The 2015 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Manufacturing Executive of the Year, Midsize Firms

April 28, 2015

Bill Virgin



Lisa Chissus, owner and president, CFM Consolidated


CFM Consolidated is literally Lisa Chissus grandfathers company, but its come a long way from 1962, when Eddy Davis launched the business as Flex-a-Lite, featuring a design for an automotive fan with lightweight, drag-reducing fiberglass blades.

Flex-a-Lite is still around, with an array of cooling products, including one that Chissus designed. But CFM also includes Cascade Plastics, an injection-molding company, and MariSource, which makes fish hatchery equipment. CFM designs and engineers its products, stamps and forms metal for shrouds, brackets and radiators, and handles injection molding, vacuum forming and final assembly.

How do you make a business like that more efficient? By downsizing from 90,000 square feet in two buildings to 45,000 in one, a project that required moving equipment, reconfiguring work flow, retraining employees and installing a lean culture. All that, while also introducing 40 new products, and with Chissus taking on greater leadership roles in the manufacturing community.