Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
President and CEO, Captree Puretech Solutions
Why he chose Adelphi: I had friends that highly recommended Adelphi University because of its educational standards and reputation for excellence.
Memorable faculty: Professor Jim Patchias
Favorite class: International Marketing
Recipient of: The Distinguished Alumnus Award at the Adelphi Multicultural Alumni Chapter’s 2005 Annual Latino Dinner Dance, a featured event of the University’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration.
Advice for Adelphi students: It’s important to understand different cultures to be able to think globally.
There are two things that Ernest Gonzalez believes are the cornerstone of his success: hobby and knowledge. “The hobby is what keeps you going, and the quest for knowledge is what keeps you growing,” he says. Luckily for Mr. Gonzalez, his life’s work is also his passion. “It’s why I love what I do,” he says.
Today he is president and CEO of Captree Puretech Solutions (CPS), a leader in the chemical industry that has created national programs to meet its corporate clients’ growing needs for vendor consolidation, product standardization and supplier managed inventory. Unilever, Estée Lauder, Avis Budget Rental Car, and Elizabeth Arden are among the well-known manufacturers CPS supplies. “We are committed to providing innovative solutions for the most demanding distribution and logistical applications for the companies we service,” says Mr. Gonzalez.
He credits what has been an enjoyable career in the chemical industry to his innate drive. “It might be the scientist in me,” he says, “but I have an ongoing passion for discovery.”
His first experience in the field was at Allied Chemical. Over the course of nearly a decade at the company he gained invaluable experience and forged important contacts and networks. “It was there that I made a lot of connections that would help me start my own business years later,” he says.
Early in his career Mr. Gonzalez, who already held a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, decided it was time for him to return to school. “I wanted to acquire a better business sense, and accounting involved a different way of thinking than chemistry.” Mr. Gonzalez enrolled in Adelphi’s M.B.A. program. “I worked straight through two years at the University, summers included, while working full time at Allied Chemical,” he recalls.
With the business background he established at Adelphi as his foundation, he went on to broaden his perspectives through his work at other chemical companies. At CP International Trade his role as sales manager provided him the opportunity for extensive travel. “There were days where I’d have three meals in three separate cities,” he recalls. As the years passed, his reputation grew, and his expertise was sought for increasingly executive level positions, such as his role as vice president of marketing at Intercontinental Chemicals.
Mr. Gonzalez eventually negotiated a deal to buy out the division that he worked in, which became Captree Chemical in 1978. While the main thrust of the business was circuit boards, Mr. Gonzalez was able to use the connections he had created throughout the years to diversify the business into aerospace, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and household cleaning products—and gain the business of research and development organizations such as Bell Laboratories and pharmaceutical giants like Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer, and Schering Plough.
After a long and fruitful career, he retired in 2002. Mr. Gonzalez spent several years traveling and playing golf, but his ambition and love for his profession kept him from relaxing for too long.
His son’s interest in getting into business led him to start another venture in 2005—Captree Puretech Solutions—which Mr. Gonzalez leads as president and CEO today. “My passion for business kept me restless,” he says.
What has been the key to Captree Puretech Solutions’ success throughout the years? “It is essential to always think about what the customer wants,” says Mr. Gonzalez. He attributes this outlook to helping his business flourish and diversify, even in challenging times.