The Turtle Team

Tom Norton, Founder

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, President

In her capacity as President, 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

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!

Karen A. Bradley M.D., Clinical EHS Advisor

Karen is a physician psychiatrist who retired after 30 years from her active private practice.  Since then she has worked as a volunteer psychiatrist in Cleveland, Ohio and Ouanaminthe, Haiti.

Recently, Karen accepted a position as Clinical Advisor for Environmental Health and Safety for Turtle Plastics, a company founded and owned by her husband, Tom Norton.  Her current quandary is how to spend her salary of $1.00/yr.

Kristin Saez, Corporate Sales Executive

Kristin has been with Turtle Plastics since 2011 growing the prestigious Fire and Rescue Division. During her time with Turtle Plastics as the Corporate Sales Executive for the Fire and Rescue Division, Kristin has consistently nurtured the long-term relationships with many of our largest clients. Kristin brings with her dynamic sales experience combined with an unparalleled enthusiasm for promoting premium products that are environmentally sustainable and eco-friendly.

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 is also a member of the professional association NAPW (National Association of Professional Women).

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 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 and 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. Brian has been a key member of Turtle Plastics for 20+ years.

Carol Maier, Accounting/Controller

Carol has been with Turtle Plastics for over ten years.  Carol is instrumental in providing protection of the Company’s assets through her diligent attention to financial details.  As the Controller, Carol is responsible for all accounting operations of the Company including the creation and maintenance of a documented system of internal and external accounting policies, procedures and controls.  Carol provides financial reporting and human resource support to the Founder, Tom and the President, Liz.   Carol recently has accepted the responsibility of being Treasurer of Cleveland Reclaim Industries and The Turtle Plastics Foundation.  For many years she served on the Lorain County Joint Vocational School Adult Career Center Advisory Board.

Prior to joining Turtle Plastics, Carol held the position of CFO at Marshall Marketing & Communications Inc. in Pittsburgh for more than twelve years.  Her banking background, education and organization skills helped provide the foundation for her successful business career.

Carol enjoys spending time with Alan, her husband of 47 years as well as her children and grandchildren. In her free time, Carol loves to travel and can be found sailing Lake Erie during warm Ohio summers.

Ashley Lednik, Accounting Assistant

After earning her Associates Degree in Accounting at Ohio Business College, Ashley joined the Turtle Accounting team in November of 2016. Her certification in Microsoft Office has been an asset to the company, bringing us a fresh new approach. Some of her main job duties consist of invoicing, accounts payable, and order acknowledgements, as well as learning new aspects of accounting.

Prior to joining the Turtle Plastics team, Ashley worked as an intern at the Lorain County Friendship Animal Protective League. Here she was able to learn accounting skills hands on to bring to Turtle. During school and her internship, Ashley worked in the restaurant environment for years and is now exceptionally happy to work as a part of the Turtle Team, which helps give the stability to her schedule to care for her three young children.

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 for the last 20 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/Fire and Safety Division

Tracy joined the Turtle Plastics Team in June 2016 and brings with her 20 years of customer service, as well as billing experience, in her role as Client Service Specialist with Turtle Plastics. Tracy enjoys being part of a team whose focus is on Environment, Health & Safety and, of course, recycling.

Before coming to Turtle, Tracy worked in the billing department, for a Fire Protection Company, for many years. Tracy wanted to get back to what she enjoys most and that is helping the customers. Being there from start to finish and supplying the best customer service experience, for both internal and external customers, on a daily basis.

Tracy has completed many online classes to both strengthen and advance her skills. Most recently Tracy completed OSHA 30 and looks forward to continued learning and growing in her role with Turtle Plastics.

When not in the office, or attending a tradeshow for Turtle, Tracy, who is an animal lover, volunteers with a few local animal rescues. She also enjoys going to classic car shows and cruise-in’s, with her husband, Sam, in their 1972 Camaro and hanging out with their three grandkids. And, lastly, but very important, Tracy is an avid Cleveland CAVS fan!

Jennifer Naelitz, Marketing and Sales Coordinator

Jennifer started at Turtle Plastics in 2006 working as the Personal Assistant to the President, Tom Norton.  Jennifer recently was promoted to the marketing division as the Marketing and Sales Coordinator.  This new role has been a great fit since over the years, through education and experience she has become skilled at developing the website, trade show coordinating and working on catalog development, as well as, becoming the office photographer.

Prior to joining the Turtle Plastics team, Jennifer worked as an assistant manager.  Her role was to support the manager in daily operations, supervise employees, execute store schematics on a weekly basis and oversee loss prevention.

When not at work, Jennifer can be found in her backyard flower garden.  Jennifer makes sure the office has a fresh bunch of flowers every week during the growing season, which unfortunately isn’t too long in Northeast Ohio.

Anthony Petti, Market Research

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, Warehouse Assistant

Andres is our “Mat Man” working on the ez Mats, Personal Comfort Stations and TrackMats.  He also is responsible for shipping, setting up and tearing down our trade shows.  Andres has been associated with Turtle for many years.