Awards & Engraving

July '16

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8 • A&E JULY 2016 Purex Inc. Opens Headquarters in the U.S. Shaumburg, Illinois-based Purex Incorporated, a new sister company of Purex International, opens its headquarters for sales and distribu- tion in the U.S. As an independent entity, Purex Inc. will work in tandem with the UK office, however, the motivation for creating the company stemmed from customer demands, Purex Sales and Business Development Manager Brad Banfill tells A&E magazine. "In the past, we served the U.S. market from our UK office. Having this facility makes us more in touch with our customers' needs. Whether it's filters or equipment, we're able to do so at a lower cost and quicker response time." Banfill adds that the new facility features a 12,000-square- foot warehouse and office space. "At this point we have six people on staff between inside and outside sales," he says. "We're currently stocking all products, not only as a U.S. hub for sales, but also an inventory for spare parts." The headquarters also includes a showroom for training and dem- onstration purposes, which Banfill explains will cover customer-specific concerns and interest. Purex Inc., which provides fume extraction solutions, is looking to broaden its applications and markets, which currently include: laser coding and marking; ink jet coding and marking; laser engraving; wide-format printing; dye-sublimation; and more. The company will also invest in new products by expanding and launching its full line of its new equip- ment, iFume, as well as other devel- opments beyond the line. Another part of this year's development is to create a website to showcase the company and its products. In Memoriam Slee Corporation Co-Founder Passes Away Slee Corporation co-founder and CFO Lesley Margaret Slee, 60, passed away on January 30, 2016, leaving behind not only dedicated colleagues and husband Barry of 40 years, but also a lasting impact on the Chicago-based glass and crystal manufacturing company she helped to build from the ground up. Lesley and Barry Slee were not only life partners, but ambitious business partners who continued to challenge each other. After marrying in Peterborough, England in 1975, Barry's company (Fiat) only three weeks later relo- cated the couple for the next year to the United States, then returned them to England in 1976. In 1979, Barry and Lesley again relocated to the United States, this time permanently. After several corporate moves to Illinois, Ohio and New York, their daughter Kate was born in 1989. But life would soon change for the couple after Barry, who held a corporate position high up the ladder, was laid off in 1992 along with 10,000 other employees. Lesley challenged her husband, saying, "If you don't buy or start a company, I will," Barry remembers. "We purchased the company to get out of corporate life and all of the politics and reloca- tions associated with fortune 100 corporations," he explains, adding that they considered 60 companies before purchasing Curran Art Glass from John Curran, who originally founded the business in 1972. Lesley, an accountant by profession, handled the financial aspects of their growing company, which they renamed the Slee Corporation. "Most of her relationship (with Slee) was regarding accounting and finance… She dealt with the vast majority of our customers and with larger suppliers," Barry remarks, adding that the company is now one of only two actual manufac- turers remaining in the U.S. Together, Lesley and Barry grew the company from 14 employees to 80 at its highest. Cur- rently, the Slee Corporation has 30 employees, most of whom have served the company for an average of almost 18 years. Lesley, who battled rheumatoid arthritis for 30 years, was closely aligned with advanced clinical rheumatology programs at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Over the course of the past 25 years, she was an early recipient of many of the newer "Biologic" drugs to treat the disease. These treatments are often toxic and can result in internal bleeding and organ failure over several years, with the liver and kidneys being particularly vulnerable. "That's what happened to Lesley," Barry admits. "It wasn't 100 percent a surprise because we knew that at some point, this could well happen." Despite her struggle, however, she continued to dedicate herself to the company as CFO. "It was such a bad disease, but it kept her going. She loved the challenge all the time," Barry recalls. Just 10 days before Lesley passed away she saw her granddaughter (Addison) born to Kate and her husband Clayton. Lesley's right-hand, Cathy Uliasz, a long-time employee of 15 years, will assume the majority of her responsibilities at the company. To read Lesley Margaret Slee's full obituary, Slee-Lesley/obituary.php?Printable=true. THE LATEST INFORMATION ABOUT PEOPLE AND PLACES News Send your news items, along with accompanying photos, in a concise press release to Natalie Jane Frels, Digital Content Editor, at Photos should be in a tiff or jpeg format with a minimum resolu- tion of 300ppi, and a minimum size of 5 inches wide. For more news items, check out

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