C³ Corporation is announcing the retirement of Marv Wall, our Vice President and Co-Owner.
Marv’s been a part of C³ from the very beginning. In fact, Marv’s friendship with C³’s CEO, Joe Van De Hey, goes back to high school and they were the best man in each other’s weddings. Marv worked as a CPA from 1983-1996, and during that time Joe decided to start his own business. In 1994, Marv helped Joe incorporate the business and oversaw finances from the outside. Timing worked out perfectly in 1996, when Marv was starting to consider other career options and Joe asked him to join C³ as vice president and co-owner. Joe recalls, “I remember his first words to me were, ‘Is there enough for me to do?’ And I chuckled. I said, ‘Well, you can be a utility player, too. An accountant in an engineering firm? What the heck, maybe we’ll make you an engineer. But yes, he was very busy.” Marv’s role was mainly in finance, yet he assisted in other areas including purchasing, human resources, and computer systems.
Marv says when it came to running a business, he’s always looked beyond what needed to get done and focused on the why. “I was faced with many projects I had never worked on before,” says Marv, “so as the company evolved, I wore many hats to advance the business. That was the fun part of it – I got out of my comfort zone and it was never the same every day. I was able to work on different things that needed to be done alongside Joe. When things came up, I raised my hand and said, ‘I’ll do it.’” Some memorable highlights for him include learning computer systems and visiting colleges during campus recruiting. “That was something I really enjoyed,” he shares, “meeting students on campus and then seeing them grow as interns and, in some cases, become C³ employees after they graduate.”
Together, Joe and Marv created a company that is now a leader in the foam and mattress equipment manufacturing industry. With Joe as the visionary leader of product development and sales, Marv focused on the finance and operations as the business grew.
Marv remembers the project that vaulted C³ into the foam and mattress industry back in 2004. “It was like our current LCN lines, but on steroids,” he says. “It was our biggest, most challenging project in foam to date. We spent a lot of time on site, but it was with that project that we really cut our teeth in the foam industry.” That particular line has gone through some updates over the years, but Marv is proud to say it is still in operation today, and it’s what eventually led to C³ becoming the first US based company to develop a mattress compression roll packaging machine.
While Marv’s role has become more defined over the years, his work ethic of pitching in wherever needed hasn’t wavered. There is no job too big or too small for Marv to take on, which is one of the reasons he’s so respected by the employees at C³. Marv tells us, “When Joe said he wanted me to come work with him, it didn’t take much persuading. Once we partnered, my mentality became, ‘How can I help? What can I do to accomplish what needs to get done?’ and that’s been my career here. Whatever needed to be done – let’s do it.” He feels that his role as co-owner had little influence on his day-to-day work ethic, though. “Of course, as an owner, I’m responsible for taking care of our employees,” he says. “Owner or not, though, we’re a small enough company that everyone here has an impact. The important thing to me was knowing that leadership shows. If we as leaders show that we care, everyone will care along with us.”
Marv’s favorite aspect of his role at C³ was nurturing the culture and the people that drive the business. He explains, “Having people that are passionate about what they do, that want to do the right thing for the customer, the project, and for C³, is rewarding. Seeing this passion day to day is what makes our work fun. It’s the thing I’m most proud of at C³ – developing the people here, seeing how they tackle problems, how they’ve grown and continue to grow C³. It’s not all about one person here doing everything, it’s how do we do this together as a team.”
Marv has witnessed C³ go through many changes over its 25 years. What started as a company based in engineering services for the paper industry has now found a home engineering and manufacturing equipment for the foam and mattress industry. Marv’s wish for C³ is that we’ll see more of the same variety and success. “Things are going to change. C³ has the ability to adapt, grow, find that next need in the market – and then be able to fill it.”
Joe values both Marv’s friendship and business partnership. “We couldn’t have done it alone,” he says, “we had to do it together.” But Joe also knew that now is the right time for Marv to start his next adventure. Joe says, “This gives him a chance to live comfortably and do things that he always thought about doing. He’s always been a person who serves and wants to give back. I think it’s a really good opportunity for him to move on, and I hope someday I can say this about myself. I’m happy for him.”
What is Marv’s next big project? It’s one he’s already been a part of for a while. Marv serves as the finance chairman for GRACE, the Green Bay Area Catholic Education system. Marv explains that GRACE started in 2008 when they joined nine area schools into one school system to combine resources, and he’s proud to share that they have increased enrollment for the past five years in a row. Thanks to their growth, they are now building new facilities. Marv is now a project manager for a new school building being built on the site of the church where he and his wife Carole were married 30 years ago, along with where his three sons – Brian, Andy, and Scott – were baptized.
We at C³ would like to thank Marv for his years of leadership and support. He has set a great example for all of us of what it takes to lead and serve others. His family-first mentality has impacted our culture to this day, and we hope to carry his example with us into the future. Congratulations, Marv, and good luck to you!