American Companies are the Love of Lynn Tilton's Life
Patriarch Partners owner Lynn Tilton has built the largest woman-owned business in America, reports the Wall Street Journal's Robert Frank. But what's surprising about this 52-year old businesswoman with "platinum blond hair, tight leather skirts and penchant for racy remarks" is that she regularly champions manufacturing.
Tilton has made her millions buying American manufacturers that are headed for shuttered doors and windows and breathing new life into them. Like many of us, she believes strongly in the notion that American needs to make things again.
Among her manufacturing victories are the transformation of a paper mill in Maine into an alternative fuel maker, a facelift for a helicopter maker, and the revitalization of several auto-parts companies in the midst of a giant economic crisis.
And in the traditionally male-dominated industry of manufacturing, Tilton says she is "all woman," frequently dressing in an unconventional manner. However, United Steelworkers who are employed at one of her plants are big fans. Frank reports that one union staffer, Duane Lugdon says of Tilton, "She's just human and honest with people."
Despite her success and approachable demeanor, the best thing about Lynn Tilton is her take on American manufacturing. Frank writes:
Her real mission, however, is pushing the U.S. to adopt a more coordinated government policy that better supports the country's manufacturers.
She is doing her own part by preserving jobs at her own firms as best she can, she says. Yet she also is pressing Washington to better enforce antidumping rules and to require companies that sell in the U.S. to manufacturin in the U.S.
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