40 Under Forty Awards
Grossjohann Honored by The Business Review
Alex Grossjohann grew up with CMC-KUHNKE Inc, and is now, at 38, the successor to the
family business. Grossjohann's goal is to grow the Albany company, which makes
measurement systems, (gauges, optics, automation and software) for metal packaging.
"I've been given a tremendous head-start," Grossjohann says, "and I'm determined to build upon the foundation of our family business to provide even more possibilities to my children."The plan is to take CMC-KUHNKE from a small business to a medium-sized global company, and Grossjohann says he and his staff are doing "whatever it takes: international travel; late nights on site with customers; tedious engineering studies and meetings; midnight calls from customers looking for technical support," to realize that goal. And putting his heart into the company was not as easy a decision as some might think, because in
| younger days Grossjohann dreamed of becoming a classical composer and
conductor."I remain confident in the decision, but it was so trying. I went nearly 10 years
without playing a note."
Composing jazz and classical music remains a passion if not a job these days, along with motorcycling and the domestic joys of home improvement, yard work and playing with the kids.Thanks to CMC being a family business, Grossjohann has a lot more experience working - 23 years' worth - than most his age. He recalled that, at age 16, his parents threw him into the business, where he apprenticed in every department from accounting to "dirty jobs" on the production floor. They were lessons in hard work and entrepreneurship from his immigrant parents - German father, Greek-American mother - both of whose families had businesses either here or in the old country.
Favorite Restaurant:Yono's in Albany
Travel:Has been to every continetnt except Australia and Antartica
Favorite Gadget: GPS
Quotable: "I try to make myself redundant by empowering the people around me to be more effective…I believe one can never be in too much of a hurry to be polite. I never give up."