The Turtle Team
Tom Norton, President/Owner
Tom Norton attended John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio majoring in History and Speech. After a 25 year career in the lighting and apartment industries, he sold his business interest and retired. However, six months later, with not much to do and concerned that all of his six children were attending college at the same time, he decided it was time to start a new business.
Being a lifelong recycler and environmentalist, he started Cleveland Reclaim Industries in 1980. The goal of his company was to recycle plastic rubbish from industrial plants. Later, Turtle Plastics was started to manufacture and market actual products made from this plastic rubbish. The Magnificent Machinery Company was also started to design and build recycling equipment.
Tom was a longtime member of Sierra Club, Greenpeace, The Cousteau Society,T.A.C. (Technical Advisory Committee) and Former Chairmen of the Household Hazardous Waste Committee of Cuyahoga County.
Always pushing the envelope, in 1996 at age 60 Tom and his wife, Doctor Karen Bradley, adopted Anna Polina, a 13 month old Russian child.
And now Tom has closed the Recycling Loop with Turtle’s new Buy Back Program.
Tom’s message is a simple one:
“If we create a market for recycled plastics, in the form of products, then the rest of the issues, such as collection and processing will take care of themselves.”
Liz D. Demetriou, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager
In her capacity as Chief Operating Officer and General Manager, Liz oversees many aspects of the organization including production activities, finance, operations, strategic planning and human resources. Liz works closely with all of the Turtle team members to help facilitate positive personal development and direct activities to develop and implement short and long-range goals to meet business and profitability growth objectives.
Prior to joining Turtle Plastics, Liz held executive leadership roles within growth industries including nonprofit management, commercial real estate development and general business consulting. In her most recent position with IRG Realty Advisors, Liz managed a 4.5M sq. ft. portfolio of manufacturing, office and warehouse clients. She has also served as Senior Vice President of Operations for a nationally recognized real estate development firm. Liz is a former Deloitte & Touche alumnus.
Liz is a member of Delta Mu Delta, an international honor society that recognizes academic excellence where she earned her Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Economics from Southern New Hampshire University. Liz has a Bachelor’s of Science from Eastern Michigan University.
Her volunteer activities include serving as a Midwest Career Community Leader for Southern New Hampshire University. She is a Board of Trustee member for the Coalition of Children in Need Association and is a 2006 graduate and community activist of the Cleveland FBI Citizen’s Academy.
Dennis Hildebrandt, Vice President/Director of Sales
Dennis was originally hired as National Sales Manager. His focus was mainly in the industrial markets. These markets include railroad, construction, mining, large & small industrial manufacturing facilities, heavy equipment repair, military, government municipalities, hospitality and the forklift market. Dennis is instrumental in working with major industrial distribution companies throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, and Europe.
Dennis has led key projects with our major distributors resulting in Turtle Plastics products being utilized in Fortune 500 companies including:
BNSF Railway, Caterpillar, Chrysler Corporation, CSX Railroad, Disney, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda, Komatsu America Corp, Magna, Nissan North America, Parker Hannifin, Toyota, Union Pacific Railroad, Volvo and Whirlpool.
Dennis is a “road-warrior” and leaps at opportunities that he views as extremely important for the Turtle Plastics growth strategy. An example of his ingenuity is the collaboration with Union Pacific Railroad. Dennis responded to a “hot” request from UPR management to help solve a maintenance issue in Texas. After spending time with the onsite UPR crew, together they “hand sketched” drawings of a new product that would help with safety, but also substantially cut down on repair time for Union Pacific. With his drawing in hand, Dennis coordinated a meeting with UPR engineers in Omaha. The birth of Turtle Trax became a reality and is a leading product in providing workers with a quicker, more efficient and safer maintenance/repair tool for the railroad industry segment.
Dennis finished his QSSP Training Course/Qualified Safety Sales Professional. This training enhances knowledge in critical technical and regulatory areas of occupational health and safety. Upon completion of course, Dennis received his OSHA 30 card.
Dennis holds a Bachelor of Science from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. He was recently promoted to Vice President/Director of Sales where he will continue to lead Turtle Plastics in our national and global sales initiatives. When not on the road to success, he enjoys spending time with his two beautiful daughters. They are his pride and joy!!
Kristin Saez, Corporate Sales Executive
Kristin has been with Turtle Plastics for five years growing the prestigious Fire and Rescue Division. Kristin has recently been promoted to Corporate Sales Executive. During her time with Turtle Plastics as the Customer Service Supervisor for the Fire and Rescue Division, Kristin has consistently nurtured the long-term relationships with many of our largest clients while developing new business across the globe in countries such as Chile, The Philippines, and Thailand. Kristin brings with her dynamic sales experience combined with an unparalleled enthusiasm for promoting premium products that are environmentally sustainable and eco-friendly. In her role as Corporate Sales Executive, Kristin will be developing relationships within our multi industry segments. She is an integral team member supporting the overall strategic corporate vision and sales goals.
Kristin began her educational journey at Mount Vernon Nazarene University studying communications with a focus in psychology before transferring to Bryan College in Kansas where she graduated with honors, earning her degree in Business Administration. Kristin’s passion for knowledge propels her as she is actively earning further credits in courses such as Business and Marketing Writing, Effective Selling, and Internet Business Marketing. She recently added OSHA 30 certified to her list of credentials.
Kristin strives to project diversity, empowerment and positivity in all of her professional and personal pursuits. When not in the office or acting as road warrior for Turtle, you can find her lending her vocal and communication skills through her work as voice over talent on numerous local and national television, web and multi-media productions. Kristin is also passionate about promoting health and wellness and, as such, works with adolescents and teens within her community to educate on healthy eating and lifestyle practices. Kristin holds dear the philosophy as presented by Stephen Richards in his book Think Your way to Success: Let Your Dreams Run Free, “You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making.”
Brian Nowicki, Production and Warehouse Manager
As the Production Manager/Warehouse Manager, Brian has a bad day if every order taken that day is NOT shipped that day!
Thanks to Brian, 90% of all orders for Turtle Plastics are shipped within 24 hours. And with 1% error, Brian has a great track record.
Carol Maier, Accounting/Controller
Carol’s 30+ years of experience has brought a whole new level of competency to our Accounting Department. While here at Turtle, she has streamlined order entry and invoice procedures, organized Human Resources and developed long-needed graphics and reports to help us manage our business.
Carol lives close to the office with her Husband Alan of 40+ years.
Liba Nemrava, Senior Client Service Specialist
Liba came to her first interview with an interpreter. She and her Husband Petr had recently emigrated from the Czech Republic.
Hired initially to help with the gritting process on tiles, she quickly not only became proficient in English but began to develop her computer skills.
Not to long after she started, an opening happened as a Customer Service Rep in the Industrial market. Always wanting to promote from within, Liba was given the opportunity.
Seizing the “brass ring” she has become a valuable asset to our Industrial Sales team over the last 15+ years! Liba has now been promoted as the Senior Client Service Specialist for Turtle Plastics.
Liba and Petr have 2 children and 4 grandchildren.
Tracy Dorsey, Client Service Specialist
Tracy is the newest member of the Turtle Team in the Fire & Safety Division as a Client Service Specialist. She is bringing 20 plus years of customer service and billing experience.
When not at work, Tracy likes going to the race track and cruise in’s with her Husband, Sam, in their 1972 Chevy Camaro and also hanging out with their grandkids who are always an adventure!
Jennifer Naelitz, Marketing Specialist
After a stint in Retail Management, Jen was hired as Tom’s Personal Assistant. She recently was promoted to the marketing division as the Marketing Specialist.
Over the years through education and experience, Jen has become very skilled at developing our website, press releases and catalog development.
When not at work, Jen can be found in her backyard flower garden. She makes sure the office has a fresh bunch of flowers every week during the growing season!
Anthony Petti, Marketing
Better known as “Ant” by his friends and associates, Mr. A as Tom calls him, comes from an accounting background.
Ant’s main duties are marketing but he also serves as close personal confidant for Tom.
Ever gracious and the “go to man” in the office, Ant makes an unselfish contribution by spending his Friday’s at a local hospice.
Ant lives in Old Brooklyn and his weekends are often spent on his bicycle or playing music.
Andres Dominguez, Mat Maker and Special Ops
Andres is our “Mat Man” working on the ez Mats and Personal Comfort Stations. He was with Turtle for several years and after a brief hiatus he’s back.
Michele Norton, Retired
It is with mixed feelings that we announce the retirement of Michele Norton. Michele has been an integral part of our company for over 25 years. Her contributions will always be valued and remembered. On behalf of everyone at Turtle Plastics, we wish her the very best in her future endeavors.