Thomas H. Butler


Chem-Fab Corp.

Hot Springs

Thomas H. Butler

After working for McDonnell Aircraft Co. and spending eight years at Hot Springs' Chem-Fab Corp., Thomas Butler says his one great observation about business is not to forget the people.

"Business becomes more and more complex in terms of the computerized world and faxes and voice mails and e-mails, video conferencing and the high-tech sides of any business ...," he says. "But what it really comes back to is the people ... the integrity and commitment and sense of urgency in your people that you work for and you work with."

Butler earned a bachelor's degree from Western Illinois University and a MBA from Southern Illinois University. He went to work for McDonnell Aircraft Co. immediately after college.

Butler, 37, began his career at Chem-Fab, an aircraft parts supplier, in 1991. At the time, the company had 180 employees and about $12 million in annual sales. Eight years later, Chem-Fab has 410 employees and does about $35 million a year.

Though he won't take all the credit for the growth, he admits his strength lies in acting as a catalyst to execute the company's long-range plans.

Butler is part of the Garland County Economic Development & Job Training Partnership, and he coaches baseball and basketball at the Boys Club.