Allan A. Lippolis
Superior Washer & Gasket Corp.
When he visited his girlfriend’s house, 17 year old Allan Lippolis, had an opportunity to meet the guys who lived next door to her, setting the stage for a corporate partnership that is nearly three decades old. The four entrepreneurs who founded Superior Washer and Gasket Corp. turned that friendship into a success story and built one of the largest stocking manufacturers of specialty washers in the U.S. Born in Flushing, Allan did most of his growing-up in Valley Stream before attending college at SUNY Farmingdale. After he graduated with a degree in engineering and got married, he went to work in the washer and gasket industry. “I actually worked under one of my partners back then,” Lippolis explained. When he was 25, the two men decided the time was right to strike out on their own. Together the four men began their own production plant in 3,600 square feet of space in Babylon. That venture now has grown to two production plants; one in the Hauppauge Industrial Park and one in South Carolina. “We manufacturers are a dying breed on Long Island,” Lippolis noted. “Nine years ago, we had to expand and couldn’t get workers on Long Island at that time. Not that it’s any easier today. It wasn’t a matter of wages, there simply weren’t workers.” South Carolina was more “labor intensive” and close enough to complement the Long Island facility. To better serve the Western States, the company has also established a warehouse and distribution center in Carson City, Nevada. Superior Washer and Gasket has been part of the HIA almost from the time it built its Hauppauge plant in 1982, when it was roughly ten years old. Lippolis has served on the HIA board for fifteen years and was instrumental in developing the security patrol in the industrial park. He manages the administrative, sales and purchasing aspects of the washer business while his partners focus on the production and manufacturing. Has his engineering degree helped him market and manage a business, Lippolis says it has. “My feeling is,” Allan said, “In terms of education — whatever you go for, it is always a gain.” The Hauppauge Industrial Association offers ways for business people to continue to learn new things, something Lippolis strongly supports. “The seminars are a tremendous help,” he said. The HIA also keeps the focus on issues that are important to business, like finding skilled workers, high energy costs, and getting the kinds of support to help your business grow. Allan has two children, aged 26 and 13, and now lives in Huntington. His oldest son graduated from the University of Rhode Island three years ago and now works for him in the sales department. “We’re profitable,” he said, noting that it has enabled the company to maintain its Long Island base. While to 60% of their production is marketed through distributors, they also serve a number of end users in the aerospace and electronics industries. He’s lucky, he acknowledges, with the company’s inventory now shipped worldwide and incorporated into products manu-factured all over the world. From a 1972 startup with three power presses, Superior Washer & Gasket has grown to 110 presses and 120 employees in three locations. How does he relax? Why golf, of course!