About Us

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Ted Newman, Jr

Vice President

My name is Ted Newman Jr., and I am the Vice President of Western American, Inc. I am a seasoned professional with over 25 years of operations and leadership skills gained through working alongside the executive teams of two Fortune 50 Tech companies. At Silicon Valley giants Intel and Amazon, I managed several-hundred-person production teams, directly increasing company employee satisfaction by 23% and decreasing the department’s annual spend by 15%.

I specialize in reversing distressed assets and, in my first year at WA, I have streamlined operations, purchasing, and finances while increasing profit margins and decreasing operating costs.

I began working with my father, the founder of WA, at the age of 12. I held nearly every position in the factory, traveled with the sales team to remote locations, and worked with the Research & Development Team in the lab. I have come full circle in my life and career, and am happy to be back in Kansas City and at the helm of the family business. I am passionate about continuing the company legacy that my Dad, Ted Sr., started in 1976.

To see my entire list of experience and accomplishments, please visit my LinkedIn page at www.linkedin.com/in/ted-newman.

History and Ownership

Here at Western American, we are a family-owned and operated business with deep roots in Kansas City, Missouri, dating back to our founding in 1976 by Ted Newman Sr. Originally known as “Western Adhesives,” our company emerged after Ted Newman Sr. decided to pursue his entrepreneurial vision following his tenure at National Starch & Chemical Corp.

Product Focus

Our journey began in liquid adhesive manufacturing, but as the industry evolved, so did we. Today, our core focus lies in the production of top-quality glue sticks under the esteemed brand name WESTIX. We take great pride in being recognized as one of the premier stick manufacturers in North America.

Product Applications

Our WESTIX glue sticks are renowned for their versatility, finding application across a wide spectrum of industries including packaging, corrugated materials, fabric, wood, plastic, stone, masonry, metals, PVC, concrete, carpeting, and foam.

Environmental Commitment

At Western American, we are deeply committed to environmental stewardship. Our dedication to environmental excellence and pollution prevention is reflected in every product we manufacture. Rest assured, all our products are certified safe for the environment, completely devoid of harmful chemicals. Moreover, we actively seek out materials with higher recycled content and lower toxicity, aligning with our mission to reduce the consumption of natural resources.

Leadership Transition

Over the years, our company has undergone significant leadership transitions. Following Ted Newman Sr.‘s retirement, the reins were handed over to his son-in-law, Rick Hennig, who capably guided the company until his retirement in 2023. Presently, Western American is under the adept leadership of Bonnie Newman, Ted Sr.’s wife, serving as President, and Ted Newman Jr., his son, who holds the position of Vice President.

Future Direction

Looking ahead, we are excited to embrace our heritage by reverting to the “Western Adhesives” name, symbolizing a return to our roots and a rekindling of the spirit that fueled our early successes. Our overarching goal is to honor Ted Sr.’s enduring legacy while charting new pathways for growth and innovation. As always, our unwavering commitment to providing the best products, coupled with exemplary service, at the most competitive prices, remains central to our mission.

TIMELINE

Kansas City, Missouri Born & Raised

1976

Western Adhesives is founded in a building on 5th & Grand, River Quay District.

1979

Purchased first building on 3rd & Grand, City Market District.

1980

Hot Melt technology Introduced, first belt purchased and installed.

1985

A welder accidentally strikes a gas main which created a devastating (8 alarm) fire which destroyed the entire one block building, manufacturing operations, office headquarters and laboratory.

1985 - 1987

Partners help WA to survive by contracting to manufacture its products. Ted Sr. Survives.

1988

New 90,000 sq. ft. building purchased in West Bottoms District. It is a 100-year-old former train car manufacturing building. The length of the building allows for a perfect layout to install a second hot melt belt and two tanks for liquid production: One 20,000-gallon tank and one 40,000-gallon tank.

1999

Glue Stick Line Started.            

2003

An electrical short causes the hot melt tank to catch on fire creating the second devastating fire in the company’s history. Again, Newman must improvise and adapt to keep the business profitable.

2005

A decision is made to turn a focus on perfecting a glue stick line which is relocated to its current home in North Kansas City.

2024

Working to improve and grow!