A 28-year banking executive left the industry behind to become CEO of a Springfield-based pipe manufacturer.
Scott Franklin, who most recently worked as southwest region president for Hawthorn Bank, started yesterday as chief executive of United Poly Systems LLC, 4707 E. Kearney St.
Franklin helped United Poly Systems owners Jim Massengale and Bert Bridges gain financing to start the company in 2011
. Two years ago, he again worked with them to secure funding so the manufacturer could open a plant in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“They made something out of nothing,” Franklin said, noting United Poly Systems has grown to a $48 million company. “I’ve always been fascinated by manufacturing — taking something from a raw form and ending up with something that’s a usable product.”
Franklin was approached by Massengale and Bridges last summer and in earnest earlier this year to become CEO of the company. Previously, Massengale had worked as CEO and Bridges was chief operating officer. The company’s chief financial officer, Tiffani Claussen, left in 2015 to join Teters Floral Products Inc.
As CEO, Franklin oversees production, sales and day-to-day operations, essentially a combination of the owners’ and Claussen’s jobs. United Poly Systems builds high-density polyethene pipes for the oil, gas, telecommunications and utilities industries.
“They’re hoping with my background in finance, I can help in multiple areas,” Franklin said of Massengale and Bridges.
At Hawthorn Bank, Franklin led the growth of the company’s Springfield and Branson markets to $2.5 million in revenue last year from $1 million when he joined four years ago and an increase in loans to $120 million from $60 million.
Franklin said Hawthorn Bank CEO David Turner is considering internal and external candidates to find a new southwest Missouri market president. Turner could not be reached for comment by deadline. For Springfield Business Journal’s April 3 list of the area’s largest U.S. Small Business Administration lenders, Hawthorn Bank did not list a local top executive.