Paying it Forward Isn’t Just a Catchphrase for Doug Hartley, It’s a Way of Life

by Aug 27, 2018Media Features

Columbus OH, April 18, 2018 – When you look back over your career, if you’re lucky, you can trace your success, at least in-part, to a strong mentor or someone who went the extra mile to help you along that journey. But it’s not common to find that special person who seeks you out, desires to come along-side you and bear your burdens for the sole purpose of paying-it-forward. Meet Doug Hartley. Doug is VP Sales and Marketing for ACE Laboratories, a rubber and silicone laboratory and testing facility in NE Ohio and current business owner of two Columbus-area businesses, DNH Properties, LLC, and Capital Equity City Group, LTD. Doug is one of those rare individuals who loves helping the younger generation succeed in their pursuits, mentoring them against business pitfalls and nurturing the bloom of entrepreneurialism. All three of these businesses are spear-headed by young, 30-40-year-old business professionals who are learning the ins-and-outs of their respective businesses.

Doug was formerly the owner and president of P3 – a rubber manufacturer in NE Ohio – prior to moving to Columbus where he had employed a dynamic young professional named Erick Sharp. After selling the business, Hartley was approached by Sharp, who had launched his own company and was now president and CEO of ACE Laboratories. Sharp realized that Hartley was the kind of mentor he needed and asked Doug if he would be interested in joining the ACE team. Hartley, who had always been impressed with Erick likewise recognized Sharp’s potential and outstanding work ethic. He agreed to join ACE as VP Sales and Marketing early in 2018. Blending the desire to mentor his young protege with the opportunity to see ACE grow, Hartley now splits his time between Columbus and Ravenna offices on a regular basis to do what he loves doing – helping young people succeed and serving the rubber industry.

Some of the opportunities Hartley foresees between ACE, rubber and silicone companies, and OEM’s in the Columbus area, have already taken shape with other customers across the country. They include, providing fresh and innovative business and technological approaches to industry-accepted norms, and visibility of customer orders across the value stream in real time. That is exciting news to an older industry in an attempt to “make rubber sexy again” as Erick Sharp describes.

“We want to make working in the rubber and silicone industry attractive to the next generation of technical professionals,” said Sharp. “There is a huge age gap. The average employee age currently is 59 and the common impression is that the rubber industry is old and dirty.”

Not so, said Sharp. The need for polymer products and qualified labs continues to grow and ACE’s new and innovative approaches are attracting technical and engineering students and graduates from institutions such as The Ohio State University among others. These emerging technologies are changing the way the industry does business and ACE is forging the path ahead.

“I am so thankful to have Doug (Hartley) involved at ACE to help lead the way with his experience, dedication and knowledge”, said Sharp.

The same scenario is also true of Hartley and his Columbus-based businesses where he mentors young entrepreneurs to become successful professionals.

“It’s such a fulfilling endeavor,” said Hartley. “I was blessed to have a very strong mentor as a young man, growing up in the polymer industry in Chicago, Ill. The gentlemen who helped and guided me gave me inspiration to do the same as an experienced and mature business-owner.”

Hartley has helped ACE avoid typical pitfalls in launching, growing, and refining business practices as well as approaching the industry with fresh thinking. He also hopes to help polymer companies and OEM’s in the Columbus and surrounding meet their needs for exceptional laboratory and testing services.

“I don’t look at serving customers as just providing products or services,” he said. “I look at it as an opportunity to continue giving-back in ways that are meaningful to people. Because in the end, it’s not what you take in life that fulfills, it’s what you give.”

Doug Hartley lives in Columbus with his wife Shelby and together they are the parents of 4 children and 8 grandchildren.

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