Business in Focus: Igloo Products Corp.

A closer look at companies executing leadership excellence

igloo-logoIf you’ve ever gone on a family picnic, packed a boat for a day of fishing, or brought drinks to keep the soccer team hydrated, there’s a good chance an Igloo® ice chest was involved. Igloo chests, along with the iconic red and white coolers, are just two of more than 550 products made by the 70-year old Igloo Products Corporation in Katy, Texas, just west of Houston.


You might expect that a 70-year old manufacturing company led by a former U.S. Army Captain would have a traditional, command-and-control management style. Not so. In fact, since joining Igloo as CEO in 2015, Mark Parrish has effectively flipped the organizational structure upside down to create a culture of servant leadership at Igloo.

In a recent interview published in Talent Development magazine, Parrish explained, “Building a culture worthy of every single associate’s 100 percent commitment starts with me supporting the people who report to me, and they support the people who report to them, and so on, up to our associates who deliver an experience to our cherished customer.”

In an initiative described as Operation Rejuvenation, Parrish and his team committed not only to achieving strategic corporate goals, but also to building a culture committed to excellence in execution. Business decisions are made based on the collective success of four areas ranked first by people, followed by quality, service, and cost.

Igloo-HistoryAs an example of putting people first, operations employees earn 41% over the prevailing minimum wage in Texas, are given an excellent benefits package, and receive between 15 to 40 hours of training each year.

Parrish’s commitment to servant leadership and ranking people at the top of the decision-making model is paying off. According to Igloo’s 2016 employee engagement survey, 93% of associates report that “they do their best every day” and “are happy to take on new tasks.”

Kudos to Mark Parrish for building a culture of commitment at Igloo. Read the full interview with Parrish in Talent Development magazine here.



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