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Most entrepreneurial stories are a narrative of risk, and Patrick Pellerin of Marmen is no stranger to its uncertain ways, from the challenges it brings to the rewards it can deliver. As a leader in machining, fabricating, welding and manufacturing for a variety of heavy industries, Pellerin works in a true family enterprise: the alphabetical voice mail directory is filled with Pellerins of all generations! His father, the founder, first established himself by banking on the audacious gamble of acquiring one huge (and expensive) machine, without a single client order to justify it. But out of this chicken-and-egg dilemma, or "buy it and they will come" strategy, emerged a perfect client: General Electric, which has remained on Marmen's roster to this day. From there, dramatic growth and opportunities followed, and the company has expanded into a diversity of markets, quickly becoming a North American leader in the manufacturing of wind towers and turbines. That sector brought its own share of drama, when a certain client named Enron went down and "stiffed" all suppliers, including Marmen. Chatting with Bob Pellerin acknowledges that luck and opportunity are as much a part of his business as is his extremely stubborn streak.
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