Interview with Richard Lynch


Sr. Global Vice President
MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions


MacDermid Enthone is celebrating its 100-year milestone – what do you attribute to its success?

Without question, our people are the reason for our success.  Over those years, we have integrated many of the industry’s most iconic companies to a common mission and purpose.  Always with the goal of building the best team and this DNA has created a strong culture of performance and focus to deliver unique value to our customers.

Tell our readers more about MacDermid Enthone and the solutions they offer.

I truly believe we will lead our customers, our industry, and the markets we serve to a profitable sustainable future.  MacDermid Enthone has leading technologies, and the recent acquisitions have allowed us to build a team who are tirelessly dedicated to implementing and optimizing these solutions.  Connecting our process solutions to our EnVio Solutions technologies allows our customers to recycle, reclaim, and reuse materials from what was originally a waste stream.  Closing this loop is just one way we optimize profitability for our customers, while dramatically reducing their environmental footprint.

What do you see as you and/or your teams’ greatest accomplishments at MacDermid Enthone?

It is the evolution to being a total solutions provider focused on the profitable sustainability of our customers and industry.  Moving away from transactional relationships to the creation of value which far outpaces the money involved in the chemistry is the future of our industry and takes incredible passion and commitment by our team.  It is not an accomplishment but a journey which we believe our customers, the leading companies in our industry, understand is the future.

What is MacDermid Enthone doing to navigate the supply chain challenges and disruptions which have dominated 2022?

It has been very difficult and where the dedication of our team has really shone through.  Lockdowns, freight shortages, climate events, a war, an energy crisis – it does not seem to end.  Continuity principles of communication, assessment, planning, and action are coordinated within a local, regional, and executive level response system across our business segments.  While always sensitive to price, we have prioritized continuity of supply and quality over price.  Our industry and the markets we serve rely upon our leadership and integrity when it comes to quality.  Having discipline to adhere to high standards and not take shortcuts or make unvalidated substitutions is not easy and has increased costs substantially.  We have endeavored to share these costs fairly with our business partners while we continue to deliver the same value for which we are known.

Who were your mentors early in your career? What did you learn from them?

There are several and I am afraid to omit one.  As I reflect upon them, most have shared some common traits of which I am mindful every day.  They are perseverance, honesty, respect of others and their opinions, and a passion for what you do.

If a recent college graduate came to you and said he/she wants your job one day, what advice would you give?

Surround yourself with people smarter than you and listen to them.

As you navigated the pandemic, what has (surprised you/challenged you/created the most opportunities) over the past two and a half years within the industry?

The change in how we communicate is probably the headliner for us all.  Video calls were a novelty, now I am on them for many hours every day and prefer video to voice.  Fortunately, we had recently invested in a leading technology solution while also investing in a webinar platform which literally thousands of customers attend.  I am proud of the value we have been able to deliver while adjusting to a new normal.

What do you think are the most significant challenges facing the surface finishing industry? What should be done to address these challenges and how is MacDermid Enthone ‎helping to do this?

The most significant challenges are not technology challenges such as the elimination of hexavalent chromium or PFAS.  Our industry has a long history of successfully adopting new technology and our company has invested heavily to ensure our customers make that transition successfully.

The real challenge is the elimination or dramatic reduction in water use.  Water discharge drives much of environmental compliance, while becoming increasingly scarce and expensive.  Through several acquisitions, we have created a new business unit MacDermid EnVio Solutions.  Marrying our chemical expertise to a family of experts in the treatment of water, which reduces consumption while recycling, reclaiming, and reusing valuable materials is unique to MacDermid Enthone.  This is another area where our customers have told us what they need and we have made substantial investments to support their profitable sustainable future.

Who is ESI?

Element Solutions Incorporated is our parent company and a leading specialty chemicals company listed on the New York Stock exchange(ESI).  MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions is one of five business units and accounts for about a third of the total ESI revenue.  Element Solutions has been a big part of how we have been able to transform our business to meet the challenges of todays market place.  They have invested in several acquisitions which provide our customers a clear path to a profitable sustainable future as mentioned above, while also expanding our technology portfolio to meet the needs of rapidly growing industrial end markets such as for light metals or electrification of vehicles.  Importantly, they have provided us substantial leverage and relationships as a combined entity for us to meet today’s supply chain challenges all over the globe.  The highest return on these ESI investments has been the team we have been able to build.  Our people impress me everyday and I am proud to work with them.