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A Conversation With: Jon Crothers

Operations improvement coordinator, Stoner Inc.; Member, board of directors, The Manufacturers’ Association

Jennifer Deinlein, contributing writer//May 16, 2019

A Conversation With: Jon Crothers

Operations improvement coordinator, Stoner Inc.; Member, board of directors, The Manufacturers’ Association

Jennifer Deinlein, contributing writer//May 16, 2019

Photo: Submitted

Jon Crothers, 33, is the operations improvement coordinator at Quarryville-based Stoner Inc., a producer of products used in the household, automotive and thermoforming industries. He has been with the company for 12 years, starting as a research and development scientist and taking on his current role in 2015. He was recently named to the board of directors of The Manufacturers’ Association.

Crothers has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Penn State University and will soon complete his MBA from the Fox School of Business at Temple University.

A Lancaster County native, he currently resides in Lancaster with his wife, Amanda.

Q: How did Stoner Inc. grow from one innovative idea to a worldwide leader in its market?

A: I think a lot of the growth has come from Paul Stoner’s grandson, Rob, our current owner. When he took over the business, he really started positioning the business for growth. Paul’s original theory was, we’re going to go door-to-door and solve people’s problems in our own neighborhood, in our own work zones. That’s how that entrepreneurial spirit started; Rob really wanted to position the business to grow. He’s very supportive of investing back in the business. I’ve been with the company for 11 or 12 years, if you count internships, and it’s just amazingly consistent, healthy growth even in some of these bad recessions. When other companies were down 40 percent, we were at least flat. It’s a very diverse business. We’ve been very lucky to have good leadership.

What does your election to the Manufacturers’ Association board say about your company’s growth?

The biggest thing that means to me, and it’s happened throughout my experience with Stoner, is we really put an emphasis behind being a learning organization. We’re always trying to get our business leaders and everybody in the company to be a leader within their own area, and to grow and learn from the best. Lots of people in the organization are involved with the boards of our mission industries. We’re a small company — we’re still under 100 employees — but really focused on trying to have people deployed to help the business grow and help everybody learn.

What makes Lancaster County a good place to do business?

We have an amazing base of strong work ethic in people at all levels of business and industry. We have that Pennsylvania Dutch “farm-grown, hard work, get-it-done” spirit, and then also in the past 15 to 20 years there’s been so much investment in the arts and culture in the city. So we have this really cool mix of that kind of get-‘er-done, hardworking people and this infusion of new talent and fresh thinking. It’s really cool to see how the area, especially the city, has grown, and then manufacturing has always been a strong suit. There’s a hardworking spirit, an entrepreneurial spirit. Lots of small businesses are close to us, there’s great talent pools to pull from, just a lot of good things going for us here.

What is your favorite warm weather activity in the Lancaster-Lebanon area?

I’m a soccer and tennis guy from when I was young, so as soon as the grass starts turning green, I’ll be out kicking a soccer ball. I’ve been playing soccer since I was probably 4 or 5 years old. When grass starts looking like it has over the past week, I just want to get out and kick the ball around.

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