Cree Charts His Own Course As President of Addex

No fly-by-nighter, Addex exec’s been flying since he was a teenager, and it’s now his preferred way to travel on business.

In the plastics machinery business, there’s nothing all that unusual about a company president making calls to visit customers, either alone or with a territory sales manager or representative. But in their own plane? In the cockpit? That’s another story.

And it’s the way Bob Cree got to know his customers better when he took over as president of blown-film equipment specialist Addex Inc., Newark, N.Y. following the retirement of Rick von Kraus in 2015.

This year alone, Cree’s made three cross-country trips, each four weeks’ long, hopping from plant to plant—in every part of the country—all the way from New York to the West Coast.

Cree has been flying since he was a teen in Houston; his best friend’s dad was a commercial pilot, and he loaned Bob his single engine Cessna to learn in when Bob was still in high school.  But over the last four years, Cree has turned that aviation hobby into his preferred mode of transportation for business, flying his small plane around the U.S. and Canada visiting customers. 

This year alone, Cree’s made three cross-country trips, each four weeks’ long, hopping from plant to plant—in every part of the country—all the way from New York to the West Coast. He prefers this transportation method; it saves time wasted in airport security lines and avoids delayed or cancelled flights and lost luggage. And he can land very close to the customers.  Sometimes the small airports he lands at are within walking distance to the plants. 

“Since I became president of Addex and assumed the sales role that Rick performed, I’ve made it a priority to have Addex ‘boots on the ground’ with our customers and hear what their needs are,” Cree says.  He says he takes their feedback and creates R&D projects to address their concerns, noting that this is how Addex’s recently introduced ICE blown-film cooling technology became a focal point above other R&D projects that were underway.

Cree, who earned his pilot’s license in 1978 when he was 19, flies one of three single-engine, turbo-charged prop planes: the Mooney 231, Cessna 182, and Piper Arrow. (Next year he will fly Mooney Bravo.) He flies out of Rochester International Airport in Rochester, N.Y.