Peer LorentzenFounder (1927 - 2003)
Mr. Lorentzen immigrated to Michigan from Denmark after receiving his Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering in 1951. While working in the development laboratories of a manufacturer of floor cleaners and waxes, he learned of the use of floor wax as a release agent in the recently introduced process of molding polyurethane foam for automotive seat cushions. By the late ‘50s, he began to experiment with the development of more efficient release agents for polyurethane foams, using the kitchen of his Howell, Michigan, home as a laboratory and production area. Mr. Lorentzen’s work led to the development of new and innovative release agent solutions that made polyurethane foam molding easier, more reliable and more cost efficient than before and in 1960 Chem-Trend was born. Within a short time Peer managed to bring the same type of entrepreneurial, problem solving focus to the die casting industry by developing the first commercially successful water-based die lubricants. Those products provided manufacturers with higher quality, brighter castings and greatly enhanced the health, safety and environmental (HSE) aspects of this industry.
During the years of 1960 through Peer's retirement in 1990, the organization grew significantly in terms of sales, employees, facilities, experience, global reach and industries served. However, even during those years of significant growth and transformation, the core culture of the company never changed. Peer created a rich legacy of dedication to ethical business practices, safety, quality, product innovation and the development of an atmosphere of shared objectives among employees. Peer focused on establishing, deep rooting and nurturing a company culture of continued pursuit for true excellence in adding value to, and best serving, our customers. Today Chem-Trend still operates with the same values and maintains the same culture, a testament to the leadership of our founder, and to the many employees who helped build the company from its humble start in a kitchen to its position today as global leader in high-performance release agents.