Donald Sinder (center), president and CEO of Paper Plas Inc., accepted the award for Supplier of the Year Class II from (left to right): E. Delbert Gray, president and CEO of the Michigan Minority Business Development Council; entertainer Bill Cosby; V. Diane Freeman, General Motors supplier diversity program senior manager; and Bo Andersson, vice president of GM Worldwide Purchasing Production Control & Logistics.

January 2004
DETROIT – Notables and such as mega entertainer Bill Cosby, promoter Don King, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and more than 3,000 of the most influential business leaders from Michigan watched as Donald Snider, president and CEO of Paper Plas Inc., accepted the award for Supplier of the Year Class II at the Michigan Minority Business Development Council’s 25th Annual Awards Dinner. Although several other majority- and minority- owned companies received awards that night, Snider viewed the acknowledgment as a personal inspiration.

“Receiving the MMBDC award comes at a time when I, and most other minority suppliers are scratching our heads to figure out how we can make it through this tough economy,” Snider said. “Being acknowledged by my peers and other corporations truly provided the right kind of inspiration at the right time. Although it may be a cliché, thinking out of the box has never been more important than it is today.”

Snider’s “thinking out of the box” has included an innovative partnership with global supplier Federal Mogul. The strategic alliance, announced this past April, will provide replacement engine gasket kits, focusing its marketing efforts on vehicle and equipment manufacturers that offer replacement parts in the United States.

Other efforts include an aggressive marketing campaign to penetrate industries that have relatively untapped by other minority suppliers. Snider remains optimistic the economy will improve.

“I’m sure we (minority suppliers) will pull out of this and continue to grow as the economy begins to improve,” Snider said. “I just wish it happens sooner than later.”

Paper Plas is an aware-winning minority-owned Tier I and Tier II automotive supplier of shipping paper, light packaging and industrial paper, paper conversions and light assembly. The company began in 1995 with DaimlerChrysler as its first major customer. Paper Plas operates an 80,000-square-foot manufacturing facility with 25 employees in Milwaukee. Key customers include Cummins, DaimlerChrysler, Dana, FleetGuard, Mopar, PPG, Rockwell-Allen Bradley and xpedx.

Paper Plas has won numerous industry recognitions, including being named Supplier of the Year in 2000 by the National Minority Supplier Development Council and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.

Shown from left are Donald Snider, president and chief executive officer, Paper Plas, and Federal-Mogul's Mike Fisher, Dawn New-Echlin, Tom Conaghan and Jim Jacobs.

Shown from left are Donald Snider, president and chief executive officer, Paper Plas, and Federal-Mogul’s Mike Fisher, Dawn New-Echlin, Tom Conaghan and Jim Jacobs.

April 2, 2003
Southfield auto-parts maker Federal-Mogul Corp. plans to announce today its first strategic alliance with a minority-owned supplier, Detroit-based packaging company PaperPlas Inc.

No equity is changing hands, and Donald Snider will remain the sole proprietor of Paper-Plas.

Federal-Mogul will sell sets of 30 to 50 gasket and sealing components to Paper-Plas. At its Milwaukee facility, workers will package them into kits for sale to engine manufacturers, such as Cummins Engine Co., which then sells the kits to repair shops.

Automotive technicians will use the kits to rebuild or replace a section of a damaged engine.

This lets the Paper-Plas customer count the kits toward its minority purchasing goal for a given year. Paper-Plas expects to grow its $8-million-a-year business by $5 million to $6 million within a year or so, Snider said.

VOLUME 65 – Number 4     WWW.MICHRONICLE.COM       1-800-203-2229       Oct. 17 -23 2001

Paper Plas, a minority-owned automotive supplier of shipping paper, packages, corrugated pallets and light assembly, plans the construction of a 100,000 square-foot facility in spring 2002.  The building will be built on Woodrow Wilson near Oakman Boulevard.Donald Snider, president and CEO of Paper-Plas, Inc., made the announcement at the Fairlane Club in Dearborn during his annual appreciation luncheon.Snider said the facility will be a first-class headquarters and operations center. Operations will include production of corrugated products, light assembly, paper conversion and a training facility. Each year since starting his business, Snider has had a luncheon to acknowledge and publicly thank his customers.  This year’s celebration had special significance.  The CEO dedicated his seventh annual luncheon to the memory of his mentor and close friend, the late Heinz Prechter.At the luncheon, Snider said of Prechter, who founded the American Sunroof Corp.: “Heinz Prechter provided his perspective on being a German immigrant and what it took to build a successful business in the states.  For the past four years, Heinz would make sure he was in attendance at our luncheon, regardless of where he would be in the world.  We wanted to make sure his impact on Paper-Plas would be recognized once again.He plans to dedicate the facility’s auditorium in the name of the late Heinz Prechter.

As this year’s economic climate continues on a downward spiral, the Paper-Plas management team has worked to put the company in position to experience the most dramatic growth ever by increasing revenue from $5 million to $15 million.

The major contribution to the growth came from a contract awarded by Cummin’s Engine, which also helped Paper-Plas to expand to Indianapolis.

Paper-Plas has been recognized by the National and Michigan Minority Business Development councils, the Southern Christian Leadership Council, and has been featured in Black Enterprise, African Americans on Wheels magazines and Crain’s Detroit Business.

Crain's Detroit Business
Paper-Plas plans new factory by Terry Kosdrosky

October 08, 2001

The automotive industry may be in a slump, but supplier Paper-Plas Inc. is ready to invest $6 million in a new plant in Detroit.

Construction is expected to begin next spring on the 100,000-square-foot factory, on Woodrow Wilson near Oakman Boulevard. The plant will replace Paper-Plas’ nearby 80,000-square-foot factory.

The new plant will employ 35 more workers for a total of 65, said President and CEO Donald Snider. Paper-Plas produces shipping paper, packages and pallets and performs light assembly for automakers and suppliers. Customers include DaimlerChrysler AG, PPG Industries Inc., Cummins Inc. and Dana Corp.

Paper-Plas reported $6 million in revenue last year.  Although automotive orders are fewer, the company added clients this year and needs more space and loading areas,   Snider said. The company’s current plant, near the site of the planned new one, can’t be expanded.

“The Cummins Engine deal came on in May, and that picked up any shortfall we had,” Snider said.

Snider founded Paper-Plas in 1995, making shipping paper for DaimlerChrysler and PPG glass. The company has plants in Detroit, Milwaukee and Indianapolis but never has built its own.

Plymouth-based Dynamic Consultants Inc. is the architect. Snider said he’s awaiting approvals from Detroit’s brownfield authority.
Terry Kosdrosky: (313) 446-1626,

Ricardo Thomas / The Detroit News

Donald Snider, president and CEO of Paper Plas, will build a new building on the site of the present one.

Paper Plas ready to rebuild
Automotive supplier must expand to add shipping docks, workers

By Mary Ann Hupp / Special to The Detroit News

GrowingWhat: Paper Plas Inc., Michigan’s only minority-owned tier-one supplier in the paper conversion business, light automotive assembly and packaging industry, is planning to build a new, bigger building in the spring.
Employees: 30 in Detroit, 30 in Milwaukee, five in Indianapolis.
Where: 15555 Woodrow Wilson, Detroit.
Phone: (313) 869-1506
Web site:

   Paper Plas, a Detroit automotive supplier of paper conversion, light assembly and packaging, will build a new 100,000-square-foot headquarters and operations facility on Woodrow Wilson near Oakman Boulevard this spring.
The firm, which operates out of an 80,000-square-foot facility on the same site, will demolish and construct the old and new building in nine to 12 months without shutting down production. The new building will have twice as many shipping docks — six — and employ an additional 35 workers for a total of 65.
The expansion is needed because Plas, which has branches in Milwaukee and Indianapolis, is growing, said Donald Snider, president and CEO. The firm, which Snider founded in 1995, generated $285,000 in sales in its first six months, he said, and grew to $5.5 million last year. The company assembles some automotive components and makes packaging to ship parts in. Customers include DaimlerChrysler AG, PPG Industries, Cummins Engine, and Dana Corp.
Snider said he decided to expand at the present site because the business is close to all the area major thoroughfares.
“We’ve been here for going on seven years,” Snider said. “We’re very comfortable with the community and we have a commitment … to provide jobs and empower people within the community.”
Snider said he tells employees they can achieve as much as he has — if they have good credit.
“It’s just a dedication I need to lend to our community, so they can have purchasing power to do something,” Snider said. “A lot of people in our community don’t have that, or they don’t know how.”
Paper Plas is one of 52 suppliers DaimlerChrysler selected to help grow. Jethro Joseph, senior manager of Diversity Supplier Development at DaimlerChrysler, works with Paper Plas and Snider in the mentor supplier program.
“Donald runs a very clean and efficient shop,” Joseph said. “He’s the kind of guy that stays on top of the business. He has an excellent workforce, he has a good business mind, and he’s a go-getter.”

Mary Ann Hupp is a Metro Detroit free-lance writer.

WWW.MICHRONICLE.COM       1-800-203-2229       Mar. 14 – 20, 2001

Supplier expands despite slowdown

Paper-Plas, a local paper converting, assembly and packaging company, recently signed a $9 million deal over three years.  Joining in the “signing” celebration were (seated from left) Ben Jackson, J.D., vice president sales and marketing, Hoosier Gasket Corp.; Donald Snider, president/CEO, Paper-Plas, Inc., and David Miller, diversity procurement director, Cummins Inc. Standing in support were Snider’s business mentor, Dick Tracy (from left), purchasing agent service parts and procurement, DaimlerChrysler, and ken Gardner, director of minority supplier development, Dana Corp.

Auto Industry Challenges Minority Suppliers
Fall 1999

Donald Snider, President/CEO of Paper-Plas Converting Inc., says companies have a choice; either form alliances with other minority firms or form joint ventures with larger, mainstream companies.  Snider’s company has plants in Detroit and Milwaukee which provide packaging and shipping products and customized chipboard, corrugated sheeting and coated papers.

    Partners in Diversity

Minority–owned Paper Plas and Bankruptcy Protected Federal Mogul Forge a New Alliance

Industry-wide consolidation and an economic downturn have supplier companies of every size seeking non-traditional solutions to traditional ebbs in the auto industry.Federal Mogul’s Tom Conaghan and Paper Plas’ Don Snider