When it comes to the success of a business, it is well known that to ensure ongoing operations a combination of factors such as proper planning, understanding the market viability, and securing supply chains are needed. However, for many businesses, the most important piece of the puzzle is developing a strong workforce that is motivated to work together as a team. At New Rubber Technologies in Tilbury, Ontario, it is the people component of their business that has been a focus for leadership over the past year. In addition to hiring 50 employees and growing their staff from 30 to 80, New Rubber Technologies has made huge strides in improving the organization’s culture.
“Different management styles bring about different cultures, and I'm an employee-first person. I treat people the way that I want to be treated,” said Gregory Gawne, President and General Manager at New Rubber Technologies. “For me it means transparency, a lot of communication, making sure leadership is visible, and ensuring staff have a voice. If there is a problem, we are actually here to listen and make changes that are needed.”
As part of their dedication to transparency, the leadership hosts quarterly town hall meetings with the staff to make sure everyone is on the same page.
"I manage by the committee and I want to make sure everyone has a voice," said Gawne. “We have had 50 percent increase in our business and are growing the number of customers we work with, none of this would have been possible without a solid team that knows we are looking out for each other.”
At a recent staff barbeque and town hall meeting, held in mid-September, the topic of equality was front and centre for discussion. At the event, the leadership team announced that to do their part to recognize Truth and Reconciliation day on September 30, 2021, they are giving all staff a paid day off.
“Equality is a core value at New Rubber Technologies. We believe that our business can be a powerful platform for both environmental and social change and that our higher purpose is to drive equality for all,” said Gawne. “There is more work to be done, but with the help of our employees, customers, partners, and community — we can achieve #EqualityForAll.”
“It is important for all Canadians to acknowledge and remember the impact of residential schools, first and foremost for the victims and their families but also on the broader impact that continues to this day,” said Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff. “This action taken by New Rubber Technologies is a step toward that goal.”
Gawne added, “Creating a culture of Equality is not just the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing. Diverse companies are more innovative and better positioned to succeed in our community, province, and in Canada.”
When asked about her experience with the change of culture, Meghan Vanderzwart, the Human Resources Manager said, “You can see changes being made and the difference it is making to staff. There is a real feeling of teamwork and of people being in a safe space to talk openly about ways to improve things.”
Vanderzwart added, “The day off to recognize Truth and Reconciliation Day will give staff the space they need to honour and reflect on current and past events. Our company is doing their part in the journey towards reconciliation and becoming a progressive and inclusive place to work.”
From a municipal perspective, Chatham-Kent Economic Development has been working closely with New Rubber Technologies to help them with their local and national growth.
"New Rubber Technologies continues to invest and what they are doing is phenomenal," said Stuart McFadden, Director of Chatham-Kent Economic Development. “They are raising the bar when it comes to being community leaders and we are so proud to have them call Chatham-Kent home.”
To learn more about New Rubber Technology, visit them online at
- New Rubber Technologies (NRT) is the leader in the devulcanization and reformulation of innovative and unique rubber materials, compounds and OEM-manufactured goods.
- Location: 28 Mill Street, Tilbury, ON N0P2L0
Marketing and Communications Officer
Economic Development Services, Community Development
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
124 Thames Street, Chatham, ON N7M 5K8