a low-interest, $350,000 economic development loan Kaddas secured from Salt Lake City.
If it weren’t for Goldman Sachs’ “10,000 Small Businesses” training program, Kaddas said, she never would have known to turn to the city for the financial assistance needed to underwrite her firm’s transformation into a global player.
“Goldman Sachs helped us focus, gave us a creative outlook and strategy,” she said. “How are we marketed? Where do we find our customers? Where do we find funding?”
So Kaddas did some research. She determined the giant corporations that represented their main competitors in creating plastic products to prevent avian-related power outages weren’t focusing on foreign markets.
Kaddas Enterprises jumped in to fill that void. Now, she said, the company is manufacturing more than 300 products for sale in 16 countries on four continents.
“We’ve grown our international revenue since 2013 by 400 percent year-over-year,” Kaddas beamed as employees worked busily Tuesday afternoon to get the facility ready for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday.
She’s excited that Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein is scheduled to speak at the 12:15 p.m. affair, along with two mayors interested in the economic development potential of her firm — Jackie Biskupski from Salt Lake City and Ben McAdams from Salt Lake County.
“Natalie Kaddas is the epitome of a ’10,000 Small Businesses’ participant,” said Katherine Colsher, national director of the Goldman Sachs program. “She is dedicated to her community, an expert in her field, eager to learn and committed to growing her business and hiring locally. She embodies economic growth in America.”
Colsher said the small-business program has shown that “entrepreneurs can take dramatic steps forward if given the proper resources” — pertinent curriculum developed at local colleges, access to capital and mentoring from people already in the business world. “Supporting these small-business owners drives sustainable growth for them and for their communities.”
Kaddas Enterprises employs 28 people, up from 15 five years ago. Kaddas expects to hire more as additional products are churned out by two new vacuum-forming machines that were purchased to boost output.
Along with a half-dozen other pieces of equipment already on hand, these big new machines will greatly expand the facility’s output of parts for airplanes, railroad cars and buses, medical devices and packaging.
Kaddas is optimistic the establishment of an inland port in the vicinity of her property, 255 N. Apollo Road (5825 West), will enhance her prospects of expanding her markets.
“The inland port’s a creative way to think about being a landlocked state,” she said.